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Yes, that’s right, it’s Christmastime AKA one of my favourite times of year! A lot of people might just see this as another overhyped stressful holiday but I get a lot out of this season. And because of my love of Christmas I’ve decided to make a list of all my favourite things about Christmastime.

1. Christmas Lights

December can get kind of depressing, what with the sun setting by 4:30 in the afternoon. That’s why I love Christmas lights. They brighten up the dark sky and give me something beautiful to look at.

2. Peppermint!

It’s not just about candy canes. At this time of year I put peppermint into everything I can think of: coffee, hot chocolate, cocktails, cookies, cakes. Chocolate and peppermint is one of my favourite combinations and the best part is that it’s easy to add to recipes.

3. Christmas trees

Okay, obviously my tree at home doesn’t look anything like this. But oh how I love Christmas trees. I love decorating them with lights and old ornaments. Four years ago when I moved out on my own I decided to buy a little four foot silver tree for my apartment and decorate it with blue, white and clear glass ornaments. It’s cute and it definitely helps to get me in the mood for Christmas.

4. Christmas decorations

Decorating goes beyond just having a Christmas tree. There are a lot of other decorations that you can include. This year I made a blue and silver Christmas wreath (to match my tree, of course). At my parents home I also put out a wreath, garland with lights, a little Christmas village, a Christmas themed snow globe, a snowman figurine and a nativity scene.

5. Baking and cooking

Gingerbread cookies I made last year

I love to bake and Christmas gives me an obvious excuse to bake far more than I normally would. I mostly stick to cookies but I also like to make cakes, butter tarts, squares and fudge. Christmas is also my time to shine when it comes to cooking. I may not be an expert but I’ve been taking care of all the holiday cooking for the last seven years or so and I love getting a chance to experiment with traditional recipes.

6. Christmas movies and TV specials

I couldn’t make a list of my favourite Christmas things without including the numerous TV specials and movies. There are a lot of bad Christmas movies out there (most of them are courtesy of the Lifetime network) but they’re great if you stick to the classics. And let’s not forget that Charlie Brown is always there to teach us the true meaning of Christmas.

7. Giving gifts

Yes, that says giving not getting. Of course I enjoy getting some goodies every year but I really love giving someone a gift and seeing the look of delight on that person’s face as they open it. In addition to giving the gifts I LOVE to wrap them. Yes, it might sound weird but I love wrapping gifts. I love nothing more than putting on a Christmas movie and wrapping a big pile of gifts and making sure they look perfect. It’s probably the only activity that is simultaneously relaxing and productive.

8. TV Commercials

Even though I hate the commercialization of Christmas I have to admit that some of the Christmas themed commercials they come up with are entertaining. I’m not talking about the silly Wal-Mart ones that talk about how much you can save on toys, no, I mean the classics, like the Norelco ad with Santa riding an electric razor, or the ad where Hershey’s kisses play “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. There are also the ads that get me verklempt, like the Macy’s ad where they read the famous “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” editorial. Right now this ad from Target has been cracking me up. I love the husband wearing a Christmas sweater and offering his wife a glass of egg nog.

9. Gift Guides

I have no idea why I love gift guides because I never actually consult them for gift ideas.  But I love going through them and looking at all the pretty things. And even if I don’t necessarily buy anything from a gift guide they can still help to give me ideas for other gifts that I may want to get someone.

10. Spending time with family

Yes it’s cheesy and yes there are times that my family makes me want to pull my hair out but let’s face it, they’re the only family I’ve got and I know that we all care about each other. Even for people who aren’t super religious Christmas is at the very least a chance to spend time with the ones you love.

So there you have it. Those are the things that I love about Christmas.