Even if it’s just for a few weeks out of the year, I’ll take it.
I’m not sure if it’s the lights, the cold weather or the pumpkin spice lattes, but Christmas brings out the best in people, strangers come together, road rage seems to slow down and kids are on their best behavior, crossing their fingers that they didn’t make it on to Santa’s “naughty” list.
Growing up, we had a few family traditions that I still remember. My mom and dad would make my brother and I stay back in their bedroom while they lit the fire, turned on Christmas music, made their coffee and got the video camera set up. This took probably 15 minutes, but to us, it felt like 3 hours. This might seem simple, but this is what I remember when I think about Christmas.
Even though we all have our own beliefs and our own traditions, there’s always something that sticks out to us about Christmas.
A 10 step guide to help make this the Best Kind of Christmas:
1.) Listen to good Christmas songs
-Whether it’s in your car, throughout the day, at a Christmas party or even just on Christmas Day, Christmas music is essential.
• Wonderful Christmas Time-Paul McCartney
• All I Want For Christmas Is You-Mariah Carry
• Last Christmas-Wham!
• The Christmas Song-Nat King Cole
• Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-Darlene Love
• Elvis’s Christmas Album
2.) Watch classic Christmas Movies
- Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas movies play constantly. Yeah, some can be a little cheesy, but nothing beats a classic like:
• A Christmas Story
• Home Alone
• Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
• A Charlie Brown Christmas
• How the Grinch Stole Christmas
• It’s a Wonderful Life
• Miracle on 34th Street
3.) Attend a Christmas play
-This can be anything from your third grader’s school play, to flying to New York. You can also search online to see what’s playing at your local theater.
• A Christmas Carol
• The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes
• Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
4.) Make a creative and delicious holiday dish
-This is the time to show off your cooking skills! There are countless Christmas recipes that are pretty simple and taste delicious.
5.) Put up a tree and decorations
-Decorate your house inside and out with Christmas lights, wreaths, stockings, mistletoe and anything else festive. Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes, and if you don’t want the mess of a real tree, there are artificial ones too!
6.) Go Christmas caroling
-Even if you’re not the next American Idol, you can still tag along with friends and family, bundle up in jackets and scarves, and sing Christmas songs. It’s fun for both the carolers and the listeners.
7.) Be generous and donate your time or money
-I know this time of year our wallets are especially tight, but stop to think about how fortunate and blessed you are, and remember those who are not. Donating your time is also just as valuable as any dollar amount.
8.) Order a flavored coffee that you can only get this time of year
-Whatever coffee shop is nearby, I can promise you they have Christmas themed coffees. Try the peppermint, gingerbread or my favorite, the pumpkin spice latte. It’s like Christmas in your mouth.
9.) Get in touch with friends and family
-It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the last time you’ve called your best friend from grade school, or your great-aunt, this is the time to tell them that you love and care about them.
10.) On Christmas Day-smile and enjoy being with the people you love
-Soak in every smile, every expression and all the memories on Christmas Day. These old or new traditions will stick with you forever.