Christmas, Condensed

Happy December (a few days late)!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Cameron and I spent the holiday in Michigan with my family, and I actually celebrated my 27th birthday here on Sunday. I plan on sharing a few photos from our visit later this week (and in the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram), but for now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my time in the Mitten before I fly back to Portland later this week.
I absolutely love Christmas, but with Thanksgiving being so late this year, my extended visit to Michigan, and our upcoming trip to Thailand, I feel like there really isn’t much time to enjoy it this year. However, I want to make the most of the season and savor every moment that I can. This week, I’ve seen quite a few bloggers sharing their lists of fun things that they plan to do during the holidays; if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now, you’d know that I’m a huge fan of these seasonal list posts, so I thought I’d join in the fun! I tried not to get too crazy with my goals for this year since we’ll only have about 2.5 weeks from the time I get back to Oregon until when we leave, but I feel like having things I’d like to do written down helps me focus on actually making time for it. 

(And yes, I realize a few of the things on my list are already done. Please tell me I’m not the only one who will write things I’ve already done on a to-do list just for the satisfaction of crossing them off?) 
Take Lola to see Santa
I figured this was a must living in Portland sans kids. We took Lola to see Santa “Paws” before heading to Michigan, and it was actually a fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society–win win!

Decorate for Christmas
I helped my parents decorate their tree here in Michigan, so that’s a start 🙂

Get together with friends as much as possible
Being social is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.

Go to the Nutcracker Ballet
I love the Nutcracker so Cameron, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re getting excited.

My company gives us a free day of PTO to use to volunteer during the holidays, which is awesome!

Holiday Tea at the Heathman Hotel
I have heard from multiple people that this is a “thing” in Portland; not sure if I’ll have time or not, but I thought it might be fun to try. At the very least, I’ll be stopping in to check out the decorations!

Send Christmas Cards

Mailed yesterday. Boom. Thanks Minted!

Christmas Shop Locally

There are so many wonderful, independent stores in Portland that have such unique items; I’m hoping to do as much of my shopping as possible at these places this year!

Watch Christmas movies

Elf, Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, and It’s a Wonderful Life are all on my list…and I’m also kind of excited to watch the Carrie Underwood version of Sound of Music. I mean, nothing will ever top the original, but I’m still intrigued by how this new version is going to be!

Go to Peacock Lane

Or the ZooLights. Or both. I love lights!

Make Christmas Cookies
I’d love to spend a day baking with my cousins like we did last year or make a bunch of different cookies like I did two years ago. But I’m trying to be realistic, so I’m shooting for one (maybe two) kinds this year.

Shop for a family in need
I love doing this during the holiday season. As much as I enjoy buying gifts for my family, it’s really nice to be able to bless someone who truly needs things at this time of year.

Drink hot cocoa and wrap presents
Preferably at the same time. With Christmas music playing. Seriously, my favorite thing ever.

“Santa Paws, I have been so good this year…”

She’s I’m ridiculous. I love my family in Michigan, but man, do I miss my dog! 🙂