December Picks- My Holiday Favorites

We are now deep into the Christmas season with all its usual bustle and crazy weather (it has been snowing for a week straight in NY!).  Among the hecticness, this is one of the most fun and festive times of the year where we can take a step back and admire the seasonal joys.  Listening to Christmas music and watching holiday classics are great ways to take advantage of the season and relax.  I am currently deep into college finals, and I know that random Christmas movies on my computer are the only things keeping me from losing my mind right now.  Here are some ideas to get into the holiday spirit:

Music- Classics are great, but so is contemporary.  Many artists have made Christmas albums before, you just probably do not about know them since the radio tends to always play the same versions of songs (and never change it up…).  Look around and you might be surprised at how much Christmas music is out there. (Affiliate Links included)

  • Josh Groban’s Noël
    • A classic radio station pick with well-known songs.  Josh Groban is simply known for Christmas given his great classically trained voice, and his ability to shed new light on traditional songs.

  • Lady Antebellum’s On This Winter’s Night
    • One of my favorite artists, Lady Antebellum puts the country twain into Christmas favorites.  They have a good mix of classic and contemporary songs that can please both country music fans and Christmas music enthusiasts alike.

  • Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas Symphony 2
    • The style of this album is very unconventional due to the instrumental melody and use of unique instruments.  For a classical Christmas album, Christmas Symphony 2 is super cool because it is not what you are used to hearing.  A perfect mix of holiday favorites put together through different sounds and techniques.

  • A great variety of Christmas music from literally every singer or band can be found at Spotify with their amazing array of playlists for the holidays.

Holiday Movies- As I continue to rely on Netflix to provide me entertainment, I have been fortunate to experience the groundbreaking phenomenon of cheesy Christmas movies that have taken over the online streaming service by storm.  We all know and love Hallmark Channel Movies (And if you do not know of them, you need to figure it out because they are life-changing), so Netflix realized that Hallmark-esque + Netflix was just the perfect combo for young bing watching students during the holidays.

  • A Christmas Prince
    • Probably the most predictable movie ever made (and I seriously think I have seen this 3 other times with different characters on Hallmark), A Christmas Prince is delightful.  There is no reason to think at all while being sucked into this marvelous story about an ordinary New Yorker who ‘accidentally” falls in love with a prince.  100% worth your time…

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  • Christmas Inheritance
    • Another crown jewel of Netflix’s collection of original movies, Christmas Inheritance is the classic tale of a rich city girl going to a small town for a special mission.  You can guess what happens next in this wonderful fairy tale.

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  • The Crown (Season 2)
    • I absolutely loved the first season of The Crown, a Netflix original based on the life of Queen Elizabeth.  The second season just arrived, guaranteeing plenty of drama, scandals, and intrigue.  If you enjoy period shows, British drama and/or are fascinated by royals, The Crown is perfect for you!

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Fashion- Check out my guide to Holiday style here for ideas and inspiration on what to wear to parties and events this month: https://livelifeontheclassyside.com/2017/12/10/winter-trends/

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Five Big Trends to Wear this Holiday Season

This time of year, it feels like the pressure is on; pressure to keep up to date, pressure to keep your life together, and pressure to look your best as to not appear like an emotional wreck (I’m looking at you college students).  The winter weather and stress might be bringing you into a slump, but with the holidays coming up, everything will get better.  I personally love the style from this time of year with the vibrant Christmas colors, snuggling layers, and plenty of festive cheer.  Here are five new and continuing trends that are perfect for the season; for parties and family gatherings alike.

  1.    Bold Plaid:  My love affair with plaid becomes full-fledged uncontrollable during the Christmas season.  This winter trend comes back year after year, but it seems that recently, plaid has been taken to new heights.  Bold pants, big dramatic layers, and fun dresses all scream with Christmas spirit while staying fresh and classic.

     

     

  2.     Velvet:  Arguably the biggest trend of the season, velvet has emerged as much more than the stuffy dresses you wore as a kid to get all “dazzled up”.  Brands are making everything in velvet nowadays including blazers, purses, boots, and dresses in many different color variations.  Wearing black velvet this holiday season is a perfect way to look effortlessly trendy while still looking sophisticated and festive.

 

3.    Camel Coats:  This retro winter trend is making a huge comeback in a great way.  The classic style is a perfect way to elevated your winter closet as an alternative to the frumpy and bulky down parka.  Arrive in class with a nice simple silhouetted camel coat.

 

4.      Faux Fur Layering:  Faux Fur is undergoing a revolution.  Once considered a tacky and cheap alternative to the real thing, a desire to amp up the quality and become more ethical has recently changed the way fashion has looked at the winter tread.  Fun colors and the ability to add copious amounts of warmth to an outfit will drive you to invest in a statement faux fur piece.

 

5.      Metalic and Sparkles:  To make the ultimate statement this holiday season, be bold with a bright skirt or dress that fully embodies the Christmas spirit.  What is great about this trend is that the bright sparkles really contrast the gloomy winter weather, making everything more festive and fun for the holidays.  It is kind of like Christmas lights on clothing!