Ways to relive your childhood for Christmas

If there’s one thing I wish I could do, it is rant to a kid about how lucky they have it around Christmas time. They are off from school, they don’t have to worry about getting gifts, and also they have all the time to watch as many Christmas movies as they want multiple times. The saddest thing is that I have a short time frame to spend with my sister over Christmas. I’m furious that I have yet to watch The Santa Clause, which I watched all year round at my grandma’s house and I could care less about the sequels. While I sound like the Grinch, I have found a few ways to liven up Christmas. However, I found a few ways to make Christmas feel more child-like especially for a 90s kid.

Find a Christmas sweater with a pop culture reference – I speak fluent movie quotes. When November 1 arrives, you will see me wearing my Elf “Does Somebody need a hug?” sweatshirt that I got from Etsy. Now, I will wear this like crazy until Christmas. Yes, I am aware that this is way too big. It could not be returned because it was a holiday item. While trying to find the link, I saw that it was gone, but right now, I am trying not to buy the “All I want for Christmas is Steve Harrington” Stranger Things Sweater. Then again, I might own this sweater soon because I love Stranger Things and it has Steve with his bat.

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Moon Glowtion Now I don’t know if you remember the Art Stuff line from Bath and Body works, but it was awesome. It was lotions that left a blue, pink, or green tint on your skin, it had an overwhelming fruit scent, and it was full of glitter. One year Art Stuff released a holiday collection called Twinkle, Twinkle, which the scent was light. My sister and I got mad when we used each other’s lotion or roll on body glitter of Twinkle, Twinkle. I am 98% sure this is the formula. Who is to say that with 2000s trends slightly creeping into fashion we will see body glitter all over at the club and on the red carpet, but right now I am in obsessed with this lotion. However, I just get pure joy where I think of my sister and I playing with our Caboodles makeup cases around 4th grade.

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Buy Something Peanuts-related- Step one: go into a Hallmark Store or “Google Peanuts Holiday Items,” then step two: let your heart be your guide, and step three: make a purchase. This is the cartoon that never ages. So I had been wanting a nativity scene, but I ran across several factors. They are usually fairly large and also they can be pricey. So while attending ICE! by Charlie Brown, I found this Peanuts Nativity Scene by Kurt Adler in the gift shop, but I bought this on Amazon. It’s precious and plus the star lights above the baby Jesus played by Woodstock. However, I get such joy looking at it. Yes, they have the small tree and I had wished I had gotten it before I had found my tree at Nordstrom Rack. However, I’m glad I found the nativity set.

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Get a Great Christmas Picture- Okay so I’m a triplet and we had an annual tradition of Christmas Photos. Either before or after church my mom had us take photos on the stairs with a roll of film. We were outfitted in clothes probably from Storybook or Talbots. There were obviously some bad ones too, but it’s good looking back at the memory. However, aside from the dresses that have to be ironed, you need a good picture of yourself in a festive manner. Luckily my apartment had an awesome professional photographer take pictures of residents. My friend Elizabeth and I snapped a great one in front of the Nashville Christmas Tree Lighting. It’s a good thing to look back on each Christmas. Yes, Elizabeth was with me before in the sweaters.

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Break down and buy that Christmas Movie- I will not lie that I’m furious about the fact that I have Amazon Video, Hulu, Netflix and HBO GO, but none of them offer good holiday movies. If you are like me, then you probably hate Hallmark Movies. I know we have tons of choices when it comes to watching shows on demand, but around Christmas time let me tell you we are just as bad as our parents hoping we get to see Frosty or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer once a year on CBS. Now I have watched the Grinch, but I could not see Home Alone so I just bought it. The older you become Kevin is more of a child and you see the awesome abilities behind John Hughes. I even enjoyed the behind the scenes features were on iTunes Extra. Now I don’t have a tv, so I bought it on iTunes. Now I bought Hocus Pocus 4 years ago on iTunes because I could not watch it in college and I have watched it every year. Just a heads up for next and if you do have a DVD player, Target has great sales on Christmas movies for Black Friday and the following Saturday.

Attend a Christmas Event- Luckily I live in Nashville and I would highly recommend Charlie Brown by ICE! at the Gaylord Opryland. Trust me you will be happy once you enter the room of life-size sculptures. Just try to keep your phone warm in a glove because it will die like mine did due to the cold. Also, there’s a Charlie Brown dinner theatre at the winery at the Fontanel. I enjoyed attending the Nashville Christmas Parade earlier this month. It truly felt like “It’s A Wonderful Life” when Santa came through the parade.

Just roam and look at Christmas lights – Yes, I know this sounds cliche, but if you live in Nashville just gather some friends and just walk around Opryland with drinks. I have had friends that haven’t been to Opryland to see the lights, but it is something to see. I’m not going to lie, I snubbed my nose to the idea of a touristy place, but it is amazing. Plus, the plants around the Gaylord Opryland Hotel are beautiful. So maybe wherever you are, just go with a best friend and walk around parks and hotels where there are Christmas decorations. I wish I could walk around and admire the Christmas decorations of the Palace Hotel, Westfield San Francisco Centre, and Union Square in San Francisco. My family went to San Francisco four years ago around Christmas time and I remember the beauty of the lights.

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There can be joys about the holiday season. I was glad when I saw the Gap commercial with Janelle Monae. I wore striped rainbow colored sweaters all the time as a kid like in the commercial. Plus, it reminded me of the Gap commercials of the boys and girls singing and dancing to covers. It’s up to you to make Christmas lively. I had to take a picture in front of The Diner in Nashville because my grandpa made a tree out of lights like how it is on the building on the side of his house. Who knows I actually might adopt a habit of watching The Santa Clause in July so I can say I saw that Christmas movie this year. In the meantime, if you want me to tell your kids how lucky they are with their time in Christmas or life in general, let me know so I can rant. However, I mean it out of pure love.

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Never strive for a picturesque holiday

This year  I have been caught up in so many things on my to-list. I have played Christmas music to get more in the spirit. I must say the new Hanson Christmas album is on point (no shame). As a Mississippi State Bulldog, I committed a sin. It was not until Monday, November 20, that I remembered the biggest game of the year, The Egg Bowl, is this week. I’m typing this while watching the Friends Thanksgiving episodes trying to think of anything else that should be on my list.

Yes, I believe in merging Thanksgiving and Christmas. It helps one realize that they are truly blessed beginning on November 1. Plus, it helps thankfulness roll over into Christmas. There is no such thing as premature Christmas decorating.

 

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I probably could have found a bad picture from a photo shoots for our annual Christmas Cards when we were really showing out. So here is one of my siblings as grown adults.

My main goal for the holidays has just been to be in a happy spirit to make this world better. I wish making good food was part of the main goal, but it is a time where everyone needs love. Over the past few weeks, I have been longing just for the presence of my family being together under the same roof. My sister has been sending me texts throughout the day of certain recipes to try, so I basically leave planning a few things up to her.

 

During college, I loved a Tommy Hilfiger commercial to Vampire Weekend’s Holiday. They looked so chic where you wanted to dress up. Plus, I love wearing blazers. Both of my grandparents are far from hosting a holiday event that is formal. Yes, I agree that while I enjoy a dinner that has a beautiful place setting, perfectly wrapped presents under a tree, and sweets. However, that is not what one should strive for. It is embarrassing how much food I pile on my plate at my grandma’s house, but I am just excited to see my grandparents. This year I strangely did not think about the delicious food on the table. Distance makes things harder, but I’m just glad to see everyone. Trust me it has been a long two months since I have seen them.

A year ago, I wrote a blog about the holidays being sad, but the truth is I found out I was not alone. Ironically, a year later Bad Moms Christmas was released, which was freaking hilarious. Everyone in America has gone through at least one dramatic part of the movie. So it is naturally fine to have anger around the holidays with a little road rage, stress, and anxiety that the cookies might not turn out well. Anger will happen along the way, but it is okay. We all strive for the perfect Norman Rockwell style holiday, but it eventually turns out like the Griswald’s in Christmas Vacation.

For the meantime, I am just going to tell myself that it will all fall into place with extra things added to my list. It’s just good to have everyone together and that feels like a major luxury. During the season of Thanksgiving, I found two events that I will volunteer for around the Nashville area. I’m just so thankful that during church, I realized that I needed to do something. Not long after, those opportunities, which will happen in 2018, approached me. Well, I am welcoming those opportunities. The fact that is Thanksgiving time hasn’t truly hit me, but that is okay with me because I am not concerned about things being perfect.

Em’s Favorite Things

Okay, so this is a knock-off of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” However, I have gotten gifts where I’m like I didn’t even know I needed that. At Christmas time, you might be a little bit clueless as to what you want on your Christmas List. If you are a guy, I can guarantee that your mother, sister or significant other might like one of these gifts.

Simple Human Sensor Light– This is the best thing for my morning routine. Makeup bloggers rave over their light mirrors, but the reason why I like the sensor mirror is that I do not have to deal with touching a button or a cord after handling my make up. It takes about 4 hours to charge and it lasts about two weeks to a month depending on your daily use. Ladies, you will have no problem tweezing your eyebrows with the magnification. The strangest use that this helped me with was video presentations in grad school. I would place it on two textbooks behind my MacBook then I would place a post-it over the sensor. I saw a commercial where YouTube blogger had a behind-the-scenes shot with a halo light and I thought, “Okay I bet this mirror could help the webcam quality.” Needless to say, it improved the video quality and it helped my eyes pop.

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Sunbeam Velour Electric Blanket– After my family went to Hawaii for Christmas, I thought I had everything. However, my mother still had one present under the tree after we arrived back home, this electric blanket. The rest of the Christmas break involved me watching 30 Rock with this blanket. She got me the velour texture, which is amazing. I have had it for the past 4 years and it works great. I will set the temperature all the way up about an hour before bed, then I will unplug it to prevent me from sweating throughout the night or throwing off the covers. This helps me fall asleep. This is perfect for when it starts to get cold and snow days. WARNING: it does cause excessive Netflix and chilling. Maybe not chilling since it makes you warm.

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler. Oh, how I love this thing. If grilled cheeses are your favorite then you need this. Plus, this is a game changer for Taco Tuesday. The secret to happiness in life is throwing a taco in the panini maker (yes I did this on taco day at the Delta Gamma House). However, you will never want to go to Taco Bell for a quesadilla after owning one of these things. This thing comes with options for either grilling meats or a panini press. Plus, you can grill meats on this thing. Also, the plates are removable where they can go in the dishwasher. That includes the waffle iron plates, which waffle irons are the hardest things to clean so consider that a bonus.

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Free People Thermals– Each year, I love seeing what new colors or styles they release. However, I swear these things wash so well. The first one, I got seven years ago in college because of a cold front going through Mississippi. Well, I still have that thermal in my closet along with others to my collection.

Five Daughter’s Bakery– Instead of a birthday cake, I gave my mom a box of donuts for her birthday although these are more like a cake than a donut. If time allows, I am going to bring a box home to my family for the holidays. Reese Witherspoon has posted pictures of this place on her IG feed, so I blame her for this addiction. Trust me you will want to try all of the flavors, but you can probably eat around one and a half of these donuts. (Oprah does include one food item on her list.)

Rusk Straightener– I had to retire one this year…, but it made it to 7 years. It is great and I curl my hair with it to give me waves or straight hair. Plus it is sturdy. It handles the craziness of traveling. If you are lucky, you can occasionally find this model at TJ Maxx.

Frye Paige Tall Riding Boots– I will never forget six years ago when I got my first pair. In fact, I still have it. These boots could survive anything. Yes, I have had to use the condition and polish to the shoes, but these look new. Plus, I love how they can make any outfit feel structured. These go well with the next item.

Cole Haan Signature Asymmetrical Walker Coat– If there’s one thing I love, it is a classic coat that puts together an outfit. Ladies, I found this at the Brentwood Nordstrom Rack where the price was lower than what is listed at Macy’s. So you might want to go there first. I’m cold most of the time, so in the winter I feel as though the coats are apart of my outfit. This is why I love coats so much. I feel chic walking around in this coat while staying warm. Even though the color is bordeaux, I would like to call it maroon. The only problem is that I seriously wish I had this coat in undergraduate at Mississippi State for cheering on my dawgs at football games. I know it’s obvious I miss my alma mater, but if you do choose a color for a peacoat, make sure it is something that goes with your wardrobe.

Skinny Hangers– Okay this sounds goofy, but I mean this is an investment for space and your wardrobe. Once again, I’m the silly person who stocks up on make-up as a Christmas present. However, I am giving you the gift of additional closet space this Christmas along with no punctured shoulders due to plastic hangers.

Kendra Scott Phara Necklace– This was my Christmas present last year. I got it after realizing I usually grab the same 3 necklaces all the time, but I needed a change. What I like most about the Phara is that it is so versatile. You can make it into a choker or you can simply tie it. It can be changed easily. My favorite way to wear it is wrapping it around my neck like a choker, and then tieing it midway loosely where it is not in a knot. Go ahead scroll throw my IG feed and make fun of me for how many times I wore this thing in 2017. I’m still going to wear it in 2018.

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If you were clueless, I hope that I helped you. Most of these are gifts that I have received in the past.