What brings you joy during the holiday season? | Minnesota Public Radio News

What brings you joy during the holiday season?

Help us spread some holiday cheer by sharing what brings you joy during the winter season.

    "Sharing music with the elderly. I have been teaching piano lessons for 30 years. I am a caregiver for a woman with Parkinson's, who used to be in a chorus and played piano. Her disease makes her muscles tense up so she can't sing or play anymore. We held our Christmas "recital" at her apartment, and played Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, and We Wish you a Merry Christmas. We all loved it! My son, who has autism, sang at the piano with me. The woman we played for, she is on hospice, and loved it!" — Brenda G.
    "Being with friends and family. Watching Christmas movies on the couch. Making or finding little gifts that fit my friends well." — Laura Hanson
    "Giving each holiday its due. Observing the joy as decorators refresh their decor. I am sensitive to these overt religious displays of Christmas, While appreciative when placed no earlier than Thanksgiving week, and removed the week of New Year's. I feel validated as a holiday is treasured for its intended meanings, without the incessant retail/commercial overtones. I think of those who are no longer able to find joy, while being exposed to the celebrations of others." — Anonymous
    "This is a special year. We have always celebrated Christmas on Dec 29 in Minnesota with our parents. My siblings and I (74-years-old) have come home every year with our children. Now the next generation try to get here when they can. Last year most of the families were here as dad, at 100-years-old was getting weaker, though still very cognizant, knowing that this might be his last Christmas with us. Dad passed away in May, so as many of the family as possible will get together in his honor. We enjoy being together." — Peggy Doi
    "I especially love the quiet gatherings with family and friends. Yes, all the events around town, the movies and plays and musical productions, are nice ... but, for me, it's the slowing down and catching up that brings the most joy. And playing with the grand-babies, without having to rush off to the next thing. One thing that makes me sad, every year, is seeing Christmas trees on the curb a few days after Christmas Day. Christmas lasts until Epiphany, or should!" — Lisa Burke
    "Hate to say it but: a day off, one of only four I get off. Next, the thought of the boy child, which is Christ. And then, thinking about family and friends and the great Christmas music and a merry nod to you who we encounter as we go about our business." — Roy
    "Family and snow." — Anonymous
    "I like the decorations and festivities. It is fun the focus on celebration. I like it that people try to be nicer. I like the focus on sharing. As an atheist, I don't especially like the religious boosterism and hypocrisy." — Anonymous
    "Feelings of peace and sharing with my family and friends. Gratitude for my blessings." — Vicky
    "I like Christmas music, and the cards and letters exchanged this time of year. Also wreaths on doors are a nice addition!" — Sharon Fortunak
    "I have 37+ kids and 11 grandkids with several more on the way. What brings me the most joy is a quiet house and being able to watch a movie. Translation: Silent Night." — Anonymous
    "I love hearing children, adolescents and teens singing together spontaneously. I work in a school, and recently have heard students singing holiday songs together in the halls. I tell you, it zings me in the region of my heart with a happy swelling, glowing joy! Like a sweet balloon of love sent from their happy hearts to mine! It fills my cup with gratitude and hope." — Jeanne Doyle
    "What brings me joy and peace is Christmas Eve. At home after church we sit in the darkened living room, lighted only by candles and Christmas tree lights, listen to beautiful Christmas music, sip apple cider and contemplate the stillness and beauty of it all." — Suzanne Lucas
    "What brings me the most joy during the holiday season is all the telephone calls back and forth with my dad, my sisters, my brother-in-law and mom to plan out our Christmas meal — Dad forgot he was supposed to order and pick up our pork loin, my Mom is bringing too many appetizers and my sister is making our grandmother's famous lasagna recipe. The best part will be the cannolis that you get up at 5:00 a.m. and stand in line for a few hours outside Termini's bakery. I love my family." — Jenn Bommentre
    "Trimming our tree! Many years ago, we stated the tradition of having a large Christmas tree so that there would be room for all of the ornaments we have collected. When our boys went away to college, we would wait until they were both home to put up the tree. Over the years we have added more ornaments, daughters in law and three grandchildren. We still wait until the entire family can gather to decorate the tree. It is such a joy to have grandchildren to share the tradition with!" — Judy Jerde
    "It has been 14 years since the Midwest members of my family have gathered together. We were split apart by too many deaths in too short a time. But the weekend after THIS Christmas, 30 of us — half under age 13 — will be together for two nights! It has been a lot of work but will be worth every minute!" — Bo
    "I find that focusing on the coming celebration of the birth of Jesus brings me the most joy this season. There are way too many things going on this year that we haven't even thought about decorating." — Anonymous
    "Having it over." — Moira Manion
    "The nights!" — Annie
    "Baking with my children and sparkles and twinkly lights." — Victoria
    "Harmony amongst my family and the chance to share with others." — Lawrence Landherr
    "Music! I start playing my iPod Christmas music in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. I play that music with my recorder buddies, too. The radio is on most of the day and MPR gives us glimpses of that music. The words of the religious music is so uplifting. Reading those words loses to singing them." — Barbara Aslakson
    "Spending time with family, cooking, baking, decorating. I’m grateful to not have to leave my house to go Christmas gift shopping. I used to enjoy it, but that was in the old days, before the greedy days of Black Friday. Now I no longer have to do that (yes, thank you amazon), but when I do go out shopping, I go downtown: Northfield Minn. — where we are lucky to still HAVE a downtown with lovely, local shops that I make a point to support at every opportunity — and buy from my local merchants. —  Iris Erlingsdottir Lee
    "The wonder on the faces of my granddaughters as they look at the yard decorations around their community. The fun they have decorating the tree and house." — Susan Abrahamson
    "Being around happy children, listening to choirs young and old sing Christmas music and making homemade candy and baked goods for my family all brings me joy. Quiet nights at home with holiday movies brings joy. Remembering what the season is all about and practicing peace, love and charitable giving also is joyful." — Sonja Lockman
    "We take our kids for a walk around our neighborhood to look at all of the lights. They are young enough that every display is awe inspiring to them." — Katie Fitzpatrick
    "Our family gatherings during this holiday season brings us joy. That includes our shirttail relatives." —  Roger J. O'Daniel
    "Tiny white Christmas lights. Wreaths and boughs hanging on doors and draped from fireplaces. The scent of fir and pine. Actual jingle bells jingling on the harness of a horse or a reindeer. Christmas cards coming and going in the mail. Snow falling and muffling the sounds of the world." — Anonymous
    "After everyone else has gone to bed, sitting in the living room late at night all by myself with a glowing Christmas tree in the corner. So quiet and cozy." — Bonnie Kloos 
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    "Being employed and Holiday bonuses." — Toua Lee 
     "Having all of my family in one room at the same time. ❤️" — Terry Yanchar
    "MPR' s holiday streaming I love it But alas the blues set in being alone and all." — Clare Hohn
    "Honestly? Lights everywhere. It's very dark this time of year, and borrowing from the idea of Hygge, I love seeing homes and trees lit up, with lights or candles or fires in the fireplace. Even if we didn't have holidays, I'd long for the beauty of artificial light during this time of year." — Kelli Russillo 
     "Friends, family, and food covered in gravy." — Benjammin Robert
    "I love to eat, drink, and be merry with my loving family!❤️🍺🍷" — Laurie Murray
    "The end of the holiday season." — Anthony Ceballos
    "Still above ground for another Christmas." — Tom Johnson
    "When they are over I am most joyous." — Jess Ford
    "Music and loved ones!" — Deb Presser
    "Family and friends." — Patrick Sullivan
    "Family!" — Toni Hardy Rapaway
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    "Having our 26th annual Cup of Christmas Tea with my nine grandchildren, spouses and partners and now, two great-grandsons. We drink tea, have a meal, and go around the circle reading the book and showing the pictures." —  Evy Nelson
    "Being myself and looking for opportunities for random acts of kindness. Not shopping and staying grounded in the present moment." — Deb Degner
    "I still love the exchange of Christmas cards: going to the mailbox to find photos & letters from childhood friends, rarely seen aged aunts, coworkers from decades ago and neighbors is such a treat. I’ve saved a copy of each of the cards & letters my husband & I have sent out without fail over 34 years of marriage. In this age of immediacy, social media and text messages, sending and receiving holiday cards harkens back to a time where connection was rooted in act of intention, anticipation and delay." — Anonymous
    "Having my entire family together to laugh, remember, celebrate Christ's birth. I have been making Danish pastry for 50+ years. When I started I made 50 of them a year to give as gifts — low salaries! Now I am down to eight, only for VERY special people. We have had the same Christmas dinner, again for 50+ years. Three years ago, I asked if they wanted a change. My son, Jon 51, said, "Mom, could we have beer instead of champagne." We added beer! Have 50+year old decorations, Mom's, grandma." —  June La Valleur
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