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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Lovin': 2013 Edition

People, it's two weeks until Christmas. I have bought exactly one gift, so in the name of blatant procrastination, I am gathering up my thoughts here and writing a little Christmas Lovin' post to get me in the mood.  Those of you who are all wrapped, all decorated, Christmas cards stamped and mailed, and sitting there with your hot chocolate watching It's a Wonderful Life today?  Well, I don't know what to say to you except maybe this:  Pride goeth before the fall, lady.

Oh, come on now. I kid.

But if you do fall you're gonna spill hot chocolate on your Christmas sweater, so be careful.

Now, Fake Daughter and I have got to pull it together and grab ourselves a $6 Peppermint Mocha and get to the mall soon.  This, by the way, is what she'll be wearing for our shopping date.

Here are some of my favorite things about the season, some of which Fake Daughter and I will be looking for on our date and that you might enjoy as well.  Or maybe you won't.  Or maybe you would like to enjoy some of these things but you jumped the gun and got everything done early this year.  And if that is the case, well, too bad, so sad, Eager Beaver Over Achiever.

Oh come on now.  I kid.

Here goes.  My favorite Christmas things of 2013:

Umm.  yes.  Before I become all commercialized-American greedy-esque, I must list Jesus.  When I read Luke 2:1-20 and really understand that God sent His Son to save the world - to save me - I feel very solemn and filled with gratitude and peace. At the same time, I also feel exactly like this:

 I love me some Jesus, y'all.

2.  A Fancy Party Dress
Now my hubby is one of those corporate fellas.  I mean most of the time he wears a Little League coach's shirt and a baseball cap, but he honestly does have a job in one of those high rise buildings and when he talks on the phone during conference calls he uses terms like contract proposal and cost analysis and all manner of other words that bore me to tears.  For me, the benefit here would be a fancy corporate Christmas party, right?  Wrong.  They don't often have anything fancy.  And truth be told, the last time there was to be a fancy dinner party downtown at a chic hotel, I decided to skip it in favor of an 8th grade basketball game.  I'm all talk, no dress up, frankly.  But if you happen to have a fancy Christmas Party, here are some great dresses.

The Joyeux Dress and the Maraschino Lace Dress from Anthropologie are both all sparkly and feminine and sweet.

And then there is the shimmery skirt/basic sweater combo idea.  Did you see THIS on Jimmy Fallon?  More importantly did you see Carrie Underwood's SKIRT?  And do you want that skirt so much it hurts?  Guess what?  It doesn't.  Because LOOK.  $68.00 at Nordstrom. 

Carrie Underwood:  You are my people. 

Unfortunately, I only see it in black at Nordstrom,  THIS one from JCrew is kinda, sorta, a little bit like the original Carrie skirt.

3.  Third Day Christmas CD
I have a confession to make.  I am not really that big of a fan of Christmas music on the radio.  Or should I say "holiday" music.  I like hymns at church, but Bing Crosby, chestnuts roasting on a open fire, silver bells?  No thanks.  So, in lieu of those boring traditional Christmas Carols, I listen to Christmas Offerings by Third Day pretty much all day.  It is absolutely not boring and gets you through the shopping and the traffic with your focus on joy and not on ohmygoshi'vegottopeesobadandthislightisbackedupformiles. The CD includes some different arrangements on some traditional hymns and also some original songs you might have never heard including my favorites:  Jesus, Light of the World and Born In Bethlehem

4.  Gift Idea for Guys:  FCA Magazine
Do you happen to have sports-obsessed boys?  I have no idea what that would be like.  But if you do, Share the Victory is a great magazine full of high school, college, and professional athletes and coaches sharing stories of how their relationship with God helps in their athletic endeavors.  Each magazine has a pull-out poster of the cover athlete and his or her favorite Bible verse. I first saw it when the one and only Texas Longhorn Legend, Colt McCoy, graced the cover.  This is a great option for the boys in your life if you are tired staring at the Dick's Sporting Goods website every Christmas.

5.  Gift Idea for Guys Over 21:
I hadn't heard of a growler until about a year ago.  You take it to a brewery or restaurant that brews its own beer and they fill it up for you.  This Portland Growler from Red Envelope is really cool for a guy who might like a beer or two.  And if he doesn't like beer I don't know why you can't just fill this thing up with Dr. Pepper.  It's a free country. 

6.  Gift Idea for Gals:  Pajamas, Pajamas, Pajamas
I think pajamas are the perfect gift because everybody wears them (let's hope).  There are no crazy trends with pajamas.  It's not hard to find a style for every gal on your list and size is not too difficult to figure.  Of course, you can go to Victoria's Secret, but who needs to take a blow to the self-esteem like that?  THESE are really fun from Anthropologie.  My mom swears by ALFANI pjs from Macy's.  And THESE from Gap are really cute and helpful if you are suddenly finding that in the middle of the night you feel like someone has turned the heat up to 120 degrees.  I have no idea what that would be like though.  Ahem.

7. More Gift Ideas for Gals: Scarves, Hats, Gloves
This also falls into the category of one size fits all and from what Al Roker has been telling me lately, it is pretty darn cold out there.  Yesterday Gap had a great collection of scarves and all of them were 40% off.  Many had cute coordinating gloves and hats to go with them.  I might have accidentally bought one for myself.

8.  Gift Ideas for Everyone:  Books
Look, I know everyone on the planet besides me has a Kindle, but, I love touching the pages of a book.  I love how a book smells and how the binding is new and sturdy when you get it, but turns all bendy and worn later.  I love how I try desperately to keep my eyes open to keep reading and then let the book plop down on the floor next to me when I fall asleep.  Get someone a book.  The list of my favorite books would be longer than I could ever post and we all know I am quite wordy.  Off the top of my head: Unbroken, Wonder, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lonesome Dove, The Kitchen House, The Outsiders, Angela's Ashes, The Help, Mrs. Kennedy, Blue Like Jazz, Same Kind of Different as Me, The Grapes of Wrath, The Middle Place, Beach Music,  Catcher in the Rye, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

9.  Gifts for Everyone including the Giver:  Charity Donations
Of course, there are so many deserving charities.  My personal fave at the moment is Kyle's Kamp, which I know that I have mentioned here about 6.123 times.  Here's mention 6,124.  If your child could do with one less Christmas gift this year, how about make a donation for a sick child?  You will be blessed by it.  I promise.

10.  Christmas Cooking
I bought this the other day when I saw it staring out at me in the grocery store check out line. 

I said to myself, "It says page 124 right there on the front next to that beautiful cake.  Page 124, AS IF someone who just moseys up to this magazine could buy it and turn to page 124 and make that cake any ol' time she wanted to.."  I spent seven whole dollars on that magazine.  And it sure does look pretty sitting on my counter next to the Chips Ahoy.  If anyone makes this cake, I'm going to need you to send me a photo.  And a piece of cake, too.

Since I'm not cooking and I have clearly lost my window to go to the mall, I will now go shopping online.  And you know that none of my Lovin' posts are complete without a link to JCrew.  You could honestly buy a gal just about anything at JCrew in my opinion.  The best thing about the website during the holidays is that they have real, honest-to-goodness style experts giving you gift ideas.  And that is how I found exactly who Fake Daughter and I will be when we grow up

13 days and counting, so I gotta go.  Merry Christmas, friends

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