It seems like every year I get more and more excited about the Christmas season. That stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas is just packed with so many wonderful things. The expectation of Advent, visits to family, all the best songs, Christmas cookies — I love it all! Last Sunday we ended Thanksgiving break by walking over to Eastern Market to pick up our tree and kick of the season with some of our favorite holiday traditions. Our house smells like the season now, thanks to that massive bag of scraps that James hauled back. I spread them across the tops of our bookcases, making our apartment feel like a ski lodge and leaving pine needles everywhere. We did not cut down our tree ourselves. It is short and slants to the side. We have an old sheet wrapped around the base, there are no lights on the back, and it is decorated with every last one of our 14 ornaments. We love it. And yes, that is Fireplace for your Home (season 1, episode 2) crackling beside the tree. I find footage of logs burning quite soothing.
Driving back from Indiana I started making a list of some of the things I am excited about doing in over the next couple weeks. Here are some of our DC holiday favorites:
- Checking out the Capitol Christmas Tree.
- Free Christmas concerts at the DC Botanic Gardens, where we also marvel at the huge model train.
- Candlelight Christmas tours at Mount Vernon.
- The Eastern Market tree forest.
- Taking in a viewing of The Nutcracker.
- Taking in the tree, wreaths, and train at Union Station.
- Singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs at all appropriate (and some inappropriate) times.
- Advent, and all the wonderful expectation that means.
- Zoo Lights! To be fair, we always intend to do this and never make it. But I am putting this on here to get me to actually go check them out!
DC people, what are your favorite holiday happenings? For those of you elsewhere, what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions wherever you are?
Seems like you have a lot to look forward to! The tree looks lovely. Each year, my family takes a special trip in the car to see the neighborhood’s Christmas lights– that’s probably my favorite tradition.
Light drives are the best! The one sad city thing is that I feel like DC people don’t decorate their houses as much as people did in the suburbs/country growing up.
You don’t know me from anywhere but I sure enjoy your blog! My family and I hiked to see the Capitol tree when it was still standing in the forest a few miles from our place– i hope it looks as gorgeous in DC as it did in the MN wild! Merry Christmas
That is so exciting — you saw it in the wild!!! I will make sure to take photos and share. They let school children decorate it, so it usually looks how you would imagine a tree decorated by children would, but we love it so much!
Thanks for this happy hopeful post! So much of the internet is stressed right now, I’m glad someone else is enjoying this wonderful time! Thanks!!!
I mean, I should be stressed out because there is a lot to do… BUT CHRISTMAS. I just don’t want the season to go too fast!
I have been reading your blog for over a year now (and really enjoy it!). I recently moved to the DC area. You listed a lot of things that are on my list to do this month. I am really looking forward to the Holiday Boat Parade of lights this Saturday in Old Town Alexandria.
Welcome to the area! We have talked about trying to hit the Alexandria parade because I hear it is really good!
We got to go to the Behold the Lamb of God concert two days ago!! I don’t know if Andrew Peterson, Andy Gullahorn, and all the other members of that tour will be near you at any point in the next month, but it is SO wonderful and good and what Christmas ought to feel like. ❤ Anyway… if you can't go (or they're not coming your way) you just need to look up/listen to all of Andrew Peterson's music… His website is andrew-peterson.com which I only offer up because I didn't know it had a hyphen in it for awhile and had trouble finding it. 🙂
Our church is actually hosting one of his concerts!!! I couldn’t make it last year, but we are hoping to this year, depending on when we have to leave to drive home. Thanks for the recommendation!
Catching up on missed posts right now, and have to chuckle and be super happy about your Christmas tree because:
1. It looks like James carried it home? I hope so.
2. It is short and slants to the side.
3. You did not cut it yourselves.
4. You have an old sheet wrapped around the base.
5. It is decorated with every last one of your 14 decorations.
Why do I chuckle? Because all five of those things are almost EXACTLY Jer’s and my tree. Jer carried it home, and we have exactly 8 ornaments, and everything else is spot on. And I love it so much. These are the years to remember, and frankly, I hope we don’t change things up too much when we are more “established” in life, whatever that means. Love you!
Indeed he did!
I agree- I kind of want to hold on to this moment we are pretty happy with so “little”!
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