once upon a december...

 decemBRRR... | photo credit: Ali Campbell

decemBRRR... | photo credit: Ali Campbell

Of all the things that get me through a busy holiday season, I like my little traditions best. So much of the planning, purchasing and preparation for the holidays can feel so obligatory after a while when all you want to do is nothing except drink a cup of hot tea. (Anyone else?) So instead of dreading the shopping lists and on-line ordering, I'm making a list of the greatest things to do to wind down the year.


Catching a performance of "The Nutcracker" | From the time I was in third grade until high school, I danced in a local production of The Nutcracker. Auditions for the show were in the fall which meant I was ready for the holiday season well before it was already underway. My roles as a cherub, polichinelle and toy soldier (to name a few), became a favorite tradition and now I love watching all renditions of this classic holiday story.

The performance I'll be watching this year: Click here.


Decorating all the spaces I dwell in over the holiday season | As a wise elf once said, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear". And he'd not wrong. But in spaces where singing might not always be possible at all times, decking the halls wherever you are is a great way to keep the holiday spirit alive from the workplace to the living room.

My favorite holiday decorations can be found below:

Meeting up for fireside drinks at Avery Bar | Fewer things make me feel fancier during the holidays and winter season than stopping into a hotel bar. Especially if there's a fireplace involved. There's something so cozy and about the hospitality of a hotel and visiting for a simple cocktail or hot cocoa is like having that luxe experience without the commitment of an overnight.

The best fireside spots from Thrillist.

Ordering a bag of candied roasted nuts from a street vendor | The day Yankee Candle creates a scent resembling that of the nut street vendors at the holiday season is the day I give them all of my money. For me, there is nothing more holiday than the aroma that wafts from Downtown Crossing during the holidays and if someone bottled that up for me to enjoy periodically throughout the year then I would be the happiest girl in the world.

Shop my picks for the greatest holiday candles.


Peering in the windows at macy*s in Downtown Crossing | There's a long history in Boston involving the Downtown Crossing neighborhood and it's holiday regalia. Whether its a holiday performance in the Theater District, the holiday lights that hang over street signs or a welcoming bar beckoning you in, there's nothing that quite compares to the holiday scenes in the windows at macy*s. If you're ever in need of a little holiday spirit, I challenge you to take a little walk down School Street. I swear your heart will grow three sizes.

Holiday essentials you can find at macy*s: