(Writer’s Note: Originally published on 12/25/14)
When you stop believing in Santa you get underwear. –unknown
Okay, so I’m not really a member of the official Santa Claus family, but Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year! I am well versed in all the songs of the season, know the “Code of Elves” verbatim and I’ve successfully completed several Christmas-themed Buzzfeed quizzes. So OBVIOUSLY I’m practically an adopted member of the Claus household 🙂 and as a self-appointed Christmas authority I feel obligated to share these 12 little goodies with the planet to ensure you and yours experience your best Christmas yet! In no particular order, I present to you Anna Claus Holiday Must Haves….
- Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. I read this collection of short, satirical (and politically incorrect) stories every December for many, many reasons. Mostly because who doesn’t love the escapades of a grown man parading around Macy’s as an Elf, the unlikeliest Christmas Eve houseguest EVER and the snarkiest review of children’s Christmas pageants you’ll ever read? Nothing gets me in the holiday mood quite like this fun (and funny) book. Complete brain candy, it is good for continuous laughs.
- Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas If you love jazzy, upbeat Christmas music this album is for you! The 60s style jazz offerings are traditional yet they possess that special “zing.” CAUTION: The “cool cat” vibe this album induces may cause scatting! Wonderful background music for doing just about anything holiday related.
- Candy Canes Nothing says Christmas like candy canes. Sweet and pepperminty I try to consume as many as possible. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s it’s not unusual to find these tasty treats (and their tiny crumbs) in my purse, in my pockets or in my mouth!
- Pandora’s Swingin’ Christmas Radio Station This is the ONLY internet radio station I listen to during the holidays. On the computer and on my phone this is my go-to background music for the holiday season. Here you’ll find everything from the Rat Pack Christmas album and Louis Armstrong offerings to Michael Buble and everyone in between.
- Santa Hat (Reindeer Antlers optional) My all time hat of choice, the Santa hat comes out right after Thanksgiving and lives among the coats all Christmas season long. This year I’ve decided to add reindeer antlers to the list of approved December head-gear. Very festive!
- Starbucks Christmas Blend and Peet’s Holiday Blend Warm, sweet and spicy…this is what Christmas tastes like! For a coffee lover like myself this is a terrific blend that gets the day going…also serves as the perfect addition to an evening dessert. Would I like another cup? Of course!
- Nativity Nativities set the scene for a Christ-centered holiday. Our family nativity is my all-time favorite and I love to share the story about how we acquired such a unique set. I also love visiting the homes of family and friends and seeing their nativity displays. Most times it leads to another wonderful story as well.
- Cookie Baking I am probably guilty of too much cookie baking during this time of the year, but I love it!!! I wish we could live off Christmas cookies, but I’m afraid of what we might look like if I got my wish. Too many favorite cookies to name, I especially love making treats to give away to family and friends.
- Holiday Movies The Christmas season would not be complete without holiday movies. My all time favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life. Watching the Charlie Brown Christmas is a must. I also like to sprinkle in a little Christmas with the Kranks, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and Elf among others.
- Christmas Cards I love the tradition of Christmas Cards, but I’ve noticed that this tradition is fading. Sigh. As someone who has lived in several states and many cities (towns) over the years, this is one of the best ways I know of to catch up with far away friends and family. Be sure to throw in a zany family photo or funny Christmas letter!
- Christmas Lights Tour This is a tradition that goes way, way back for me. I can remember piling up in the car as a child and checking out the Christmas lights in my little hometown. Today, my husband and I continue to take (drag) our children out to look at the lights. This year we cranked our adventure up a notch with a Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt. Great fun!
- Snow Never a guarantee, but snow really makes it all perfect. It seems that whenever it snows the world seems to slow down a bit…offering us a moment to take in and savor everything around us. The holidays typically fly by…I need a little snow to take it all in.
A few honorable mentions to my list: cocoa, caroling and Christmas parades! They don’t call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing. Wishing you the Merriest Christmas!