The holiday season is in full swing, and as if I needed another reminder of it, today was the FOURTH White Elephant I’ve participated in this month. Over-commit much? I’m rocking my special sweater, tree earrings and festive fur so you better believe I’m trying to ward off my usual Grinch-y tendencies and embrace the season wholeheartedly.
- SF Ballet’s Nutcracker: Thanks to a monster group discount and the Junior League of San Francisco, I’ll be enjoying tonight’s performance of this winter classic for a nominal fee. Sugar plum fairies and pirouettes await to fulfill all my wildest prima ballerina dreams. I have no doubt my intro to the SF Ballet will be a memorable one.
- Suppenküche: A dear friend hosts an awesome annual dinner at this SF staple during Hanukkah, and this year’s celebration was no exception. From dreidel spin-offs to giant potato pancakes and banana beer, it’s a tradition I remember fondly every year. Who knows? Maybe one year I’ll even break tradition and go twice.
- The Exploratorium: Despite living in SF for 4+ years, I hadn’t yet ventured into this museum of curiosity, adventure and education. My department holiday party was here last weekend, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the activities at every turn. The food and photo booths helped, too, but I’d happily revisit on a “normal” day.
- “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey: Duhhhh. I can’t help myself and refuse to apologize for it. Between last week’s viewing of “Love Actually” and Carey’s always entertaining holiday antics, this is about the only seasonal tune I can listen to more than once a day. Don’t @ me, you knew it was coming at some point.
I’m not one of those people who can listen to Christmas music for weeks on end. Hi, have we met? My ears can only take so much fa-la-la before they fall off. The music (and movies) I do enjoy, though, are a mix of classic and contemporary:
Christmas Playlist – Some highlights from my 20-song Spotify list, which you can download here:
- “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey: Not a single person who saw “Love Actually” didn’t love the little girl’s rendition of this hit made famous by MC.
- “Auld Lang Syne” – Mairi Campbell: I first heard it during “Sex & The City,” but it remains a favorite during the winter season.
- “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee: If you grew up during the “Home Alone” era, then you have to include this in your mix.
- “This Christmas” – Chris Brown: He made this single before he hit RiRi, so I don’t feel as guilty (as I probably should) for loving it.
I’m really looking forward to the seasonal songs our church choir performs at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, but until then, this mix should do.
Christmas Movie Marathon – Because nothing says “Christmas” like explosions and an elf on a sugar high.
- “A Christmas Story” – You’ll shoot your eye out.
- “Christmas Vacation” – The Griswolds are the perfect example of what not to do.
- “Die Hard” – Yippee kay yay, mother …
- “Elf” – Elves’ four main food groups: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns and Syrup.
- “Home Alone” – No explanation required.
- “Just Friends” – Ryan Reynolds had nothing to do with this decision.
- “Love Actually” – The perfect holiday movie to restore your faith in the world.
- “The Grinch” (the OG cartoon) – It wouldn’t be Christmas without the green one.
- “The Grinch” (remake with Jim Carrey) – Ron Howard’s directing genius continues.
Which movies and music get you into the holiday mood? Share your favorites to keep my spirits merry and bright!