Monday, December 22, 2014

❅ Christmas Activity Guide ❅

Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. I think it's because of the feeling in the air that makes people have a charitable spirit and warm disposition. I mean, let's be real - I also love giving & receiving gifts, sparkly lights, sugary treats, sappy movies - the whole shebang. Hence, I've put together a to-do list of things to do that make me feel like I'm getting the most out of my favorite time of year!


1) Bake & decorate Christmassy treats. Preferably with some sort of alcoholic beverage on hand. So far I've done cookies (with cider), a full cake (with mulled wine...and spiked eggnog) & truffles (with a hot toddys). I've also bought a gingerbread house to make, and I'm thinking it will pair well with Bailey's coffees. Yeaaaahh...I might have a small sweet tooth. Could you tell? 





(I'm fully aware of how ridiculous this cake is. The eggnog and mulled wine may have contributed to that.) 

2) Take a drive to look at holiday lights, especially crazy ones!  If you live in California and are looking for the best Christmas lights near you, check out www.lightsofthevalley.com for local listings! 


(Deacon Dave's in Livermore, CA) 

3) Have a Christmas movie marathon. Ideally in a festive environment (i.e. in front of your tree with a fire going, a hot drink & a fluffy blanket. Essentials!), or...in a pillow fort. One is never too old to build a pillow fort!! Some Christmas films I reccomend: Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, Home Alone 1&2, Love Actually, & It's a Wonderful Life. 

4) Relax with a festive bath. This time of year TONS of brands bring out really lovely bath products (my favorite are from Lush!) in amazing Christmassy scents. So light some candles, get a good book & a bath bomb and unwind from holiday stress! 

5) Go ice skating. I've been trying to do this as a date night with the boy but he is a behemoth of a human and has the world's biggest feet, so finding a rink that has his size of skating shoes has proven to be difficult. But it WILL happen, I am determined! 

6) Visit a Christmas market. Julie and I had a lady date and visited the Dicken's Fair in San Francisco for the first time. I can't believe I haven't done this every year of my life because I freaking LOVED it! We spent our afternoon eating delicious fried food, listening to carols, drinking eggnog, watching some traditional dancing and painting pottery. Essentially we were residents of Victorian London for four hours. Best $30 I ever spent in my life! I'm definitely dressing up next year. 



7) Take a winter walk/hike. After consuming too much of activity #1, it's needed. I find walks more enjoyable when it's cold - that being said I live in California soooo...extreme weather isn't a concern to say the least! One of my favorite hiking spots has a tree decorated along the path and it's very magical: 



8) Listen to Christmas music and spend time wrapping gifts. Gifts are so much more lovely when someone has taken the time to wrap them nicely, so I always try to spend as much time as I can making them pretty. I like to sit up in my attic with my laptop and blast some tunes while I do it. In case you're interested, here's my current Christmas playlist: 

  • God Rest Ye, Merry Gentleman / Nat King Cole 
  • All I Want For Christmas is You / Mariah Carey 
  • Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) / Trans-Siberian Orchestra 
  • Blue Christmas / Elvis Presley 
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside / Dean Martin 
  • Carol of the Bells / Metallica (Carol of the Bells is my favorite Christmas song!) 
  • Winter Wonderland / Ella Fitzgerald 
  • Merry Christmas Baby - Bruce Springsteen 

9) Visit/call people you haven't seen in a while. Reflect back on your year, who is important to you? Have you spoken to them recently? If not, call them. Say Merry Christmas. Tell the people you love that you love them. Hang out and catch up with old friends who are in town. That annoying aunt you've been avoiding? Call her too. I hate to be a downer but you never know when you're talking to someone for the last time, so stay connected & be kind. 

10) Volunteer. Whether it's a homeless shelter, a food bank, a animal sanctuary, whatever - if you have a day to help those less fortunate than you, do it. Tis the season! 

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