Christmas Bucket List

Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year! 

It's probably no shock but I've been decorated for Christmas since November 1st! I'm pretty sure by now everyone has hit the point in their lives that they've decided to decorate early this year due to all that's going on. And if you haven't hit that point yet then I give you props. I'm not sure how you could hold out until after Thanksgiving. 

I've already started planning out our Christmas festivities and things I plan on making traditions for our family. We already have a few family traditions but I'm planning so much more. Some will have to wait until next year but I'm still going to add them to our list. 

As our family is continuing to grow, I find myself getting very sentimental about this season. I can't believe Ellie will be 2 in February. I feel like she's still my little baby. I could be very weepy due to the hormones of being pregnant, but I forsure was weepy last year and I was not pregnant then. I just think this time is so special and life is going by so incredibly fast. Someone please show me how to slow it down. It's just going to go by faster the more kids we have. 

So I'm making this list for my family. This list won't be for everyone but I hope that it just inspires you to slow down and enjoy this season of life. There is so much uncertainty happening all around us right now and we just need to focus on what is important to us right now. And right now what is important to me is trying to make the best of this time and remember the good things to come out of all of this. 

// Polar Express Train Ride //

This unfortunately will not be happening for our family this year because man these tickets are so difficult to purchase. You need to start watching for them to go on sale in like freakin September. I remembered in October and I unfortunately missed the sale date by only a few days. I couldn't believe it. So this year we will be getting in our matching family pajamas, making popcorn, eating an obscene amount of cookies and drinking hot chocolate. We will have a blankie party all cuddled up on the couch while watching the polar express by the fire. 

All that matters, is that we spend time together. From what I hear from those who have taken this ride, is that it is quite the Christmas experience. Maybe we'll get to go when our kids are a little older or whenever I can get my hands on some tickets! 

// Kraynaks //

I haven't been to Kraynak's since I was a little girl. Last year we attempted to take Ellie but we just got busy and time got away from us so we we're unable to make it. We are going this weekend to make sure we get to take her this season and we will be taking her every year from here on out. If you are not from the Youngstown, Ohio area; Kraynak's is a local garden center that decorates all seasons of the year but their christmas display is spectacular. Their Christmasland is a 300 ft indoor starlight avenue of decorated Christmas trees. Each tree has a theme that is accompanied by surrounding scenery and a cast of life-like animated characters. I'm so excited to watch Ellie be in awe of all that it has to offer. Oh to have joy like a child. 

// Gingerbread House //

I feel like this is a silly one but I don't think I've ever decorated a gingerbread house. What have I been doing all my life?! I already purchased a gingerbread house kit from Target! Ellie is probably a little too small to do this but I think she will have an absolute blast eating the candy at least. And who knows? Maybe she'll actually help me and Anthony decorate it. 

// Joy Of Christmas Drive Thru //

Joy of Christmas is a drive thru light display that you tune to a radio station and they have music as you drive through the light display. Last year at the end of the light display you could get out of your car and go into "Santa's Workshop" to sit on his lap and make a craft and have hot chocolate. I'm not sure that you'll be able to inside for that part but the light up display is a $10 donation per car or they sell season passes if you want to go multiple times. 

Not only was our little town voted Best Place to live in America by Reader's Digest, it was just voted Top 25 Christmas Towns in the US. 

So our little Hallmark Christmas town also holds a Christmas parade every year. They kick the night off by caroling on the square, then Town Tree Lighting ceremony, and a parade follows. We usually bundle up in our warmest coats and grab a cup of hot chocolate. 

// Trans- Siberian Orchestra //

We went to see Trans- Siberian Orchestra a couple years ago and wow, what an incredible Christmas performance. It was hands down one of the best experiences. I love going to concerts and my husband usually just does it because I like it. We honestly had such a blast. We saw them when we lived in Maryland but they play all over the country. If you get a chance to see them, I highly recommend it. 

St. Jude holds such a special place in my heart. For a long time I wanted to be a Pediatric nurse on an Oncology Unit. After nursing school, I became an Emergency Room nurse who occasionally went over to our Pediatric Emergency Dept. I quickly realized I was called to be an Emergency Room nurse on either side, although I prefer adults. It's just easier to get a simple set of vital signs in adults than it is in kids. God bless the nurses who work here full time. 

There's a few reasons I donate to St. Jude. I've talked about before the reason I became a nurse and it had a whole lot to do with one of my sister's friends who passed away due to cancer at the very young age of 7. Her little life has impacted me and my sister's life in ways she will never know. This is why I hold St. Jude so close to my heart. There are many places to donate for this same cause but St. Jude is different. They do everything by donation. Their patients do not pay for one cent and I stand behind that 100%. No parent, who is having to go through this horrible time, should have to worry about the medical bills that are going to come regardless of their sweet baby's outcome. 

I hope that you chose to give back to those in need at some point during this Christmas season and remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. 

Most of the things on this list are local to us in Youngstown, Ohio, but hopefully if you aren't from around here than it gave you some ideas of things to look up in your area. I hope you have a blessed Christmas.


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