As you know, I’m always one for a bucket list, and I started to put together ours for getting ready for Christmastime. I tend to lean to a top 10, but in reading this post from Rockstar Diaries, I was inspired to add a couple more items and make it an even 12.
Some of these items are specific to Washington, DC; some are specific to us, but all of them are meant to be some relatively simple ways that we can enjoy the coming holidays. So quickly everything can become a commercial preparation, that it’s important to make an effort to enjoy time with friends and family, which is in line with the sprit of the advent of the holidays.
For those more versed in DC holidays, did I miss anything?
The Diplo-Dates of Christmas
1. Light a Feu du Bois Candle – we don’t have a fireplace and are jealous of anyone who does. Not because we want to haul wood and ash but becuase we love the smell. A candle is a close second, especially at the end of the day when not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
2. Eat Clementines – I could eat these by the pound. One of my absolute favorite things about the holidays is clementines in abundance and there is always a crate chez nous. Diplo-husband has grown to love them too, but I think mostly because he sees what a kick I get out of them, so now we eat together – but I have to peel.
3. Have a Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Window Shop – I love Christmas “shopping” the most when I’m actually done with my shopping, because then it’s all about lights and windows and displays and walking around with that bit of chill in the air. I love it most when I have something warm in my hand, and as noted here, I’m a nut for hot chocolate.
4. Go to a Holiday Party – We seem to know people who attend holiday parties seemingly every night between now and twelfth night, and somehow we always have a slim party list. Maybe it’s because DH and I don’t have workplaces that throw them, but we always appreciate the few parties we are invited to and soak in all of the holiday atmosphere. This weekend we already got a head start at the annual Wif and Hub holiday party – mmmmm, beef filet and champagne cocktails.
Photo by Wif and Hub, Christmas 2011.
5. See the Nutcracker – I’ve always loved it – loved it so much we named our daughter after the main character. While I love everything that’s traditional about this ballet, I’m also game for a new take. I saw Septime Webre’s Nutcracker by the Washington Ballet, which places all the action in Washington the first year it came out and with our return this year, I think we’ll refresh our memory.
6. Trim our own Tree – We went back and forth about whether to do a tree this year – our decorations and ornaments are in storage and diplo-baby is in the phase where she pull on everything. We decided no, but after a week of moping, DH relented and we compromised on table top tree. Not the grand tree you’ll see in countless foyers, but a great little tree nonetheless. In tribute to our days in Austria, we’re going to trim in an all red and white theme this year, with our favorite carols in the background (that’s you, Elvis).
Photo from JokerBlog.
7. See a Christmas Lights Display – We already got a head start on this one by visiting the the lights display at the Living Desert in Palm Springs, but I always want more! If I had my way, I would probably wrap myself in twinkle lights, not to mention our whole apartment but that’s probably not healthy. I love Christmas lights and love to see what people do with them – the lights display at the National Zoo just opened up so that’s on our list for later this week, but a full list of displays in the area can be found here.
8. Make our own Gluwein – I’ve given up trying to find it. In Vienna, we wouldn’t walk a full block without passing at least one stand. When we went to the Living Desert for the Wild Lights display, I tried to order it and people looked at me like I had lost my mind by trying to order alcohol at a children’s event. Sigh. It’s time to make and enjoy our own – I don’t think I can do a holiday season without it!
Picture from Berlin Hair Baby.
9. Visit the National Christmas Tree – A tree has been on the White House lawn since 1928 and makes for a nice winter walk – it’s also surrounded by a tree for each of the 50 states, as well as one for the territories, which are decorated by a chosen elementary school each year.
10. See a Caroling Performance – Before diplo-husband and I were even married, he was posted to a middle eastern country where there wasn’t much Christmas to speak of (and definitely no gluwein either). When he was on leave, I surprised him with tickets to the Kennedy Center to see a traditional caroling performance and it’s been a tradition of ours ever since.
11. Watch White Christmas– you might recall from last year that White Christmas is my top Christmas movie, and Bing Crosby’s voice makes me melt every time.
12. Have a nightcap at the Hay Adams Hotel – The Hay Adams, for those that don’t know it is probably the most classic hotel in DC. In a prior life, I did several corporate events there, and met the GM on several occasions. At the time, the staff told me “well he’s Austrian so he’s really into Christmas”. I didn’t appreciate it then, but I do now – before we left the Hay Adams always had the most gorgeous classic Christmas decorations throughout the property. I’m hoping that that’s still the case.