HAPPY DECEMBER 1. *Plays Santa Claus is Coming to Town on repeat*

Welcome to my first Blogmas! This is a very last minute decision on my part, thanks to a Saturday afternoon spent curled up on my bed watching Carrie Hope Fletcher’s 2016 Vlogmas videos. The moment Thanksgiving is over, my world shifts onto the Christmas axis, and I become a string of Jingle Bells and hot chocolate. All. The. Hot. Chocolate.

Blogmas is a 25-day holiday-centered blog challenge. Once I finished Carrie Hope Fletcher’s final video, inspiration struck. Lindsay, Inspiration, appearing in the form of a glimmering golden orb, whispered. Why don’t you Blogmas the heck out of this month?  It took all of two seconds for me to say yes. I know it’s more of a vlogger thing, and even less of a travel-focused thing, but I’m going to fly by the seat of my pants and see where this little thing goes. (There are some things I’ve drummed up in the last twenty minutes though, so it won’t be entirely spontaneous.) This season is incredibly special to me, as it is to many people, and I’m excited to explore it in new ways — yay for creative days ahead!

I’m over the moon at the thought of being in New York for the holiday season. Brooklyn was lit up before Thanksgiving, and frankly, I can’t complain. Growing up just outside of Boston, then attending college right in downtown, I have always been fortunate to see the sheer magic spun out of a city at Christmas. My semester in Dublin was dazzling come November, the Grafton and O’Connell Street areas a hallmark of shop displays and lights. A good friend and I traveled to Prague in December and witnessed their exquisite Christmas market, and when my family visited me we spent time in Galway and enjoyed festive activities (and drinks–I can’t forget about the mulled wine). For two years now, my family and I have come to New York just before New Year’s to see a Broadway show and take in a few sights; though the tourists still flock wildly, it is still so special to be here. Around this time a couple of years ago, I visited friends in Burlington, Vermont, and Church Street’s displays made me swoon. I have no authority on holiday travel, but my favorite time of year is spent in awe at the beauty around me and the tug of new places waiting to be seen and fawned over.

Somehow, someway, I’m going to incorporate these elements into all (or most of) Blogmas. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to be shifting my central theme only slightly to include lifestyle components. It is the perfect time to do this, though, seeing as it is my first December living in New York and I want to do all of the Christmas things. Including all of the hot chocolate. All of it. (Indeed, this is a hint for an upcoming post. Get excited.)

The more I ramble, the more I realize this is a bit all over the place and too many thoughts for this post along withe the twenty four other posts I have yet to write are all blending into one and ahhhhwfkrejhrfoesjbr I’m going to cut myself off here. For my first post, I’m going to give you my December To Do List. I was going to call this a bucket list, but I hopefully have more Decembers ahead, and these are my hopes for this specific year. Yes, there are way more than just these.

  1. Visit the Union Square and Bryant Park Christmas markets. Prague and Galway’s sprawling markets were holiday fantasies come to life. For local handmade treasures, baubles, and gifts, as well as treats to munch on as you stroll (think: white chocolate-covered chicken, which is SO much tastier than it sounds), these are the places to go come the weekend. My mom and sister are coming down in a couple of weekends, and we’re making the trip there.
  2. Watch: White Christmas,  The Christmas Chronicles, Scrooge, Elf, The Santa Clause, Home Alone,  Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and It’s A Wonderful Life, among many others. White Christmas is on my docket for tonight – I just need to run to the bodega for a pack of M&Ms to complete the holy matrimony of chocolate and popcorn. My parents highly recommend the second one, a new Netflix movie, starring Kurt Russell. Scrooge is one of my favorites, but I almost never sit down and watch it. The rest are classics that I’m bound to get around to… minus It’s a Wonderful Life, in the same set of marbles as Scrooge. No gambles for me this year, Satan!
  3. Go see Bohemian Rhapsody again. It’s not Christmas-y, but it’s spirited and magical nonetheless. I saw the film with my family when they came down to the city to celebrate my dad’s birthday, and I am still hardcore floored by it. We all love their music, and I’m learning how seriously obsessed I am with biopics, and this was everything. Especially on the big screen. As mentioned, my mom and sister are visiting in two weeks, and we’re planning to see it together again!
  4. Try a new holiday cookie recipe. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies, one I don’t do enough of, and I’m in the market for a new cookie recipe. If you’ve got ’em, please flaunt ’em in the comments! Alongside this one, I’m planning to bake and decorate shaped sugar cookies. It’s a random delicacy that I’ve come across far too many photos of that have made me jealous and hungry.
  5. Volunteer. I firmly believe that kindness and time are the keys to a better world. I have to investigate volunteer opportunities in the area, but I’m sure there are plenty, as there are everywhere. This holiday season, when people need to be uplifted the most, I intend to give more of my time to the community.

2018 has been one of my most frustrating years so far, which unfortunately comes at the cost of being somewhat of an adult staking their claim on the planet. It has challenged and, once in a while, emptied me. But so too has it uplifted, awakened, and thrilled me, in charting my path as a writer, a traveler, a woman, and a student of the world. My generally happy disposition is in tact, after all is said and done, and I think this is the most important lesson I’m taking away from the year. No matter how hopeless or despairing the world seems, whether in news updates or a seemingly endless list of job rejections, there is always something to get out of bed for, and something to smile about. This month, I want the positives to win out entirely, and I hope with this Blogmas you’ll feel the same inclination towards spreading all of the love you have to give.

All. The. Love.

*Fun Blogmas graphic that I’m going to insert here tomorrow because my eyes are exhausted and I have to go get my M&M’s because priorities*

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