I love pretty much ALL things having to do with this time of year. The months from September thru December are my absolute favorites and contain some of my most favorite things or activities to do. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, I feel like a little kid, full of happiness and excitement. Every year I have a few traditional items that contribute to those feelings and there are always a couple new items that make me feel happy. Here are a few of those things that have made me feel happy this year!
- Fabreze Flameless Luminary Shades. This is new to our home this year and I have to say I just love it. The smell is strong at first but becomes mild after a couple days. What I enjoy more than the smell is the soft flickering glow that it has. It has the flicker of a candle and is very calming and very cute! Plus after 4 hours it turns off by itself so you do not need to worry about wasting the battery. They have different shades for all year round and right now I am sporting one of the Christmas shades. A starter kit is about $14 with the refills only about $6. I love it. (Eddie and the fabreze shade, he loves it.)
- A WoodWick Candle. I got this from the Cracker Barrel and it is a candle that features a natural wick made from organic wood that creates the soothing sound of a crackling fire. It is wonderful, especially for people who do not have fireplaces but enjoy the quiet sounds of a fire. If you have the TV on you will most likely not hear the candle, but if you are curdled up on the couch under a blanket reading or crocheting, this candle is amazing! They come in different scents and a large candle is about $23 and a smaller one is $17, however they burn every bit of wax in the candle and I think worth the price, especially during the holidays.
- A Spinning Christmas Tree. Yep, look out Griswolds because our tree spins!! Unfortunately we had to get our first fake tree this year. As persons who LOVE real trees, this was tough so we decided if we have to get a fake tree then let’s do it in style. This is our tree. Now imagine it spinning. Yeah, it is awesome, even with the slight lean and though this will not permanently replace our live tree it has brought plenty of Christmas laughter and frustration to our home this year...and that is what the season is all about.
- Fun ornaments. Most people know when I am planning something a theme is key, however, with our Christmas tree the “theme” is simply chaos! I adore a tree packed full of different and fun decorations. Some have meaning, some are of our favorite things, and some are just cool. Every year we get new ornaments, here are some of our newer favorites. And yes, this includes my favorite decoration – the Christmas Pickle!
T. loves his Godzilla. (Yes, this one makes noise)
We have a series of M&M's dressed in Star Wars outfits. FUN
Rock'em Sock'em Robots - of course!
Hand carved wood ornament from Warthers Museum back home.
The pickle.....easier to see in a white tree
- Scarves. I. LOVE. SCARVES. I feel that a person can never have too many, though my husband may disagree. I have gone to making my own scarves so that I can have even more and with my favorite colors and patterns. Wearing scarves may be one of my top 5 favorite things about colder months! Here are just a few of the dozens of scarves I own. Wearing a scarf IS winter time to me.
- A record player. Athena’s Bees wrote a blog about how she still listens to music on a record player and I have to agree that there is just something about listening to Christmas music on vinyl that compares to nothing else out there. The crackling sound you hear from a record while sipping hot chocolate and spending time with family on Christmas morning (or anytime really) is pretty darn close to perfection if you ask me.
- Listening to your favorite Christmas albums. This varies a bit every year. I seem to hear a certain artist and then cannot get enough of their music for the remainder of the year. However two albums that never change are Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas. It does not feel right if I have not heard songs from their records at least once a day. Three others I am loving this year in particular are Noel by Josh Groban, Let it Snow by Michael Buble, and of course no Christmas is complete without We Wish You a Metal Xmas...and a Headbanging New Year…by various metal artists of course.
- Watching Christmas movies. Of course there are the classics like it’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, a variety of version of the Christmas Carol or 48 hours of the Christmas Story on TBS which are all nearly unavoidable but fun to watch once a year. But in our house it is ALL about the funny movies and the cartoons at Christmas time. Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and Frosty are a MUST. And who could have Christmas without the Muppets Christmas Carol…I for one could not! (I also watch Love Actually at Christmas time every year.)
- Cinnamon hot chocolate. Heat up some milk, hot chocolate mix and a cinnamon stick on the stove on low heat for about 10 minutes. Pour in an oversized mug with a few marshmallows or whip cream and some chocolate shavings. Seriously, the ONLY way to drink hot chocolate.
- Baking Cookies. There is something so fun and relaxing about baking cookies at Christmas time. I have only had the chance to make one batch of cookies (pic below: Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies with marshmallow cream frosting inside! yum.), however I have some that I hope to make with my mom and sister over the next few days. On the potential list: Hazelnut chocolate cookies with chocolate drizzle, chocolate brownies with peanut butter cream and chocolate ganache, maple iced cookies, and biscotti. yum
Do you have any favorites during the holidays?