I had planned to do a post like this today until I looked through my archives and found this one from last December. I figure, why re-invent the wheel?! So, enjoy!
To see the original post with pictures click the highlighted link above. The following is just the text...
I am so excited that the Christmas season is upon us (though admittedly slightly frazzled that I am not where I would like to be as far as prep goes). December crept up awfully fast, but it is what it is, and what it is is the most wonderful time of the year!!! Get out there and enjoy December! Soak it all in! Yes, the days go by fast, but there is much to see and do during this magical season!!!
Being the Christmas Diva that I am ;-) I thought I would share some ideas to help you enjoy these 31 days!!!
~* DO try to decorate early *~
Hopefully you have decked those halls and trimmed those trees, or you are at least almost done. I try each year to get my stuff up early. It is a lot of work to only be able to enjoy it for a few weeks. I started a little later than I would have liked to this year and still need to add a few finishing touches. Remember, if your decorating is done early, you have that much more time to do magical Christmas-y things!
~* DO bake yummy Christmas cookies. *~
There is something so homey and heartfelt about baking Christmas cookies. I love to give them even more than I love to eat them! Packaged in a pretty holiday tin, cookies make a festive gift for a teacher, neighbor, co-worker, anyone! Who doesn't love freshly baked cookies?! If you have kids you can get them involved. Kids love to decorate sugar cookies. Set out sprinkles and sugar crystals in little bowls and let them get creative! No kids? No problem! You and your spouse can have a blast in the kitchen together! Who says you have to wear anything under that apron?!? ;-) And the added bonus is the creative ways you can burn off those calories after the baking session....
~* DO go on a Christmas lights tour. *~
Twinkly lights against the night sky are so magical! Put on your coziest clothing ... you can even wear your pajamas! ... fill a thermos with rich, steamy hot chocolate, crank up the Christmas tunes on the car stereo, and set out on an adventure! If you want to photograph the lights, it is best to use a tripod, no flash, and set your camera to a slow shutter speed.
~* DO remember those less fortunate than you. *~
Really, this one should go without saying. And it is something we should do year-round, not just during the holiday season. But it is made a little easier for us during this time of year. You know at some point you will see a Salvation Army Bell Ringer. Please do not pass them by. I know everyone of us can spare at least a dollar. We can donate canned goods and other non-perishables to a local soup kitchen. Visit with residents of a local nursing home. My two grandmothers, in the last years of their lives, had to live in a nursing home. It is heartbreaking the number of people that never get a single visitor. Do you have lots of old sheets, blankets, and towels? Don't get rid them! Your local animal shelter (which is hopefully no-kill) can use them! Perhaps a local school or church is sponsoring an Angel Tree for children in need. There are opportunities to help everywhere!
~* DO watch favorite Christmas movies and specials. *~
I don't know about you but I can't get through December without watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, oh, a gazillion times! Ditto A Charlie Brown Christmas! Turn on the Christmas lights, pop a big bowl of buttery popcorn and make a big mug of hot cocoa and snuggle under a cozy throw for a holiday movie marathon! Want to know when your favorites are on? There are several links on my right sidebar ---> under "Favorite Christmas Links" that list Christmas movies, specials, and Christmas episodes of favorite sitcoms past and present.
~* DO record your memories. *~
Whether you journal, take photos, make a video, it doesn't matter. Just save these treasured memories in some way. Years from now you will be happy you did. Since I am an avid papercrafter I save these memories in a crafty way, using a combination of words and photos that I turn in to Christmas journals and scrapbooks. I have already started on my daily album for December 2009! I will share it after the month has passed (or maybe as I go along...we'll see!). If you check out my left sidebar <--- there are links for an online class I follow along with each year called Journal Your Christmas. I always end up doing my own thing but the prompts are a great jumping off point. And I am never without one of my cameras!
~* DO remember the impact of a handwritten card. *~
In this electronic age we live in, where we rely heavily on email, instant messages, texts, and social networking, it is easy to forget how treasured a hand-written Christmas card or note is. Please take some time to send out real cards. Yes, it takes a little while. Yes, you actually have to buy some stamps (but have you seen the supercute Christmas stamps the USPS has put out this year?!). I know it sounds kinda sappy and Hallmark-y but taking the time to send a card really does show you care and that the recipient is worth it!
I realize I posted this a lot earlier in the month last year but it is never too late to enjoy this magical season!