I’m sorry and annoyed to tell you that today’s recipe post isn’t up yet again due to computer problems. I wasn’t able to access the photos I had taken on my barely functional big computer and I’d rather wait on that recipe until I can post it the way I want it than put up something half-assed. This problem was totally unexpected and since I didn’t have a Plan B ready to go, I’m instead going to share with you my Winter Wish List. I know it’s early and some of you might want to strangle me for even mentioning Christmas, but UnhipNic specifically asked for winter list inspiration on twitter, so I feel sort of justified. Also, I didn’t get to post my Summer Wish List until after summer was over so I’m going for extra credit with this one by posting early. I hope no one minds.
Some of these activities predictably revolve around the Christmas holiday, but many can be adapted for another winter holiday or made holiday-free if necessary. This list of course is representative of my specifically, but I think seeing the lists of others can really help jump-start personal inspiration. So here goes!
– Take Isobel to the snow. Although it freezes here regularly in winter, a White Christmas where we live refers to fog, not snow. We don’t get enough precipitation for snow, so if we want to indulge in sledding or snowman-making, we drive a couple hours east to the Sierra Navadas. Isobel has been asking to visit the snow all summer, and this year we really want to go. I have only seen snow a handful of times in my life, so I’m just as excited as Isobel.
– Make tamales with the family. Family tamale-making is a huge operation that a lot of Hispanic families traditionally participate in before Christmas. Guatemalan tamales may be different from Mexican ones, but the tradition is still the same. My in-laws have helped Anthony’s Grandma, Grandma Juani, for the last few years, and I would like to at least stop by for awhile. I won’t be able to be on my feet that long but I’d like to do what I can. I know Isobel helped make tamales last year under Grandpa’s special tutelage, so maybe she’ll be in the kitchen with them this year, too.
– Enjoy my favorite seasonal treats. Swedish gingersnaps, Danish butter cookies, eggnog, candy canes, and pink peppermint ice cream are some of my favorites that I look forward to every year.
– Listen to classic, oldies Christmas music. My friend Erin, vintage maven and girl with the most class ever, put together a wicked Pandora station full of Christmas music from eras past. It’s fantastic to listen to while wrapping presents or sipping hot chocolate. Anthony and I have been working on our own special Christmas playlist that features vintage holiday ballads and more modern tunes. This is an ongoing project but so fun I don’t mind taking my time.
– Visit Christmas Tree Lane at least once. I hope to take Isobel a couple times as we have a few streets in our area that go all out with lights and decorations for the holidays. Taking her at all was on my life list but I can’t wait to do it again. Each year it’s a new experience for her, and I never get tired of it.
– Go to our town’s annual Christmas Parade. We go each year with some friends of ours and we have a blast, even though we’ve never stayed the whole time. Typically we stay until the kids let us know they are done and then we head to a restaurant to warm up and eat dinner. A fun tradition.
– Take a winter nature walk. We do nature walks all year long to get to know how nature affects our neighborhood all throughout the year.
– Make and decorate homemade snowflakes. She is getting pretty handy with scissors, so this will be extra fun this year.
– Decorate a gingerbread house with Angela, Isobel, and Kingston. The kids really loved this last year.
– Visit a holiday craft fair. I have at least two two that I’d like to go to, Handborn and another Modesto one whose name escapes me. If I make it to at least one I’ll be happy, but ideally I want to go to both.
– Go thrifting for vintage winter decorations. Soon thrift stores will overflow with seasonal vintage goodness. I can’t wait!
– Have a fire in our fireplace. I’m guessing we’ll have at least one since our heater is still broken.
– Make a popcorn garland for the birds to eat. Isobel will love doing this. She’s pretty good with a needle.
– Make handmade ornaments for the Grandparents from Isobel. I really hope you’re not reading this right now, Mom.
– Draw on a frosted window with our fingers. Isobel will be a natural.
– Watch five Christmas movies. I’ve been wanting to introduce Isobel to Home Alone forever (she looooves slapstick) but despite my efforts I haven’t found it secondhand anywhere. I’ll probably end up ordering it online if I can find it for under five bucks. I still haven’t seen Elf which I hear is good stuff, and I want to watch White Christmas and one of those horribly campy stop-motion movies from my Childhood.
– Bake cookies with Isobel. I’ll be looking for an eggless recipe so both Isobel and I can eat the dough.
– Clean and set up the Angel Chimes. I used to do this with my Mom.
– Put up Christmas lights. This is something that I can’t do–technically, it’s Anthony’s job–but I suppose I can nag him to get it done.
– Put together a puzzle as a family. I have an epic unicorn puzzle that needs doin’. Double points if we do this during a storm.
– Host a Christmas sing-a-long party. I’m glad my friend enjoy sing-a-longs as much as I do. And that so many of them play piano. If I really have my shit together this year I want to make song books of the lyrics so we aren’t chasing loose papers all over the house again.
– Plan next year’s garden. We’re making some exciting changes!
– Grow mushrooms in the garage. I missed my window last year, so I’m going to put the kit I got from Angela to good use this year.
– Read the story of St Lucia to Isobel. I’m not sure if I have any good books on the subject, but I’m sure I’ll find some stories online or at the library. We’re also going to talk more about the Julbocken and the Tomten.
Well, that’s my list. A lot of the things on it reoccur every year so I’m not starting from scratch. If you have a list, I’d love to read it! You can add it in the comments, or, if you put it on your blog, post the link below.