It is no secret that from mid-November until mid-January is my favorite time of year. I love the chilly weather, snow, twinkling lights and general feeling of the holidays. It is a time of reflection, gathering and appreciation. There is always fantastic food, great times with friends and of course, shopping for gifts. Some let the pressure stress them out, but I couldn't be happier during this time and truly enjoy each and every moment of it.
our smaller upstairs tree!
There are so many holiday activities to get you in the spirit - shopping for gifts and wrapping them with Christmas music playing, having a hot chocolate bar and gingerbread house decorating party, baking, movie watching and of course, driving around to look at all the neighborhood lights! One thing I love that kicks off the season is watching the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center, too! This year we were in New York the week of so it was extra special. Secret santas, white elephant exchanges and company/family gatherings are sure to put you in the spirit as well.
Let's not forget two of the most important elements, holiday cocktails and having an embarrassingly great time dressing up your pets! :)
Vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice & sprite with rosemary and cranberries for garnish.
My pup looking dashing
During the holidays (and all the time) my go to snack is a Charcuterie Board. They are so simple, delicious and are perfect for a solo snack or when guests are over! The more Italian meats and cheeses the better.
Other savory favorites are Italian Wedding Soup, Pumpernickel Spinach Dip
Ranch Oyster Crackers and Homemade Chex Mix.
There are classic Italian recipes I stick to annually but also some new ones I have added into the mix over the years. Italian Lemon Knots & Pizzelles are the classics and gingerbread & sugar cookies are perfect for decorating parties! I also love peppermint bark, white trash mix and chocolate covered pretzels. There are TONS of recipes on Pinterest for all of these things!
chocolate covered pretzels
Nothing screams holiday spirit like snuggling up with the tree lights on, candles flickering and some hot chocolate/tea to watch a christmas movie! My all-time favorites are:
Elf, Home Alone & Home Alone 2, Jingle All the Way, The Santa Clause
The Polar Express (specifically on Christmas Eve!), The Nightmare Before Christmas, A Christmas Story (I watch this on loop on Christmas Day only!), The Holiday, Christmas Vacation, The Grinch and It's a Wonderful Life.
There are plenty others, The Family Stone, Four Christmases, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th St., Eloise at Christmastime etc., but the list above are the ones I absolutely positively have to watch every Christmas season no matter how many times I've seen them!
I hope you're all having a festive and fun holiday season and that the new year brings you good luck and happiness.