Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Ten: What I Love About Christmas

We're in the midst of the Christmas season -- arguably the best time of the year -- and I'm definitely feeling festive. So for today's Tuesday Ten link-up with Miss Mommy, I decided to share 10 things I love about Christmas.

1. Watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is something of a holiday tradition in my family. Even though I've seen it dozens of times and can practically recite the movie by memory, it still gets me laughing every single year. And I am in love with those moose mugs! Someday I'll track down some of my own.
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2. Christmas novels are usually short, happy and perfect for getting into the Christmas mindset. Some of my favorites are "The Gift" by Richard Paul Evans, "Visions of Sugar Plums" by Janet Evanovich, any of the Christmas mysteries by Mary Higgins Clark, and Debbie Macomber's Christmas novels. Last year I checked out "The Mischief of the Mistletoe" by Lauren Willig from the library and loved its Victoria Christmas charm. It's the seventh book in Willig's "Pink Carnation" series; I hadn't (and still haven't, though I had vowed to) read any of the other books in the series, but I thought "Mistletoe" was a super-cute and cozy Christmas read.

3. Gingerbread house decorating! This is our very colorful 2011 creation, which we made at a gingerbread house decorating gala with Jarrod's squadron last weekend.

4. Christmas music! Part of its appeal (like most other things associated with Christmas) is that it only comes around once a year. Though I'm not picky, I do have a few favorites: "Carol of the Bells" by Celtic Woman, "The First Noel" by Josh Groban and "Mad Russian's Christmas" by Trans Siberian Orchestra. Jarrod's prefers Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas."

5. Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. These are pretty much without fail heartwarming, festive and sweet. Some of my favorites are "A Dog Named Christmas," "Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle" and "Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas" (which you'll love if you enjoyed "The Holiday).

6. Christmas baking! Just as fall is all about pumpkin, Christmas is all about peppermint! I especially love peppermint frosting on chocolate cookies. You can see some of the cookies I baked in the last week here.

7. There are some special Christmas things that come with living in Hawaii. We enjoy going downtown to see the Honolulu City Lights, the main attraction of which is a giant Shaka Santa. (If you have no idea what I mean by shaka -- which I had never heard of until we moved to Hawaii -- it's the sort of "hang loose" gesture Santa is making with his hand.) And there's a special free Christmas attraction the weekend before Christmas at Pearl Harbor; visitors board the boats used to ferry passengers to the USS Arizona Memorial and, while singing Christmas carols, cruise around Pearl Harbor to see all the ships and subs decked out in Christmas lights.

9. I've always looked forward to decorating the tree at Christmas. My family usually puts up an artificial tree, but Jarrod is a tree traditionalist and absolutely refuses to let a fake tree come through the door of our house. Regular Christmas trees don't really grow in Hawaii, but they arrive on-island in huge shipping containers from the Mainland the day after Thanksgiving. This year we decided to forgo the shipped-in trees and visit Oahu's Christmas tree farm, which sells Norfolk pines. They're definitely different (more pictures of our tree to come) but I love our Hawaiian Christmas.

10. Christmas brings President Obama and family to the island, and Air Force One is parked right by my husband's office (a restored aircraft hangar) each year. I was giddy with excitement the first year we were here (also the first year the Obamas came for Christmas) and I got to stand mere feet away (behind a wall, of course) from Air Force One.


  1. Fun Christmas list. I can't wait til my kiddos get bigger to start making gingerbread houses.. you're turned out so cute :)

    Thanks for stopping by my Tuesday Ten outfits post. Aren't those green sparkle shoes awesome..even if they would break an ankle :)

    I'm now a follower.

    Jen- @LifeAccordingtotheStreets.com

  2. Great Christmas list. We have more than a few that are the same. Christmas is such a fun time of year. So many fun things to look forward to doing each year that we have made into a family tradition.

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