Hey there- can y’all believe it’s already December? I think that 2018 has been the fastest year ever! Who agrees with me? Anyways, before we get too far into December, I wanted to share 15 things on my Christmas Season Bucket List for 2018. This list includes some cherished Christmas traditions I enjoy every year, along with a few new things I am looking forward to this year.
1. Watch as many Hallmark movies as possible.
I know these are so incredibly predictable. But even though you know the guy and girl are going to end up together, it’s still fun to watch everything that happens in between! I love to intentionally schedule days during the Christmas season where I do nothing but sit in front of the TV all day and watch Hallmark movies. And I have zero shame in admitting this!
“Switched for Christmas” starring Candace Cameron Bure (aka DJ from “Full House”) is one of my fave Hallmark movies, and premiered in 2017.
2. Watch Christmas-themed Friends episodes.
My personal favorites are “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” and “The One with the Routine.” Seriously, they never get old! Here’s some background for those of y’all who aren’t Friends fans:
In the “Holiday Armadillo” episode, Ross wants to teach his son, Ben, about Hannukah. Ross is Jewish, but his ex-wife (Ben’s mom) celebrates Christmas. Whenever Ross tries to tell Ben the story of Hannukah, Ben keeps interrupting by singing Christmas songs. (Part of this might have to do with Ross’s nerdy, dry storytelling demeanor. Ha!) So, Ross gets the idea to dress up like Santa while teaching Ben about Hannukah. Except no Santa costumes are available for rent so close to Christmas, so Ross has to settle for dressing up like an Armadillo. You can catch the rest on Netflix.
Then in “The One with the Routine,” Ross & Monica geek out because Joey’s dancer friend invites them to attend the taping of “Dick Clark’s New Years’ Rockin’ Eve.” However, once they get there, they are disgruntled that the camera crew doesn’t ask them too appear on the platform reserved for the best dancers. So, they decide to break out into “The Routine,” a dance they choreographed together in middle school. I mean, it did win them Honorable Mention in the “Brother/Sister Dance Category.”
3. Go to the Christmas Eve Moravian Lovefeast.
This is my absolute favorite Christmas tradition. A good family friend grew up attending a Moravian church in Winston-Salem, NC. Every Christmas Eve morning, I tag along with her family to make the hour-long trip from my hometown to Winston-Salem for the Christmas Eve Lovefeast. The service consists of Christmas carols, Scripture reading, and a brief Christmas sermon. During one segment of hymns, servers (called “dieners”) distribute Moravian love buns and coffee, and the congregation partakes together after saying a traditional Moravian blessing. Hence the “Lovefeast” part of the service. Then at the very end of the service, everyone lights traditional Moravian beeswax candles and sings the closing hymn. This is such a special service that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas. God sent His son Jesus to be a light in a fallen world, and to die for our sins on the cross because of His great love for us. They do the same hymns every year at this service, and I have already been singing them in my head.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
4. See The Nutcracker Ballet
A ballet company in my hometown does an excellent production of The Nutcracker, and I try to see it every year. I’ve seen it the past six years in a row! This year I have a lot of events happening the same weekend as The Nutcracker, but I’m still planning to fit it in. Pretty much the entire cast is amateur ballet students, but the production is so excellently done that you hardly know! My favorite part of “The Nutcracker” is the Waltz of the Snowflakes at the end of Act 1. It’s so beautiful that it moves me to tears! Below is a pic of when my bestie and I went to The Nutcracker a couple years ago.
5. Enjoy multiple gingerbread lattes from Starbucks.
I’ve definitely already checked this one off my Christmas season bucket list! I typically don’t have gingerbread lattes until after Thanksgiving. But I got one a couple days after Halloween when Starbucks did their free reusable red cup promo. Thanks to this cup, I can save 50 cents off a grande holiday drink after 2:00pm through January 7. I’ve already taken my Starbucks reusable red cup back to redeem a discounted gingerbread latte. And a couple of those times may have been before Thanksgiving. (Well they were less than a week before Thanksgiving, but that’s how irresistible this promo is.)
6. Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows.
I love a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows while cozied up on the couch watching Hallmark movies. Sometimes I will add candy cane to it. The miniature ones are perfect for this! I also recommend topping hot chocolate with some Reddi-Whip as well.
7. Eat my favorite Christmas candy
Reese’s Peanut Butter trees, candy cane Hershey’s kisses, and Dove Promises are at the top of my list of favorite Christmas candy. Candy cane Hershey’s kisses are extra special because you can’t get anything quite like them during other times of year. There’s just something about white chocolate with little bits of peppermint mixed in. The different Christmas candy wrappers are so pretty and festive, and of course the contents taste delicious, too. I have multiple Christmas candy dishes around my apartment!
8. Watch my favorite Christmas movies
In addition to Hallmark movies, I also like watching my favorite Christmas movies on DVD. I’m not going to say much else here, because I will do another post soon with a list of my favorite Christmas movies. The introvert side of me enjoys a cozy night in watching Christmas movies and partaking in my favorite Christmas treats just as much as I like dressing up and going out to Christmas parties. But then the social side of me likes to have a friend over to join me for watching Christmas movies.
9. Watch the Disney Parks Christmas Celebration on Christmas morning
I’ve been watching ABC’s Disney Parks Christmas Celebration on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. Since I don’t get to go to Disney World as often as I would like, it’s fun to experience the sights of the parks through this Christmas special. Also, ABC actually records this special in advance, but it’s so festive that it’s easy for me to forget it’s not a live recording from Disney World on Christmas Day!
10. Get my picture taken with Santa Cow at Chick-fil-a
If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Instagram for any period of time, then you know that I am obsessed with mascots. Getting my picture taken with mascots as many chances as I get is one of my unusual hobbies. The Chick-fil-a Cow is one of my favorites, and I think he is especially cute when he dresses up as Santa Cow in December. So whenever I find out that Santa Cow will be at one of my local Chick-fil-a restaurants, you can bet I jump at the opportunity to go there for a photo opp! I hope I can catch him this year. Here’s a pic from a few years ago:
11. Have a Christmas girls’ weekend with my bestie
My bestie and like to have a girls’ weekend at some point in December, where we do different Christmasy things. One of our favorite things to do during our Christmas girls’ weekend is binge-watch Christmas movies- both favorites on DVD and Hallmark movies. She’s coming this weekend, and we plan to spend the entire day on Saturday watching Christmas movies. A cozy day at home watching Christmas movies with my bestie makes my social introvert heart so happy. I can’t wait!
12. Eat Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes
Do I really need to say much else about this? Little Debbie cakes are the stereotypical processed food, and so not good for you. But they are so delicious! And for some reason, the holiday-themed Little Debbie cakes always taste better than the generic ones! All things in moderation, right?!
13. Make Liz’s Famous Pretzels with red & green m&m’s
Don’t worry, I will share the recipe for these on here very soon. Basically, these are pretzels covered with vanilla-flavored almond bark, and sprinkled with red & green m&m’s. They are the perfect combination of sweet & salty, and a hit whenever I take them to a Christmas party.
14. Look at Christmas decorations at the Carolina Inn
The Carolina Inn is a local boutique hotel on UNC’s campus, and they have the most gorgeous Christmas decorations. In addition to a beautiful Christmas tree, they have displays themed after the 12 Days of Christmas. It’s been several years since I’ve been to the Carolina Inn in December, but I’m going there for a blog shoot this Friday and can’t wait!
15. Enjoy a Christmas Party with new friends
I’ve alluded to the amazing new friends I have made this fall through my young adults Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) group in Raleigh. I’m really excited about our Christmas party next weekend. We’re going to attend a Christmas concert at the church we meet at, and then enjoy sweet & savory appetizers and fellowship afterwards. When it comes to Christmas parties, I’m much more about quality than quantity. As an introvert, I would rather go to a few Christmas parties during the entire Christmas season with close friends, rather than multiple parties every weekend with a bunch of acquaintances. And this BSF Christmas Party will definitely be a quality event! Also, on a different weekend, one of the girls in my BSF discussion group is having our group over to bake Christmas cookies and watch a Christmas movie.
I hope that y’all enjoyed reading about 15 things on my Christmas season bucket list for 2018. Perhaps it even gave you some ideas of things you want to do to make this a December to remember. You can follow me on Instagram to see snaps as I check various things off my list! What’s on your Christmas season bucket list this year?