my 10 favorite things about the holidays
1. christmas baking – iced sugar cookies were my family’s main christmas baking tradition ever since i can remember. it was an all day event of rolling out the dough, cutting the cookies, icing santa’s white beard and adding blue sugar to his happy little eyes. the sugar cookies were great for setting out for santa, but the three of us kids are all grown now and felt the need for a bit of variety in our christmas baking these past few years. this year we made vegan snickerdoodle pumpkin bread (my favorite), apple streusel bread, pecan tassies, and buckeyes.
2. doing nothing – i love the calmness of christmas day. sitting at the breakfast table for hours with a cup of coffee while the fire is going and the tree is lit – there’s really nothing better.
3. the christmas dog – my dog, chip, has a big love of opening presents. my parents put up their tree the week after thanksgiving each year and every morning until christmas he races down the stairs and goes straight for the tree to see if santa has brought him a gift. his childlike joy is so great and infectious throughout the christmas season; it’s one of the most special aspects of christmas for everyone in my family.
4. christmas eve appetizers – last year we decided to move our big, traditional meal to christmas day so that we could do something quick and easy in between church and opening presents. so appetizers it is! i may or may not have made a meal off of spinach dip and wine last night…
5. stockings – my mom hand-sewed all of our stockings when we were young. they’re beautiful and one of my favorite parts about my parent’s decorated home each year. stocking stuffers are also one of my favorite parts of christmas morning. hello, new mascara!
6. road trips – most of my family lives in texas, so we usually spend the week after christmas down there. i love getting to celebrate christmas twice, once in each city!
7. the christmas puzzle – for something to do while the men in our family watch football, we start a new puzzle every year with thousands of pieces. some are wayyy more into it than others, but it’s something fun that everyone can contribute to even if it’s just one piece!
8. old christmas vhs tapes – my parents taped several christmas specials for us when we were little and to this day i’m not sure if i love watching them because of the actual movies or the commercials in between. a few of my favorites: nestle, 7up, mcdonalds, coca cola,and jell-o. pure MAGIC.
9. kansas city – i love my city at christmas time. the ice skating rink opens up at crown center, the plaza lights are turned on, a christmas carol plays at the repertory theatre, it gets downright chilly and we all cross our fingers for a white christmas.
10. candlelight service – it’s my favorite service each year. at the very end of the christmas eve sermon, the lights are turned off in the sanctuary and one by one we help light each other’s candles and watch the room fill up with light as we sing silent night. it’s truly magical every single year.
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i’ll be taking the rest of the week off to spend time with family. wishing you and yours a very merry christmas! see you in the new year, my friends.