The Christmas Project – Results

Christmas was officially over, but I was luckily still in the beginnings of a long holiday vacation. I love it when you have so much time off that you don’t even know what day it is, or even care for that matter.

When it came to festivities and the goals I set for myself to celebrate the season (dubbed The Christmas Project – thanks, I came up with that myself!), I did pretty well, though admittedly there were some…um…hiccups.

1. Decorate my apartment. 
Result: DONE 
While my prized glitter poinsettia plant (pictured in the header) died about 2 weeks before Christmas, all was well when my Christmas tree came along and provided the warmest, festive feeling whenever I was home. You can read about my tree experience here.

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2. Watch at least 2 Christmas themed movies a week.
Result: DONE

Love Actually kicked-off a Holiday flick marathon for the whole month of December. Along with The Holiday, This Christmas, Just Friends, Home Alone, Fred Claus (which was so awful I turned it off so this might not count), Rare Exports, and Gremlins.

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3. Get Christmas shopping done well before Christmas.
Result: DONE

I can proudly say that thanks to my pre-planning using a secret Pinterest board, this gal was done Christmas shopping by December 21st! Some of my favorites to hand out this year was an engraved business card holder for my boyfriend’s Mom who just started a new jewelry business, and tickets to The Groundlings (the best improve show in L.A.) for my boyfriend.

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4. Bake something festive.
Result: FAIL

Let’s just say I did A LOT of eating of festive inspired cookies, but failed to actually make them. Honestly, this was the holiday goal I knew would be the most challenging for me to get to, even as I was typing it I wasn’t very confident. For now, this handy collage of images I made from Pinterest images will have to do in place of the fact that I was too lame enough to follow through.

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5. Lots of Hot Cocoa.
Result: DONE

Okay, so I didn’t exactly count how many cups I’ve had, but suffice to say that I had at least  2 cups per week.

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6. Be present.
Result: DONE (to the best of my ability)

This one is hard to gauge whether or not I actually accomplished enough to say one way or another. On the one hand, I listened to Christmas music, watched movies, decorated my apartment, wrapped gifts, and spent time with some of my favorite people celebrating the season. However, it’s no secret that this Holiday season was overshadowed by some bad news both personally and in the world around me. Suddenly, I felt guilty and a sense of missing cheer about wanting to be active in the season in light of certain events. I will give myself an “A” for effort because as I reflect, I know I did the best that I could, given the circumstances. Once we hit Santa Cruz and got into the spirit, I couldn’t have been more present and welcomed the feeling.

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The Christmas Project

Welcome to December! And if we’re lucky, we’ll make it through the end of the world into an uncharted 2013 calendar year. Gotta love those Mayans! They certainly know how to stir up some drama. Couldn’t they have at least waited until AFTER Christmas to dub civilization over? That way, we at least get to die near our Christmas trees with a full stomach and new toys surrounding us? I suspect it will be pretty anti-climactic in the end, kind of like how Y2K came and went. This doesn’t mean that we won’t hear about it for the entire Holiday filled weeks ahead. So prepare mentally now for your Facebook feed to change tone; or not much at all if you have sarcastic, someecards.com loving friends like I do.

I’ve decided to challenge myself this month to not only survive the end of the world, but to grab 2012 by the balls and go out with a bang (probably not the best word choice in light of the end of time coming soon?). I really liked doing this for Halloween. I guess in theory it won’t be much different, you’re just swapping out pumpkins and horror for gingerbread and cheer! Being the slightly (okay, more than slightly) O.C.D. lover of setting goals and crossing things off lists that I am, I’ve decided to make festivity priority number one this Christmas. Here are my month long to-dos, a.k.a. – The Christmas Project:

1. Decorate my apartment.

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This year I want my very own Christmas tree! I made my first decorative purchase last week while at Trader Joe’s. This real mini poinsettia plant. It even had glitter on it! I couldn’t resist.

2. Watch at least 2 Christmas themed movies a week.

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This one will be completely do-able for me. Aside from being a total movie whore naturally, I already kicked this task off with my first festive flick, Love Actually (I never get sick of this one). Also on my list to bring in the cheer: Home Alone, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Family Stone, Trapped In Paradise (suggested by the BF), and a slew of others I’ll be watching thanks to Moviefone’s blog entry.

3. Get Christmas shopping done well before Christmas.

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I have a bit of a problem with waiting until the last minute to start Christmas shopping and then I’m in the throes of total chaos kicking myself. Not because I’m in the chaos (I kinda like being with other “last-minuters”) but because it takes circling 30 minutes just to find a parking space to even get in the door! Then again, I do tend to get the most creative and inspired when under pressure. Here’s an actual picture I took of the Westfield Culver City mall 2 Christmas’ ago on December 23rd (on my like 1 megapixel Blackberry I had at the time). What the heck was I doing in a mall 2 days before Christmas? This year, thanks to Pinterest’s awesome new secret boards; I’ll be visually prepared, organized, and done in a more timely manner…December 22nd, the latest. 🙂

4. Bake something festive.

1-Blog Pics{Photos courtesy of Pinterest and someone who stole them from someone else, who stole from someone else, etc..}.

I can’t decide if it will be cupcakes, brownies, or cookies – but they better look like snowmen, Christmas trees, a star, or something. These Pinterest photos I’ve been collecting (since like July) give you an idea of what I’m talking about!

5. Lots of Hot Cocoa.

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Again, I started this to-do already. My first official hot chocolate of the season, complete with whipped cream, captured above.

6. Be present.

Literally, be present. Not in a gift giving sense, but to really slow down and enjoy this time of year: the weather, the decorations while walking the street, my closet full of scarves, holding warm beverages, smiling at strangers, running up my credit card, parties, movies, shopping, wrapping presents, listening to Christmas music, and spending time with people I love to be around.

These are my Christmas to-do’s. I’ll report back after the holidays.

HAPPY DECEMBER TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD MONTH!

🙂