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The Best Things About Christmas

December 21, 2008

1. Sugar

I realize that Halloween, Easter, or even Valentine’s Day could rival Christmas as holidays built around the mass consumption of sugar. But, whereas those other days mainly focus on processed candy like Peeps or boxes of See’s candy, Christmas, at least in my house(s) involves copious amounts of baking as well as processed candy (Mint M&M’s…I may have had a bag or 2 already).  So far, and keep in mind I haven’t even baked anything yet, and I usually go crazy baking, we have made: sugar cookies (x2), Napoleon’s Hats, Cherry Pistachio Biscotti, Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, brownies, and some kind of rum flavored coffee cake thing. I made a last minute stop at Trader Joe’s before I left L.A. and picked up Peppermint Joe Joe’s, Dark Chocolate covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s, Mexican Hot Cocoa Cookies, Gingeroos, Baklava, and Candy Coated Sunflower Drops. (Note: Those were all “gifts”. I did not consume them all myself.) And my Mom spoke of making Aunt Betty’s toffee recipe. Cue faraway glazed look and drooling.

2. Movies, Movies, Movies

Confession: I haven’t watched Rudolph or Frosty or even a Charlie Brown Christmas this year, or in any recent years past. I just never remember when they’re on, and when they are on, it seems I always have something better to do. To be honest, claymation sort of freaks me out. What I mean is, all the good movies are out at the theaters right now.  I’m not sure what the current trend is regarding opening movies on Christmas Day, but it seems all the Oscar contenders want to wait as late as possible to open.  My list of must-sees, so far: Slumdog Millionaire, Seven Pounds, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Australia, Doubt, Gran Torino, Synecdoche, NY, Revolutionary Road, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Changeling (may have missed the boat on that one), Rachel Getting Married, The Reader.

movie-colllage

3. Snow!

005It boggles my mind that there are people who have never seen snow. I met several of them in Arizona. I’m sure they’re lurking in Southern California as well. As much as icy roads and frostbite are pains in the ass, it just doesn’t feel like the holidays without the cold and snow. Palmtrees and cacti just don’t really do it for me, even when people try to trick themselves by putting little lights on them. We rarely have a White Christmas here in Denver, which I think surprises most people I meet not from Colorado. I think they assume we live in snowcaves and ski to work. But, when it does snow, it usually melts after a day or two, and then it’s sunny and fairly warm again. This didn’t really stop me from buying an awesome new down coat from Eddie Bauer that I will most likely only wear for three weeks of the year.

4. Hot Beverages

I don’t drink coffee, so all I’ve got is tea and hot chocolate. Oh and hot caramel apple cider. Especially from Starbucks,  in a red cup.

5. Presents!

I sent my parents my Amazon wish list, and my Mom bought me some stuff and sent it to my place in LA, so I wouldn’t have to carry them (books) on the plane. Other than that I didn’t really ask for anything, so it’s going to be a tossup. I think people find it harder to shop for me now that I’m older and as a result, I often end up with things like vases or figurines or candles. But thinking back to the days when Christmas was really exciting, like can’t fall asleep at night exciting, I have to say my favorite present of all time was my Easy-Bake Oven. Or maybe my Cabbage Patch doll.  I was hoping to find photographic evidence of any of these somewhere, but all I could find to offer up is a picture from the kindergarten Christmas show. Me and my father, in maybe the biggest glasses ever worn by anybody:

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