It’s a Jolly Holiday with Cari!

I don’t know about all of you, my lovely readers, but the holidays always put me in a good mood.  Why wouldn’t they?  Here is a total mushy gushy, gooey, self-indulgent, Nutella-flavored post. You are welcome.

Christmas does something to those of us who celebrate it.  Even Scroogus McBitcherson can admit to a soft spot for a Christmas memory from long ago.  C’mon, you know you’re thinking of one year where your mom, dad, stepdad, sister, brother, spouse, kid, friend, or even a stranger did something to make your Christmas special.  I love what this time of year does to me.  I can get stressed out with buying and making and baking and cooking and cleaning and wrapping and then I remember what it is all about.  This holiday can be about the birth Jesus, it can be about love, family, Santa Claus a’comin’, and so much more; it’s different for every person but whatever it is about for all of you, I hope it’s focused on love and warmth this holiday season.

From Thanksgiving until Christmas of this year, I’m doing a little challenge, inspired by a friend who reminded me that every day can be great (thanks, Jacob!).  It’s not so much of a challenge since I love the holidays BUT like the 100 happy days challenge,  I want to remember every single day how magical this time of year can be.  I’ll start with a list of faves!

Cari’s Top 5!

1. Christmas trees.  I get goosebumps on my arms just thinking about putting all of my special ornaments on and seeing my tree lit up for the first time with beautiful white twinkle lights.  I love gingerly placing each ornament onto a branch; ornament placement is an art. Hubs and I always lovingly bicker about where each ornament should go. I like to fill it up all the way around and he likes to put a few on each branch.  He’s learning- haha! Decorating our tree together has become a really fun pastime as we enter our second year of marriage. I feel like my dreams of playing house came true. 🙂

2. Sights and sounds. I adore Christmas music. Thank you 106.7 for playing my favorite tunes non-stop.  Play me some Judy Garland “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and I’m done for, buckets of tears. Let’s discuss Christmas movies.  Obsessed.  I save them on my DVR all year round so when I have a hankering to watch A Diva’s Christmas Carol, I get my fix. Fa la la la Lifetime can monopolize entire days and who doesn’t love Christmas with the Kranks? Santa Claus: The Movie with Dudley Moore and John Lithgow? Hello, EPIC! The title of favorite always will go to It’s a Wonderful Life. How could it not be?

3.  Presents. But not in the way you think.  I love seeing wrapped presents under the tree.  Just the sight of seeing them there ready and waiting for the people I love is so cool.  I love watching people open gifts from me that they love and are stoked about opening especially if I spent long, hard hours trying to get the perfect gift. I do it all just to see that smile on the gift opener’s face. When I gave Hubs his humidor or my mom her iPad mini, etc, how great did I feel?  Bam! So good. Getting presents is a really fun thing and don’t get me wrong, I love opening me some goodies, but I’d much rather give than receive. So much more rewarding. Starting with the folks at home and working my way to strangers and neighbors…

4. Cookies. Yes, cookies. Made by me or made by other clean human beings, there is such a sense of community in one little snowman shaped cookie.  Every thumbprint, rainbow cookie and shortbread has been made with pure love of this season.  Hell, if I didn’t want to share and bake, I’d hit Shop Rite, grab some Entenmann’s and be done with it all!  Hell, no.  Macaron madness has been in full effect and I’m still working on them.  When I get them right, people are going to bite into a bit of my epic awesomeness. And it’s gonna taste gooooooooooooooooood…..

5.  Smells. There is nothing better than the smell of pine and a fire burning at Christmas.  Did you forget about hot cocoa and apple cider? Oh, I didn’t. What about cookies baking, food sizzling, or even snow coming? Fresh smells- nothing like it. Candles bring it all back for me. Hence my latest post on my Facebook page (check out the photo below).  Epic Yankee Candle purchases and my favorite yearly purchase of a Fifth and Madison candle.  If you haven’t sniffed their goodies yet at Bryant Park, I highly recommend it.

What do all of these things have in common? As Julia Roberts said in My Best Friend’s Wedding, the yucky love stuff. I love being close to family and friends and sharing all of these experiences, having parties and get-togethers.  I like giving where and when I can. I’m a mushy gushy pile of love this holiday season for no real reason.  No bah humbugs from me.  I feel pretty lucky to be me today and for all of the things my life has in store for the next year.  I hope to pay it forward as much as I can.

To get you all in the holiday spirit, I’m sharing some of my photos from last year’s Christmas.  Hopefully it gets you in the mood to start your decorating, bake a cookie, snuggle in with someone you love and do nice for someone else.  Tis better to give than to receive.

 

Candle mania 2014 (Shhh, don’t tell Hubs!)

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Hubs was checking for Santa. See all those gifts?

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Can you handle my table? I’m looking for some more new ideas this year but there isn’t much room left with all the food that was coming!

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Christmas spread. Oh, yeah. Just some of it. You should see the rest.

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Happy Holidays! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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  2. Pingback: I’ll take Comfort and Joy, please! | Keep Calm and Cari ON

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