Goal setting,  Lists

December bucket list finale

I posted my December Bucket List at the beginning of the month, with some key activities I wanted to complete this month. I did pretty well, with the only real difficulties being watching the movies. Forcing myself to relax and watch a holiday movie ended up being a super positive experience. Without further ado, I give you my December bucket list finale.

Count Christmas trees

I think our family record for Christmas trees in one trip is 16. My family lives near a number of Christmas tree farms, and if you hit the right time of day during a warm snap, you’re guaranteed to get a high number. My highest number this year was, unfortunately, only six. But one evening, on my way home from work, I saw SIX menorahs on top of vehicles! Five vans, with lighted menorahs topping them, and one convertible, with the top down and a menorah perched on the trunk. It was magical. Then, to top off the magic, we saw a SEVENTH menorah on another car a week later. Best holiday ever.

Go to a holiday market

I did not get to a typical Christmas market. However, I knew that was going to be the situation. So instead my mother and I ventured over to Iowa where a huge crafts fair was occurring in their convention hall. Together we found a number of festive gifts.

Look at Christmas lights

Shitty Christmas Light Pictures

My car got stuck on a snowy hill because I slowed down to look at lights, so I feel I can definitely say I did my due diligence with this one!

Drink Baileys and read Twas the Night Before Christmas

Is there a point where a tradition becomes so standard that it loses its charm? I might’ve reached that with this one. My Christmas overall lacked many of the traditions that I’m used to, and so despite having a nice holiday, I felt a general sense of discontent. I don’t like that feeling, so am focusing on the good aspects and things I’m grateful for from the holiday.

Finally see Die Hard and Listy do M; Watch While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping is perfect as always. Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie, though I will challenge its position as “one of the best Christmas movies.” People who make that claim may be so enamored with a nontraditional Christmas movie that they put it at the top of the list? Or perhaps we’re using different definitions. I would say that to be the Best Christmas Movie, you can’t just be the best movie in a category of Christmas movies, you have to be the best movie at invoking a spirit of Christmas. Die Hard doesn’t do that, despite being an awesome film. Listy do M, though, was very sweet and Christmasy without some of the awkward, inappropriate aspects of its English counterpart, Love Actually. Apparently there are two sequels…

Update my Christmas Playlist for my Phone

The hardest part of this is narrowing down my ~400 Christmas songs I own into a more manageable list. Why do I have 7 versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas” and why can I never decide between weird contemporary styles and traditional ones with full choirs? There’s something to the magic of the Bing Crosby versions, but I love a good descant on the traditional carols. I also love slightly depressing contemporary songs. My phone playlist was a life saver on a short road trip to visit family.

Make Christmas Cookies

Cute but not perfect...

I attended a snowman themed Christmas cookie baking party and tried my hand at some complicated snowman cookie decorating.

Send Christmas cards

When I went to college my mom provided me with an accordion file that included cards for many occasions, a list of my relatives’ addresses and birthdays. She does an amazing amount of emotional work, remembering dates, cards, and birthdays. I tried to keep up with her, but I quickly lost track. And I stopped sending birthday cards or Christmas cards. Last year Bentley and I took a great Christmas pictures together, and I was looking forward to sending it out as a holiday card this year. We got the smallest amount printed and only sent to our very closest friends, but it was definitely worth it.

Get Bentley’s photo taken with Santa

2016
Christmas is going to the dogs
2017

Bentley’s photo with Santa this year was by far the best yet. He’s such a well-behaved dog sometimes. That is unless I tell someone that and then introduce him to them–in which case, he is guaranteed to be a troublemaker. But the photos this year worked great!

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