OH WHAT A SPECIAL POST I HAVE FOR YOU TODAY. Since Christmas is only two days away, it’s time for a post based on an idea that’s been bubbling away in my mind for almost a year! I thought it would be really fun to talk about my Christmas favorites from books and movies to music and food… and much much more!
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is, without a doubt, my favorite Christmas story. LIKE??? IT MAKES ME CRY SO MUCH BUT IN A HAPPY WAY? I don’t even know. I like the movie and also have a copy of a novel based on that adaptation, but the original picture book is still the best, IMO. It even won a Caldecott Medal!
I also love Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry, an adorable picture book that follows a single Christmas tree as pieces of it are passed around among a series of humans and animals. I know we have a copy but I have no idea where in the house it is so I’ll have to ask my mom to help me find it later!
Dr. Seuss’s classic picture book How The Grinch Stole Christmas is another longtime favorite. I love Christmassy picture books in general because they take me back to a time in my life when everything was happier/less complicated and I love this picture book in particular because how often do you see children’s stories about villains?!
And of course I love Charles Dickens’ short story “A Christmas Carol”! It’s just so well-paced and moving. (The movie version with the Muppets is pretty fun too.) I’m planning to listen to Neil Gaiman’s 2013 performance of the story tomorrow!
Although it was only released late last year, Carol swiftly rose to become my all-time favorite Christmas movie. Christmassy lesbians going on a road trip + getting a Happily Ever AfterTM ending in the 1950s = me feeling very festive indeed. It’s super romantic and the cinematography is just gorgeous and Cate Blanchett as Carol makes me weak at the knees. I could talk about this movie all day! GO WATCH IT.
Can’t forget The Year Without A Santa Claus, either! When my brother and I were little there, was a year when we watched it every night from July until Christmas! Nowadays it makes me ugly-cry because #nostalgia, so I refuse to watch it with other people around because THAT’S EMBARRASSING.
So, uh. I enjoy rewatching some of the Doctor Who specials around Christmastime because I am TRASH. They’re so cheesy and yet I can’t help but love them! I think “The Snowmen” is probably the best-written, but “A Christmas Carol” is wonderful too and I always get super emotional when Rose wishes the Doctor a merry Christmas at the end of “The End of Time Part II.”
Although I used to dislike Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” it has grown on me over the years and now I’d have to say it’s probably my favorite Christmas song! I also like “Snow for Johnny” from the Burl Ives Christmas album because my dad’s name is John and whenever we hear this on the radio it always prompts some loud, enthusiastic, off-key singing.
My mom listens to the album of Vince Guaraldi songs from A Charlie Brown Chritsmas a lot around this time of year, so I’ve grown to love it as well. And then of course there’s Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite! It’s my go-to writing music this holiday season. It always puts me in mind of the time my second grade class saw a performance of that ballet!
Peppermint tea! Hot chocolate with marshmallows! Candy canes! Peanut blossoms! Pretzels dipped in chocolate! HAM!
My favoritest Christmas food of all, though, would have to be molasses cookies. I’m not actually sure if that’s a typical Christmassy food or not – gingerbread would be more common, no? – but I love making these and love eating them even more. They’re one of my grandpa’s favorite kinds too, so about four or five years ago I made him a plateful of molasses cookies for Christmas (and another one for his birthday in July) and since then it’s become a tradition!
From December until February, I love to wear a purpleish-blue sweater that has three snowmen embroidered on it. Around the time Thanksgiving break begins, I start getting impatient to wear it but don’t usually take it out of the closet until December because there typically isn’t enough snow in November to justify wearing something so festive!
I’m a big fan of sweaters in general, really. Sweaters + jeans = I am happy. Some of my college friends sorted through their wardrobes and cleared out a bunch of clothes this summer, so I now have a bunch of hand-me-down sweaters and am quite content to bundle up in many soft cozy layers.
Although I find decorating the Christmas tree a bit tedious (especially stringing the lights, as I am too short to reach the top of the tree unless I stand on a chair), I love getting the tree. I love the long drive down to the Christmas tree. I love wandering around debating which tree to get. I love the smell of pine needles!
And I loooove looking at Christmas lights! It makes me so happy to see houses all lit up by strands of lights in every color imaginable. It’s just so pretty!
There are so many good ones that after a while I begin to lose track of them… the year I saw the Nutcracker, the year we played Cards Against Humanity after breakfast for hours and laughed ourselves silly, the year I got an iPod (!!!), the year my mom convinced me that the deer tracks in the yard had actually been left by Santa’s reindeer.
If there’s a theme to any of this, it’s that I’m very fond of A) Christmassy nostalgia and B) the idea of people once again believing in the spirit of Christmas after a long period of disillusionment. That’s what Christmas means to me, I guess. It’s never been a religious holiday for me because I wasn’t raised that way – sometimes I genuinely forget that going to church is a THING some people do on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day – but instead a time for nostalgia and hopefulness and good food. A respite from school and a time to recharge before I’m thrust headlong into the new year.
What are your Christmas favorites? Be sure to tell me in the comments below OR write your very own post about your favorite Christmas-related things! I don’t mind at all if you steal this idea; in fact it would make me super happy.
P.S. I’m thinking about doing similar posts for each season: Winter favorites, spring favorites, et cetera. What do you think of that idea? Would you read those posts?