My Top 5 Favorite Christmas Traditions

My Top 5 Favorite Christmas Traditions

The most festive activities of the holiday season.
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As the Christmas season comes to a close, and life returns back to normal, I figured I would share some of my favorite holiday traditions.

1. Baking.

For as long as I can remember, my mother always baked. No matter what time of year it was, she was baking. This did not change around the holidays; rather, it became more common. Usually, once or twice during the month of December, my mother and I would bake cookies, Christmas Crackle, and other treats to give to my grandparents and other family friends. My friends always love coming to my house during the holiday season because we always have our traditional frosted sugar cookies. I love baking and it is always better to make treats for the ones you love.

2. Decorating.

Growing up, my mother always decorated the inside of my house extensively for Christmas. By the second week of December, the house was decked in garland, window lights, and my grandmother’s old nativity set. Our tree is always full of ornaments, both those my siblings and I made in elementary school and those compiled over the years. Whenever we go on a trip, my mother buys an ornament. I took to this tradition and have decorated my bedroom for the past few years. This was no different this year. I came back from Thanksgiving break with Christmas decorations for my dorm and I had them up an hour after I returned to school!

3. Going to look at lights.

One of my earliest memories after my family moved to Cape Cod when I was a toddler, is one cold night before Christmas getting lost driving around looking at lights. Every year after Thanksgiving, my dad would take us to go look at lights. We would all load into the car and drive around town.

As we got older, my brothers lost interest; however, my dad and I still go out, look at lights, and grab hot chocolate. Recently, these giant light sculptures have popped up around my town. After Thanksgiving, one road in my town is lined with them lit up after sunset. It makes for a great ride, as there are always new ones popping up! Below is one of the giant light sculptures in front of my high school. It is the blue knight, our mascot!

4. Christmas music.

Whether it be old, original holiday music, or old classics revived by popular artists, I love Christmas music. My family has a large basket of Christmas CDs that are brought up every year in our crates of Christmas decor. The staple in my family’s house during the holidays is Clay Aiken’s Christmas soundtrack. It was always playing at all hours of the day; however, when we brought up the CDs this year, it was missing. Needless to say, we have been playing it off Spotify via an AUX cord. When I think of Christmas, I always think of that CD.


5. Yankee swap.

Every year since before I was born, my family has gathered at my mom’s parents’ house on Christmas Eve. We exchange gifts and spend the holiday together. It has always been my favorite day of the year. When all of my cousins, siblings, and I were younger, my grandmother put together a Santa sack full of small toys and clothing for each of us. We outgrew that and within the past few years, we switched to a Yankee swap. This Yankee swap includes all of us bringing a gift, good or silly. It is always the best part of the night. It becomes competitive and fun.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Simmons

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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