christmas season

10 Christmas Gifts I Loved/Hated (As Told By Photos) (List-cember #5)

If you count today, there are officially 11 shopping days left until Christmas! Isn’t that crazy? Isn’t that disgusting? Isn’t that reason enough to start panicking?! Sharpen your pencils ladies and gents, because the answer is D: ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Yes, we are closing in on that day which—along with school picture day—we put away our pride and let a camera snap unflattering photos of us because we know it will make our parents happy. Is there a more awkward brand of picture than a gift opening picture? I think not. Is there a more honest picture than a gift opening picture taken early on Christmas morning? Again, I think NOT.

So, in the spirit of “can you just look at me and smile PLEASE,” let’s dive into a second edition of: Christmas Gifts I Loved/Hated (As Told By Photos)…hopefully by next year I’ll have a catchier title.

You can read last year’s here

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: Okay now THIS—THIS RIGHT HERE IS AN OUTFIT. Listen Mom and Dad, I know it’s Christmas morning and all, but I can’t just sit around in this outfit at home. I have to get out there and start a dance crew. I’m gonna call up that guy Vanilla Ice Cream and see if he wants to collab.

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What (Probably) Happened Here:

Dad: I’m going to take a picture of the tree.

Me: Did you want a picture of my bracelet?

Dad: In a minute.

Me: Here it is.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: I’m not ready to be a mother.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: Eat your heart out, Laura Ingalls. I’m about to sport the HECK out of this denim.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: HELP! HELP ME. SOS. FLARE GUN FLARE GUN FLARE GUN. THIS BABY IS A DEMON AND IT HAS TAKEN MY MIND HOSTAGE. CALL THE POLICE. THE FIRE MARSHALL. THE PARK RANGERS. EVERYONE.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: HEY, SLEEPYHEADS! I got myself out of bed. I dressed myself. I sat myself nicely on this wooden stool so you can photograph me. I even set the camera up on a tripod because this is my best angle. The LEAST you can do is get up so we can open some of these presents.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: What? Like you’ve never slept in a stocking to try and get a peak at the big man.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: Okay so the little hand counts minutes? No. Wait. The little hand counts hours. So if the little hand is pointing at 12, it’s 12 o’clock. Wait, but it seems like the big hand is also pointing at 12 when it’s 12 o’clock. So does the big hand count hours? I’m screwed.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: This is a cool bike. I can totally ride this bike, right? This is a great gift. An amazing gift. A gift for the ages. And I’m excited, right? I’m totally excited.

What My Sister is (Probably) Thinking Here: She’s scared sh*tless of that thing.

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What I’m (Probably) Thinking Here: I’m super stoked about this jump rope I just got, but to be honest, I’m still raving about these sick pajamas I got for my birthday. Why is no one talking about The Lion King II? I thought it was a high quality film. And don’t even get me started on the music, I mean “One of Us?” “He Lives in You?” Talk about chills. But yeah, this jump rope is also pretty cool.

Top 10 Christmas Seasonal Products (List-cember #2)

Oftentimes it’s the greatest things that are stamped with two of the worst words in the English language: Limited Edition. And with the Christmas season now completely infiltrating department stores, TV Channels and radio stations, leaving few seconds of the day without a twinkle, a jingle, or a ho ho ho, it’s important for us to take advantage of the LE benefits associated with this otherwise intimidating time of year.

So in the hopes of preventing you from missing out on some of the best things this season has to offer, here is a list of the top 10 Christmas Seasonal Products.

Enjoy them while you can, as often as you can!

10) Snow Globes512161ce-c381-4636-b976-cfedeabb9eb7

One could argue that these are not actually seasonal because they are sold year round, but those spring/summer/fall knockoffs almost always contain glitter rather than snow, and they are not and will never be called “glitter globes”, so let’s just agree to agree because there’s no disagreeing with that fact. Speaking of facts, my sister buys a snow globe from Target each year and they’re adorable.

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9) Winter Oreos
I love these because they give me (what I consider to be) a valid excuse* to buy Oreos.

“Oh look! They’re Christmassy! Must have.”

*Note: I use varying versions of this excuse whenever Nabisco releases a new flavor, changes their packaging, and/or Target moves them over one aisle.

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8) Starbucks Red Cups2jukhstm-2500-1667

I’m not a coffee drinker, and if I’m being really honest, my favorite product from Starbucks is their old fashioned donuts, but this doesn’t negate the fact that I love their seasonal cups. They always find a way to summon me through the double doors for a hot chocolate. Speaking of which…

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7) Hot Chocolate

I get it, this is another “glitter globe” situation, but let’s not waste time arguing. Let’s just agree to agree to believe that hot chocolate tastes best when the world is cloaked in tinsel and reindeer, when your breath is fogging up the air and you’re standing there trying to look wintery and adorable when in reality your hands are numb and your forehead is itchy as hell from the trendy beanie you’re wearing, and when you pile a warm mug high with marshmallows before sitting down to watch Frosty the Snowman with your family, only to immediately burn your tongue, causing the rest of the Christmas season to be essentially flavorless, but also great and magical and the stuff dreams are made of.

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6) Fiber One Pumpkin Bars

Have you ever wanted to participate in the pumpkin spice phenomenon of fall/winter but don’t want to do so in an intense way (i.e. lattes and cookies and cereal and candles and underwear—probably) and are looking for your “dip toe in pool” opportunity? This is it.

WARNING: These contain addictive properties, thus causing the healthy and balanced 90-calorie promise to be void once you’ve had 5 in 5 minutes…

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5) Christmas Albums

Much to the chagrin of Apple iTunes and music providers everywhere (because I know they work endless hours every year solely to earn my $8.99) I don’t often buy new Christmas albums. Ever since I was little my family has had about 6 CDs we’ve turned to for our Christmas music, and so I usually just stick to those. However, I can’t deny that I love seeing all the Christmassy album artwork popping around come December. This year some of my favorites feature Brett Eldredge tossing a shimmery ball to himself, Kacey Musgraves wearing earmuffs, and Pentatonix dressed as the only group of carolers I ever hope come a’ knockin’ at my door.

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4) Christmas Themed TV Episodes

I briefly thought about doing an individual post about “the best Christmas episodes ever,” but after doing some brief research, I found lists far more entertaining and comprehensive than mine would have been, so I’m going to let those writer’s keep doing what they’re doing. That being said, here are just my top 3:

4c) New Girl – The 23rdtumblr_lw71xajcmt1qgjybho2_250

The end of this episode just makes me so happy. The friendship, the lights, the undeniable Christmas spirit of strangers who had every right to be upset that Jess & co. showed up on their street in the middle of the night, screaming for them to turn their Christmas lights back on, it’s all magic.

4b) Friends – The One with the Routine
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Need I say more?

4a) Saturday Night Live – Jimmy Fallonjimmy-fallonI have always been a big fan of everything Jimmy Fallon does, so I was over the moon excited when I heard he was coming back to host the Christmas episode of SNL in 2011. Naturally, he exceeded all my expectations and gave me all the joy.

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3) Love Actuallylove-actually

I know, I KNOW. Glitter globes. I get it. Yes, you could watch Love Actually every day of the damn year if you wanted to, but it’s just not. the. same. They make so many “but it’s Christmas!” references throughout the film, causing you to always walk away with some “but it’s Christmas!” plan for you own life, thus making any other viewing period sub-par than Christmas time.

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2) Christmas Cookieschristmas-cookies

My family has an entire day in December (which not-so coincidentally is this Saturday) dedicated to baking family cookie recipes, making me an expert on this subject, and qualifying me to make the following statement: Christmas cookies rule all and you can never eat too many*.

*Yes you can, and in doing so you will almost certainly wake up at 2 a.m. and spend a solid hour kneeling on the bathroom floor in your snowflake pajamas regretting everything, while simultaneously looking forward to doing it all again next year.

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1) Ritz Snowflakes

To be honest, these are the entire reason I wrote this list. I could have easily just called it “The One and Only Christmas Seasonal Product You Will Ever Need, Ever”, then pasted a picture of these and went on my merry (Christmas) way. But then I decided that they’re not really the only thing you will ever need, ever, they’re just the only product I’d run up and down the aisles at the grocery store searching for after the first of December. So, I just made them number one and worked my way down, ultimately resulting in The Greatest List of Christmas Seasonal Products You Will Ever Read, Ever (if I do say so myself.)

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Have any Christmas season staples you turn to come December?

Let me know!

Miss a List-cember post? Find them all here.