Friday, December 9, 2011

christmas favorites.

Smell: Pine. My new Bella by Illume candle in Winter Berry (only $10 at Target; I couldn't find it online, but it would be well worth checking for at your local store). Orange and cloves.

Tradition: My favorite tradition Jordan and I started together as a family is going to the Anglican lessons and carols service on the first Sunday night in December. (You can listen to last year's service here.) It's a wonderful way to kick off the season, and I love that it's something Jordan and I began our first Christmas season as a married couple. Growing up, my family had lots of traditions, but the one I loved the most was cuddling up on the couch on Christmas Eve with my dad and brother while my dad read "Twas the Night Before Christmas." I understand that some believers aren't big fans of Santa -- I suppose they think his existence overshadows the true meaning of the season -- but I actually think he's a lovely reminder of the spirit of the holidays and of awe and wonder, mystery and faith. (My dad also read us this every year, and I think that must be where I get my appreciation for Santa and all he represents. "The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.")

Flower: I prefer greenery this time of year. Greenery and fruit. Which is why I made this. It now sits beautifully atop our dining room table, smelling of citrus and pine.

Movie: Miracle on 34th Street, the original with Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara. I absolutely love that movie. Christmas movies make me happy, though, so if you're looking for some others, I also enjoy It's Wonderful Life, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original, please), White Christmas, and The Family Stone.

Hymn: "O Come All Ye Faithful." It's the hymn the Anglican service ends with every year, and the crescendo gives me chill bumps. I also love "O Holy Night," a favorite of my grandfather's. It tells the story of the Christ-child beautifully. ("I Celebrate the Day" by Relient K is also on repeat this time of year. The lyrics seem to say exactly what I'm feeling each December. "The first time that you opened your eyes, did you realize that you would be my Savior?")  

Memory: My Christmases get all mixed up, because honestly? They were all so undeservedly wonderful. I am one very, very blessed girl, and my family has always made the holidays so much fun. I loved going to see the live nativity every year, when we'd load up in the minivan and pick up pizza to eat on the drive through. I loved decorating the tree with Mannheim Steamroller blaring in the backgroud. Crawling into bed with my cousins to watch It's a Wonderful Life together. One of my most favorite recent memories was last year, when my brother and I gifted my parents with a painting of their home. They cried, and it was awesome. Giving meaningful gifts is part of what makes Christmas so special to me.

Easy gift: I make this cinnamon honey butter for our coworkers every year, and it always seems to please.

Sight: The lights hanging from the trees in downtown Tallahassee. They make everything magical.  

Dislikes: Dislikes? About Christmas? Fine, I guess I don't really love when people ruin Christmas songs by turning them into rap songs or by changing the words. I'm just a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music. 

What are your favorite Christmas things? 

* Post inspired by Whitney from Elm Street Life


Sabrina said...

I am loving this post...gets me more in the spirit:) You are a formatting whiz....your blog always has that custom Annie look!
Memory- Being at Disney for the Christmas parade on Christmas day. I feel just like am amazed kid every time.
Smell- Christmas pumpkin....ok that is cheating. It's actually just a regular pumpkin candle from Wal-Mart, it just smells better at Christmas!
Flower- The one time of year where I love a red rose.
Movie- Olive the other Reindeer and A Christmas Story keep me laughing all month long!

Elizabeth Dean said...

Speaking of alterations of popular Christmas music, in Zumba the teacher has brought in a version of Little Drummer Boy for us to dance to.

When I think of LDB I think of Bowie and Bing.

This version? Justin Beiber and....

Busta Rhymes!!!

It is awful and truly hilarious at how serious it takes itself.

Julie said...

Love this post:) My favorite holiday movie is It's A Wonderful Life and followed by Miracle on 34th Street the original version.


Annie said...

I love this post! I'm going to have to do something similar in the next week or so.

My parents tried to get us to believe in Santa. I didn't bite. In what's now a famous story in the family history, I asked if Santa could leave my presents on the porch. I would love to know what caused my aversion to him; it's existed since before I can remember.

Kristin @ The Chronicles of Kristin said...

Smell - frosted cranberry (candle from Bath and Body Works by Slakin)

Tradition - lounging around the house in pajamas, eating my mom's coffee cake that she makes every Christmas Day, and hanging out with the sibs after opening presents together

Flower - don't really have one.

Movie - Elf... is that bad? haha I just love how funny it is. It doesn't get old for me.

Hymn - I adore Christmas songs. What Child Is This has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. The Future of Forestry version is my favorite this year. Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, The First Noel, O Come O Come Emmanuel... all wonderful. I'm also loving Sufjan Steven's Holy, Holy, Holy and Come Thou Fount on his Christmas albums. :)

Sight: Christmas lights. I love the twinkling they do. It just makes me feel at peace to sit and look at them.

Activity - Ice skating! :)

Dislikes - Crowded shopping areas, highly materialistic distractions.

Sydney said...

lovely post!! What a great idea!

Kelly Sauer said...

Orange and cloves. And the NEW Miracle on 34th St.

TefMarie said...

I might steal this post myself!

I love all of those movies, minus 34th street...I don't know if I've ever watched it though. I am proud to say I just saw Family Stone for the first time this week and it was wonderful. I've seen all of those films so far this holiday season.