Just Life

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Because it is the eve of one so glorious holiday, I feel I must spread the joy. Not in the form of scrapbook pages, mind you, but rather in the form of a list. That’s right. I usually am not one to make a list—for one, I find that they really don’t help (those of the to-do variety) and I’m also just really bad at ordering things. Just look at today: I planned out my whole afternoon, from eating a light lunch to getting ready to preparing a cookie tray to doing this. I figured I would be finished with this (this list, that is) by 4:15. Unfortunately, I didn’t factor in The OC airing on SoapNet or my reading the paper, or any other number of things. And so here I am at 5:08 and counting, having just started this list.

Still, I’m here and I’m ready. My top ten favorite things about Christmas (in order this time!):

10. Putting up a Christmas tree. Ours has been up for a little over a month (!), and at first I was a little skeptical about having a real tree, but it really looks so much better than a fake tree. Much more… real? I also enjoy putting up ornaments, but unfortunately I think this is something that I’m not too good at. In fact, I think it’s just easier if I hand ornaments to those who have the “skill,” because I really don’t think anyone has the guts to tell me that you have to put these ornaments here and those ornaments there. Still, I do have the guts to say that there is no possible way that I will let my mother put up a pink tinsel tree a la Giada DeLaurentis. No way.
9. Christmas movies. White Christmas. Miracle on 34th Street (new, not old). Home Alone. Christmas Vacation. Charlie Brown Christmas. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Christmas movies also includes the movies that everyone inevitable receives and the subsequent watching of them later Christmas day.
8. A break from school. And I mean a real break. Meaning no homework, no books to read, nothing. If there’s one good thing about finals it’s that they signify the end of the semester and, therefore, schoolwork.
7. All the yummy food. Oh gosh, it’s no Thanksgiving feast, but it does come pretty close. Plus, it’s only one time a year when we get to have gingerbread waffles. And lox on bagels. At the same time.
6. Holiday music. I’m not such a big fan of the big classics by the likes of Bing, Dean, Frank, Billie, Kenny, etc. I appreciate them, but I tend to go for the covers. I totally love everything that Sufjan Stevens does with his holiday albums, plus a few others: “Maybe This Christmas” by Ron Sexsmith is my favorite Christmas song and you of course have to honor the genius of “Last Christmas.” Nothing like a little WHAM! to cheer you up for the holiday season.
5. Getting presents. Because who doesn’t like to get stuff.
4. Giving presents. There’s something that I just love about giving something to someone and having them really, really enjoy it. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s true. Bring on the cheese!
3. Being with the fam.
2. Christmas cookies. This does not qualify as “all the yummy food.” That’s right, Christmas cookies get a category and listing all their own. I was especially pumped about my chocolate truffles this year (rolled in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and crushed candy canes—yum!), but I also love the old standbys: toffee squares (no toffee, just chocolate and nuts, which is definitely a winning combination), biscotti (I like to put them in the microwave so they get a little soft), cranberry oatmeal (better than the traditional raisin variety), peppermint bark (I tend to go for the ones that are loaded with the white chocolate), and various others that we get from all over the place. On my radar this year: sugar cookies the size of my fist that look soft and crumbly and loaded with some chocolate concoction.
1. Chrismukkah. This really should be a Chrismukkah list, because there are no bounds to the greatness of this amazing holiday. It really could have its own top ten list. But really, what can I say about it. Let Seth Cohen explain:

“I created the greatest super-holiday known to mankind, drawing on the best that Christianity and Judaism have to offer…. Allow me to elaborate….You see, for my father here, a poor struggling Jew growing up in the Bronx, well, Christmas meant Chinese food and a movie. And for my mom over here—WASPy McWASP—well, it meant a tree, it meant stockings and all the trimmings…. Other highlights include eight days of presents followed by one day of many presents…. Hey, dip a toe in the Chrismukkah pool. There’s room for all of us…. Oy, humbug.”

And that is the beauty of Chrismukkah. Where else can you find a yarmaclaus or heated family discussions about “error[s] in judgment” or Chrismukkah Bar Mitzvakkahs? It’s genius. Really, really genius.

So, everyone, Happy Chrismukkah, list is over.