After the semi-depressing post from yesterday, I'm feeling much more bright and ready to jump back on the "I LOVE CHRISTMAS" bus. It also helps that I've finally seen my husband for more than 20 minutes for the first time since November 25. Don't tell him, though. I wouldn't want him to know he wields such power.
So I wanted to share some of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season, and find out what you suggest to make it feel more like the holidays!
ASIDE: This is the first year, this fourth Christmas that we're prepping for while in SC, that I haven't been all melancholy over the lack of snow and cold. Until I saw this show with it's pretty snow. But really, I think it's kind of nifty that I don't have to scrape my windshield in the mornings or make my weekend plans around low pressure weather systems. That is all.
So without further ado, my Christmas Bucket List!
- Christmas Tree. I don't know on what date we put up a tree when I was younger. Now we put it up the day after Thanksgiving. Because I love it. And it's tradition. OUR FIRST TRADITION!!
ASIDE: I do remember my 16th Christmas where my Mom was sick, and we kept waiting for her to get better before we went and got our tree. See, usually we traded hay bales for cutting down our own tree with this friendly tree farmer; but there hadn't been many extra hay bales (seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up) and so we were just going to get one from our property. Unfortunately, we didn't have a tree farm on our property. We cut down a white pine (which is perfect for Charlie Brown Christmas trees, but not much else). When we got home, my mom said it looked sad. So we performed a elective arborist surgery. Basically, we drilled holes the entire height of the trunk, and added more branches originally cut off the bottom. Because that's how we roll. It looked great.
- Put up a REAL (never had fake, never want it. Remember, I like cutting down trees.) Christmas tree and trim it out to the 9's. We used to to tinsel, but now that I'm the one who vaccuums, I try and steer clear of that stuff.
- Make the best hot chocolate ever, and sip it while looking at said tree. The best hot chocolate ever is when you take 8 oz. of half & half, heat it in a sauce pan, and add four Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate and Caramel squares, and mix until melted. Consume and repeat multiple times.
- Christmas music is a must at all times, even when conducting official business like officer hours or, hypothetically, class.
- Baking/Candy Making Extravaganzas. I can't wait. I've already made those S'more cookies the other day, but I've got bigger plans. Homemade caramels (regular and chocolate) are a must, and I want to try to make my own peppermint patties this year, too. Then there's sugar cookies, fudge drops, Toffee Chocolate Oatmeal, snicker doodles, and Orange cookies. Plus some new ones I have yet to pick out. Feel free to visit, it's gonna be grand!
- Crafting. I've got things to make, and time is getting short. There are _______ for my sisters, and ________ for my in-laws, plus __________ for all the grandparents, and I can't forget about the ________'s I promised to make before Christmas. Hopefully I have time for a little _________ craftiness, but those might have to wait until after. I love making presents! [what?! I couldn't very well give away my secrets!]
- Wrapping and putting presents under the tree. I love to see the tree all piled high. Even though it would be easier to wrap them once we get to PA, it's just... better when they're wrapped and under our tree.
- Angel Tree. I love the angel tree. In case you don't know what the Angel Tree is, it's a tree with little pieces of paper on it. The papers have a kid's age, clothing sizes, and a few things they want for Christmas. You take a tag, go shop, then leave the presents at a drop-off spot with the tag. Boom. Who doesn't want to be santa? Handsome even got into the spirit last year, and ... I don't know, I love to gift. You just feel so good doing it.
That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there's more. OH! I forgot my annual spending binge on Amazon to get all the presents! But that's already done, as I only have to buy for 3 more (out of an overwhelming 28-person list, family only). I love when the UPS man comes to the door! Maybe I should get him a present...
In the Spirit,