It’s DECEMBER, guys! San Diego even celebrated with a couple days of RAIN this week. And yesterday I got a Thrillist email telling me all about the Christmas- and holiday-themed events happening around the city this month and I WANT TO DO THEM ALL. (Except the 90s throwback party with Coolio because most of those Gaslamp parties aren’t really my thing.) I can’t, because some of them are at the same time and/or I already have plans and/or they cost too much money and/or other excuses.
Now. I’d like to take a moment to declare my blog a Grinch- and Scrooge-free zone, especially during this month. If Christmas isn’t your thing, fine, but if you’re actively negative about it? I can’t understand you. I can’t stand it when people complain about “omigod there’s so many holiday parties and events and it’s too much work to go to all of them and I have to see all these people and buy too many gifts and wahh wahh wahh I’m a Sour Sally/Negative Nancy/Debbie Downer.” All I think when I hear that is “God, it must really suck to have so many people in your life who want to spend time with you. You poor thing. And being generous? Yeah, that’s like the worst.”
Yeah, I know that for most of all, time and money are scarce things, but you know what? You choose what you let in and what you say “yes” to. And it is SO EASY nowadays to find inexpensive gift options. And if you’re truly dreading so-and-so’s holiday party? Why? Why do you maintain a relationship with someone you don’t want to spend time with? Hmm?
And also? It’s ONE MONTH. For my part, at least, January and February are usually slow and boring so I like going all in during the festivities knowing that I’ll be able to rest and recharge in a few weeks. I heard the term “strategic imbalance” recently and I like it.
Whew. I didn’t realize I felt so strongly about that until I start writing. Anyway, for oh hey, Friday! this week I’m sharing just some of the things I freaking love about the season.
1 | Decorations + lights
One of my favorite parts about December is driving around at night, looking at Christmas lights (I saw the most AMAZING display near Balboa last week — during the day — and I have to go back at night to see it in all its glory). It gives me something to look forward to at 5:00 when it’s already dark.
2 | Hot chocolate + glögg/mulled wine + gingerbread lattes + other warm drinks
I’ve gotten snobby about hot chocolate recently. Swiss Miss and Nestle packs will do in a pinch, but I’m all about authentic, rich hot cocoa — yes, with a dollop of whipped cream and maybe a little dash of cinnamon. Last year I found Chuao Hot Chocolate and Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate and mmm. I first tried proper glögg in Denmark and now drinking it reminds of Tivoli. And for all my indifference to pumpkin spice lattes, I’m all about their gingerbread counterparts. It’s like Christmas morning in a cup!
Side note: I went to TJ’s the other day and do you have ANY idea how hard it was to avoid all their holiday treats? This finally defeated my willpower — I put it in my basket and all but ran to checkout so I wouldn’t grab anything else in my weakened state.
3 | Christmas movies + Holiday specials
Elf! Love Actually! Merry Christmas Charlie Brown! Santa Claus is Coming to Town! The Santa Clause! Home Alone! Home Alone 2! And of course, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — which we watched Thanksgiving night to officially kick off the Christmas season. ‘Tis family tradition.
4 | Cookies
Making Christmas cookies was always one of my FAVORITE things to do as a kid. My mom’s sugar cookies, cut with her dozens of cookie cutters, and carefully decorated with colorful icing — divine. Gingerbread cookies too. Chocolate peppermint creations. Yes, I will indulge. Screw you and your “eat sensibly during the holidays” tips.
5 | Gift Giving
I mentioned earlier this week that I really love picking out gifts for people and splurging on family and friends. I love Secret Santas, White Elephant parties, wine or cookie or other treat exchanges, and I love tearing into gifts under the tree all together on Christmas morning (because getting gifts is alright too). And now thanks to Etsy and Pinterest I love how easy it is to find something more personal and creative — but still at a reasonable cost — for people.
Yay Christmas! What are your favorite things about the holidays?