The single most 'holiday' moment for me is picking the tangerines off of my gramma's 60 year old tree.
She planted it soon after she and my grandpa finished building their house in Glendale in the early 50's. She was an avid gardener and even back in the day found someone who could engineer the tree to give fruit that had thick, easily peeled skin and virtually no seeds.
I had the good fortune of growing up near enough to my gramma to get these tangerines every year and for me they go hand in hand with christmas. The ritual of picking them, bagging them, and bringing them to aunts and uncles on christmas day has gone on for decades in my family. I feared it was over since my gramma passed away and her house was sold. But I gathered myself together and went knocking on the new owners' door. They were more than happy to let me go in back and pick a bag of fruit.
So now the tangerines sit in a beautiful arrangement on the coffee table in the living room and I feel like it's finally Christmas.
Do you have rituals that just make the holidays the holidays for you? Are they simple pleasures or complicated extravaganzas? Tell us what your favorite moments are!