1) Decorating the tree. My ornament collection consists almost entirely of ornaments I've made, been given, or collected from all over the world over the years. I have very few store-bought ornaments. I love pulling them out each year; it's like looking at a scrapbook. It's also fun to look at the ornaments I've made. Even before I got serious about card-making, I was kind of crafty. The picture above is one of the first ornaments I made as an adult crafter. I lived in an area where pine cones were plentiful, so I gathered a bunch up, painted them with acrylic paint, and got to gluing. I attached one to each of the holiday packages I gave out that year, and a few others to friends and coworkers. It was fun! This year I made paper pine cone balls and tag snowbursts, but I don't think I'll have enough for me to keep any.
2) Mint M&Ms. I love chocolate, that's no secret. But chocolate and mint is not my favorite combination, unless it's a Starbucks peppermint mocha or mint M&Ms at the holidays! I love those red, white and green candies and have to buy a bag every year. They do not last long! I'm not even sure why I put them in the candy dish.
3) White Christmas. This is my favorite Christmas movie ever. I just love the music, the dancing, the romance, and the cheesiness! I watch it at least a couple of times each holiday season. It was also the first Christmas movie I ever bought to own.
4) The scent of the holidays. I love the smells of Christmas - the vanilla, cinnamon and cloves from baking; the citrus from the oranges and other fruits that are finally in season, the smell of fresh evergreen bows. One way I get into the Christmas spirit when I'm decorating or crafting for the holidays is to fill a saucepan with some cut-up apple or orange, a couple of whole cinnamon sticks, a handful of cloves and water to cover. I simmer it on very low heat and the steam filters through the house making everything smell yummy!
5) Real Christmas trees. Now that I live in California, I can't afford a real Christmas tree -something that wasn't even a question when I was growing up in Oregon. Besides the cost, Christmas trees in California don't last very long because of the warm, dry air. And since I'm usually gone for at least part of the holidays, it doesn't make sense to get a real tree. But I still miss them, and long for the day when I can once again have a real tree! Douglas firs are my favorite type.
6) Ginger ale. The only times I ever drink ginger ale are when I fly on planes and at Christmas time. I love it with a twist of lime, or mixed with cranberry juice. It's a fun, festive beverage and it always puts me in the holiday spirit.
7) Christmas music. I only listen to Christmas music (no other kinds) from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas. I have 30 or 40 CDs of holiday music, and put some in the car and some next to the stereo. My favorite albums include the James Taylor Hallmark album, Garth Brooks' Beyond the Season, John Denver and the Muppets (don't laugh until you've heard it!), and Kenny Loggins' December. Some of my favorite songs are Dido's Christmas Day, Sarah McLachlan's Winter Song, Do They Know It's Christmastime (remember Band-Aid? I'm such an 80s girl!), Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney, and the Christmas songs from the Love Actually soundtrack.
Thanks for indulging me! If you'd like to share seven of your Christmas favorites, or seven other random things, please do, and post a link back here. I won't tag anyone else specifically.