Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year: cold weather, Christmas lights, watching kids get excited about presents, Christmas movies, and getting together with friends and family. There is so many fun things to do and see. I thought I would write a post about it and maybe share some of my ideas for the holiday season: places to see, where to shop, where to eat, special events and family activities, movies in theaters, movies to rent, and Christmas music.
You can’t have Christmas without a tree, so if you haven’t put yours up yet, you should check out Christmas in the Country in Flower Mound, even if you have a fake tree (like I do some years). This is good family fun and plenty of stuff for the kids to do including sleigh rides and both complimentary hot chocolate and cider.
If you can’t stand going to the mall to shop, here are some alternate choices: you can find just about any thing you need at Target, especially if you’re a young family with or without kids. Barnes and Noble, I’ve discovered, is always a good choice if you are shopping for parents, grandparents, and siblings. If you want good deals on CDs, DVDs, and video games, there is a place off of Cooper Street in South Arlington by the Parks Mall called Entertainmart – really good prices. If you are looking for something really special for your wife, you should try Diamond Wholesale Exchange in Addison.
Now this is going to sound really strange: if you want to buy perfume or cologne, a really smart place to shop is Albertsons (the grocery store). They usually carry all the name brands for about half the price. Another good place to shop that has a lot of everything including a wide selection on name brand clothes and isn’t in the mall is Kohl’s.
If you’re a big fan of coffee (which I am not but my wife is), you should try Starbucks Christmas Blend. Starbucks is also an ideal place to buy small gifts for friends and family.
Activities and Events
If you have kids between toddler and teenage, you should try Six Flags Holiday in the Park. I did this when I was a kid and it was a blast! My brother took my kids to Holiday in the Park recently and they had a great time. Tickets are $29.99. Parking is extra. If you want something a little more sophisticated, Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth will have several performances including “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol”. Prices and schedule vary. Casa Manana will also have some exciting shows, including “Frosty the Snowman” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Handel’s “Messiah” will be at the Meyerson Symphony Center December 2nd at 7pm.
Something I am definitely going to do this year is pack up the family, put some hot chocolate in spill-proof containers, get in the truck, listen to 103.7fm (Christmas music) and check out some Christmas lights. For the best Christmas lights communities, visit Grand Prairie, Dallas, and Arlington.
In theaters this holiday season: Fred Clause, starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti; Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium, starring Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman; Enchanted by Walt Disney, starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey; Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage, starring Peter O’ Toole, opens November 30th; Alvin and the Chimpmunks, starring Jason Lee, opens December 15th; The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman, is now showing – I was originally excited when I saw the trailer for this film, but am not sure if it’s something I want to endorse. Please be careful if you plan on taking your children to see this, or even if you are seeing it as an adult. Click here to find out more.
Before or after your movie, here’s a list of cozy places I like to visit during the holiday season.
Le Madeline – French Bakery with a fireplace. Great for a date night and a place where you can pick up some small unique gifts. Cracker Barrel – Notthing upscale, of course, but some good ‘ol country cooking. Family environment and another place where you can pick up some unique gifts
Carrabbas– Italian grill. Great food, great ambiance, nice place to eat in December. Perfect for a date night
Simply Fondue – Although time consuming, it makes for a nice dinner in December.
Around the house
Spending time with the family is one of the things I enjoy most about Christmas. Red wine is something I really enjoy while watching Christmas movies and snacking on my favorite foods. Every year I order summer sausage and cheeses from Hickory Farms. If you’re burnt out on the same old Christmas movies (It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story), here are some movies that have become tradition at my hous: Home Alone, starring Mcullay Culkin and Joe Pesci; Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis; Step Mom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon; The Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage; The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks; Narnia; The Nativity Story; Planes Trains and Automobiles, Steve Martin.
Here are some fresh options on Christmas Music:
“Sounds of the Season” by Enya
“Winter Song” by Sara Mclachlan
“Christmas Songs” by Jars of Clay
“A Christmas Celebration” by Celtic Woman
That covers it for now. If you have any other ideas I forgot to mention, feel free to chime in. Part of the fun is sharing our favorite things. Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!