Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Blogmas Day 1: 10 Things I Love About Christmas

I'm a giant kid at heart. I love all holidays and Christmas is no exception to that. There's just so many special things that the holiday season of Christmas brings - family, making memories, holiday baking, and the list goes on and on. It's a pleasure to share my list with you all! 
10 Things I Love About Christmas 

 1. Holiday Baking
Growing up my family did a ton of baking around Christmas. I have such beautiful memories of spending time at my grandma's house making the dough, letting it chill, and then rolling it out. Flour was everywhere but it was something that we did together every year. Even now as an adult, I spend lots of nights and weekends doing baking - cutout cookies, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate chip -- oh this list goes on and on! 

2. Christmas Music
Now I'm not talking about the odd songs like "Dominic the Donkey" and "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". I'm talking about the classics by Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, and Burl Ives. Sure, these songs were written before I was born, but they are the songs that my family and I listened to putting up the Christmas tree, driving around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, and so much more. Don't get me wrong, I utterly love the 'NSync Christmas album, but there's just something extra special about "Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock" (The Bobby Helms version, not Alvin and the Chipmunks). 
3. Buying Gifts for Family and Friends
I honestly enjoy buying Christmas presents for my family and friends. Whether it's something little like a gift card to Starbucks or a beautiful shirt and sweater, I enjoy thinking of what the recipient would enjoy receiving on Christmas morning. Gifts don't have to break the bank (especially when your on a teacher budget), but it's really the thought that counts - it truly is better to give than to receive in my eyes. 
4. Hallmark Christmas Movies
Oh I'm just utterly obsessed. From mid-November until New Years Day, I'm practically glued to the couch watching these heartwarming stories. In fact, I DVR the majority of them and watch on the weekends when I have a little bit of spare time. What's amazing right now is that every Saturday and Sunday, a new movie premieres! I just love sitting on the couch with the tree lights on, snuggled with a blanket, watching the Hallmark channel! 
5. Christmas Decorations
We have a small house and growing up, I lived in a small house as well. But during the holidays, there's no stopping us with decorating -- the Christmas tree, Christmas lights, special scented candles, etc. Having Christmas decorations around the house makes it seem magical and it honestly brings such memories -- I may live 1200 miles away from my parents but my house has a ton of decorations for the holidays that we had out when I was a child! Each piece that is displayed in my house has a memory and tells a story. 
6. Christmas Ornaments
Prior to me moving to Florida, my mom started an ornament collection for me. She bought me ornaments every year and kept them in a safe box so that when I decorated my first Christmas tree in my first apartment in Florida, I had enough ornaments to fill the tree. What's special about these ornaments is that they bring back memories and remind me of the Christmases I had as a child. I have already started this tradition for our little one in hopes that by the time she has her very own Christmas tree in her first apartment, she has a beautiful tree just like I did. Even my husband and I exchange ornaments every year and I cherish these gifts more than any other gift I receive each year. 
7. Holiday Drinks at Starbucks
I know. I'm basic. I love Starbucks as much as everyone else. Peppermint Mocha and the Caramel Brulee Latte are two of my favorites. What do I love right that goes along with these tasty holiday beverages? The red cup! Whether it's last year's decorated cup or the simply stated red cup this year, it just brings a smile to my face and a happy feeling in my tummy! 
8. Wrapping Presents
I love wrapping presents. I think it's because growing up, my parents and I had a tradition of wrapping presents together in the living room, watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I don't just wrap the gifts with paper, I strategically plan what paper I'll be using for each person and make sure the packages include a tag with their names and ribbons that match the paper. Sure, I get paper cuts every now and again, but it's the special memories I have of these moments with my parents that put a smile on my face as I'm wrapping gifts for my family and friends. 
9. Classic Christmas Movies
Home Alone. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. A Christmas Story. All of my favorites. All are watched numerous times over the holiday season. I basically know all of the lines to Home Alone, but I feel it's absolutely necessary to watch every year. There are some great Christmas movies these days, but I feel nothing will ever come close to the "classics" of people my age. And I know, the "real" classics include "It's a Wonderful Life", "Miracle on 34th Street", and "A Christmas Carol". Those movies just aren't my thing and that's perfectly fine! 
10. Family Traditions and Making Memories
Okay, so maybe this is technically two but I'm rolling it into one. Growing up, we celebrated Christmas Eve at my aunt's house every year. We went to 4pm mass and then had Christmas Eve dinner. We munched on food all night, opened gifts, and waited for Santa to drive by in the local firetruck, passing out candy canes. Christmas morning, we ate breakfast around the coffee table, slowly opening presents and enjoying hot cocoa and cinnamon rolls. Christmas dinner was at my uncle's house and it was exactly the same menu every year and I still love it. My husband and I (and our little) live in Florida which is 1200 miles away from the rest of my family, but we try our hardest to fly home to spend Christmas with my parents. Although we did have to spend a few Christmas mornings here in Tampa, I made sure to follow the same Christmas morning tradition -- right down to watching the Disney parade. Making memories and keeping family traditions is so important to me because I feel I have such beautiful memories of the Christmas season. 
So what are some of the things you love about Christmas?
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  1. Really like this. Iove the christmas music and the decorating as well. Good list.

  2. Now I want a cinnamon roll. Thanks for getting me in the spirit!

  3. Love this, basically your list is the same as mine!! I'm feeling super festive this year and can't wait to spend time with my family and some times baking festive treats!

  4. Ahhhhh! I love your list!!! Yes to Christmas music, gift wrapping, holiday drinks at Starbucks, everything! And I'm digging this Blogmas theme you've got going on... Good idea!

  5. Oh yes! Yummy drinks and treats, low-budget, super-cute Christmas movies, and all of the decorations! I love it!

  6. A great list! It's such a magical time of the year isn't it. I'm trying hard to be proactive about getting all the "stuff" done so when the friends and family times come, I can be fully present. Enjoy!

  7. I love starbucks holiday drinks.. but I have to admit I have never watched Hallmark holiday movies.. but I know so many of my friends are obsessed with them!

  8. What a great collection! I love Christmas baking and everything else on your list!
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter

  9. I love that Christmas baking is the first thing on your list. It's one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season too!

  10. Oh, I love holiday baking too! The smell of fresh cookies in the oven, there's nothing like it!

  11. Yes to all of this!
    The holidays make me so happy.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  12. I love my holiday drinks at Starbucks too. I wish my caramel brûlée latte could be around all year long haha

  13. I am a sucker for hallmark and lifetime christmas movies!

  14. I love giving gifts. I always try to find the perfect ones for my family, and it's so fun to watch them open them up.


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