Monday, December 2, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Chrismas...

...Everywhere you go! It's no surprise that I LOVE Christmas! I mean, December is the greatest month of the year. My family is very into Christmas. We have a lot of traditions that we've been doing, even since before I was born! (As I'm the youngest kid in my family as well as the youngest grandchild) There's nothing quite like the feeling one gets driving at night listening to Michael Buble Christmas album while looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations. It's magical! It feels like it did when you were a kid and the world was still so happy and innocent. Most of my favorite things happen in this month and this time of year, that I'm usually on an overload of pure unrelenting joy from Thanksgiving until New Years. There just seems to be more...cheer this time of year! People are a lot happier and more friendly and more willing to help each other out. It's like Christmas spirit just seems to bring out the best of most people. 

I'm so excited for this time of year! SO excited, that I've even been making lists of my favorite things! (I can't help it, I love love them...probably too much. lol)

Cindy Mangomini


1. Christmas Eve/Christmas Day (we have lots of traditions!)  My siblings and I (there are 5 of us) used to "plan Christmas" in advance. We'd all move our mattresses into the bonus room a couple days before Christmas and all sleep in there together. We'd of course plan out who slept where and every hour of Christmas morning, when we'd get up, who would sit where, who would hand out presents that year, what time we'd wake our parents up, etc. Then, Christmas Eve night my mom would read us a story (usually Polar express) before we went to bed, all of us nestled under our covers, mattresses pushed together, in the bonus room. Also, Every Christmas Eve we get together as a family an my Aunt's house for dinner and games. As a kid, it was my favorite part about Christmas (except for Christmas morning, that is). We'd drive down for dinner, open presents from our cousin exchange, and play games and eat goodies all night. We'd wait to hear the Santa spotting on the news and then run out and watch for him in the sky.

2.      Buying and wrapping presents for people! I love it! Our parents used to take us to the mall as kids, and we'd split up, half with Mom and half with Dad and then we'd go shopping for the siblings not in our group. We'd meet up a couple hours later and switch and go out again. It was so much fun! Of course, we'd always have to stop in at Sees and get a piece of candy... :)

3.      Looking at Christmas decorations and lights/decorating our own. I swear, my Mom could be Holiday Cheermister (Grinch reference, what what!). Our house was always fully decked out, inside and out in Christmas decor, most of which, she made herself! (She's super talented by the way.) I always loved decorating the house, but even more, I loved going for night drives to look at all the Christmas lights. It always felt so magical! 

And honestly, this is me the whole time...

4.      Hoodies, scarves, blankets, mittens, beanies, cute pj pants…all things WARM! I LOVE my hoodies. They are probably my favorite article of clothing. If I could wear them all year, I'd be a happy camper. They are just so comfy. Winter weather is all about comfort, it's no wonder why we love it!

5.      Christmas movies/music I anticipate listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. They just make me's hard to explain. My family has our *favorite* Christmas movies and it's always a time when we gather together and just laugh and drink egg nog and enjoy each others' company. And the music! I think Will Ferrel says in best in Elf, "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." Singing along to Christmas music just fills me's indescribable.

6.      Festive Drinks! Mmmmm, I love peppermint hot cocoa…I swear it tastes the BEST during December, I don’t know why! But seriously, Gingerbread Herbal Tea is like Christmas in a cup. (A la Ryan Reynolds style!)

And I love caramel apple cider, anything cinnamon, and of course EGG NOG! (Crystal Egg Nog, because I'm a snob about it...whatever, I admit it, but nothing is better than Crystal Egg Nog!) And let's be honest, I have a mug obsession, so I can whip out all the cute festive mugs! (And have reasons to buy Tis the season!!

7.      Snuggling in the house by a fire playing Clue with family or reading a book (LOVE to do this when the power goes out!!) There are certain books I read every Christmas, like Pride and Prejudice, which is just something I have to do. you understand, U know you do. But I love reading by the fire, drinking hot chocolate and snuggling in a blanket. Man, I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but each of these really are my favorite things! And Clue has always been my favorite board game, and it's even more special by the fire after the power's gone out! :)

8.      The light the Christmas tree gives off when no other lights are on in the house! I swear, I could just lay by the Christmas tree and stare at it for hours. It always reminds me of Christmas morning as a kid when I couldn't sleep in so I'd sneak out to the stairs and the only think lighting the house (at 4 am) would be the Christmas tree. It's my absolute favorite type of lighting! 

9.      Holiday baking! (...and eating...) It lasts for WEEKS! Another tradition...we bake goodies for family and friends the whole month of December. A lot of the treats are only mad during Christmas time too, like my Grandma's Million Dollar Fudge! (my favorite!)

10.  Being with family and friends more than usual…everyone seems happier during Christmas! It's no secret that my family members are also my best friends, we're all extremely close, but it feels different at Christmas, and we do a lot more fun stuff than during just the normal every-day things. 

11.  Celebrating Christ of course…that’s gotta be on here! Not like we don't celebrate the life of Christ during the year, but it's different for Christmas! And it's not just within our Church, people in general seem more likely to want to talk about Christ or get back to church during the holiday season, which is great! I love our Christmas program on the Sunday before, it's my favorite, probably because Christmas hymns have a special place in my heart. They are the best. :)

Top 10 favorite Christmas songs: (not in order)

1.      Christmas Eve Sarajevo & A Mad Russian’s Christmas- Trans-Siberian Orchestra (cheating, I know!)
2.      It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas- Michael Buble
3.      White Christmas-Frank Sinatra
4.      Winter Wonderland-Bing Crosby
5.      Baby it’s cold outside (Zooey Deschannel from Elf Soundtrack)
6.      Happy Christmas (War is Over)- Maroon 5
7.      Let it Snow- Dean Martin
8.      Carol of the Bells (Manheim Steamroller & Mo Tab)
9.      I’ll be home for Christmas- Josh Groban (makes me almost cry every time!)
10.  O Holy Night- Mo Tab

(I also love love LOVE listening to the Hallelujah Chorus form the Messiah at Christmas too, but it’s technically not “Chirstmas”)

It should also be said that I LOVE Michael Buble’s rendition of EVERY Christmas song, but I couldn’t very well put him on the list a thousand times, could I! ;)

***I also really HATE Santa Baby…sorry, but it’s true.

Top 10 favorite Christmas movies: (not in order)

1.      Home Alone
2.      Elf
3.      National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
4.      Grinch (both versions)
5.      Christmas Story
6.      The Holiday/Family Stone
7.      Love, Actually
8.      Claymation Santa Clause is coming…/Rudolph
9.      The Santa Clause
10.  Scrooged 

Honorable mentions because 10 is so hard! (Yeah, I’m a cheater at my own games...)
HM: Charlie Brown Christmas
HM: Jim Carrey’s Christmas Carrol
HM: Polar Express

If I could only watch one, it’s be a three way tie between Home Alone/Christmas Vacation/Elf. Those are like my family’s movies. Call me crazy (I know this will offend you to your very soul) but I don’t really care for Miracle on 34th Street…I just don’t. I didn’t grow up watching it and that little girl kinda irritates the crap out of me

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