Friday Favorites #1: My Favorite Things about Christmas

This is a new series I’m starting to give myself a weekly focus.

Today, I will be describing some of my favorite aspects of the Christmas season! There’s a lot that I love – there are reasons I make Christmas last AT LEAST two months!

1. Christmas music!
As Buddy the Elf said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Music is the greatest catalyst for throwing my heart and soul into Christmastime. (Aside from country) I love all genres of music, so my 7-hour playlist is filled with something for everyone. I have the Destiny’s Child album, CeeLo’s Magic Moment, Michael Buble’s album, and all of the Killers’s charity Christmas songs. I certainly have my favorites, but even Christmas-y smooth jazz gets me in the mood.

2. Christmas lights!
One of my favorite traditions is driving around with my mother after having just baked cookies and looking/judging Christmas light displays. There is magic in the air and seeing lights on houses or in windows reminds me of it.

3. Christmas cookies!
I miss my grandma’s cookies! She always made so many different kinds, but my favorites were the “robin’s nests” and “snowballs.” Aside from ice cream, cookies are my dessert of choice. When deciding on a cookie of my own, I tend to opt for the classic chocolate chip – it’s hard to get wrong! When fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies come at me, I am challenged to not eat all of them.

4. Christmas movies!
Initially, this meant what I consider classics – Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and the Year Without a Santa Claus. The modern classics include ones like Elf and Love Actually. This year, I have started the tradition of watching every Hallmark/Hallmark-type romantic Christmas movie available to me through Netflix and Hulu. If I’m not catching up on This Is Us or Curb Your Enthusiasm, I’m watching some sort of movie involving a mysterious kiss in an elevator.

5. Decorating!
If I had it my way, I would have all of the red and green decorations up on November 1st. Because I’m sharing an apartment with three others, I have to sometimes take their opinions into consideration. I waited a whole TWO WEEKS.

6. Warmer, friendlier energy!
Walking back to my car from the grocery store, I said “Hi” to a stranger! And he said “Hi” back! This doesn’t happen regularly outside of Christmastime. People, generally, are in a more giving mood. Perhaps this is because they are forced to see how bad their consumer habits actually are. When weighing my priorities for a Christmas list this year, I realized that I’m no longer asking for random, useless things like pens and bracelets. #minimalism

7. Christmas episodes of TV shows!
When hitting up all the Christmas entertainment on Netflix, Hulu, Starz, and HBO, I have to make sure to watch my favorite Christmas specials! Community has a great series of them, but I love the random holiday episodes of my favorite shows, like Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.

8. Collecting ornaments!
I recently started collecting ornaments from the countries I travel to. When I see my Santa nesting doll ornaments, I think back fondly to my two weeks in St. Petersburg. Though I’d hope to think about my travels more often than only during the holidays, they are a nice reminder and bring back good memories.

9. Having a reason to donate to important nonprofits!
My friends and I have made it a tradition to donate money in each others’ names. We pick 4-5 organizations, and that is our gift to each other! Rather than buying each other useless things, we are donating money to make the world a better place. If you’re looking for some good places, I recommend checking out this site for some good places in response to the terrible decision to shrink the size of two of our National Monuments.

I hope you’re getting as much joy and love out of the Christmas season as I am!

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