KELLEY: December In-List
1. CALLING IT CHRISTMAS. Merry Christmas, everyone. I am unapologetically celebrating the season and the holiday according to how I grew up with it. It’s Christmas, whether you make it religious or not. (Hey, Christ probably wasn’t even born on Christmas; it’s possible Dec. 25 was chosen to assimilate winter solstice into Christianity, many will argue.) Halloween is my favorite holiday, but every year, when Christmas comes around, ghoulish mayhem is challenged by an unspoken feeling of goodness and cheer that warms the heart and turns me into a weird Hallmark version of myself. There’s nothing like the Christmas holiday season. Victoria: Some of our best memories are those holidays spent with family and friends.
2. HALLMARK CHANNEL MOVIES. Speaking of Hallmark… What? Me? The Hallmark Channel? Really? Cheesy-bad acting, unchallenging subject matter, ridiculous plots with conflicts & resolutions you can see coming from Alaska, and saccharin emotions so packed into the films that you almost get sick watching it. But I love them. Sometimes because they’re hilariously bad, but more often than not it’s because they kinda just make me feel good. Perhaps it’s the simplistic storytelling mixed with the Holiday Cheer, or the familiar faces that pop up in these movies, making you say, “What the heck is HE doing in this stupid Christmas movie?” Just a few years ago, I was still making fun of my Mom each and every Christmas visit for keeping the Hallmark Channel on 24/7. “Thanks, Mom, for making me a little bit dumber.” Now? I scan Hallmark Channel Christmas programming for titles to record on my DVR. My unapologetic top picks: “Mrs. Miracle” (the first one with Dawson), “Naughty or Nice” with George Lopez, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with the Fonz, and ABC Family Channel’s “Snow globe” about a busy-bodied professional woman who gets whiskey away to a magical land inside a snowglobe…yeah, seriously.
3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAREN! My mother-in-law. Half of the reason my wife is here. She turns 32, I believe. Hope you have a wonderful day!
4. ANNUAL CHRISTMAS MOVIES AND SPECIALS.
- A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. Victoria: Has anyone tries to rock some of those dance moves….The Snoopy?
- HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (The original Cartoon narrated by Boris Karloff). Victoria: I still love the Grinch song.
- THE POLAR EXPRESS. Victoria: Chris and I were able to see this in St. Louis in 3D (which I’m usually not a fan of) and on an IMAX screen. It was beautiful to say the least.
- A CHRISTMAS CAROL (any of them, but most notable is the new one with Jim Carrey). Victoria: I still enjoy Mickey’s Christmas Carol as well. Scrooge McDuck as Uncle Scrooge, classic.
- THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (for all of us who can’t let go of Halloween so easily).
- BAD SANTA (holding the record for most F WORDS in a Christmas film).
5. CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. Last year, The Nightmare Before Christmas was our theme, which consisted of lots of black and white decorations. This year, we’re sporting more of a retro, 1960s look. Victoria calls it “Charlie Brown Minimalist”…big bulbs and lights, artwork wrapped in striped and dotted wrapping paper, but no tree as our cats have destroyed the trees in our past. Victoria: We had a white Christmas tree a couple of years ago that met its demise at their paws.
Chris: We also enjoy taking a drive and seeing the homes who’ve put in the time and effort to create winter wonderlands. Victoria: We like to head to Starbucks first, order Christmas coffee drinks, and see the Avenue of Lights before scoping out holiday lights of Quincy.
6. DESSERTS. Victoria: Love dessert. I order it after almost every meal. Just a tiny little something. I also loved watching Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts to see marvel at the artistry of pastry chefs. No other holiday has the amount and variety of desserts than Christmas. My mom makes sugar cookies in the shape of wreaths with my favorite icing….the icing that my Grandmother, Bernice, used to ice wedding cookies. In a word: delicious! Whether you like fudge, divinity, or fruit cake….who seriously likes fruit cake?….Christmas will have you covered.
7. SPICED WINE. Victoria: It’s no secret that Chris and I enjoy wine, but spiced wine is so great when it’s cold outside. Warm and yummy! Montelle winery, outside of St. Louis, has a great bottle called St. Wenceslaus.
8. CHRISTMAS CRACKERS: Victoria: These are a British tradition. Christmas Crackers are long and look like a large, wrapped piece of candy. When you pull the ends, they pop, and reveal little surprises. The cracker contains a paper crown, a piece of paper with jokes or a fun fact, and a prize (we have gotten a bottle opener, yo-yo, and games in the past). They’re just goofy and fun. Remember the movie Bridget Jones Diary? In a Christmas scene with her dad, they wore the paper crowns.
9: PAYING IT FORWARD: Victoria: I still love this concept. It can be something as simple as paying for the coffee for the person behind you, or even just throwing some change into the bell ringer’s bucket….charity.
10. DEC. 31ST — NEW YEAR’S EVE: Victoria: Ring in 2011. It’s almost here….pop open the Champagne!
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