Monday, December 23, 2013

Twelve Things I Look Forward To Around Christmas...

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, ever since I was a little girl.  Of course, it used to be all about the presents, but now it's not about that at all for me.  It's about family, the food, the movies, and the music.  So, below, I've listed the things I look forward to every Christmas... (in no particular order).

1.  Decorating the Christmas Tree.  I love doing this every year.  I love the lights, the smells, the ornaments, everything.   I loved it when I was young, when our biggest thrill was who was going to get to put the angel on the tree that year (sister and I alternated), and it's even more special now that my kids get to do the same thing. 

2.  Christmas Songs.  Unlike the above, I seriously disliked Christmas songs when I was young, but as I've gotten older, I've grown a deeper appreciation for them, and am having a blast teaching them to my kids.  They're really loving "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," "I want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" and, of course, "Jingle Bells."

3.  Spending Time With Family.  This may be kind of an obvious one, but there's something really wonderful being around the people you love around the holidays.  After all, that's what the season is really about.

4.  Watching A Christmas Story.  I don't know what it is about this movie, but it's a classic and I enthusiastically look forward to watching it ever year.  I have it on DVD, sure, but there's something awesome about it being on for 24 hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  And quoting it all day long until the hubby is sick of it.   

5.  Sugar Cookies.  Sugar cookies are available year round, true, but there's nothing like a sugar cookie decorated specifically for Christmas.  When I was young, my sister and I used to make them with my mom.  This is a tradition I plan to uphold when my kids get to be a little bit older. 

6.  Peppermint Tootsie Pops.  I have no special love for tootsie pops.  I can say the same thing about  peppermints.  But put them together and they make the  most delicious treat for the holidays. 

7.  Tamales.  Being from Tucson and all, I'm surrounded by many wonderful people who get together with their families around the holidays and spend an entire day making and rolling tamales.  And since the times I've made them they haven't been as great, I'm twice as grateful for all the wonderful friends, co-workers, and parents of my students who generously bring in tamales to share with this girl. 

8.  Mickey's Christmas Carol.  This one is another favorite from my childhood.  I remember bugging my parents to watch our worn-out VHS tape of this over and over again around Christmas time.  This year, I downloaded it from Amazon onto the TiVo.  I've been thrilled every day after daycare when I bring the kids home and they ask to watch "Mickey's Christmas," because it means I get to watch it over and over again. 

9.  Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie.  I'm, of course, talking about the stop-action one that first came out when my mother was a kid.  She watched it with me every year, and I plan to do the same with my kids. 

10.  Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte.  Okay, fair enough, this is a new one this year, but I am in LOVE.  I plan to add it to my list of things I look forward to around Christmas time, because I'm certainly going to miss it when it's gone. 

11. My Mother-in-Law's Cioppino.  I make a mean Cioppino, but it's nothing compared to the epic Cioppino my mother-in-law makes each time we go to Washington...and I'm here now.  :D  I'm already mentally jumping up and down.  I swear, there's nothing than fresh, caught-that-morning seafood in your stew. #am_drooling.

12.  Two-Week's Vacation Around the Holidays.  Being that I'm a teacher by day, I've always had vacation around the holidays, and I love that time to recharge my mental batteries before returning for work for the new year.  

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!  And be sure to enter the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway below!

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