Christmas time always reminds me of my childhood, as I’m sure it does for most people. I loved the house smelling like cinnamon and pine, I loved wishing for snow (and usually never getting it in Dallas), and having lots of time off to spend time with family.
It’s much harder to have as much free time in the winter as I did as a kid. There’s also a whole lot more than I ever realized to do. When you’re a kid you might set out to decorate the tree, make gingerbread houses, and watch the stop motion holiday classics. Now as an adult, my priorities and traditions are much different.
I love ice skating in general, but something about doing it around a 40 foot tree makes it all the more magical. Living in Dallas, it’s hard to find “winter” to celebrate the holiday. But going ice skating at the Galleria is pretty close. It’s cold, it’s festive, and usually for beginners or experts.
That’s why it’s one of my favorite activities to invite a bunch of friends to! This year I went with two coworkers I’ve grown very close to over the year – Jenna and Gian. We usually have a coffee shop night together, so getting out and working our muscles instead of our brains was really great.
Jingle Ball Concert
Ah, my one accidental (and amazingly lucky) tradition for Christmas! Three years ago when I was a bartender, I was checking out local cheap things to do in December when I learned about the KissFM Jingle Ball concert. It was the following night, tickets were dirt cheap at twenty-five bucks each with a pretty good lineup, and me and my friend Sarah had the night off. Fourteen hours before it started, I grabbed two tickets.
Obviously, we had a blast! Since then the lineup has gotten more and more insane, the venue upgraded, and thanks to Sarah’s insane luck she’s won tickets every year since! It’s our night to wear Christmas-themed dresses, put lights in our hair, and remind myself how much liquor we can handle. Once we’re cute and toasted, we sing the night away.
Tea for Two
My mom had been talking about some fancy mother daughter tea for months. When I say months, I’m not exaggerating. She kept reminding me of our reservations and making sure I had it in my calendar so I didn’t leave town. Then the week of arrived and she asked if I would be wearing a dress. I said, “If you want me to… I have a red velvet one I can wear that’s Christmas-y.” Next thing I know she’s showing up in a red velvet pantsuit and we’re on our way to a Historic Dallas mansion (the Alexander) to have festive holiday tea.
Everything was so adorable! The tea was a special lavender earl grey with cinnamon, which tasted like Christmas. There were little snacks perfect for having a fancy tea. It was all really tasty. Afterward, we all went upstairs to check out some holiday-themed boutiques. It was such a cute mother daughter day to celebrate the season.
Two quick things about me: I love ballet and I love Tchaikovsky. It only makes sense that The Nutcracker is an obvious way to celebrate the holiday season. This year I decided we would do something a little different and not go to the local production. I got my family tickets to the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth to see the Texas Ballet Theater’s version.
It was really great! The dancers seemed more specialized to the specific characters and the scenery was really well done. They also used wires for flying objects and dancers which made it pretty magical since we were up on the Mezzanine level. My brother’s fiancé had never been to a ballet either, so it was really great showing my love for The Nutcracker to someone new to it all.
It’s a Wonderful Life
I really love this movie. I love it so much I force my entire family to watch it Christmas Eve night. It is the one tradition I force on my family and I have zero shame about. This movie, besides having the great Jimmy Stewart starring in it, is everything I love about trying to life a fulfilled life. And mainly how it’s the connections you make and the people you love (and those who love you) that make life worth it.
All this to say, I hope everyone has a great holiday. Spend it with loved ones, spend it trying new things, and spend it enjoying your passions. Bring a bottle of booze to your closest friends, bundle up to keep enjoying the outdoors, try and keep your patience with those trying family members, and allow yourself a little relaxation.