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My Christmas Essentials List

  • Dec 15, 2010
Christmas is my favorite holiday.  While I completely loathe the commercial aspects of the holiday, I love the fact that I get a few moments to spend with my family and friends and, let's face it, there's nothing more fun to watch than a child tearing open a gift on Christmas morning or the sweet smells of incense in churches during the Christmas and Advent season.

Here's a list of my Christmas essentials.  These are the things that I must have in order for it to truly feel like Christmas.  They range from the simple to the silly, but I love all of these things.

Merry Christmas!
All I Want for Christmas Is You
The title track of this album is my absolute favorite secular Christmas song.  I grew up listening to Vince Vance and the Valiants play their music on local telethons and at local festivals, and each yeart All I Want For Christmas Is You would get airtime on all of our local radio stations.  I do not consider Christmas to officially be here until I here this tune on the radio!
See the full review, "Vince Vance Has That Something".
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 movie)
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the Grinch! This classic animated telling of Dr. Seuss' famed book is viewed in my home each and every Christmas.
Come on Christmas
This is one of my favorite Christmas albums for the simple fact that Dwight Yoakam puts his unique spin on my favorite holiday tunes.  From the Hawaii-influenced Here Comes Santa Claus to the wide open cover of Chuck Berry's Run Run Rudolph, this album is tops at Christmas time!
See the full review, "Yoakam Sets The Christmas Tree On Fire".
Chicken and sausage Gumbo
Okay, I'll be honest.  I love chicken and sausage gumbo year-round, but at Christmas it always seems a bit more special for the simple fact that the whole family sits around the table and takes in the wonderful taste and smell of gumbo!
A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story has become a popular tradition with my family only within the past fifteen or so years.  When I was in college, some of my friends were hooked on this classic and we'd all get together to watch it before heading home for the holidays.  Ever since since that time, I've never missed A Christmas Story when December rolls around. 
Silent Night, Holy Night
There are literally thousands of versions of this song, but Mahalia Jackson's version is one of my favorites.  I've been singing this song every Christmas since I can remember being able to speak, and it has stood the test of time as my favorite Christmas song.
Louisiana Christmas Day
Outside of All I Want For Christmas Is You, Aaron Neville's Louisiana Christmas Day is one of my favorite secular Christmas tunes.  There is an Aaron Neville Christmas Special that always finds its way on my television while I'm wrapping gifts.  It puts me in the mood for Christmas instantly!

Christmas Bonfire
While this particular tradition takes place primarily along the Mississippi River in eastern Louisiana, some families on the west end of the state set up their own bonfires which are smaller and usually meant to be a source of heat while friends and family gather around to celebrate and pop firecrackers. In eastern Louisiana, the bonfires help guide Papa Noel (Santa Claus) along the Mississippi River when it's time to bring toys to the good children of Louisiana.
Salvation Army Bellringer
You've all seen and heard them before. Salvation Army Bellringers are the quiet, jingling reminders that Christmas is a time for giving to our friends, families, and those who have fallen on hard times. If you see a bellringer out there, donate a little bit of your change, dollars, or just give them a cup of hot chocolate to let them know you appreciate them and the cause they are working for.
Christmas presents
While they aren't really essential, I'm sure everyone loves getting Christmas gifts.  I know I love getting them, and I love giving them to my family even more. 
The Nativity
As the saying goes, Jesus is the reason for the season. For Christians like myself, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Nativity scene is one of the most iconic images of this time of year. I have a small collection of Nativity scenes that I truck out each year at Christmas time. I hope you and your family have a merry Christmas!

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December 24, 2010
For me a really, really big bag of pistachios is essential. When we moved to Florida from Ohio, my favorite aunt would always send us two big bags of 'em at Christmas and that would be the only time of year we would get them. And the tree, of course. Now they've cross-bred them so that they hold their needles longer but in the process they lost almost all of that wonderful smell that would be all over the house.
December 19, 2010
I am sssoo with you on # 4! No egg nog or pineapple glazed ham?
December 20, 2010
Eggnog is one tradition I just never really got into. Like gumbo, I'll eat ham year round.
December 19, 2010
LOVE this list! I also love the idea of having a bonfire for X-mas, you lucky Louisianians you.
December 18, 2010
Nice, K! One thing that I would add to my list is those little kitties and puppies that are put up for adoption in the display windows of Macy's! :)
About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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