The Christmas season is the perfect time of year to pause and reflect while celebrating the love and blessings that family and friends offer us. All around us greetings of cheer from friends, neighbors and strangers unites us all in the celebration and lift the spirits beyond the enjoyment of holiday lights. Adorning your home with reminders of the true message of the season brings love into your home: think Peace on Earth and goodwill to men.

Thoughtful touches in your custom-built home personalize what Christmas means to you and your family, like lighting candles in memory of loved ones no longer with us, displaying heirloom decorations such as nativity scenes, nutcrackers and ornaments as reminders of joyous holidays past. Christmas cards have become more creative and elaborate over the years, each reflecting a unique and special message families wish to share: displaying all Christmas cards reminds you and your family of all those who have touched your life in some way. Choose a space to creatively hang the cards, by ribbons, along windows or by making a collage to savor through the holiday.

The sounds of Christmas are also magical, from Church bells to Christmas carols; composers for centuries have created masterpieces that stand with us today, with modern musicians offering their own interpretations. Christmas is truly the only holiday offering such an array of renditions and artists, from classical, jazz, classic crooners such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, to modern musicians. Music undoubtedly lifts the soul; mix it up to keep it fresh and infuse your home with the spirit of the season.

Food is always an important component of any season, and now is a time to celebrate traditions and recipes from generations passed on. The scents of Christmas are synonymous with the sounds, creating memories for your families to carry forth. Of course, Christmas cookies are a beloved tradition, and an opportune time to gather family and friends to collaborate on favorite recipes, celebrating the luxury of a modernly appointed kitchen. Christmas is the perfect time to share family recipes, lovingly planned and created throughout the week. It is also the perfect time to pull out any special serving pieces, vessels or linens, and toast the love of family for the years to come.

Part of the magic of Christmas, for those of all faiths, extends to the oncoming celebration of a new year, with new hope and promises. Embracing old traditions and beginning new ones sets the momentum for future celebrations. Start the tradition to savor each day throughout this holiday and perhaps it will seep into every day throughout the New Year.

Consider the tradition of mistletoe, a parasitic plant which harkens from the earliest days of civilization. European folklore considered it a plant to bestow life and fertility, protect from poison, and serve as an aphrodisiac. The act of kissing under the mistletoe was first associated with a Greek festival and later with primitive marital rights, with many European cultures acknowledging mistletoe as a plant of power, life giving power and a plant of peace. The crux of its symbolism from a Christian point of view is life conquering death. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe exists in America as well as throughout Europe; a couple in love kissing under the mistletoe may be interpreted as an intention to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness of long life.

Colby Construction sends its fondest wishes for happiness and long life, as well as peace on earth and good will to men throughout this holiday season; may you carry the spirit through the New Year.