Here were a few of my favorite things this Christmas season... in no particular order... (and apologies... I never take pictures of these things and I really need to. I mean how often does your rather serious Aunt put on a Hillary Clinton mask and do a right jolly jig? Not often! These things need to be visually documented! I feel a New Years resolution coming on... oh yes I do).
I attended many a Holiday festivity during the month of December than I have in the past. This includes Ballet West's the Nutcracker (classic), the MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) Christmas Concert (brilliant as always.. featuring Ms. Natalie Cole), and a Jon Schmidt Christmas concert. Now, all 3 of these carry their own special little holiday spirit, but I must say that Jon Schmidt may have been my favorite this time around. He puts on a fantastic show! It helped that my friend Camille has a certain brother (cough, Steven Sharp Nelson) who plays the cello alongside Jon Schmidt and was able to give us some fantastic tickets, but honestly, I was thoroughly entertained the entire time. My what that did for my Christmas Spirit!
1. Favorite thing: Jon Schmidt Christmas Concert
I also have a stable(ish) job this year and wasn't constantly flirting with the poverty line every time I attempted to by something more than peanut butter and jelly to fill my rumbley tummy (now that's just sad). I actually bought my family and a few friends some decent Christmas gifts this year! This may blow your mind but I really enjoy Christmas shopping for other people! I start making mental notes MONTHS in advance of what I can get this person or that family member for Christmas that will really knock their socks off (and I love Christmas socks!)! I believe my BEST gifting this year goes to my little brother Taylor who received the animated Hobbit movie and a sweet necklace from Urban Outfitters. Happy Christmas boy! He enjoyed them... or faked it really well.
2. Favorite thing: non-poverty so I can buy good Christmas presents like the Hobbit for Taylor.
I also had many a happy opportunity to donate and serve in various capacities as per the PURPOSE of this Yuletide (one word come to find) season this year. One such opportunity entailed myself and a partner in crime wrapping presents dressed as elves for one of the counselor's in my Bishoprics wives. It was actually pretty fun! We had a service auction for a Family Home Evening (FHE) the first of December and the idea is to auction off 'services' and 'goods' in exchange for cans that subsequently end up at the food bank. As my service, I offered to wrap all of 'someones' Christmas presents that year dressed as a happy little elf. WELL! Here I am expecting some dude to buy my service to wrap his 3 boxes... it didn't even occur to me that there would be 3 Bishopric's wives attending said auction and would likely pay good cans to have someone wrap all their kids, grandkids, long time neighbors, in-laws, co-workers, and spouses Christmas presents. Serves me right for not thinking through these things! THUS - my service went to Sis C and 4 hours later on a snowy December Tuesday - my elf companion and I finished up some massive Christmas wrapping of some of the coolest toys I've ever seen! The grandkids ended up coming over to Sis C's house our last hour tickled red and green that there were actual Elves wrapping their presents; "Where are the elves!?!?!" they exclaimed bursting in the door, "I want to see the ELVES!" It. Was. Awesome.
3. Favorite thing: getting to dress up as an elf while performing service for someone.
Next, as 26 years of tradition dictates, I went over the river and through the woods (literally... I'm from 'Sticks', Utah... aka... Emery County) to Grandma's house. Grandma's house is the best place in the world as far as I'm concerned, and I always love going to her house. It's full of fun and food and food and also some fantastic Grandparents - likely the best on the planet. I know have some pics of Grandma's house around here somewhere (sifting through computer docs) but in the meantime you will just have to take my word for it.
4. Favorite thing: Grandma's house.
Lastly, I got many an enjoyable Christmas present that included a Pampered Chef stoneware baking slab, the new Star Trek movie (Spock is hot... Spock is hot... Spock is hot), a variety of lotions (honestly, Twilight Woods from Bath and Body is pretty awesome... don't let the the collective girly sigh you just heard at the mention of the word 'Twilight' deter you...), and so forth. However, I feel one of the best Christmas presents out there is a gift card. And not just any gift card mind you, but an ITunes gift card. Receiving such an item makes on reflect on how much gifting has changed since the days of tapes and walkmans. Come... walk with me to 1995. I remember very vividly through the years getting a tape walkeman, then a CD walkman (hello 1998!), then a variety of CD's over the years (up until 2004-ish), then an IPod (2005), and now, Itunes gift cards have replaced the classic CD-in-case gift. And really, I love having $50 to use on Itunes however I want (which subsequently, is really easy to use really quickly). I guess that's what getting old and boring means - no one wants to pick something for you so they just have you pick it yourself via rectangular plastic loaded with money. I really don't see how you can go wrong with that...
5. Favorite thing: Gift Cards... Itunes Gift Cards.And that sums up some of my favorite happenings of the Christmas season this year. It really was an excellent Christmas - and I hope you had an excellent Christmas (or Hanukkah or Holiday or Boxing Day or... break from school and work so those other people can celebrate in their cultural and/or religious ways) too. And perhaps, if your Christmas seemed a little 'hum-buggy' this year - never fear! For as one who has gone through several winters of DOOM that encompassed the cheery Holiday season, it will make each subsequent Christmas MUCH better than it otherwise would've been. Simple pleasures.
Favorite Thing Number 6!!! Got an A in one of my classes!!!! Still waiting for the other classes grade to appear... but hey! An A so far! Holla!