Christmas 2016

When I think of Christmas 2016, I will think of the hellish month that led up to it.  I will think of the deep undying sadness of those days and the way Joey and I dropped all usual holiday priorities for things and people that were much more important.

I will think of the way we spontaneously volunteered to cook Christmas lunch for 15+ people, never having hosted that many people or even cooking a turkey before.

I will think of the week leading up to Christmas.  Of the supportive and understanding conversation I had at the book swap I went to.  Of the dinner I shared with Lori, Adam, Chad and Joey.  Walking through the Renaissance Hotel all decked out in holiday glitz.  Of the show we all attended that was so so inappropriate but also so so funny and how good it felt to laugh that hard.

I will think of the way Joey and I slow danced to Amos Lee in our living room.  How I stood in the doorway between our hallway and kitchen later that night, surveying our little home and our Christmas tree all lit up and feeling so fortunate and happy.

I will think of Joey’s grandma telling me she liked the restaurant I picked for Christmas Eve breakfast and realizing how much that kind of approval means to me.

I will think of how much work and preparation went into that Christmas lunch.  How many things we crammed into Joey’s truck to make it all happen.  How Adam, Steve and KJ got out the crystal, ironed the tablecloths and napkins and set the tables.  How Joey cooked the turkey perfectly, mashed the potatoes like a pro and made gravy like he’d been doing it his entire life.  It could not have gone easier or smoother and I could not have done it without this amazing person that uncomplainingly commits 100% to anything I get us into.

I will think of Lori and how she does so many things that make the holidays what they are.  She takes us to shows and dinners and movies and showers us with gifts and attention.  I could not possibly dream up a more loving mother-in-law.  I am not worthy, but I am so grateful.

I will think of my own mother.  Of how, even at 27, she makes Christmas feel just as special as it did when I was a little kid.  It has taken me this long, but I finally realize how much she puts into these holidays and how she does it all for us.  She is a saint and I love her so much.

I will think of Christmas Eve with Joey’s family.  How hard we all laughed as a present wrapped ten times was passed around the table, each of us taking a turn trying to open it with oven mitts on our hands.  There is a steady and reliable positivity about this family that is joyous to be around.

I will think about sitting in my brother and sister-in-law’s living room, passing around old pictures of my family, laughing at hairstyles and fashions of the past then watching Trolls with my niece and nephew.  I may have been way too into that soundtrack.

I will think of the hedgehog-shaped mittens Sharon bought Kyla, Javaiah and I just before Thanksgiving and how I could feel her there with us, even if just in spirit.

Mostly, I will think of that amplified feeling of love that was all around.


December To Dos

Okay, okay, I’m eight days late, but I’ve been busy decorating every empty space of our house with Christmas stuff (this house WILL BE a winter wonderland), watching Fitz & the Tantrums “get down” at the Boulder Theater (best entrance ever!) and eating soup (maybe two pots full was too much…), so this December To Do list is just coming now.

As much as I rag on winter, December really is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the holiday season and all the coziness, glitz and family time that comes along with it.  And as a Type A routine-follower, I love the traditions that come with the holiday season.  This December, I’m definitely sticking to those traditions, but hoping to add in a few new things too 🙂

KBCO Studio C

Ah, the unofficial kick off to December!  Everything about this tradition (except the part where my mom claims it’s her last year to attend) makes my heart so happy.  They handed the CDs out at all 20 CO Whole Foods locations this year so we got fun samples while we waited in line, plus it was 36 degrees and I’ll totally take that over last year’s 0 degrees.  We stood in line behind a man who had all 25 (26 now!) CDs and used to get in line a 3 AM.  Wowza!

Get a new December look.

As in I’m having my hair cut and dyed today!  I want to give this whole long hair thing a chance, but we’re gonna need some layers or something because long hair is heavy!  And a new hair color is always a fun way to change things up.

Go to the Parade of Lights

We always plan on going to the parade but two years ago, we got stuck in traffic and missed it and last year we chickened out because it was freezing.  This year was pleasantly mild, and after getting to see the penguin balloon limbo under the traffic lights, Hannah, Josh, Joey and I walked ourselves to Machete where Joey proceeded to order a shark taco…

Go to a holiday show

I can always count on my mother-in-law for this one.  This year, she got us all tickets to Jersey Boys at the Buell and I cannot wait.  I love going to the theater and seeing everyone all dressed up in their holiday best, plus there’s dinner afterwards.  Yes!  Also, Joey has some sort of surprise show later in the month that I’m so so excited about.

Cookie Baking Sesh

Save for Jersey Boys, we have nothing planned next weekend, so I’m thinking a cookie baking day is in order.  My mom makes Cocoons every Christmas so I think I can blame thank her for the whole “It’s not Christmas without cookies” mentality I have.  I already told her I’d trade her half of whatever I make for half of her Cocoons.

Host Christmas Eve

Okay, I had really thought we’d do Thanksgiving at our house this year but after realizing that’d be a lot of people in a very small space, we stuck to the separate celebrations 😦  Christmas Eve however, should be a much smaller group, so it’s official, we’re hosting!  Joey doesn’t seem to want to obsess about the menu fifteen days out like I do though!

All the Christmas movies

We kicked off the Christmas movie season this weekend with some Christmas Vacation.  I’m usually not the biggest fan, but I felt like watching it for some reason.  Joey pulled Elf, The Holiday, Love Actually, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, The Santa Clause and Scrooged out of the basement so I think we’re set for the rest of the month.

Read A Christmas Carol

Okay, yeah, I’m probably weird for wanting to read things like Wuthering Heights (which I finished last night) and Charles Dickens, but I’ve never read A Christmas Carol and thought it’d make for a fun December read.

Donate the clothes and books I’ve cleaned out recently

Pretty self-explanatory.  Let’s not get into that part where I’ve had a bag full of books I had to buy for college in the trunk of my car… FOR THREE YEARS.  I just recently cleared a few off my book shelf so I should probably take all of those to the library to donate.

Start a Christmas morning tradition with Joey.

Last year was the first year in our history as a couple that we didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to be.  It was oddly relaxing.  Instead, we lounged in our pajamas, made waffles and watched a movie.  I’m thinking this could be a new tradition for us to carry on 🙂

I’ll refrain from adding things like “get new glasses” or “dust my shelves” because that’s probably boring, but I really should do those things too…



Christmas Light Happiness / Fitz & the Tantrums in Boulder / Major Waddles Limbo / Parade of Lights / Shark Taco / Studio C with Mom / Post-Studio C Sustenance / Mistletoe / Nog!