I used to love this time of year, before I hit the streets. Back when I had a family and a job and my education meant something. My dad went crazy with the decorating and the lights and the dinner that was so large it took a week to polish off the leftovers. We didn't always have a lot of money for presents when I was a kid, but he always made sure that the few I got really meant something. The rest of the family kept trying to win me over with dolls and pretty dresses and other 'girly' things, but Dad always knew better. Sometimes I did get a doll or a stuffed animal or a dress, but only when they were things I actually wanted. He never had to ask me either, he just knew.
I always made him something from scratch in return-handmade paper ornaments and cards as a little kid, then cookies or a painting or a handmade shirt when I got old enough to make useful things. He kept all of them, and those horrible ornaments coated in glitter still held a place of honor on the tree every year up until he died.
It's never really felt like Christmas since. But it's still nice to hear the music everywhere. I just wish this wasn't going to be another Christmas alone on the street.