The holiday season certainly is upon us.
Holy shmoly you cannot enter a store without seeing Christmas displays, hearing holiday music, or seeing films centered around the festivities already playing on TV. It is almost as if we bypassed Thanksgiving and went straight to December.
Normally I might think this was a bit ridiculous, especially since it seems to get earlier and earlier every year that we start to celebrate (marketing scheme I am guessing?), but this year I am totally embracing the premature merriment.
Why? Because this is the FIRST time in 3 years that I am actually HOME for the holidays!
The last two have been spent with new friends, but it is just not the same singing carols in a hospital, as it is on Christmas Eve with your family. And because I have missed out a bit the last few December’s, I am starting early to ensure that I can pack in all my favorite traditions, and some new ones, to fully experience the cheer and warmth I loved as a child.
So what does one do to spread the holiday cheer?
1. Christmas Music!!!
I am pretty much obsessed with Christmas music. My iPod is fully stocked with the classics, but can often be heard playing some of the newer “radio hits.”
Just so you can also participate and sing along with me here are a few of my favorites…
- The entire Nsync “Home For Christmas” Album
- Josh Groban “Noel” Album
- Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas”
- City High “Oh Come All Ye’ Faithful”
- The Transiberia Orchestra “ChristmasSarajevo”
- The Transiberian Orchestra “ Christmas Canon”
- The Transiberian Orchestra “Wizards in Winter”
Honestly, I could really listen to any Christmas album and be happy, but these in particular really get me in the mood! Please, please leave me some suggestions of your favorite as well!
My mom and I LOVE to decorate for Christmas. When I was a little girl we started collecting the Department 56 Dickens Village. We have about 15 of the buildings and they are my absolute favorite ornaments to put on display. Ryan and I also started the tradition of accumulating theDisneyTown, as well.
Between the two sets of light-up structures, they make our living room look spectacularly festive. I love turning on the fire, having on some music, dimming the lights, and looking at my houses. They bring back so many memories and provide a sense of comfort that really is beyond compare. You better believe those are the first things that will come out of the storage boxes!
3. Christmas Movies!
Elf, Jingle All The Way, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas with the Kranks….enough said J
4. Christmas Eve at the Weaber’s
This is a relatively new thing for me, starting six years ago when Ryan and I began dating.
His family exchanges gifts the night before December 25th and has their main celebration dinner to follow. This year is extra special because my brother-in-law, who has not come home the last few years since he lives inColorado, is flying in for a little over a week!
So with Chad and me home, it will certainly be a cause for joy! I can’t believe it’s a little over a month away!
5. Christmas Shopping
Buying gifts for people is one of my favorite things in the world. There is something about trying to be creative, purchase or make a meaningful gift, and seeing the reaction from the recipient that just makes me so happy. I am not completely done with my shopping yet, because I always try to save last minute odds and ends for when the malls are decorated, the music is pumping and people are hustling and bustling around trying to find the perfect presents.
I love to wrap gifts too so I definitely find cheer in the whole process!
New Traditions I Cannot Wait to Implement
1. Including NEW Family Into the Celebration
Now that my mom lives in NJ, we will be doing a bit of traveling for the holidays. There she lives with her significant other, who also has four children of his own. We are visiting them for Thanksgiving and with 9 of us all under the same roof, it will definitely be a fabulous time! Although I believe in this principle always, it definitely rights true for this time of year; THE MORE THE MERRIER!!!
2. Cookie Bake!
Some of my friends and I have tentative plans to do a cookie bake. I absolutely love to make cookies, probably because it reminds me of my mom and spending hours in the kitchen preparing my favorite treats. But because she and I don’t get to do that as often as we used to, it will be awesome to incorporate one of my favorite hobbies with some of the coolest women I know. Not to mention the end product isn’t so bad either! 😉
3. Just Being Home
You don’t realize how much you miss traditions, festivities, family, until you don’t have it.
This probably sounds totally weird but my sister, mom and I always wore the same exact PJs to bed on Christmas Eve. Then we would put on our big pink santa hats, take our ritualistic photo, and open presents in a very specific order, every, single year. It came to be a huge joke because I was in college, drinking a Mimosa, but still wearing the same sleep outfit as the rest of my family.
I didn’t realize how important this memory was to me until I couldn’t participate.
I am so thankful to have the ability to be once again be part of the traditions.
I love my family. I love my life. And for the first time in a very LONG time, I am starting to LIKE myself, which is essential for recovery.
Please tell me what excites you about the holidays! I am always up for implementing new customs 🙂