Emilee’s Christmas To-Do List






Does somebody need a hug?

– Buddy the Elf

Emilee hugging and spreading Christmas cheer

Christmas is absolutely my favorite holiday of the year. I mean, come on, it’s dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year.” I celebrate hard. So, if you would like some fun, unique Christmas ideas to celebrate the season too, here’s my list. Enjoy!

-Emilee Hall (HALLiday master)

★San Marcos Sights and Sounds

For over 30 years, San Marcos has had a Christmas festival based in the town plaza, Sights and Sounds is, basically, a little Christmas Carnival. There’s a Ferris wheel, games, vendors, ice skating. There’s even a petting zoo. If you love Christmas lights as much as I do, go check it out!

Photo credit: smtxphotos.com


★Ice Skate

I will say that if you want the full AUSTIN, TEXAS, CHRISTMAS experience, I urge you to ice skate on top of the Whole Foods in downtown Austin. Maybe, while you are there, just get a little wild and pick up some organic hot chocolate too. 😉

ice skate
Ice skating with my friend, Jessica, on top of Whole Foods like every Austinite should.


★Create a unique gingerbread house

If you want to stick to the “traditional” gingerbread house, go for it! But, if you’re looking for a unique approach, try building a gingerbread beach house or log cabin! Maybe try to make a cookie replica of your own house. Get creative, you don’t have to even use gingerbread. But Emilee, not using gingerbread defeats the purpose of building a gingerbread house, right? Maybe so, but who cares! It’s Christmas! Do what you want. Here is a log cabin version that I did myself. Not too bad, huh?

Log Cabin Gingerbread house… minus the gingerbread. The exterior is made up of jumbo pretzel sticks and icing.


★Listen to the Michael Bublé Christmas Album in its entirety

I imagine that when celebrities/famous musicians make a Christmas album, it’s kinda like “Okay, we are out of ideas and need to make some money. Oh, wait! I know what we can do! Let’s sing Jingle Bell Rock!” Whether that’s the case or not, I get down to some Christmas music. Hands down, one of the best Christmas albums ever to be made is Bublé’s “Christmas.” He’s a modern-day Sinatra. So I suggest that you download the album on your music streaming app, or buy the album/vinyl.

Crank that bad boy up and jam out in the car. You’re welcome.


★Weird gift wrapping

Get creative with your wrapping! Especially if it’s a gift for someone you really love. For example, my step-dad can play just about any instrument, so I decorated his gift with music notes. Another example was my friend who was really into cars; I got a toy car and taped it onto the gift. Then I drew a road.




★Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park

This is a holiday festival in Austin. Previously, I mentioned San Marcos Sights and Sounds. This reminds me a bit of that.  Grab your mittens and your BFFs while y’all stroll through this city-wide celebration.





★Drink hot chocolate at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

This place has some great coffee, a spectacular view, and AWESOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Sit back, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and the light show.

Address: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703


★Decorate a tree by the Austin 360 bridge

There I was, driving on the Austin 360 bridge around early December when I noticed something odd but charming. Random trees on both sides of the roads were decorated in eclectic fashions. After asking Austinites and doing a quick session of rapid googling, I discovered this is an Austin Christmas tradition. It’s simple, pick a tree, decorate it however your heart desires, and when Christmas is over, go back to your tree to remove your decor.  You won’t be fined for decorating the tree on the side of the road because there are no tree policies. However, please be respectful and to the community and trees.


★Binge on Christmas Movies

Nothing is better than cuddling up on the couch with your family, a significant other, friends, pets or just yourself and watching Christmas movies.

Here are my top favorites:

  • Elf (2003)
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
  • The Santa Clause (1994)

If you’re trying to be “naughty,” you can play drinking games to your favorite Christmas movies.




★Go to a tree farm to pick out a tree.

Sure, anyone can go to the store a pick out an artificial tree, but you see, the real fun and excitement come from going to a tree farm to purchase your tree. It smells like nature, and when people visit your house, they will be impressed. Maybe. I’m not sure, but it will impress me, Emilee. Do not forget to keep your tree watered or… well… It might catch on fire. That just might ruin Christmas.

My Family Tree (2017)


★Epic Christmas Party

This is if you’re feeling EXTRA festive. Have a Christmas party. I’m talkin’, spiked hot chocolate, ugly sweaters, some guy dressed up as the Grinch, and a little Christmas movie trivia. For the finale, White Elephant gift exchange. For more ideas, I really would really suggest using Pinterest. Also, all pets at the party should have to dress up too. Yeah, that should be a rule.

My dog, Daisy (2016).