Category Archives: Things I Love

Things I Love: Christmas Ornaments

This is the third Christmas Chip and I have spent together as a married couple. We’re still slowly creating our own holiday traditions, but my favorite one is collecting new ornaments throughout the year. Whenever we go on a trip together, we try to always buy an ornament to take home with us. Over the first two years of our marriage, we collected ornaments in Italy on our honeymoon, an ornament from when we saw The Lion King and The Nutcracker at The Majestic here in town, our first trip to Fredericksburg. This year we were able to add a few more ornaments from our different trips. While decorating our tree the other weekend, it was fun checking out each ornament and getting to reflect on what this year has brought us. We hope that someday our tree will have only these types of ornaments that will always remind us how we’ve been  blessed and all the different adventures we’ve had together.

Cork Ornament from a day trip to Fredericksburg with my parents and the Behams

Cork ornament from a day trip to Fredericksburg with my parents and the Behams

Seashell basket from Nantucket

Seashell basket from Nantucket

Cape Elizabeth in Maine

Cape Elizabeth in Maine

From the Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway

From the Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway

San Francisco Ornament

San Francisco Ornament

Grape leaf from Napa

Snowflake from another trip to Fredericksburg for our birthdays this year and a grape leaf ornament from Napa

I love Christmas trees

I love Christmas trees

Things I Love: Christmas Music

Confession: I really really love Christmas music. I saw this on Pinterest the other week and thought it was just about perfect:

Time to Rock Around the Christmas Tree

Time to Rock Around the Christmas Tree

If I can make it to Halloween without listening to Christmas music, then I’ve shown serious self-control. This year, I had one week where I got over-excited (pretty sure we had a cold front come in) so I had to play some holiday tunes for a few days before listening to more Monster Mash for Halloween. But once November 1st hit, it was on. Christmas music full time. Thankfully Chip has fully accepted this part of me and no longer complains when there is constant Christmas music going on (although if he gets command of the radio/itunes, he’ll go to anything not Christmas).

I’ve just about always loved Christmas music. There have been some classic favorites over the years and also a few new ones each holiday season. So get ready to Jingle Bell Rock with me and check out my list of favorite Christmas songs that Buddy the Elf would be proud of. Please note: this list was extremely hard to keep to just 10 and I apologize to all the songs I had to leave off.


I have been listening to Garibaldi’s Christmas CD pretty much my entire life… it was always our Christmas morning tradition to listen to this while opening gifts. Nothing takes me back to childhood memories around the tree faster than this CD can. Please note: this music is so old that this was the only song I could find on YouTube. I was hoping to find Las Posadas, but no such luck. If you’d like to hear it, let me know. This CD is always in my car.

O Come All Ye Faithful:

This has been a favorite of mine over the last few years. I appreciate how simple the lyrics are while speaking to the Christmas story so beautifully, especially with the verse “Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given; word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.” Nat King Cole’s version will always be a favorite, but I love how Josh Groban has the song crescendo to the last verse.

Sleigh Ride:

Let’s be real. This is a classic; it’s not a holiday season without this song. There are lots of different versions out there, but the Boston Pops Orchestra is my favorite. You just can’t beat the brass instruments coming in around 1:45. Makes me want to do a good jazz square. Harry Connick Jr. also does a great rendition of this song.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:

I wasn’t really a big fan of this song too much growing up, but it has become a favorite over the last couple of years. The lyrics just hit me at “God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day to save of us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray. O, tidings of comfort of joy.” Such a great reminder of what we’re really celebrating when it’s so easy to get caught up in the buzz and sparkle of the holidays. This MercyMe version is one of the best (in my opinion), but you should also check out Glee’s cover.

Little Drummer Boy:

Little Drummer Boy is one of the most underrated Christmas songs. I really like this version by Jars of Clay, but MercyMe and Josh Groban also do a great job with this song.

Do You Hear What I Hear:

Another song that I feel is too underrated. One of the things I love most about this song is how it builds the story through each verse. My favorite goes to Carrie Underwood because she actually does all four verses. Best dramatic version is definitely Glee, although it drives me crazy that they don’t do the last verse of the song. #angryelf  Destiny’s Child also has a great cover (but skip the last verse) and Whitney Houston can’t be left off of this list, either (she also does all four verses).

Joy to the World:

Over the last few years, this has been my favorite Christmas song. It’s such a great declaration of the feeling we should feel because of Christ’s birth: joy! While not 100% accurate lyrics wise, I absolutely love Mariah Carey’s version of this song. Get ready to clap along, it’s just about impossible to resist. Also, shout out to Mariah for another favorite – All I Want for Christmas is You.

O Holy Night:

This has been a favorite of mine throughout the years. From about 6th grade to too far into high school than I would like to admit, NSYNC’s version was my favorite (I’ll never forget buying their Christmas CD at Target with my dad and brother). Mariah Carey’s is also up there at the top of the list. If pop music isn’t your style, Nat King Cole can’t be beat.

12 Days of Christmas:

An awesome cover of one of the oldest songs out there. Love the creativity in the lyrics and the ending to the song is pretty darn brilliant.

Need a Little Christmas Now:

You want an instant Christmas dance party? Listen to this version by Glee and be sure to have the volume up. Makes me want to go get our Christmas tree now.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Things I love: beautiful advertising

Working in the advertising industry has changed how I view commercials. Sure, I liked them before (studied marketing for a reason), but I enjoy watching TV and seeing commercials and asking myself “I wonder what their brief was… that was a good insight… who do they think their target is?” Nerdy, I know. But I can’t help it. While I love funny, clever ads (looking at you, Old Spice), my favorites are always the simple, beautiful ads that get me a little teary eyed. They don’t feel like a sales pitch being shoved down your throat and very few even have a voiceover. These stay with me far longer than the 30 or 60 seconds they’re on air. Below are some of my favorites. If you’re a sap like me, you may need a tissue for some of them.

This new ad from Guinness beer is powerful. Love how it is so different from other beer ads and shows that men are more than just sports watching guys who like girls in bikinis.


Google. An all-time favorite. Guaranteed to make my little chin quiver at the end.


I love dogs, so of course this Pedigree campaign got me all choked up. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as a Sarah McLachlan PSA.


So simple. So great. VW always has some amazing work.


I love the Olympics for many reasons, but this P&G campaign was one of the highlights for me. Definitely made me think of a particular mamma bear I know ;)

Sure, advertising is meant to push sales. But it really is something special when it can turn into something so beautiful.