friday’s “secret”: enjoy my favorite things-holiday edition

The Holidays are in full swing and there is nothing like them. I have always enjoyed Christmas! As a kid, I loved the presents I would get, obviously, but I also liked the atmosphere and the traditions that only Christmas candle decorhappened during that time of the year!

As I got older, the magic and joy seemed to evaporate slowly, like a heavy fog in the early morning, with each passing year. It is only recently that I have decided to be very intentional about enjoying my favorite things, holidays included.

  • You have to start with the music. I make a conscious decision not to listen to Christmas music until Christmas time; that makes it even more special. My favorite album is The Gift: A Colours Christmas, a relaxing but different take on a number of traditional Christmas carols. My family has been listening to this for as long as I can remember Christmas and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it! Also gotta hear Handel’s Messiah, Leroy Anderson’s traditional rendition of Sleigh Ride played everywhere and This Christmas by Donny Hathaway.
  • Movies are next. This year, I plan on watching my three all-time favorite Holiday movies: The Holiday with the all-star cast of Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslett, Jude Law, and Jack Black. I tear up at the end every single time. Next is that quirky, I don’t know why I love it but I do, Love Actually with another all-star cast of Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, and Colin Firth, just to name a few. I rewind and watch the final scene of the arrivals at Heathrow’s Airport set to The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows over and over again. God only knows what I would be without my family! And finally, my family’s traditional Christmas movie, the classic Miracle on 34th Street staring Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood. Love it!
  • And you can’t forget about the food. My mommy makes a delicious strawberry danish that we serve with a her homemade blend of peppermint tea sweetened with apple juice. Oranges and grapefruit complete our Christmas Eve meal. It’s just dawned on me that I’ll have to make the danish this year since we will be celebrating separately! And of course, for Christmas Dinner, which for us is a version of Thanksgiving Dinner again, I must have my mommy’s homemade stuffing, which I will be making as well. This is also a great time of year for caramel popcorn, Kroger’s Simple Truth Kettle Popcorn will suffice here and I have to get a tin of those traditional Christmas cookies. You know, the ones in the blue tin?
  • I also send out Holiday cards.  Does anyone still do that? It’s a lot of fun for me to go pick out my cards around Thanksgiving and send them out every year.  If I do nothing else for Christmas, I send out my cards!
  • And finally, the decorations: a tree with traditional white lights, a lit wreath for the door, and a few ornaments scattered around the house. Keeping it simple this year.

What do you enjoy about the holidays?

And please, I am looking for suggestions for a fourth great Christmas movie!

enjoy life the holidays…

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