How To Get Into The Christmas Spirit

Now, I know some of us (ahem, me) have been listening to Christmas music since Halloween, but now that Thanksgiving is over… IT’S CHRISTMASTIME!! Cold weather and earlier sunsets are upon us; coffee shops are bringing back their holiday specials! Give yourself a reason to celebrate the Christmas season with a couple of suggestions I’ve made below…

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Me when it first snows

MAKE A CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

As a lover of all things Christmas and Spotify, the first thing I did was make a playlist of all my favorite holiday songs- did someone say, HARRY CONNICK JR.?! We all have those coup200-2.gifle of songs or artists that we listen to this time every year, so instead of pulling out all theCDs (do people still do that?) or trying to find them in your iTunes library, pull them all
together into one playlist! You can listen to mine here: it’s full of Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, and that funny song from Elf that everyone loves, “Pennies from Heaven.”

ABC FAMILY MOVIES!!

ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas has to be one of the most popular things around Christmastime. They play all the classic Christmas movies throughout all of December! Because who could possibly get enough of Elf, The Polar Express, or How the Grinch Stole Christmas?

…but if you do, another thing I like to do is watch holiday episodes of my favorite TV shows: 200-2.gifthink The Office, Friends, and Parks and Recreation. They all have multiple Christmas episodes that are all equally a good laugh, so why not make a marathon of it?

*side note: I’m not sure if White Christmas shows on ABC or not, but it is my FAVORITE Christmas movie and is a must see!! 10/10 would recommend.

MAKE COOKIES AND HOT CHOCOLATE

Or buy a peppermint mocha and make chocolate-dipped pretzels- choose your own adventure! Making hot drinks and sweet treats is essentially all you need for the holiday season, right? Personally, one of my favorite things to do is to make sugar cookies,

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Here’s the recipe:

cut them into special shapes (like Christmas trees or snowflakes) and slap on a couple layers of frosting!! My family always does a variety of desserts, from cookies to Chex Mix with
M&M’s to [my personal favorite] buckeyes…I’m in sugar heaven

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Buckeyes

just thinking about it all! It’s also a great way to be with your family during the Christmas season, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

BRING OUT THE SWEATERS AND FUZZY SOCKS

It’s time for all your layers and warm clothing to come out from the back of your closet! Pull out the Ugg boots, turtlenecks, and parkas to prepare for the cold weather that’s upon us!! Layering clothes is one of my favorite things to do, so it only makes sense that fall and winter are my closet’s most fashionable seasons! Now, while I know that most people tend to own more summer clothing, rest easy knowing that dressing for the cold is much simpler; after all, sweaters and leggings with some fuzzy socks & boots is SO EASY to put on and outrageously cozy!! What’s not to love?

PLAN A DAY TO GO SLEDDING, ICE SKATING, OR SKIING/SNOWBOARDING

Go outside! Breathe in the crisp air, catch a couple snowflakes on your tongue, make the most of this winter by doing some outdoor activities!! If you don’t have the equipment, open-uri20150608-27674-1xafo6h_00f4e05e.jpegskiing and snowboarding can be pretty expensive most of the time, but ice skate rentals are relatively cheap and easy to get. And you can always count on sleds, because who doesn’t own one? (If you don’t, I apologize, but I feel like this is definitely a thing) No matter what you prefer, any of these options are super fun to spend time doing with your friends/family!

ATTEND A CHRISTMAS PARADE/TREE LIGHTING

I’m also going to include getting a Christmas tree into this category, just cause! Plenty of towns have Christmas parades, tree lighting ceremonies, or wassailing/caroling nights during the month of December. It’s always such a great time celebrating the holiday season surrounded by your community!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already started doing some of these things because you’re THAT EXCITED for Christmas- I know I am!! Kudos to you if you have, and if not, GET GOING!!!!

XOXO

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My Netflix Suggestions

Now that I’m in the middle of my first semester at college, I’ve come to the point where I need to relax and get away from homework for a little while. Don’t we all? As students, we’re starting to look towards the future, and it looks pretty bright: the holidays are coming soon… But not soon enough!! How are we supposed to soothe our school-related anxiety right now?

NETFLIX. THAT’S HOW.

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In light of a recent argument with a friend because we couldn’t agree on something to watch on Netflix, I decided if she doesn’t like my suggestions, maybe my readers will. So, if Jenna’s reading this, thanks for the blog post idea! Although there are too many good shows I could recommend, here are a couple of my favorites for all of you…

CHELSEA

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Chelsea Handler struck gold with this one. She moved her talk show over to Netflix this year, and now has the freedom to make her show literally whatever she wants it to be. With new episodes three times a week, Chelsea talks politics, goes to Mexico to learn about their culture, and has filmed dinner parties with friends and celebrities alike. With little to no restraints, Chelsea truly shows us herself in her curse-heavy comedy, her dog, Chunk (who constantly roams the set), and her unashamed honesty when she doesn’t know something, but wants to learn about. I love being able to watch a show that teaches me about climate change, our nation’s political issues, or about Chris Pratt’s new film, all the while making me laugh out loud.

THE OFFICE

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How could I possibly forget the one show that defines my favorite kind of humor?  It’s true, the first two seasons are a bit rough, but if you’ve seen the whole series more than once (or twice) they become oddly close to your heart. Sappy, I know! This is a show that I can watch over and over again, or play as background sound, and still laugh every time. When a variety of comedic styles are put into one small office space, there’s a lot going on that no one wants to miss out on.  It’s the awkward silences, the strange looks to the camera, and the small insights on the character’s personalities that make The Office so normal, yet so special.

Side note: Parks and Recreation goes into this category as well. They aren’t the same thing, but their similarities are the reason why I love both so much. Really, I’m just trying to save you all from another rant about how much I love these two shows.

STRANGER THINGS

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This one is a very recent obsession, because I’m not a big fan of thrillers, and therefore chickened out of watching it when the show first came out. Now that I have, I can say it’s the 70’s-supernatural-thriller-drama I needed in my life!! There are definitely some super creepy/scary scenes with monsters and evil scientists, but it’s equally thrilling and puts you at the edge of your seat. Winona Ryder is truly amazing as the shaken mother of a missing child, and Eleven, the girl with superpowers, is a straight-up badass with a sketchy past-  all the more reason to be into this show. If you liked Spielberg’s Super 8, you’ll fall in love with Stranger Things. Also, can we talk about how cool the theme song is??

MASTER OF NONE

752b8f2c28f9e8d37e091ea34612f5f55884c626Created by Alan Yang and Parks and Rec alum Aziz Ansari (who is also the main character, Dev), Master of None is different from anything I’ve seen before. It’s comedy in an offbeat sort of way that viewers aren’t used to seeing on TV – possibly because it so closely mirrors that of real life. Between the issues of careers, gender, relationships, immigrants, and race are moments of awkwardness and unpredictability that make its messiness so familiar. The imperfection of the characters and the plots make everything more real and relatable, and even with deep thoughts and drama there is a comedic approach. Above all this, the show is VERY diverse: as Aziz explained on The Tonight Show, he decided to have a “token white friend” in his show, rather than the other way around (Fez in That 70’s Show, for example). But the difference between Master of None‘s token friend and other show’s token friends is that this character is well-rounded, and without most stereotypes we so often find with any race other than Caucasian. Needless to say, I can hardly wait for season 2 to come out in 2017!!!

NEW GIRL

giphy-1You can’t tell me the absurdities of this show don’t crack you up!!! I struggle with deciding which character is the funniest, because each of them have their own kind of humor, from Nick’s rambling sentences to Schmidt’s sarcasm and complaints. The plot idea – a quirky Portland girl moving into an apartment in LA with four guys- is pure genius. There isn’t much of a feeling of gender imbalance, and New Girl succeeds in bringing out the impacts Jess and the boys make on each other. Much of the focus in the episodes surrounds the idea that each party needs each other in some way, and makes the apartment-mates family. There are five seasons on Netflix, with season six currently showing on TV. GO WATCH!!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Friends, Wet Hot American Summer, How I Met Your Mother, Amanda Knox, Louie, That 70’s Show

Comment below if you have any suggestions for me to watch- I’m always up for a good binge-worthy show!!

XOXO