The holidays immediately after my dad and aunt passed away were so painful; in the years since, I've tried to embrace this wonderful season and make it something to look forward to all year.
  1. I met my fiancé at a Christmas party three years ago
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    The party is annual so we've gone back every year since we met and always have the best time.
  2. The little Christmas tree we took home this year
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    The first one we've ever had in our new place.
  3. The clothes
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    Red and green everything! Also, I get to dress like a present.
  4. The decorations
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    I like to create little decorated spaces around the apartment as opposed to having a ton of stuff everywhere. Pictured is a holiday candle and Swedish tomte with accompanying mushroom.
  5. Time with family
    The holidays are the best possible excuse to curl up at home with loved ones. I love just spending days at my parent's house doing nothing but looking at old photos, watching movies, and playing games by the fireplace with the people I love the most.
  6. Time with friends
    It's such a great time to reconnect with old friends; everyone is home for the holidays, which makes for the season ripe for reunions.
  7. The booze
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    Delirium Noël, Sherry, Baileys. And eggnog.
  8. Christmas pajamas
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    My mom has gotten us Christmas jammies every year, and we just love wearing them together. Last year, we even got a onesie for our dog.
  9. The food
    Gingerbread, trifles, cookies, pies, hearty pastas, potatoes - I'm just really all about the indulgence of the season.
  10. The candles
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    I have filled probably half a drawer with candles reserved specifically for this time of year. My favorite of all time is Nazareth; it's a Cire Trudon candle that smells like cinnamon, cloves, frankincense, and orange.
  11. The lights around town
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    I spend so much time admiring the lights in Beverly Hills I feel like a tourist in my own city. I'm not ashamed to say how happy it makes me to see beautiful lights everywhere.
  12. The cards
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    Both the ones I send and the ones I receive. I'm such a paper person, and it's such fun to see other holiday cards (and to send them out ourselves!)
  13. It's the season of giving
    There are so many amazing volunteer opportunities during this season; it's a wonderful time to give back
  14. The parties
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    Ugly sweater parties, Hanukkah parties, office parties, old school Christmas parties - it's such a fun social season and I love dressing up and having fun with friends and family.
  15. The music
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    Classic Christmas music (specifically A Charlie Brown Christmas) is my favorite.
  16. The traditions
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    Both enjoying the old and making new; my sister's holiday choral concert at a local church, our childhood stockings paired with ornaments from my future in-laws, the Christmas Eve party we always go to, going to Mr. Greentrees to pick out our wreath and me, these little rituals are what this time is all about.
  17. The movies
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    Both the movies that come out at Christmas (YAY Star Wars) and all the classic movies about the season (Miracle on 34th Street).
  18. The smells
    Everywhere smells like some mixture of firewood, pine, and mulled wine.
  19. Seasonals
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    Seasonal cups, ice cream flavors, restaurant specials, lattes...everyone brings out something new around the holidays.
  20. Time off
    It's so nice to get some time off work to relax and recharge.
  21. Happy holidays, all!