Monthly Archives: December 2020

January Self-Care Challenge

Are you ready for your January Self-Care Challenge? I have created 31 challenges for you to complete. Don’t worry, they are easy! January self care challenge (download and print)

(1) Eat black-eyed peas and greens. It’s good luck and they are good for you!

(2) Watch the Quadranids meteor shower. If you can’t see them, just take a moment to look at the night sky.

(3) Fill a planner with events. There are so many things to look forward to in 2021. Mark the events and days you don’t want to miss in your calendar, along with birthdays and anniversaries. It will give you a lift because it will give you something to look forward to. We all need that.

(4) Today is National Spaghetti Day! Spaghetti would be the perfect warm meal for a cold day. Spaghetti sauce is good for you — unless it has lots of sugar in it. Pick a sauce that doesn’t have sugar, like Simply Ragu (or make your  own). I think the kind without sugar tastes exactly like the regular kind! Important: researchers are finding that the antioxidant lycopene, a nutrient found in tomato sauce, appears to be useful in treating the corona virus. Lycopene also helps prevent heart disease, liver disease and some cancers.

Photo by cottonbro on

(5) Pick a book to read this month. Something you have been meaning to read but haven’t made the time for, maybe.

(6) Save a little money. I know it is hard to save right now. Last year, I saved pennies, dimes and nickesls in a can. (i use my quarters for laundry). It was just my spare change, so I didn’t really miss it. I cashed it in yesterday and it was $25! And I really needed it this month. Even if you only save a $1 a week, by the end of the year, just think: you would have saved $52! If you saved $10 a month, you’d have $120.

(7) Here is a winter guided meditation for today…it is only a couple of minutes long.

(8) Today is Bubble Bath Day! Enjoy!

(9) Today is Vision Board Day! You can make a Vision Board on a bulletin board, in your journal or planner, on a poster or on a smaller sheet of paper. Vision Boards help you visualize how you will feel when you achieve a goal…or what achieving that goal may look like. You can cut out phrases and pictures from magazines, Pinterest or Google to make a collage that inspires you. I also like to use the paper pads from Michael’s, as well as stickers.


(10) Complete a crossword puzzle. Word games are good for your brain. I like the ones in Women’s World magazine because they are fairly easy but if you are up to the New York Times one, have at it! Womens World magazine also has sweet affirmations you can cut out and post to inspire and motivate you.

(11) Today is Clean Your Desk Day! January is such a good month for organizing and de-cluttering. You’ll work more effectively with a clean desk.

(12) Today is Stick to Your Resolutions Day! Check back with this blog on January 12th for ideas on how to stick to your resolutions.

(13) Create a sacred space in your home. I think this will be a fun project I plan to do. All that is needed is to set up some corner of your home, in your bedroom, perhaps, where you can meditate or pray. Add a floor pillow or other comfortable seating, maybe a candle, plant, crystal or other item to help you focus. There are some beautiful examples on Pinterest.

(14) Take Vitamin D and avoid foods and drinks with high fructose corn syrup. Especially in winter, most of us are deficient in Vitamin D. If you are elderly, obese or a person of color, you need even more Vitamin D than others. Even if your doctor says you are not deficient, taking Vitamin D is a good idea. Researchers and doctors believe taking Vitamin D supplements may help protect you against the corona virus. However, high fructose corn syrup interferes with how the body uses Vitamin D. So avoid or reduce soda and other foods with HFCS during the pandemic.

(15) Take an herbal tea break and make a list of things you are grateful for today.

(16) Here is a Yoga workout for beginners to chase away the winter blues.

(17) Our skin gets dry in the winter. Try soaking your feet for about a half hour. You can add some vinegar to the water. Then use a pumice stone to remove dried skin from cracked heels.

(18) Cook broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts or cauliflower. These foods are low-calorie, full of nutrients and fiber-rich. But important to know for now, they also increase your immunity, according to Woman’s World, which is very important during the pandemic. And Better Homes & Gardens reports this month that eating just a tiny serving daily can lower your chances of forming calcium in your arteries (which can lead to stroke or heart attack) by 46%!

(19) Reduce your stress with this soothing jazz music video.

(20) Have you tried reading affirmations? Have you tried reading them aloud? They can make a big difference in your mental wellbeing. Try saying one while looking in the mirror at yourself.

(21) List ten things you are proud about. Have you tried this? A terrific mood booster. Worth the investment of time!

(22) De-clutter and organize your bathroom. This is a relatively small task that pays off in big benefits because we spend so much time in the bathroom. Clear out everything from under the sink or in storage cabinets and give it a good scrubbing. Toss expired medicines and any makeup older than a year old. Now, when you walk into the bathroom, you’ll find just what you need — a soothing way to start the day.

(23) Connection is so important while we remain safer at home. Since getting together with friends isn’t recommended during a pandemic, schedule time to talk or meet on Zoom to catch up.

(24) Today is National Compliment Day! Make it specific and sweet. You’ll feel great, too!

(25) Run your humidifier. During the cold months, running a humidifier will keep your nasal passages from drying out (especially good for preventing croup in babies!). This helps reduce your chance of getting a respiratory infection. It also eliminates those pesky electric shocks you get in cold weather! It will make your home feel warmer and more cozy. And it’s good for your skin. If you use distilled water, calcium deposits won’t form on the heating element of your humidifier. No humidifer? Open the bathroom doors after showers or boil pots of water to humidify the air.

(26) Here is a challenge: take a walk outside for thirty minutes (unless it is very cold). While you are out, try to touch at least ten trees. If no one is looking, really focus on connecting with at least one tree. What do you feel when you place both hands on the trunk?

(27) Make homemade soup or chili. The one good thing about the pandemic is we have all become better cooks! On a cold day, what can beat a steaming bowl of soup or chili? Here is my easy-to-make chili recipe. 

(28) Have a no-complaint day. I don’t know about you, but I complain TOO much. I’m not proud of that. Sometimes, complaining becomes contagious! Or it can be a way to connect socially, because everyone needs to vent, sometimes. Try to keep your complaining to a minimum by thinking of ways to solve your problems, instead (or live with them, if you can’t solve them). You will be amazed how you feel if you try not to complain once for an entire day!

(29) Tour a museum exhibit, online. Of course, most museums are closed now. But looking at art is so restoring for the soul. You can take a mini tour of just about any major art museum in the world on YouTube. Maybe you’d like to pick some beautifully colorful paintings to look at, since winter can be a little dreary. Matisse is good for the winter blahs! Here is a talk about one of my favorite paintings by the artist, Eduoard Manet.

(30) Hydrate with lemon water. Do you drink enough water? I don’t and I think almost no one does! But we all mean to. I definitely drink more water, however, when I take the time to put lemon slices in a pitcher. Cucumber slices is refreshing, too!

(31) Quarantine safely. There is no better self-care activity we can undertake right now than to NOT get sick during the pandemic. You know what that means: frequent handwashing, cleaning surfaces, wearing a mask and avoiding indoor public spaces….and not getting together with people outside of our household if we can help it. I know this is hard. It won’t last forever, but we have to be diligent for a few more months and now, more than ever.

Happy New Year and bright blessings to you all in 2021!


Plan now for your memorable, pandemic-safe NYE celebration

We’re resolved, right? To spend New Year’s Eve safer at home with just our own household? Agreed? Right! 

That doesn’t mean New Year’s Eve has be a downer. 2020 has been the most challenging year ever for many of us. All the more reason to celebrate and hope for better times in 2021!

Here’s what I think would help make your New Year’s Eve memorable…

Make a plan

Even a loose plan, even if is just for you. For example (customize anyway you wish)…

11 a.m.  Take a walk

12 noon Make lunch

1 p.m. Tidy house and decorate; chill drinks; make dip, black-eyed peas, etc.

3 p.m. Take a nap

4 p.m. Journal/vision board/calendar/resolutions/set intentions/pray/reflect on the old year/etc.

5 p.m. Dress up a little!

6 p.m. Dinner and vide

8 p.m. Call/contact friends and family

9 p.m. Watch NYE programming, read, stretch (dance!), play games, hobby, color, etc.

12 midnight: Watch ball fall down & go to sleep 

Start the day with a walk outside

Where I live, temperatures are going to warm up subsstantially but rain is in the forecast. Here, rain tends to start in the afternoon, not always, but usually. So if you get out before 11 a.m. and take a walk, it will go a long way to elevating your mood (forestalling any blues later) and will help with cabin fever during the evening. Also, if getting fit is one of your resolutiions, you can think of it as a head start!

Clean your home before New Year’s Day (or even New Year’s Eve)

In many cultures, it is considered bad luck to clean your home, particulary to sweep or vacuum, on New Year’s Day, as you may sweep away your good fortune. The same is true for doing laundry. It is customary to give your home a good cleaning before the day arrives.

Put up themed decorations

They can be Christmas decorations! Just more tinsel and string lights will do. If you can’t order any 2021-themed signs, you could always make one. Perfect excuse to get creative? And how about this wreath? I’m making one of these this year. One idea: those photo prop pieces (available at Dollar Tree, Party City and sometimes, Target). Snap off the sticks and use them as decorations on your wreath!

Wear something festive

If you’re home, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be comfortable. But you could do something fun with your hair or wear a glittery sweater. Just look your (comfy) best because you may want to take a photo to remember the night…and also share with your Facebook friends. Or you may be Zoom-greeting friends and family. I have a sparkly sweater to wear that seems to come out on just NYE.

Make something good to eat

There are many customs associated with food in the New Year. In many countries, pigs are a symbol of good luck. A pig roots for its food, moving forward, so it is associated with moving forward in the new year. Conversely, poulty, beef and shellfish are not considered to be “forward eaters” so in Europe, it is avoided on New Year’s. In Italy, it may be eaten with lentils, in Pennyslvania, with sauerkraut. In Asian cultures, eating white food, like eggs, is considered unlucky because white is associated with death but noodles and green vegetables are considered lucky. Germans and Austrians gift each other marzipan pigs. Pomegranates are considered lucky in Mediterrainean countries. In Scotland, on Hogmanay, it was customary to make shortbread cookies and eat a dinner of haggis, parnsips and potatoes. In Spain and Portugal, people eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for 12 happy months in the coming year. And of course, in the U.S., it is considered lucky to eat black eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day. 

Fun for kids (and kids at heart)

If you have little ones, check with your public library about “Noon Year’s Eve” Zoom parties (free, of course) for little ones being held at noon.

You can find New Year’s Eve activities like games, crafts, resolutions and word searches on to download for free or low cost on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

New Year-themed animated specials you can rent or purchase include Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown. 

Make plans to connect with your friends and family

Speaking of friends and family, especially, if you’re on your own, like me! Think now about how you will connect with your friends and family…will you call? Send New Year’s cards? Email New Year wishes? Set up a Zoom meeting? Post on Facebook? Facetime? If you plan it and put it on your calendar, it will happen.

Start filling in your 2021 calendar

You can find great calendars at Dollar Tree for $1 (naturally) and at Target for $3. I keep my calendars each year (which has been helpful to me for several reasons). This year, I found one by Day Designer that is just what I have been searching for. It’s big enough for my large scrawling handwriting, but light enough to carry everywhere AND it has a timed weekly section so I can keep track of appointments. It’s called the Weekly Monthly Planning Calendar ($20) if you want to check it out (Target).]

I will post 2021’s dates for notable events (like Mardi Gras, the Superbowl, Academy Awards, etc.) in a future post.

Sign up for a virtual celebration

Eventbrite and Facebook are listing all kinds of online events for New Year’s Eve, including worship services, concerts, workout sessions, 5Ks, meditation sessions, Bingo, dance parties, Trivia, etc. and most of them are free!

New Year’s Eve TV and online programming

On NBC, New Year’s Eve: Escape from 2020 is on from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is a program of a look back at 2020 produced by NBC News. This will be followed on NBC by New Year’s Eve 2020 with Carson Daly. On ABC, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve starts at 8 p.m. with hosts Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale, Billy Porter and Ciara. 

Starting at 10:30 p.m. YouTube will host “Hello 2021: Americas” on the YouTube Originals channel:  a virtual New Year’s Eve celebration. Juanpa Zurita and Storm Reid host, with celebrity guests Matthew McConaughey, Demi Lovato, RuPaul, Emma Chamberlain and the D’Amelio Family. Musical performances from Dua Lipa, J Balvin, YG, Karol G and Kane Brown; YouTube stars Larray, Marques Brownlee, Dude Perfect, Brad Mondo, ZHC and the Dolan Twins.

Movies and TV Episodes

Here is a list of ones to watch that take place on or around New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve

While You Were Sleeping

Bridget Jones Diary

When Harry Met Sally


The Office, Season 7: Ultimatum

Absolutely Fabulous, Series 3: Happy New Year

Friends, Season 6: The One With the Routine

Fraiser, Season 7: RDWRER

Bubbly Toast

Of course champagne is traditional, but you could also toast with sparkling rose, if you prefer. I’m going the non-alcoholic route with sparkling apple cider. It doesn’t matter what you toast with, as long as it isn’t plain water. That is considerd unlucky!

Make some noise!

Do you have any noisemakers? Making noise in the new year is an ancient tradition that was intended to frighten away evil spirits in many cultures around the world, including Denmark, Vietnam and Japan.

Have you heard the expression, ringing in the new year? In days gone by, church bells rang. It still happens in some communities. In Washington, DC, on New Year’s Day, all the bells in the city will ring between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to welcome the new year. Here is the schedule for the National Bell Schedule. 

Stay Up Until Midnight 

I think there is something magical about being awake as the old year passes. 


Andy Williams Christmas Special 1966

I think you will enjoy this 54 year old Christmas special. It features Andy Williams, his family and his French singer wife. Here is a tip: fast forward through the Osmonds’ fever-dream medley involving Rockette-like soldiers and a peppermint factory. That was the low light of the show. But the rest of it was pretty good! Some classic Christmas songs and an adorable segment where he played with his children near the end of the program.

The Tradition of the Yule Log

Photo by Khari Hayden on

As you may know, many of our favorite Christmas customs, such as decorating our homes with greenery, lighting candles and even eating ham, have ancient roots that pre-dated Christianity.

Ancient Romans and Germanic (Celtic) tribes honored their gods with tributes and feasts around the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year (coming up on December 21).

Some Germanic tribes believed the sun was a wheel and the term Yule is thought to be a derivation of the word for wheel. During this dark time of year, many of the customs revolved around light of some kind, such as candles and bonfires, and of course the Yule Log.

Yule log traditions were celebrated in what we now call Norway, England, France, Ireland, Germany and other parts of the world. There were many beliefs associated with the Yule Log over the centuries. Sometimes, the burning of the log prescribed how many days a feast would last, or a break from work. People made wishes around the Yule log. Pieces of the log were kept to protect a home from lightning strikes or to light the log for the next year. Ashes were used for medicine. Before it was burned, the log was sprinkled with flour and decorated with holly; in France, it was perfumed with wine.

The Yule Log-shaped cake is a relatively recent French invention, also known as the Buche de Noel, but Yule cakes have been made and consumed for centuries. Since the Solstice (December 21) is coming soon, maybe you would like to celebrate the day by making or purchasing a Yule log cake, especially if you don’t have a fireplace! La Madeleine sells a beautiful Buche de Noel cake you can order for $35.00.

Or maybe you and the kids would like to make your own mini Yule logs with Swiss rolls (the Great Value brand ones from Walmart are supposed to be pretty good) and frosting, as is done in this video from Hostess. This looks easy and fun! You can make holly leaves by rolling and cutting out green gumdrops.

If you don’t have a fireplace (neither do I), there are lots of fire place “Yule Log” videos you can wath on YouTube on the longest night of the year, such as this one. I watch these ALL the time 🙂 they are so relaxing! Some have music and some don’t. This one is nice because it doesn’t loop.

Or if you are feeling lonely, you can enjoy the fire with Nick Offerman…

You can also purchase one of these fun, electric vintage yule logs on eBay or Etsy.

And last but not least, here is a simple little, crafted oranment you and the kids can make 🙂

  I hope you have a lovely Solstice and joyful holiday.

Festive and fun events for your holiday calendar

Happy Holidays! Here’s a round-up of safe and festive events and classes for adults and for all ages. All are free, unless otherwise indicated. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19

Cool Yule Tip: Would you like to serve a traditional Buche de Noel / Yule Log cake for the Winter Solstice on Monday, December 21st? Order your cake today from your local La Madeleine ($34.99) for pickup on Monday.

National Wreaths Across America. All veterans cemeteries. Click the link to volunteer.

Reston Town Center live, outdoor  entertainment. Roving Holiday Performers, Market Street  12PM-4PM Holiday characters, stilt walkers, and jugglers. Carolers Town Square Park  1PM-3PM Acapella quartet performing holiday favorites.

ONLINE Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long 4 p.m. STREAMING LIVE ONLINE.  This annual musical celebration reprises this evening with an all-new performance of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Sing along while remaining safer at home.

Fairfax Symphony and Fairfax Ballet present The Nutcracker. 4 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $39 – $89.

Mansion House Christmas Candlelight Tour – Carlyle House, Alexandria. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets required.

Sunday, December 20. Fourth Day of Advent

Today is Go Caroling Day

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday greeting cards.

Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble plays holiday favorites next to the Reston Town Center Tree (outdoors) Noon – 2 pm.

Beltway Brass quintet performs holiday favorites 2 pm – 4 pm in Town Square Park, Reston Town Center.

National Online Class: Setting Up a Wellness Mindset (with planners) 2 p.m. Make wellness a priority. The key to success is building a plan to guide you to the best practices that’ll work for you. Learn the tips and tricks with Nita from @neatlyplanned as she guides you through setting up your Happy Planner to target inner peace and mental wellness, mindfulness, gratitude, etc. Free.

Washington National Cathedral Joy of Christmas Concert. 3 pm – 4 pm. Online. The Cathedral Choral Society performs carols in this cinemantic production. This concert is available on the Cathedral Choral Society’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Michael’s National Online Class: Budget Building: Using your Happy Planner to Achieve your 2021 Finance Goal. 4 pm The new year is the perfect time to get your finances in order. We’re recovering from post-holiday spending and need that fresh start to manifest financial goals, manage budgeting, and start saving. The Happy Planner has planners and accessories to help you organized and track expenses while motivating you to reach your savings goals. Get tips on how to use these tools to your advantage and learn the best practices with Christine from @twinkleplansherday.

Washington National Cathedral Advent Service (live, online). 6 p.m. Contemplative and inspirational service of prayer and music shaped by the words of the prophet Isaiah. Live each Sunday evening in Advent, on website or YouTube channel.

Monday, December 21. Winter Solstice

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages.

Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in Aquarius, a significant astrological event, also known as the “Christmas Star.”

Tuesday, December 22. 

Today is National Christmas Cookie Exchange Day

ZOOM ONLINE Class: Holiday Trivia Happy Hour!  5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Reston Public Library and featuring special holiday categories. Free but you must register. Registration opens on December 8. An invitation to join this online Zoom event will be sent to registered participants 24 hours before the event.

ZOOM Online Family Holiday Karaoke. 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Chantilly Public Library. Grab a pretend microphone and get ready to show off your singing skills during our holiday karaoke. A Zoom link to this event will be emailed to registrants. Registration is required (R). All ages are welcome, one registration per family. Register now; limited space.

Wednesday, December 23. Festivus.

Today is National Pfferneusse Day!

Make a Winter Sensory Bottle and Snowball Pom Pom online crafts class 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. All ages. Free. Register on Michaels Crafts website.
Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Christmas Lessons & Carols Service. 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Through readings from Holy Scripture, favorite hymns, instrumental music, we move from Creation to the manger in Bethlehem, telling the ancient story of God’s continued love as shown in Christ in this online service.

Thursday, December 24. Christmas Eve.

Today is National Egg Nog Day and it is also Dr Fauci’s Birthday!

U.S. Botanic Garden Online Cooking Demo: Decadent Desserts. 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Free; link.

Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Family Christmas Service. 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. This joyful online service of carols, prayers, and the Nativity story is told from the Bishop’s Garden—and includes live animals!
ONLINE Manassas Ballet presents The Nutcracker. 7:30 p.m. $25. Purchase advance, on-demand tickets from Vimeo; 30-day viewing period. Note: from the trailer, this looks really good!
Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist. 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. One of the Cathedral’s most beautiful services of the year is presented online. Readings from Holy Scripture, favorite hymns and seasonal choral and instrumental music all herald the birth of Christ.

Friday, December 25. Merry Christmas!

Today is also National Pumpkin Pie Day!

ONLINE Washington National Cathedral Christmas Day Organ Recital 12 Noon – 1 p.m. Program of festive music.

Saturday, December 26. Kwanzaa.

Today is Thank You Note Day and Candy Cane Day.

Sunday, December 27.

National Fruitcake Day. Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day. 

Washington National Cathedral Online Retreat: Moving Mindfully Into the New Year. 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Explore ways to take stock of the old year while looking forward to the new through guided meditations, individual reflections and shared ritual. Remember and release 2020 and set our intentions for 2021. A Zoom link and password along with any relevant materials for the program will be sent to you before the program. Advanced registration is required; registration closes at 5 pm EDT on December 26

Michael’s National Online Class: Setting and Tracking your Intentions for 2021 Using your Happy Planner. 4 p.m. 2021 is going to be our year, we can feel it! Let’s put the past behind us and set new intentions for a fresh start. Take this opportunity to reset and put your goals back in motion with Mary Ellen from @planningwithbumble. Use your Happy Planner to keep you on track while also giving you space to reflect and overcome any challenges that lies ahead. We don’t know what’s in store but we can manage how we will feel about it, so learn the best practices to becoming your best self! Free but registration required. 

Monday, December 28. 

Today is National Call a Friend Day

Michael’s National Online Class: Ready Set, Reset, Go! Using Your Happy Planner Gear to set your New Year, Accessories and Extension Packs. Free. 4 pm – 5 pm. New year, new you! Always wanted to get into planning? Hoping for some more organization tips for a clear mind? This is the perfect time to get into gear and learn how to use your Happy Planner, accessories, and extension packs to suit you the best. With endless customization options and accessories to elevate your game, learn the best practices with Heather Kell from @kellofaplan. It can be overwhelming to get started so get a crash course from an expert!

Tuesday, December 29

Michaels Crafts National Online Class: Wellness Wins! Building and Tracking a Healthy Lifestyle Using your Happy Planner. 2 p.m. Learn the building blocks to wellness and find the best practices that work for you. Track progress and keep your mind in check using The Happy Planner to bring wellness into your life. For beginners and advanced planner users.

Washington National Cathedral online presentation: Christmastide. 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Christmas is not just a day, but an entire season—the Twelve Days of Christmas—that lasts until January 6. Docent Lori Amos explores Christmas images and symbolism, both inside and outside the Cathedral, which can help us to experience the familiar Christmas story in new ways. Registrants will be sent information with a Zoom login.

Wednesday, December 30 Cold Moon Full Moon.

Today is Bacon Day


Thursday, December 31. New Year’s Eve.

Today is Champagne Day

Cool Yule Tip: The long-range weather forecast for New Year’s Eve 2020 predicts a cold night with possible inclement weather. Please make your plans accordingly and if possible, remain safer at home.

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the last day to register for the First Day Hike Contest sponsored by Virginia State Parks.

Today is the LAST day to walk through the Pathway of Peace and see the National Christmas Tree on the mall, Washington, DC.

U.S. Botanic Garden Online Cooking Demo: Brilliant Brunch. 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Free; link to watch.

Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $8 – $13. Vienna.

Bull Run Festival of Lights (drive-through) is open 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. $20 – $25/car. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville.

Ice and Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run is open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. $5 for the village, plus $8 for optional skating and $4 skate rental. Alexandria.

Busch Gardens “Christmas Celebration” is open, as of this writing, until 10 p.m.

25th First Night Alexandria Festival. The street festival, mutliple venue expereince will not be offered this year. Instead, customers can choose from a drive-in experience with no live performances or a live stream link ($20) of the event. Even the fireworks will be pre-recorded.

Watch Party: A Christmas Movie Christmas

Do you love romantic Christmas movies? So do I! I thought I would pick out a free-to-watch Christmas rom-com for each Friday night in December. If you like, please join me before the movie on Zoom to say hi (7:30 p.m.)

Continue reading

Toon Tuesday! Frosty the Snowman

Brrrr! It certainly is feeling frosty today! So, let’s check out an old favorite animated special for Toon Tuesday, Frosty the Snowman. Enjoy!

Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas Tonight

It’s not Christmas without watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, is it? After Apple TV decided to play Scrooge this year and purchased the rights to Peanuts holiday programming, PBS came to the rescue! Tonight, A Charlie Brown Christmas will air at 7:30 p.m. on PBS and PBS Kids.

But that’s it 😦 So if you are busy or working and can’t schedule this programming but still want to watch the entire Peanuts special, you can see it here.


As mentioned in a previous post, viewing unauthorized content on YouTube is not something I typically endorse. BUT this year, the powers that be pullled this video from Amazon Video and YouTube Movies. AND it’s really hard to find the DVD. And that’s not right. It meant that most people couldn’t watch these specials unless they bought the DVD before this year. Charlie Brown belongs to all of us.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!


Apple TV, I’m giving you fair warning: if you try to come for Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer, it’s war!

Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

Did you know that the WAY you fluff your artificial Christmas tree can affect how the ornaments hang?

Me, neither! In this video, you will learn that fun tip and more, like how to make a designer-style, bow tree-topper. You’ll be fascinated at how this tree comes to life under the skilled decorating hands of this Merrifield Garden Center designer. Enjoy!

Watch Party: Mistletoe and Menorahs

Photo by cottonbro on

So, as you may know, in each Friday of December, I am presenting a free-to-watch holiday romance. And tonight being Hanukkah, I was delighted to find one about Hanukkah AND Christmas! How cool is that? Mistletoe and Menorahs (2019) is a sweet, well-produced movie with an interesting plot and an engaging male lead.

 If you like, please join me before the movie on Zoom to say hi (7:30 p.m.)

Here is the story line:

When a determined toy company executive, Christy (Kelley Jakle), needs to learn all about Hanukkah in a hurry in order to land a big account for her company, she enlists the help of her co-worker’s friend Jonathan (Jake Epstein) who is in desperate need to turn his bachelor pad into a Christmas wonderland to impress his girlfriend’s father. They don’t get along at first but realize they need each other’s holiday expertise in order to accomplish their goals. Christy finds out about the joys of latkes and lighting the menorah while Jonathan becomes a master at making gingerbread houses. As they spend more time together, they discover as much about themselves as they do about the holidays and realize that maybe there is more to their new relationship than meets the eye.

Here for your Friday night viewing enjoyment is Mistletoe and Menorahs (2019). It is completely free to watch anytime you like on Tubi.TV (there will be some commercial breaks). All you need is an an Internet connection. You don’t even have to register on the website to watch it. That is optional. You can watch it on your phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer or Smart TV. How is that for easy? Here is the preview…Enjoy! Happy Hanukkah! 🙂