Every year when the holiday season rolls around (which in my world is no later than November 1st), I get all giddy and start dreaming up new things that I can create, bake and do to make this year the best ever.
From cookie baking with girlfriends to gift exchanges to Ugly Sweater parties, we have really done it all. Adding extra ribbon to the tree? Check. Buying those extra holiday dog treats for Riley's stocking? Check. Setting up the nativity this year for the first time ever? Check, check!
What I've come to realize over the years is that it's usually not all of the new things that I try to add to an already never ending list, but it's the few things that are absolute necessities, and have become traditions, that truly make the holidays such a special time of the year for me.
For me, these things include ...
- Setting up and decorating my tree with Christmas music playing
- Driving around to look at Christmas lights. This was a huge one in my hometown, and I'm still trying to find something equally as exciting down here in MD
- Kicking off my Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Yep, I am one of those crazies.
- Baking a minimum of 2 dozen Christmas cookies. Sometimes the types vary, but I just love having a tin (or two) of cookies to eat for dessert!
- Watching Christmas movies approximately every other night for the entire month of December
- Indulging in my brothers' 'famous' crumb cake for breakfast before we open gifts on Christmas morning. I can't even remember exactly when or how this tradition started, but my brother is a decent cook, and his crumb cake topping is to.die.for.
- Unwrapping stockings and presents on Christmas morning in PJs. I'm not sure I will ever be able to part with this one. It is one of my favorite parts of Christmas, and I think staying in PJs all day really helps to slow down the pace of the day
- Packing up and heading to Florida with my family just a few days after Christmas and celebrating New Years' in the balmy Florida temps!
I am excited just thinking about what's in store for the next two weeks. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it?!