My Winter Bucket List

I absolutely love this time of year. Even though we don't really get full seasons in San Francisco (no snow, or really even weather below 60), it still feels like winter right now. The tree is up in Union Square, holiday music is playing nonstop, and it's just chilly enough to make me crave a cup of cocoa.

Every year around this time, I try to sit down and write out my winter bucket list. This helps me slow down and actually enjoy this season, even when things get a bit hectic.

here's what's on my winter bucket list this year:

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one // IT STARTS WITH A TREE

First up on my list? Getting our Christmas tree! We've waited a few weeks after Thanksgiving, because we want our tree to last through New Years, and we're finally getting it this weekend. I can't wait!

two // SUGAR COOKIES

I'm terrible at baking (just ask Josh, I burn everything) but I'm determined to make homemade sugar cookies alongside homemade frosting. Nothing screams Christmas quite like a snowman cookie!

three // HOLIDAY SHOPPING, DOWNTOWN

Union Square in San Francisco is just about the cheeriest place to be around the holidays. There are twinkle lights everywhere, hot cocoa stands, and in the center of Union Square is a giant tree, complete with ornaments and lights. I love doing any last-minute shopping down there—even though I already bought most of my presents online.

four // MIDDAY TEA, PLEASE!

Speaking of downtown, one of my favorite places to be this time of year is The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. It's so festive to sit and sip tea for an afternoon.

FIVE // IT'S ALL ABOUT THE NUTRACKER

Let's talk about one of my all-time favorite memories as a kid: going to plays, ballets, and musicals. I remember seeing The Nutcracker and The Velveteen Rabbit when I was maybe seven years old, and it's been one of my favorite holiday traditions ever since. Bonus points if you dress up in something nice!

SIX // HOLIDAY MOVIES GALORE

Josh and I have already worked our way through Home Alone, Home Alone 2, and Love Actually, but I have a few holiday movies left on my list: Elf, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch, and A Christmas Story.

SEVEN // GIVING BACK

In all of the holiday rush, it can be hard to take a second to step back and understand just how lucky we all are to have a roof over our head, warm meals, and a warm bed to sleep in at night. I'm excited to have some volunteer time scheduled at the SF Marin Food Bank over the holiday break—and I also put together this list of gifts that give back, if you're interested in giving back, too.

what's on your holiday bucket list? let me know in the comments section!