Report from Louisiana: Christmas Checklist

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Are you trying to get into the Christmas spirit?  Already IN the spirit?  Here’s a list of things to do because it is Christmas (inspired by British Logic):

  1. Bake some fruitcake cookies (fruitcake is awful; fruitcake cookies are wonderful).
  2. Watch Love Actually.
  3. Mix up some spicy Bloody Marys and an assortment of garnishes. Invite friends over.
  4. Go to a really crowded shopping center. You don’t have to buy anything.
  5. Avoid every WalMart.
  6. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.
  7. Build a gingerbread village.
  8. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  9. Listen to Christmas music on Pandora, especially the traditional tunes.
  10. Hang tiny white lights around your kitchen.
  11. Make four batches of Chex Mix. Throw in whatever sounds good.  Distribute what you can’t eat to friends at the office.
  12. Wear Christmas socks.
  13. Go see Santa. Count how many children cry when their picture is taken with him.
  14. Put up a live Christmas tree.
  15. Have an argument with someone about white v. colored lights.
  16. Watch Christmas Vacation.
  17. Buy one really extravagant gift for someone who would least expect it but really deserves it.
  18. Write out Christmas cards: not the obligatory Xerox Christmas letter and not a Shutterfly photo of your perfect family – real cards with glittery Christmas scenes.
  19. Buy Christmas stamps for your Christmas cards.
  20. Stand in a really long line at the post office at absolutely the last possible minute.
  21. Put a red tablecloth on your table. Find some holly to use as decoration.  Bonus points if it has red berries.
  22. Postpone all of your gift wrapping until the last minute. Spread it out across the living room floor and do all of your wrapping in one evening.
  23. Forget where you hid at least one gift.
  24. Put antlers or a reindeer nose on your car.
  25. Attend a performance of The Nutcracker.
  26. Read a great Christmas book.
  27. Attend a local performance of Christmas music.
  28. Make a killer rum cake.
  29. Buy at least one present for yourself.
  30. Buy an advent calendar.
  31. Hang a live wreath on your door.
  32. Donate to the charity of your choice. Bonus points if it’s a local animal rescue or a homeless shelter.
  33. Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  34. Attend a small-town Christmas parade.
  35. Eat your weight in Brach’s peppermint nougat.
  36. Make a pot of seafood gumbo. Serve with hot French bread.
  37. Watch the A Christmas Story
  38. Find some live mistletoe growing in a tree; knock it down and hang a sprig in a doorway. Do not do this at the office.
  39. Roast pecans. Add sugar and butter.
  40. Take your next door neighbor a plate of Christmas cookies.
  41. Treat yourself to a shot of really fine bourbon.
  42. Buy a poinsettia. Or two.  Or three.
  43. Build a bonfire.
  44. Go sledding. Unless you live in Louisiana.
  45. Play upbeat Christmas tunes over your outdoor speakers while doing yardwork. Look at how many neighbors come outside.
  46. Visit with neighbors.
  47. Have a really good cry for those you miss so badly it hurts.
  48. Check out the list of top 100 Christmas movies. Watch a few you’ve never seen.
  49. Make cheese straws. They are best with a cold bourbon over ice.
  50. Go to the midnight Christmas service at your church. Or someone else’s church.
  51. Attend a Christmas play.
  52. Go ice skating.
  53. Watch The Bishop’s Wife.
  54. Call your mother, if you can.
  55. Read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with a child.