A Dash Of Sweet: Holiday Themed Treats I Can’t Resist

One of the things people love about the holidays is the food. From Thanksgiving up until Christmas Day, you will inevitably see plenty of stores and restaurants offering specific foods and drinks to get you in the mood for the holiday you’re about to celebrate, such as pumpkin or peppermint flavored everything. I’m one of those people who has to have certain foods you’ll only find around the holidays. Because it’s only once a year you get to consume pumpkin pie or grandma’s special eggnog, it’s the perfect time to indulge in these delectable goodies until next November and December again. On this Christmas Eve, I list some of my favorite holiday sweets I absolutely must have at least once every year.

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My Top 5 Golden Oldie Christmas Songs

One of the things I love about Christmastime are the Christmas songs. It’s the one time in the year I can listen to old favorites and some new ones with nostalgia and warm familiarity. There’s no other time to listen to these holiday specific songs without people thinking you’re weird for blasting them in the middle of July. But when December 1st hits, my whole apartment is filled with the catchy tunes most people would naturally know by heart.

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My Top 5 Christmas Pop Songs From The ’90s to Now

Christmas is just a week away and everyone will be cranking up their favorite holiday songs, whether it’s a selection from a personal playlist or a radio station that has been playing non-stop Christmas music since the day after Thanksgiving. There’s always the usual favorites and classics, like Jingle Bell Rock or Carol of the Bells that will play without fail every single year. But then you have those other Christmas songs that don’t play as much on the radio or are original, new releases from today’s hottest artists that don’t get any air time at all. With Christmas almost here, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite songs that I wish played more often than they actually are. I mean, there’s only so many different renditions of Santa Baby or It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year you can listen to before it gets just the tiniest bit played out.

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Listmas 2015: Five Films That Got Me Into The Christmas Spirit As A Kid

We all grow up with certain family traditions and traditions tend to be more prominent around the holiday season. It has become a family tradition over the years for my mom and I to be responsible for putting up and decorating the Christmas tree. Time would be set aside on the weekend to take out and dust off boxes of ornaments from the closet and play Christmas music as the lights were strung and our favorite ornaments got a chance to be admired on the evergreen branches once again.

Once the tree was done and decorations were up, Christmas never really felt like Christmas until I dug out my favorite holiday movies and watched them again in anticipation for the arrival of Christmas Day, dreaming of all the cool and wonderful toys I’d get to unwrap and play. Being brushed with a burst of childhood nostalgia as Christmas is only a few days away, I compiled a list, in no particular order, of the Christmas movies I absolutely had to watch every holiday season. I may be a grown woman who hasn’t seen these movies in ages, but the ones on this list are very near and dear to my heart.

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The Geeky Christmas List

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center (Love this tree, hate the crowds)

Here’s my final Christmas themed post to end the week with. I will be back to your regularly scheduled blogging on Tuesday.

I was thinking of how people would ask me what I want for Christmas. I tell most people to surprise me unless they insist I give them a list of things I want. I have one friend who always wants me to give her a list of my top most wanted things on my wish list right now. When it comes to wish lists on Christmas, here is what I always end up generally putting on such a list:

1. Anime DVD sets of my favorite series.

2. Specific volumes of manga series I am currently collecting.

3. And finally, most recently, video games for the Wii, Nintendo DS/3DS, PSP, or Xbox 360.

Clothes or perfume I’m usually eyeing sometimes make the list, but I tend to save the more fashion based stuff for when I purchase it on my own with any Christmas money/gift cards I receive.

It never fails to have any or all of those top three things on my Christmas list. Special occasions like Christmas or birthdays give me the opportunity to knock off a few things off my mental wish list or my neatly organized Amazon wish list. The Amazon wish list feature is the best thing ever. I can keep track of everything I want in one place. If you can see what my wish list looks like there are a ton of things waiting to be purchased by me or hinted to someone as a gift you want them to get you.

As I’ve said before, being a geek when it comes to the things I have listed are expensive to buy yourself. It adds up. If you can get a helping hand on Christmas by having a friend or loved one indulge your geeky obsessions then why not? They gotta love you for it as it is part of your charm.

Geeky things will always make me happy. The top three items on my geeky Christmas list will keep me entertained, it’s fun, and it’s a bursting collection I am proud to own. Geek first and a fashionista second. I will be geeking out for the entire Christmas weekend.

Happy Holidays and Merry Geeky Christmas from simpleek!

An anime Christmas moment with Clannad

I have been wanting to do at least one anime related Christmas theme post for this week and I decided to pick a moment from an anime I have seen fairly recently. I wanted to do one for manga, but I am having a hard time finding a Christmas scene from the mangas I own and have read. I can think up more Valentine’s Day related scenes and I at least know I’ll have plenty to choose from in a future Valentine’s Day post. Hurrah!

Nagisa & Tomoya of Clannad

My anime Christmas moment pick is from the anime Clannad After Story. After Story is the second season of the Clannad anime. For those not familiar with Clannad it is a high school, slice of life kind of story. The main character is Tomoya Okazaki and his journey from being a kid who kind of gets by life without really caring about anything or anyone to becoming a young man who starts to care about his life and the people around him who gradually become a huge part of his life. The biggest influence in his life and ultimately his soul mate is Nagisa Furukawa. Both seasons of Clannad charts Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s relationship from friends to becoming something more. It’s also a series about the ups and downs of life and how the many characters in this anime cope with them.

I could go into detail about this series, but this isn’t an anime review. This is an anime I plan on coming back to for a proper review. For now, I want to focus on my Christmas anime moment in Clannad.

There are actually two episodes with Christmas scenes in After Story, but the one I want to focus on is in the episode entitled Graduation. There is a nice moment where Nagisa and Tomoya are walking the streets in their small town in Japan as they are admiring Christmas decorations and window shopping. Tomoya is able to spend Christmas with Nagisa since he has no work. It’s a very sweet, romantic moment.

Nagisa's first taste of sake

The next scene cuts to a family dinner at the Furukawa residence. I’m assuming the family scene is still tied to the Christmas Day in Japan part of the episode since each episode in the series progresses in months, and seasons change rather quickly in one episode alone. Tomoya is also in attendance at this family dinner. The family scene is quite comical. Nagisa is having her first taste of sake as her parents and Tomoya look on. She sniffs the sake, which you see her cute face crinkle in maybe not quite disgust but displeasure? Then she goes in for the gulp and…ends up drunk pretty fast. Poor girl. Her first mistake is taking a huge gulp too fast for a first introduction in alcohol.

A drunk Nagisa equals a cute and loud Nagisa. In her drunken haze she wonders why Tomoya is so far away when he is sitting right next to her. She proceeds to inch herself super close to Tomoya’s face and says, “I like you this close,” or something like that. Nagisa’s mother comments on how lovey dovey Nagisa and Tomoya are being, but Tomoya retorts that lovey dovey is not how you would describe the scene between him and Nagisa.

Drunk Nagisa then thinks Tomoya is staring at her mother in a “I like what I see” way, which Tomoya vehemently denies. Nagisa’s parents join in on the fun and teases him about having a secret crush on Nagisa’s mother. A whole lot of Furukawa family craziness ensues with Tomoya caught in the middle of it all.

Why do I pick this as my anime Christmas moment? The Christmas scene is very brief in the Graduation episode, but it embodies the spirit of Christmas. It’s about family and being with the ones you love. If you are lucky enough to have a special someone in your life, Christmas also has a bit of romance in the air. Christmas in Japan seems to be more geared towards couples and is more of a celebration between lovers, but it does include familial love as well. When you gather together with your family there is a lot of warmth, joy, and love. There is a chance for crazy or embarrassing family moments during these holiday gatherings and it is part of the fun. It’s moments like these you can look back on and laugh at when you reminisce. Clannad is an anime that does a good job of capturing life’s little moments.

This is one anime moment that gets me in the mood for Christmas along with Christmas songs on the radio and watching the Charlie Brown Christmas specials on TV.