Anyone who knows me knows that I truly believe that the Christmas season starts on November 1st. I'm in full Christmas swing by now, I've been blasting Mariah Carey for weeks now, my shopping/crafting is almost done, and I'm just waiting to be home with hot cocoa. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I love everything about it, but here's my top 25 favorite things about the season!
25) Peppermint. Peppermint Everywhere.
I'm a huge mint lover, my favorite candy being the York Peppermint Patty, so the fact that I can stick a candy cane in just about anything is pretty awesome to me.
One place that serves a banging peppermint hot chocolate just so happens to be Starbucks, which just released it's new holiday cups and they're absolutely gorgeous.
23) The City
Being a native New Yorker, I'm usually oblivious to how beautiful the city really is. Christmastime in New York, however, makes it impossible not to look up and smile as you walk on the streets.
22) The Music
Mariah Carey's Christmas album is one of my primary reasons to live.
21) Christmas pictures
We all remember getting our portraits done around the holidays, with or without Santa Claus. Our parents got us all dolled up in warm sweaters and plopped us right in front of a camera. Why am I using the past tense? Mine still do.
20) The Time Off
Vacation times are the best times. Constant sleeping and eating is my specialty.
19) Family Time
I was lucky enough to have a mom who works in an elementary school, and had all of the same breaks as me. School vacations meant an everyday play date with my best friend, and I can't wait to go bug her and my dad for an entire month after finals.
18) Tree decorating
Perhaps one of the most romanticized ideals in all of Christmas history, the decorating of the tree. I don't think anybody makes it out completely unscathed, whether it be a broken ornament (I'm still really sorry about the Darth Vader M&M Danny) or the frustration of stringing lights. No matter how painful it might be to do, the end result is always stunning, and it doesn't quite feel like Christmas until it's up.
17) The Thoughtfulness of Gifts
“Christmas is about giving, not receiving" is something I hear every year thanks to my Catholic upbringing, and it's become one of my favorite things about the season. Of course we all love getting presents, but there's something about knowing you've found the perfect gift for someone you love and seeing how happy they are upon opening that just can't be bought.
A personal favorite of my mother's is snow. She prides herself on an uncanny ability to be able to predict snow days, and she is pretty good at it. There's nothing prettier than seeing the purity of snow blanketing everything outside just before tire tracks and footprints ruin the tranquility.
Christmas movies were always big in my house, it just isn't Christmas until you watched “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," “Elf," or “The Year Without a Santa Claus."
They're absolutely everywhere and they sound so happy.
Christmas lights are the only thing that could possibly make pathetically leafless trees look happy again. I love how bright everything, from trees to street poles, becomes the week after Thanksgiving. The most beautiful light show is on Fifth Avenue, and here's a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSkQKi3fQkg link to last year's if you missed it!
One of my favorite colors appears absolutely everywhere during my favorite season, and it's beautiful to see. There's nothing more festive than a red bow, especially in a residence hall.
Christmas shopping is one of the most stressful yet entertaining things in the world. There are so many types of shoppers, primarily branching from the ones who have lists and the ones who have mental breakdowns in every aisle. Either way, Christmas shopping is always an experience, and some of my favorite memories have taken place in a Target in December.
10) Road Trips
Holidays mean seeing family, no matter what the distance. Whether your drive be 10 minutes or 10 hours, your family is guaranteed to have more than a few laughs on the ride over, and even more on the ride home while discussing how crazy your extended family is.
9) Hot Cocoa
A warm mug in between your hands and a heap of whipped cream is one of the happiest moments in life. Tis the season to embrace it.
People get nicer. There's something about the Christmas spirit that puts everyone in a good mood, and it's not rare to smile at a stranger on the sidewalk. The world could use a little more smiling, and I'm glad that Christmas brings that out in us.
7) Little Kids
Christmas Eve in my family means NORAD's Track Santa on a laptop screen somewhere in the house. I love seeing how excited they get about everything, from leaving out cookies to writing their letters. All of the kids I know are now obsessed with iPads and iPhones, so it's nice to see some resemblance of my own childhood in them at Christmastime.
6) Watching big kids become little kids
Getting the whole gang together often means remembering that your uncle isn't just your uncle, he's your dad's brother. Watching adults act like stereotypical teasing siblings is one of the funniest things ever, and I love seeing it every Christmas.
5) Baked Goods
Peppermint cookies. Gingerbread men. Sugar cookies. Candy cane cupcakes. Enough said.
4) The Sense of Calm
There's a difference between sitting in the living room on a normal Friday night and sitting in on a Friday in Christmastime. There's a sense of calm and joy that can't be explained until you've experienced it, and I love it.
3) Hope for the New Year
This is around the time of year that '2016 was the worst year ever' memes start coming out, and as funny as they are, they're a nice reminder that January brings a clean slate. A new semester, another loop around the sun to restart and try things over again.
2) Christmas Eve
December 24th is one of my favorite days of the year. I'm with most of my family members and everyone is happy, relaxed, and thrilled to be together. We're a big family, so when we have everyone home from college and work, it's special. There's no such laughter in my family as the kind on Christmas Eve, and I'm getting giddy just thinking about it.
1) Christmas Morning
Everyone knows the joy of Christmas morning, no matter your age. As a child, seeing what you got is a highlight, but as you grow up you start looking forward to watching others open the presents you got them and receiving a hug and a kiss immediately after.
Christmastime is clearly the most wonderful time of the year, and I'm so excited that it's almost here. Please share with your own favorite Christmastime features and memories! Happy Holidays!!