Wednesday, December 20, 2017

7 Things that Get Me in the Holiday Spirit

And so are the holidays! I get extra excited for Christmas when there are less than ten days to go, but there are a few things that never fail to get me in the holiday spirit. Whether they be books, TV shows, or special food, they're all festive to me.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Hogwarts at Christmas is magical. You can't help but feel the wonder as Harry does during his first year at Hogwarts, with the Great Hall decked out in holiday attire and presents appearing at the foot of his bed when he wasn't expecting anything at all. There's something really innocent about the first book that feels extra cozy in December.

2. "Sherlock"

I started an accidental tradition with myself a few years ago when I was wrapping presents for friends and family. I wanted some background noise, so I put on an old "Sherlock" episode I'd seen a dozen times already. Now I watch an episode as I wrap every year. (This year I watched "A Scandal in Belgravia," since there's an actual Christmas party in the episode.)

3. "Doctor Who" Christmas specials

I consistently love the "Doctor Who" Christmas specials, and not just because they're longer. They're always a little bit heartbreaking, but also very heartwarming, and extremely well-written. This year I watched "A Christmas Carol" with my brother, since we were in a stage production of "A Christmas Carol." My favorites are probably "The Christmas Invasion" (because Tennant) and "Voyage of the Damned" (because Tennant). "The Snowmen" is also pretty good and really funny.

4. Hot chocolate with peppermint ice cream

Besides being delicious, this drink also prompts really great memories of me writing Beneath the Moon and Stars, which is set around Christmas and often features the main characters drinking hot chocolate with peppermint ice cream. If you haven't tried it before, you should do it now.

5. Christmas Crack

AKA addictive toffee that you have to crack apart into little pieces when you make it (see? The pun works both ways.). It's oh-so-good and the perfect blend of sweet and salty. We tops ours with all kinds of goodies: coconut, M&M's, Reese's minis, crushed candy canes, mini Twix, etc.

6. Rissóis de Camarão (Portuguese shrimp turnovers)

My family made these one year and we've had to restrain ourselves from making it several times throughout the year because they're amazing. Hands down my favorite holiday treat. We haven't made them yet this Christmas and my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

7. Snow and fuzzy socks

Nothing beats snow falling outside while you're warm and cozy inside, curled up with a book or bingewatching a new show.

What festive traditions do you have? Leave a comment!


Dr. Mark said...

I love ALL these things. I especially love that we can share the Doctor Who Christmas specials now. Reading your post, I realize that there are a few things we need to do to REALLY get into the spirit around here!

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark

Good thing there's still plenty of time to do those things. ;) I'm especially excited for the Doctor Who Christmas special this year. Regeneration episodes are always extra good (and extra stressful).

Jimmy said...

I am trying hot chocolate with peppermint ice cream TONIGHT! That sounds so good and why hadn't I ever thought of that? Sounds like the making of a new Romero family tradition.

New Mexico has a lot of great Christmas foods. Biscochitos are my favorite. They are cookies with anise, sugar and cinnamon. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I hear they are perfect for coffee dipping. Tamales of course, but I can have too much of them. And empanadas filled with meat and nuts or with fruit. And why do people wait until the holidays to make zucchini and pumpkin breads? And toffee is good every day of the year and so my younger kids always give me Skor candy bars for my birthday, but there's a local candy shop called Buffet's here in town that makes toffee with dark chocolate and pinon nuts and I'm pretty sure the price per ounce is equivalent to many precious metals.

It's not Christmas Eve without luminarias. This year we're going to put some around my mom's grave. I hope that doesn't sound morose. We're looking forward to honoring her with that gesture.

Sometime during the holidays, families should meet up for breakfast at the Frontier near UNM and smother their breakfast in their warm green chile salsa that they keep in giant kettles.

If I ever get to create my own world, no matter where you live everyone wakes up to snow on Christmas morning. The soft, quiet, fluffy kind.

The Little Drummer Boy--the song and the movie--always puts me in the Christmas spirit.

And credit to our LDS ward--year after year Bro. Rasmussen gathers our youth and adults with musical talent and puts together the most incredible Christmas program the Sunday before Christmas. It's so magnificent that it almost makes me understand why members pay tithing without knowing where the money goes. ;)

I got carried away?

Ivyclad Ideas said...

To me, shloer smells like Christmas because at home we only buy it at Christmas. Since I've gone to uni, I've bought it a couple of times when a new season of my favourite show has dropped and I'm planning to binge-watch it - every time I open it I smell Christmas. Doesn't matter the month. :')

The Magic Violinist said...


I hope you liked it! You can put so many things in hot cocoa, but I never would've thought of them unless someone else suggested it to me.

Biscochitos seem similar to biscoitos (Portuguese sugar cookies). I bet they're really good. Tamales and empanadas are great holiday foods (or any time of the year)!

Luminarias are super pretty and sound like the perfect way to honor her. :)

Christmas is the perfect time for snow, totally agree.


It's funny what things become holiday reminders simply because we've created a unique tradition. Of course that means sometimes you're in a Christmas mood in, like, July. ;) I just looked up what shloer is and it sounds really good!

Boquinha said...

3 fandoms. 3 foods. And something winter-themed. Sounds about right!

Jimmy, all those foods sound delicious! You actually gifted us some pine nut candies when we first met you in person. I don't remember the name of the store, but MAN were they delicious! I love toffee, too, because it's butter/salty as well as sweet. And *snort*/LOL at the rest of your comment. :P

Ivy, I had to look that up! I hadn't heard of it but it looks good!

I want credit for the Peppermint Ice Cream/Cocoa combination. It's something I thought of myself years ago and has become tradition. We used to use Candy Canes and once I discovered Peppermint Ice Cream, it just seemed like a much better addition to cocoa than a candy cane, because it's also creamy and cools down the drink so it's not too hot. :)

The Magic Violinist said...


That seems to be the appropriate ratio of items, right?

That's right, you did come up with it. Plus, candy canes make the mug sticky and don't melt down right away, so peppermint ice cream is better in every way.