I'm an Editor in book publishing. All opinions are my own.
The Christmas season is still a magical one for me. There's something deeply comforting, fun, and joyous about enacting the same traditions every year. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, accompanied by carols. Carefully selecting and wrapping gifts. The truly special parts, though, are the traditions unique to each family and person. My family, for instance, always held a candlelight dinner on Christmas Eve. Breakfast on Christmas morning is homemade cinnamon rolls and orange juice. Through December I watch all my favorite holiday films--when I was a child, Care Bear Nutcracker, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Later other favorites were added: Love Actually, Elf. I still love to act out all these traditions.
I distinctly remember that in our living room--mostly a formal room that I didn't spend much time in--was a stack of Christmas picture books that sat under a side table. They were there year-round but only sparked my interest in December, when I'd pull out all the old favorites and read them over and over again. Sometimes we read as a family, and sometimes I read on my own. I don't remember most of the books, but know that The Polar Express and The Night Before Christmas were definitely among them.
I don't know if it's nostalgia, or the fact that, though I don't have children yet (eventually, I hope!) many friends and family members now have young ones, I've felt a strange compulsion to start afresh a holiday picture book collection. Old favorites would be necessary, but there's always room for newcomers. For now, I'll look forward to anticipating that first purchase, the one that will start the tradition anew...