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Top 10 Things I Love About the Holidays (in no particular order)

  1. Christmas music!  I love that it comes on my satellite radio right after Thanksgiving and lasts until New Years Eve.  I secretly listen to Christmas music all year long.  At least, I used to do it secretly.  Damn it!  Now you know one of my dirty little secrets. Christmas Music
  2. Ugly Christmas sweaters!  I just love me some ugly sweaters.  If you’re wearing an ugly Christmas sweater, it’s because (a) you love your Grandma enough to wear it in public just because it makes her happy to see you in something she gave you or (b) you love you some ugly Christmas sweater and you could give two flying shits what other people think about you wearing it.  Either way, keep rocking that thang, baby!Ugly Sweaters
  3. Shopping!  I look forward to Black Friday almost as much as I look forward to my birthday.  Black Friday begins at 3:30am and ends whenever I’m too tired to stand.  My friend, Krisy, and I have been going shopping for almost 10 years now.  We get up at the butt crack of dawn, go get some breakfast at WaWa, head up the road to the mall (about 45 minutes away), shop our asses off, and head back home.  A few years ago I fell asleep in the passenger seat with my eyes open and started asking her questions about stuff and she was all, “Okay, I don’t know!  What’s blah, blah, blah?”  And I looked at her like she’d lost her damn mind.  I was talking in my sleep and had no idea what she was talking about.Black Friday Shopping
  4. Presents!  I love giving presents more than I like receiving them.  Sneakily questioning the recipient, searching for the perfect present, and finding it on sale (fuck yeah!) are so much fun!  I’m always jumping out of my skin when I’m waiting for them to open it.  I’m usually bouncing in my seat and grinning so wide my face could crack.  OmyG, open it already!!!  Gah!Ermahgerd Presents!
  5. Decorating!  When Dan brings down the plastic totes of Christmas decorations from the attic, shit gets real around Casa de Robbins.  It looks like Santa puked all over the downstairs of my house.  I usually put up 5 trees!  Five!  One in the living room with the sentimental ornaments, one in the sitting area that is themed and blue and beautiful, two in the dining room with the historical White House ornaments, and one in the garage with Dan’s man decorations (Miami Dolphins and beer cans).  And then I bust out the tinsel (or as Mischelle calls it, garland).  I call the shit that you wrap around the tree tinsel.  I know it’s wrong, but I’m old and I’m gonna call it like I want, bitches.  I put tinsel around on, over, under, every freaking thing I can find.  I just love that stuff.  Especially if it’s combined with lights.  Ooooh, pretty!Christmas_Decorations
  6. Cookie Days!  I love attending the annual Cookie Days with mah girls.  Mischelle, Krisy, and I will mix up, roll out, press, bake, decorate, and eat taste test all of the cookies.  We usually end up with between 15 and 19 kinds of cookies each year.  And most need to be rolled into balls.  Effing balls.  Mischelle’s mother-in-law, Vicky, volunteered to do it last year.  I thought for sure that we’d lose her after all the damn ball rolling, but she’s said she’ll come back this year.Behave Buddy.
  7. The Annual Robbins Christmas Dinner with Friends!  I love having my friends over to our annual party!  We do it the Saturday before Christmas Eve every year.  At first, it was on Christmas Eve for our family-less and childless friends.  Then it kind of grew and grew.  Now, we host between 30 and 40 people each year.  I even made turduckens a couple of years in a row.  Last year we tried something new and did a good ol’ fashioned barbecue.  We’re going to do the same thing this year.  Dan’s gonna smoke some big ol’ meat, and I’ll make some sides.  Then we’ll set it all up as if it’s a barbecue joint in Texas, complete with sliced white bread, pickles, and onions.Barbecue
  8. Sauerkraut!  I love my Grandma Lero’s sauerkraut recipe!  It wasn’t a holiday if the creamy sauerkraut wasn’t there.  In fact, I can’t ever remember it not being there.  The recipe is fantastic and includes a roux made with bacon grease.  I’ll post the recipe later.  I still make G-ma L’s sauerkraut with every single holiday meal, even though I’m halfway across the country and eating with people who think sauerkraut is “yucky”.  They’re certainly entitled to their own opinions, they’re just wrong.Sauerkraut
  9. Twinkling tree lights!  I love to sit in my living room and watch the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree light up the room.  I’d leave my tree up all year long just so I could see that every single evening.  I have all these little accent lights, battery operated pillar candles, and night lights throughout the house, but there’s nothing like the little twinkling of a Christmas tree in the corner of the room.  It’s just magical!TwinklingChristmasLights
  10. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas!  I love having my mom read me ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas every year on Christmas Eve!  We’ve been doing it since I was born and haven’t missed a year yet.  I’m almost 40, and my mom calls me every year around midnight to read it to me.  Sometimes it’s her midnight, sometimes it’s mine.  I’ve not lived in the same time zone as her in almost 20 years.  We did it when I was stationed in Chicago and when I was stationed in the Middle East.  Traditions like this are what makes all the pain-in-the-ass-iness of holidays worth it.nightbeforechristmas

Stay tuned for the next installment: “The Top Ten, Christmas Style.  Hates.”