Sunday, December 2, 2012


Happy December, dear Reader! This year, I'm savoring every moment of Decemberiness.

See, for the last several years, I've been a student. December to a student means setting off the ticking clock down to final projects, exams, and all the loose ends you put off throughout the semester. You and everyone around you work like a busy bee (and if you're a performer like me, you have Christmas performances on top of it), and then you crash hard. And suddenly Christmas has come and gone. Or at least, that's how I always felt...

So like I said, this year, I'm savoring every moment of Decemberiness :)

To help me do that, I put together a little list of personal musts. Little things to do, see, cherish, and enjoy, all before the holiday season comes and goes - as it usually does - in the blink of an eye.

I'll probably post about some of these as I cross them off, and stay tuned for more December inspiration!

1. Hot toddies + Christmas music + put up Christmas decorations
This one's a given. Isn't it almost impossible NOT to play some Christmas tunes while you decorate? And with all this northern California rain we've been getting, nothing cozies me up like a hot toddy. My recipe = hot water + Jack Daniels Honey.

2. Make snowflakes out of paper or fabric.
You gotta do it at least once this year, right?

3. Collect pine cones or leaves and make garland. 
Need some cheap/free Christmas decor? Bring nature inside. When I lived in Illinois, I saw one size of pine cone. Ever. Now that I'm in norcal, I've got the biggest, the smallest, and in betweeners. It's perfect for creating natural decor.

4. Make salt dough ornaments or any kind of DIY ornaments.
Salt dough, cornstarch clay, gingerbread... and basically anything you can bake into pretty shapes and hang on your tree. I think I put this one on the list because I've never done it before. (And, again, it's cheap.) Here's a salt dough recipe from Katy Elliott.

5. See an old Christmas movie at an old theater.
Old movie theaters are the best. Especially the ones with a stage, a curtain, and live music - with an organist who performs before the movie begins and is lowered down into the stage as the opening credits begin to roll on a real projector. Lots of them play Christmas classics in December - like It's a Wonderful Life or White Christmas. Combined with the snow falling and Christmas lights everywhere, it's such a nostalgic and heart-warming experience.

6. Take family pictures.
Just making a point to get a good picture, especially now that my family is all spread out and seldom comes together all at once.

7. Play in the snow. 
If you don't get snow, I'm sorry. If you do, c'mon. There's no excuse not to go sledding, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or at least make some snow angels.

8. Cocktail Party with friends.
Fancy attire? Yes. But also very laid-back. That's my plan. Pretty dresses, hip suits, winter-y cocktails, Christmas music, maybe some dancing, and catching up with friends. Sounds perfect.

9. Go caroling. 
Every year.

10. Call relatives and sing carols over the phone. 
My family is super spread out, so I don't know why I never though of doing this before. I hope I get myself to do it this year! How sweet would that be?

11. Send postcards to cousins. 
I'm not planning on sending a lot of Christmas cards this year, but I still want to drop a line to some family members and old friends I don't see often. A postcard sounds perfect. Once Christmas cards start coming in from every direction, I'd love to find a random postcard in the mix from my cousin.

12. Girls' night with Mom or sisters, or aunts, etc.
Cozy up for some Mom time with nail polish and a Christmas movie.

13. Walk around the town square in the evening and drink hot chocolate.
I can't wait for this one. My hometown is small, with a charming little square at the center which is lit up prettily for Christmas, including decked out shop windows and Christmas music playing over speakers night and day. Most of the shops still close at 5:00, so in the evenings it's quiet, (except for the music). It makes for a lovely evening stroll - and opportunity to dance to Christmas music in the street. :)

14. Star gaze out in the country on the longest night of the year, Dec. 21.
For me, this one is also going to include cigar smoking. Probably. :)

15. Sleepover around the Christmas tree and read Christmas stories and books.

16. Read 'Polar Express' or other favorites with family

17. Kiss under mistletoe. 

18. Watch a classic Christmas movie in pajamas with blankets and popcorn and snuggling.

19. Do Advent devotions.

20. Do things in candlelight. 
Like baths, meals, bedtime stories. movies.

21. Make thoughtful resolutions for the New Year. 
Write them down. Save them. Meditate on them.