G+A’s Best of 2019 Holiday Magic List

Holiday Exhibit with Golden Glitter Nutcrackers and Christmas Trees

\”Looks Great. Little full, Lotta Sap.” — Clark Griswold

\”National Lampoon\’s Christmas Vacation.\” Chevy Chase rants. Need I say more? 🙂 No, Jason, no. You most certainly need not say more.

– Jason, Raleigh

It\’s a Wonderful Life + Chicago\’s Music Box Theater

So while people either love or disdain the movie \”It\’s a Wonderful Life\”, it puts me squarely in the holiday mood. Each time I see it, I\’m fondly reminded of my childhood in Chicago watching the movie on WTTW (Channel 11)!  It would always finish just in time for us to make it to midnight mass at Notre Dame de Chicago. I love that movie and also catch it live at either Chicago\’s Music Box Theater (complete with holiday sing-a-longs) or Fitzgerald\’s in Berwyn. So many life lessons and worth. Your. Time!

– Burt, Chicago

The Twinkle of Tree Lights + A Literary Retreat

A book by the tree can\’t be beaten. What\’s better than being whisked away to another world while keeping one foot steadily in the magical realm of the Christmas season? The cherry on top? Falling asleep while indulging in your literary retreat only to awaken a wee while later to realize your warm, snuggly, holiday nap was blanketed in the sparkling lights and tinsel adorning your tree.

– Kalan, Las Vegas

\”Fragile,\” It Must be Italian + In-n-Out, It\’s Definitely Californian

Watching \”A Christmas Story\” on Christmas Eve with In-N-Out. Because there are so many great one-liners in the movie that can be applied to life: \”You\’ll shoot your eye out;\” \”It was soap poison;\” \”Fragile, it must be Italian;\” \”It\’s a major award!\” The list goes on and on. In-N-Out because it\’s how Californians do Christmas no matter where they are.

– Nana the Elf, Washington, D.C. + Rincon, Puerto Rico*

Frito Lay Bean Dip + Post-holiday Detox

My mom would make it several hours before every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal for the family to snack on, and it\’s sacrilege to dip any chip other than Fritos … Scoops are the best. (Don\’t blame me if you have to go to detox afterward.)

Steve\’s Mom\’s Holiday Bean Dip (Unofficially Sponsored by Frito Lay)

  • 2 cans Frito bean dip
  • 1 large package cream cheese
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1/3 C chopped green onion
  • 1 C grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 – Mix the first four together and spread out in the bottom of a high edged brownie pan. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and garnish with the green onions. Bake for 30 minutes, then, have at it… and maybe call detox to book a short stint?

– @averittcreative, Las Vegas

Love Actually, Nuff Said

It\’s basic AF, but there\’s no better holiday movie than \”Love Actually.\” It has it all: amazing cast, holiday romance, heartbreak, a \”good guy\” stalker, a grope-y American president, hetero couples only… wait, ignore the last three, the rest is perfect, and if a holiday season passes without watching it, did it really even happen?

– Elf #2, Los Angeles*

Home Alone… But You\’re Actually With A Lot of Kids

Step 1: Find several young children – preferably that you know so that you don\’t get arrested for being a creepy perv.  Step 2: Cue up \”Home Alone\” and enjoy the tsunami of reenactments that ensue.  Step 3: Jump-start incredible joy and sharing by procuring small seasonal surprises to give to friends and family before Thanksgiving to assist with holiday season preparations – examples include seasonal baking supplies, spectacular seasonal journals, delightful decorations you love and wouldn\’t get yourself but probably should. Who doesn\’t love indulgent surprises?! Step 4: Realize that steps 1 + 2 and step 3 aren\’t related in any way but that they make you super happy so who cares?!

– Lisa, Las Vegas

Die Hard for Christmas Baking

The only place to celebrate the season? Nakatomi Plaza.  The only person to celebrate with?  New York\’s finest, officer John McClane. If none of that makes any sense, get thee to Amazon and stream \”Die Hard\” ASAP.  While some might argue that this 80s action classic has no place on any holiday best-of list, their arguments would be short-lived once McClane got ahold of them. To assuage all you holiday die-hards though (hahaha, see what I did there), try baking your favorite cookies while watching Johnny boy do his thing.  There\’s something about the smell of chocolate chips and sugar set against a backdrop of shootouts and explosions that really captures the spirit of the season.

– Mrs. Clause, The North Pole**

*If Santa gets to fly below the radar, we figured we should offer folks the option to sprinkle their magic on us anonymously.
**Bet you didn\’t see that coming.

Happiest of happy holiday seasons, everyone!  We hope you make it the merriest and brightest one yet!

The G+A Team