I am aware of the significance of Christ’s birth on Christmas to those who are religious.

Many of my favorite Christmas songs are those who have a religious tone to them because they are so beautifully written and performed. But my traditions around Christmastime are not and have never been religious.

That does not lessen the happiness I feel once the Christmas season starts, and here’s why.

1. I love the pretty decorations that are all over the houses and stores and buildings.

Everything is all glittery and shiny, and it’s so eye-catching. I love how everyone is celebrating the time of year where we are loving one another, especially in a way that's so gorgeous.

2. I love the food.

I love decorating cookies and cupcakes to look Christmas-y and we, like many other families, make more desserts and Christmas themed snacks, just because they’re cute. My family also has a tradition of having either Chinese takeout or party food on Christmas Eve, so that’s always something to look forward to.

3. I love the Christmas movies.

Love Actually, Elf, Four Christmases, Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas, and all the 1960s-1970s Claymation movies are my favorites. They’re always something I look forward to in December.

4. I love the music.

Many of the Christmas songs that they play on the radio or in stores are those I’ve heard since I was a kid, and the nostalgia is always nice. I also like some of the newer adaptations from more modern artists, and especially those by Pentatonix, and other groups that really get to those intense harmonies. It makes the song that much more beautiful, in my opinion.

5. I enjoy the gift-giving.

I enjoy the getting as well, but I love being able to find a gift someone will enjoy, especially when it’s for someone you know deserves gifts 24/7/365 (looking at you Mama). I love wrapping presents and making everything look nice under the tree, and I’m so looking forward to seeing my niece get into everything this year for her first Christmas.

6. I love the general spirit of Christmas.

Many people look forward to Christmas because it’s a season of spending time with family and friends, and showing we care about them. It’s a nice way to wrap up a long year and the joy of Christmas makes me look forward to December every year. As a child, I loved it because WOW PRESENTS but now, it's more than that. It's about the chance to be a little more carefree for one day a year, and to celebrate the people we love and the year that's just passed.