And Ten Other Things That Are Getting Me Through This December
Hi, everyone. My name is Jess and I am an Marshmallow Santa addict. There is just something about those cheap, dark chocolate covered marshmallow blobs that bear absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the advertised shape of a Santa that I really cannot get enough of. Seriously. I’ve had one every day this December, and some days (ahem, today) I’ve had several. Is it the worst problem to be encountering this month? Definitely not. Really, when you think about it, December is arguably the most stressful month of the year. So if I want to consume more marshmallow than vegetables, what are you gonna do about it? Self care, man! (Except absolutely not at all. Please Future Jess, eat some damn vegetables)
Now, no one panic. Today’s post is not going to be about all the nutrients that I am most definitely lacking right now (I’ll save that for January) – instead, I want to look at ten other (arguably healthier) things that have been helping me get through this month.
Before we get into the list, there is something that you should know about me. I. FREAKING. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. Everything about Christmas. Save the amount of socialization required, and the sheer amount of “discretely” discriminatory “ITS MERRY CHRISTMAS, NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS” Facebook posts I have to scroll through on the reg. Other than that, though, it’s for sure my favourite time of the year. With that in mind, you can imagine there will be a few Christmas themed activities on this list. But, if that’s something you’re into – or you’re just looking for a reason to hide away from your social obligations for a while – let’s get started.
1 – Christmas Music
Let’s just get this one out of the way, okay? (Don’t say I didn’t warn you) I am one of those people – the ones that get WAY too excited when Christmas music starts being played in stores. The ones that have a curated Christmas playlist that they’ve waited all year to bust out. The ones that, although they usually go to bed around 10, stay up til midnight on Halloween just to play Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” immediately as it becomes November 1st. That last one is not just me, right? …right?!
Also, let’s pause the list for a second to talk about what’s really important here. How on earth did it take 25 years for All I Want For Christmas Is You to reach #1 on Billboard Top 100? It should be #1 every year (it is in my heart, anyway).
As you can probably guess by now, I’m a big fan of Christmas music. It’s almost problematic. For example, play me the first 10 instrumental seconds of any version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and I can tell you who the artist is. That’s my party trick – and for the record, Michael Bublé’s version is the best. Controversial, I know. So, when it comes to the month of December, you can bet your boots that I’m rocking out to Christmas music at least 90% of the time. And if you’re in the mood for some Christmas pep, here are my top 5 Christmas song picks:
- Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas is You (duh)
- Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – I Believe In Santa Claus
- Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child
- Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me
- Stevie Wonder – What Christmas Means To Me
(A Marshmallow Santa was stress-eaten while compiling the above list)
2 – Dogs in Sweaters
Dogs. In. Sweaters. I probably don’t need to elaborate much on this one, honestly.
Whether it’s a greyhound in a turtleneck keeping warm while walking down the street, or a shih tzu wearing one for fashion, I love them all. To the point where I should probably get my driver’s licence revoked during dog-sweater season because I freak out every time I see one.
We’ll save my bad driving tales for another post.
My dog and I have matching Christmas sweaters. Just in case you were questioning how serious I am about this. But, unfortunately, she hates it with all of her soul. Two years now – no nice photos of her in her sweater. So, I am sadly not able to use this opportunity to show off my dog. Instead, here is a Buzzfeed article I just found with photos of dogs in sweaters:
3 – Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
Starbucks is getting the shout-out here, but really I’m just obsessed with everything related to peppermint coffee. Some people get AMPED about the Pumpkin Spice Latte in the fall. Not this girl. When the Christmas drinks roll in, out roll my paychecks on a constant stream of caffeinated deliciousness.
I wonder if this anything to do with my lack of sleep lately… Nahh. Can’t be!
Honorable mention goes to the McDonald’s McCafe Peppermint Latte. It’s great, and it get’s bonus points for the availability of hashbrowns at the same establishment.
4 – Spending Time With Family
Should this have placed higher than #4 on this list? Probably. I told you my love for Christmas music is an issue.
This December has been interesting for me, because it’s the first time in twelve years that I am actually in the place where I’ll be spending Christmas. I’ve lived away from my family for so long that I started to forget what it’s like to actually be home for Christmas. I don’t have to worry about booking flights, checking the weather, and worst of all – travelling in December. Instead, I get to really take in the season with the people that I love most.
Sure the amount of gatherings is a pain in the ass, but I took for granted for so long how nice it is to experience it all. For instance – decorating a tree with my mom is way more fun than decorating alone. And I forgot about this. So, this December, I’ve really been falling back on family time to balance out the stress of the season.
5 – Eggnog
I got the sentimental stuff out of the way in #4, so let’s get real here. Family gatherings can sometimes require a little… assistance… And this is where the tried and true Rum and Eggnog comes in handy.
Even without the rum, eggnog is the best. And I know that that isn’t necessarily the most popular opinion. But it really is an underrated treat. The rum really just adds to it.
Please do drink responsibly, everyone. And please PLEASE remember to plan for alternate transportation if you’ve had a few too many ‘nogs. Okay? Thank you in advance.
6 – Hangover Cures
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most of us are going to need these at least once this season. So I’m just going to leave you with a few of mine:
- Drink lots of water night of and morning after (aka, add plenty of ice cubes to your wine)
- Grab one of the hasbrowns I mentioned in #3 (or anything from McD’s honestly)
- Add some Bailey’s to your coffee
- Eat a freezie. This is a weird December tip, but if you can find them, I promise. Best hangover cure ever.
- Not a cure but will be the best feeling in the world – put your eye cream or face lotion in the fridge. You’re welcome.
7 – First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
For the record, this post is definitely not sponsored in any way. I’m just really loving this product.
I am a total YouTube beauty community junkie, but despite that, I really have no clue when it comes to anything to do with skincare. All I know for sure is that the love of my face’s life, Origin’s Night-A-Mins, changed their formula and it left me needing to find a new cream. I’ve tried a few ranging from drugstore to high(er) end and I never found one that I loved. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I tried the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (that Sephora DEFINITELY peer pressured me into getting). It’s hydrates like a night cream, but is super light. It’s not scented, and it’s been really nice on my sensitive(ish) skin.
All I know for sure is in the Canadian winter, my skin gets so dry so fast and I need a good cream. This one has helped a lot. Okay, this is enough of me pretending to be a beauty guru now.
8 – Animal Videos
Okay, so you are munching on a freezie and you’ve got your very cold moisturizer on. It’s time to snuggle up with some animal videos. This would most definitely make the cut for any J Money survival guide, but I think it’s most applicable for December. Because nothing is more calming than a funny or cute lil animal video.
For your viewing pleasure, here are a couple of my recent favourites. Or, just check out any of the billion Tik Tok animal video compilations. Also – can someone explain Tik Tok to me? I feel so very lost (and old). Okay, thanks.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_5oYXCaOLg – Waffles the Corgi Being Floppy (WafflesTheCorgi)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xks8t-SWHU – REHEARSAL TIME!🔥🐦Cockatiel Singing September over and over (Density’s Birds)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLGP-Ewpeps – Dog Embarrasses owner daily by Talking to strangers (Sherpa)
Or, just check out any of the videos on Joey Graceffa’s vlog channel. There was a litter of husky puppies, and a daily update on their shenanigans.
9 – Die Hard
Animal videos not your thing? Time to curl up with the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Yippie-ki-yay.
A couple story times here. First, you’re probably thinking “Jess, you LOVE Christmas. Shouldn’t your favourite Christmas movie be more traditional?” Fair play. But Die Hard all the way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve watched the claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer more times that I can count, and I can pretty much recite all of Christmas Vacation on the spot. But there’s just something beautiful about a Christmas time Die Hard marathon.
Story #2 – while in the midst of a breakup, an ex of mine yelled, very angrily and definitely out of the blue “DIE HARD IS NOT A CHRISTMAS MOVIE”. This was in July. And I have not spoken to him since.
I told you. I take this shit seriously.
10 – Christmas Lights
The list started with Christmas, and is now ending with Christmas. Life is all about balance, ya know?
I wanted to end this list with one of my favourite December activities – driving around and looking at Christmas lights. It’s just the cutest thing to do, really. Whether it’s on a date night, or with your family. Or, by yourself, drinking peppermint coffee and listening to Mariah Carey WAY too loud (again, just me?). It’s just a calm, low pressure way to enjoy the spirit of the season. And to appreciate the amount of effort that goes into it. There’s just something about seeing houses all lit up with Christmas-y displays that really brings joy to me.
And with that joy, we reach the end of my list. I’ve had such a blast writing this post, and I hope you equally had a blast reading it! I’d love to hear about your December survival tips, so leave me a comment!
Here’s to a fantastic finish to 2019, and happiest of holidays to you and yours!