While my most favorite part of Christmas is spending time with family and celebrating the true meaning of the season, I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday products, treats, etc. that help make the most wonderful time of the year feel extra special and festive!
1. Christmas music
Okay, so I actually listen to Christmas all year round. I just love it so much and find it really relaxing and nostalgic. I pretty much always listen to iHeart Christmas and iHeartChristmas Classics on the iHeartRadio Web site or app. There are also a ton great Christmas music playlists on Spotify (I love this Frank Sinatra one) and YouTube. (I listed some of my favorite YouTube channels below). If you’re in the Des Moines area, 104.1 EZ FM is the local radio station that plays Christmas music – typically starting in November.
- Christmas music with a fireplace and Christmas carols played on acoustic guitar
- Classic Christmas music with a fireplace and beautiful background
- Merry Christmas from the crooners
- Cozy Christmas coffee shop ambiance with smooth Christmas jazz music
- Winter coffee shop bookstore ambiance with relaxing smooth jazz music and crackling fireplace
2. Christmas With the Kranks
My favorite Christmas movie! While it’s kind of cheesy, I find it entertaining and heartwarming. Some of my other favorites Christmas movies/TV specials – both as an adult and a child – include: Elf, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Also, many of my favorite channels and streaming platforms to check out holiday movies are on Freeform.
3. ‘Tis the Season candle
This is hands-down my favorite Christmas candle and has been for years. While I don’t buy many candles from Bath & Body Works these days, this candle will forever be a must-have for me at Christmas time. It’s SO good. Described as “fruity, spicy and inspired by the scents of the season,” it contains notes of rich red apple, sweet cinnamon and cedarwood.
4. The Christmas Candle SNL skit
This is my favorite SNL skit! I randomly watch this throughout the year when I need a good laugh.
5. Candy Cane Tootsie Pops
These seasonal Tootsie Pops have a peppermint hard candy coating over the traditional chewy Tootsie Roll center. I also gift them to one of my best friends and my boss, who love them as much as I do!
6. Ringing the Red Kettle Bell for The Salvation Army
The Red Kettle Campaign is The Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser. T and I have enjoyed ringing the red kettle bell over the years and are really looking forward to Lake and Etta participating in this tradition as well!
7. Trader Joe’s Advent Calendar For Dogs
This is such a cute seasonal item from Trader Joe’s and, of course, Kevin loves it! They pop up in stores in November and fly off the shelf, usually staying in stock for only a week or so! They also have advent calendars for cats and humans.
8. Relaxing Fireplace Sounds
This video features 12 hours of relaxing fireplace sounds. It looks particularly cool on a living room TV!
9. Chick-fil-A’s Peppermint Chip Milkshake
This delicious, festive peppermint-flavored milkshake has chips of peppermint bark, whipped cream and a cherry.
10. Santa mugs
I don’t know why, but drinking hot chocolate from a Santa mug hits different than drinking it from any other Christmas-y mug!
11. Toys For Tots
Toys for Tots is a wonderful non-profit public charity that collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. You can donate a toy locally or on the virtual toy box.
I get irrationally giddy when the red cups drop in November. Along with Christmas music and snow, the iconic red cups are such a sign of the season! Since I don’t drink coffee, Peppermint Hot Chocolate is my go-to holiday order. I also like to go on the day they give out limited-edition reusable red cup with a holiday drink purchase.
13. Going for a “Christmas lights run”
T and I have a fun holiday tradition where we go on a run together to look at Christmas lights in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. We also really enjoy participating in Christmas-themed races.
14. AE Classic Egg Nog
I totallyyy get how egg nog may sound exceptionally unappealing but AE egg nog is absolutely delicious. It basically tastes like a vanilla milkshake, or melted vanilla ice cream. I’m only referring to the classic version. I’ve tried AE’s other versions, as well as other brands, and they are just not it!
This is a totally random Web site that tells you if it’s Christmas. I don’t know why but I really do remember to visit the site on Christmas day – the one day when it exclaims ‘YES!’ Along the same lines, this site features a Christmas countdown.
16. Local holiday events
Do you have any Christmas favorites?! Leave a comment below letting me know!