Christmas is simply my favorite holiday. It is that time of the year when houses turn into ginger-bread ones, neighborhoods turn into storybrooke with all the Christmas lights hung and life-size santa's blown up, Christmas music's playing everywhere, people's hearts delight and of course tons of Holiday festivities take place. I find that it's hard to miss out on the magic and cheer that comes with Christmas.
To be honest, Christmas sort of sneaked up on me this year. I mean really, where did November go? It was Halloween just yesterday! In any case, I'm determined to not let the season pass me by which is why I have decided to start a Christmas series titled - Blogmas where I'll be documenting this Christmas with a list of things I plan on doing/have already done to get infused with the Holiday spirit. I hope you try some of them out, and make a few fond memories! Consider this Act I, let's begin. :)
What better way to uncork the holiday season than going wine tasting?! If you are lover of wine like myself, Christmas is the perfect time to go tasting with family and friends. This year I had the pleasure of attending Saint Nick's Holiday Wine Tasting at Woodinville, and it was such a good time! The event showcased around 30 Washington wineries as they shared their latest bottles with delicious hors d'oeuvres. I also got to discover new wineries in the area, meet wine makers, and hear about present and future releases. All the wineries were creatively decorated, and filled with people who had come from far and near to try some good wine! My favorite spot was Elevation Cellars and their Monolith is to die for! I have honestly never tasted red wine that balanced with decent depth. I suggested giving this place a try if you're in the Seattle/Redmond area. Here's a little photo diary from the event :D -
Create a Christmas Playlist/Pandora
If I could listen to Christmas music all year, I probably would. Only I dread ever getting sick of them so I forcefully save it for the Holiday season (sounds a little extra, I know lol). Creating a playlist with a few of your top Christmas songs is a great way to get yourself excited about the season. I usually just go on Pandora and type in All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey and I'm good to go! My favorite Christmas song changes almost every year, but this season, I'm particularly loving Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Kelly Clarkson.
Put up a Christmas tree
Putting up a Christmas tree can be such a relaxing activity that allows you to get creative. You could go with a winter wonderland theme, or a book theme (lol) or a classic tree! I picked up my first Christmas tree ever yesterday and you can only imagine how ecstatic I was. I officially feel grown up (lol)! I'm still in the process of decorating and getting ornaments up on the tree. I'm thinking of doing a blog-post on it once I'm done.
Have/Attend a Holiday Party
This is a good way to get people together before everyone leaves for the Holiday. This year, Daisy, Lorena & I are hosting one and I can't wait for the day of. The basic things to keep in mind while hosting a Holiday party are - Food, drinks, decoration, games, and holiday music. This year we're having an ugly sweater contest (I need help choosing what to wear!) which should be hilarious and exchanging white elephant gifts. If you need more ideas on how to put a Holiday party together, check out this great article.
Attend a Christmas Show/Exhibit/Carol
If you're in the Seattle area (including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkalnd etc.) you need to check out Snowflake Lane at Bellevue Square! It's a well-ochesterated Christmas parade with fake snow, drummer boys, Christmas angels, elves, dancing, music etc.. It's also completely freeee! I highly recommend it.
Another great show to check out in Seattle is George Balanchine's The Nutcracker! I got to see it two days ago, and I loved every bit of it! I found it very enchanting, from the dancers to the staging and live music. If you're into Ballet and the performing arts, I really recommend you check it out. Unfortunately it is not free, but completely worth it.
This year I also plan on attending the Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival, another recommendation for my fellow Seattlelites :D. I have never attended this but I hear it's breathtaking and a place full of good tidings.
If you're not in the Seattle area, be sure to look up Christmas shows in your city or around it. A Christmas Carol (also showing in Seattle here) is a pretty popular one.
Bake Holiday Treats
This is something I've done every Christmas for the past couple of years, and it's such a great way to get family or friends in the kitchen, and bond over baking or decorating cookies. This year, I plan on baking treats with ginger for a change, or cinnamon, will see how this goes but if you're need of ideas on what to bake, check out some recipes I've shared from previous years here and here. :)
Watch (Re-watch) Christmas Movies
The lessons of most Christmas movies rotate are quite simple - love and joy are contagious and it is better to give than to receive. These are movies that make us laugh, cry, and think about what it truly means to embrace the Christmas spirit. A few of my favorite Christmas movies are Polar Express, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Love Actually, Home Alone and.. that's all I can think about at the moment. I need to re-watch one of them soon, I'm thinking Love Actually :D
Go Holiday Shopping
This season is a great time to reflect on the ones dearest to you and express your love for them with words and action (by action I mean gifts lol). And it doesn't have to be an expensive gift, something little and sentimental or funny goes a long way. Putting thought into what to get for a loved one can be a lot of fun or just plain stressful, but it's always worth it! It could be one or two major gift items, or a box of little gems. I'll be going over a few ideas on gift items you could get for her on Wednesday! So if you're starting to panic a little, fear not (lol). I'll try my best to help you out. :)
So, there you have it! These are primarily what I do to get excited about the season. I'd love to know what YOU do, so please leave a comment below letting me know - I could pick up a few new traditions. :)
Happy Holidays and may your hearts always delight,