Friday Favorites

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, the holidays are upon us! In just a few short weeks, we’ll be tearing into presents, lamenting the fact that we have to spend time with people who love us, judge us, and drive us insane, and eating far too many cookies for our own good. So what does that have to do with my Friday Favorites? I thought today, I might make a list of my all-time favorite holiday music.

holiday music

Holiday music huh?

Now, before you get on my case about not saying Christmas songs, I don’t have any issue with saying Merry Christmas, but I also don’t have a problem with any other holiday that people celebrate this time of year.

Personally, I’m all for celebrating the winter solstice, but since my family celebrates Christmas, I spend time with them and give them gifts because I love them. Most of the songs on my list have to do with Christmas, but some of them are just about winter in general. I consider them holiday songs, so that’s what I call them.

Music is Life

I really love holiday music. To me, it’s all about being festive and nostalgic. It awakens warm fuzzy feelings from when my son was small and still believed in Santa. It reminds me of cold, snowy Christmas eve’s as a kid, having hot chocolate and waiting for Santa (aka my orthodontist) to stop by with candy canes and tell us to be good and get to bed before he came back with our presents.

I REFUSE to listen to a single note of holiday music before December 1st. However, as soon as December arrives, you bet I’m listening to it. A lot.

The following ten songs can be found on my holiday playlist to be listened to while I wrap presents, draw, work, take a shower, or anything else I might do while listening to music. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

10. White Christmas

Oh, the feels! I was a bizarre child. I had a thing for Bing Crosby. Despite the fact that most of his movies were older than my mom, I loved to watch them. And his voice, so wow, much swoon. I really love the Drifter’s version of this song as well, but this song just says childhood to me.

9. Winter Wonderland

While any version of this song is okay by me, Amy Grant’s rendition is my favorite. I can’t even tell you why. I don’t even like Amy Grant. But I love the way she sings this song. This one has been a favorite since I was a kid. I learned the words and tune when I was about 10 years old and I’ve been singing it throughout the winter ever since.

8. Silver Bells

Yes, another rendition by good ol’ Bing. I can’t resist that crooner. But it’s not just Mr. Crosby that makes this song so good. Carol Richards lends her voice to this one and makes it that much richer in harmony. This will always be one of my favorites.

7.  White Wine in the Sun

As the heathen I am, Tim Minchin is one of my favorite comedians. And this song, though not exactly a funny song, gets me right in the feels. This, to me, is exactly what Christmas is about. When you aren’t religious, it’s still a wonderful time to celebrate and enjoy those you love.

6.  Santa Baby

Eartha Kitt’s purr is just perfect for this song. I’ve never heard anyone quite match it. It’s such a sassy song, and I’m all about sassy. This song always lifts my spirits.

5. Carol of the Bells

The first time I heard this song was when I watched Home Alone. I immediately fell in love with it, and I’ve enjoyed listening to it ever since. I’ve never actually heard a bad version of it. But this one by Lindsey Stirling just blows me away. She’s amazing.

4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside

There is a lot of controversy these days over this song, and I just don’t get it. I hear this song and think winter romance. It has been and will remain toward the top of my list of favorite holiday songs. This version by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer is the best I have found. I enjoy the classic sound.

3. Good King Wenceslas

This song is such an excellent reminder of why it is important to be charitable not just at this time of year, but always. This rendition by Blackmore’s Night suits the song so well, giving it a slightly medieval flare. So pretty!

2. The Christmas Song

Who doesn’t love this song? It’s so…Christmas! And the classic, smooth voice of Nat King Cole? I just have no words for how much I love this song. It’s everything a Christmas song should be. I actually didn’t like this song at all when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I found an appreciation for it, and now I can’t imagine having it missing from my holiday playlist.

1. Feliz Navidad

Surprised? I know, it seems a strange choice for my number one favorite holiday song of all-time. But I cannot listen to this song without getting happy and in a festive mood. It’s the Gangnam Style of holiday music. I have to dance along with it whenever I hear it. So, thank you to Jose’ Feliciano for such a fantastic number. It’s catchy, it’s easy to learn, and I challenge you to not tap your toes when you listen to it. Go on. I’ll wait.

goodluck

What is your favorite holiday/Christmas song? Share it in the comments! And remember, if you need help getting past all those Christmas cookies, you can check out my Holiday Survival Guide.


Daily Dose of Music

There’s more? Yep! From now until December 26th, you can expect a new holiday song in this section.

Mimi’s Holiday Survival Guide

Winter is coming. No, this isn’t a post about Game of Thrones. But winter is definitely on the way, and with it comes the holidays. I don’t know about you, but the holidays are Enemy #1 for my waistline. Last year was the first time I didn’t gain any weight over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’m going to share with you just how I managed that with a little survival guide.

UGH Not Another One

I know, I know. Like you need another holiday survival guide telling you to not eat bread and stay away from parties that might have pie. I promise you, that’s not what this is about. There is no eat this and not that in my survival guide! This is Amazing Mimi, not Jillian Michaels. This is just what worked for me and the mister. The only promise I make is that your holiday will be just a little less stressful over your scale.

Holiday Survival Guide

Repeat After Me:

“I am not a turkey. I will not stuff myself like one.” Start saying that now, and don’t stop until New Year’s Day. Say it to yourself every time you are presented with food. You are not a turkey. Don’t stuff yourself like one. Have a slice of pie. Have a cookie. Eat a piece of fudge. Just don’t have all three at once!

When you sit down to a Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner, repeat it. “I am not a turkey. I will not stuff myself like one.” Take a little of everything you like. Enjoy every single bite of all of the things you love. Yes, even the mashed potatoes and the stuffing. But if you have to loosen your belt or unbutton your pants…yeah, you’ve done stuffed yourself like a turkey.

Holiday Survival

Dessert, It’s what’s for dinner

Dessert plates, that is. Do you know how much food you can fit onto a normal size dinner plate? A lot. Do you know how much food you can fit on a dessert plate? A lot less. If you are in danger of stuffing yourself at a family gathering or office party, swap out your dinner plate for a dessert plate. If you limit yourself to filling that plate only twice, you are more likely to eat less of everything, or more of just the things you really love. Trust me, if you fill it twice, you will eat plenty.

Let’s say you aren’t really fond of cranberry sauce, but every year you always take a little to be polite. Well, if you don’t have room on your little plate, I guess you can’t take any. Sorry, Aunt Kathy.

Holiday Survival

No Nap for You!

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition. You eat until you want to burst and then you go into a food coma. Don’t do it! And stop blaming that poor turkey for you wanting to go hibernate until Christmas Eve. Turkey actually has less tryptophan than chicken.

The real culprit for sending you into log sawing mode is overeating, and all the carbs and sugar you ingest. A good way to stave off nap time is to get up and go for a walk, turn on some music and dance while you do the dishes, or go push your kids on the swing. Get your muscles moving, and burn off some of that food to help you get through the after-meal slump.

Holiday Survival

Treat it like a cheat

Treating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve like cheat days has two wonderful benefits. For one, you are less likely to feel guilty about your indulgences, which lowers the amount of stress you feel surrounding your diet. Two, you are far more likely to get right back on track the next day, just like you would after any other cheat day.

One of the big problems we face on our cheat days is leftovers. When we can’t finish a meal, we have to decline taking leftovers from restaurants. If we bring it home, we will eat it, and probably not when we should.

The same applies to holiday leftovers. If you are eating elsewhere, don’t take home any doggy bags. You’re not a dog. But what if the holidays are at your house this year? Ply your guests with all your carbs and sugars to take with them. If they don’t want them: Toss Them.

Oh my god, did I just tell you to throw out food?! Yes. Yes, I did. This was seriously one of the hardest things I ever had to get used to doing when we changed our diet. We are told to eat everything on our plate, to not let anything go to waste. There are starving children in Africa. If you think your leftover green bean casserole will stay good on the trip to Africa, by all means, send it. If not, then let it go.

Keep the foods that are nourishing and safe for your daily diet. Turkey, heck yeah! Stuffing? Probably not.

Scale back your weigh-ins

Let’s face it, you are likely to gain a pound or two over the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep them! One thing that the mister and I do to stay sane, is to put our scale away for a week. We weigh on Saturday morning. If we eat a little too much on Thanksgiving, and then step on the scale on Saturday, how would we feel?

Probably discouraged. But, if we treat Thanksgiving like a cheat day, leave the scale alone on Saturday, and then come back and weigh the next week on our regular schedule, the chances of us having lost all the water weight, and burned off all the Thanksgiving goodies is MUCH higher.

My suggestion is to stay off the scale until you’ve had at least a week of regular eating and exercise to help stabilize your weight.

Pretty painless, right?

That’s it. That’s all there is to Mimi’s Holiday Survival Guide. Just remember, if you gain a pound or two or even ten, it’s not the end of the world. We are amazing creatures and we have the ability to change our habits and lose any weight that we put on. The best way to survive is by living.


Daily Dose of Music