Christmas Favorites

I love the holidays.  I love them more now that I have kids, but I find myself overwhelmed by all the amazing ideas I can't possibly squeeze into one month of celebrating.  So instead of focusing on the hundreds of things I wish I was doing, I am trying this month to really love the things we are doing.  I thought I'd share those few things with you all.

Favorite movies:

{for me}

{for the kids}

I adore Christmas movies.  The good feelings they evoke and the memories of my own childhood (particularly with Home Alone) make this time of year nostalgic. I could watch The Family Stone everyday.  I love the family, and I adore that there is a deaf character and all the other actors learn how to sign in the movie.
For our boys, the whole month of December we spend movie night (which for us is Saturday night) watching Christmas movies.  It creates anticipation for the holidays and we all love it.

Favorite traditions:

Decorating the day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve Movie Night with new pj's
Grandma Beverly's Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas breakfast
Daily Advent with gifts hidden throughout the house

Some traditions have come and gone in the eleven years Josh and I have been married.  But these five have stuck.  We always put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving, we always watch a movie in new pajamas on Christmas Eve and we always have my Grandma Beverly's cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.  Since the addition of our three boys we have added Elf on the Shelf to our holiday, as well as a daily advent that counts down from December 1st.  I love these couple of traditions and that the boys look forward to their arrival.

Favorite Music: 

Mariah Carey :: Merry Christmas
*All I Want For Christmas is You

Amy Grant :: Home For Christmas
*Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)

Idina Menzel :: Holiday Wishes
*Baby It's Cold Outside feat. Michael Buble

Dr. Suess' How The Grinch Stole Christmas Soundtrack
* Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill

Christmas music for me is the essence of the holiday.  I start playing it in early November and don't stop until well after the new year.  I play it during school with the boys (we have music channels from Dish, and I am loving the Holiday Instrumentals channel for school time); I play it while I'm doing dishes and I play it when we're doing crafts.  I think at first the boys were like, "Ugh. Mom. Seriously." Complete with eye rolls. But now they've adjusted, and the other day I even found them singing Jingle Bells in their playroom.  Made my singing-mama-heart so proud!

Favorite Books:

{new favorites}

{old favorites}

My boys like funny books, so Tacky's Christmas and The Night Before The Night Before Christmas are just up their alley.  I grew up loving Scratch & Sniff books, so the two from my childhood (A Christmas Celebration & The Sweet Smell of Christmas) are forever favorites.  I also love the illustrations by Joan Walsh Anglund on A Christmas Celebration.

Grown Up Christmas Books:

Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand

I think it was our second year of marriage when I got the Christmas Treasury of Chicken Soup for The Soul, and every night me and Josh would read one of the inspirational stories aloud.  It was one of my favorite holiday seasons.  I loved sharing the joy of the season each night before bed.
This year I am looking forward to reading Winter Street by my favorite "summer" book author, Elin Hildebrand.  

"This is love: 
Not that we loved God, 
but that he loved us 
and sent his son as an 
atoning sacrifice for our sins."

1 John 4:10

1 comment:

Rox said...

I'm looking forward to the rest of your Christmas posts :)