Monday, December 22, 2008

Things to Do for the Holidays

Although I will be with my family starting tomorrow, I'm still not quite in the holiday I thought I'd kick off the Christmas countdown with a couple of short lists--you can add any of these to your big list.

Must See Christmas movies: Nothing is better than being curled up with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate or some popcorn and watching any (or all) of these Christmas classics.
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • It's a Wonderful Life (this is one of my favorites)
  • A Christmas Story (you'll shoot your eye
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (classic cartoon version is still the best)
  • Polar Express (this is a great film if you've never seen it)
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Elf (Will Ferrell, syrup and spaghetti...enough said)
  • Home Alone (still a classic)
  • The Muppets Christmas Carol

    and of course... Charlie Brown Christmas
Great Christmas tunes: I'll be putting together a cd tonight to listen to on my 7 hour drive
  • The Christmas Song- Mel Torme OR Nat King Cole
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town- The Jackson 5
  • Santa Baby- Joan Ellen Javits
  • This Christmas- Donnie Hathaway (still the best version ever!!)
  • Let it Snow- Boys II Men and Brian McKnight version
  • Silent Night- Temptations
  • Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer- Temptation
  • The Chipmunk Christmas Song- Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • All I want for Christmas- Mariah Carey version
and the one that always makes me think of Christmas:
Carol of the Bells- the Trans Siberian Orchestra version rocks!
Things to do to put you right in the holiday mood: Continue or start a holiday tradition this year
  • Bake a batch of cookies*
  • Make Christmas cards*
  • Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' on Christmas Eve*
  • Drive (or walk) around your neighborhood and look at Christmas lights OR find a local drive through light display (we do this every year. our neighbors put up great Christmas displays)
  • Have a Christmas movie fest (see above)
  • Make homemade decorations
  • Get your picture taken with Santa
  • Go for a train or sleigh ride (a lot of parks have Christmas train rides set up and things like that)

and lest we forget the reason for the season:

Go to church (most have Xmas eve programs and services. Even if you are not particularly religious it's a good opportunity to connect with people)
If you're wondering why I starred 3 items--see below

Ideas for giving back: Please let's not forget there are those who are going through hard times this season. And it's not too late to volunteer. Here are some small ways to help
  • Volunteer to serve Chirstmas dinner at your local food bank/homeless shelter
  • Donate blankets/food/supplies to your local charity or Salvation army
  • Bake cookies*--and give a batch to an elderly neighbor or friend who may be alone for the holidays
  • Make Christmas cards*--and take them to the local retirement home or veteran's hospital
  • Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' on Christmas Eve*--or any other book at a local children's hospital (call and see if they need volunteers or have a program set up)
  • Become a "Secret Santa"-- if you happen to know someone in need, do something small. For instance if you have a co worker/neighbor who is struggling, buy a $25 gift card to the local grocery store or gas station and give it to them anonymously.
Ok, I'm feeling a little more Christmas spirit already! Be safe and enjoy your holidays!

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