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My New York Journal & First Travel Vlog


Well, I have visited New York and it was AMAZING!!! This was my first big trip that I have taken by myself (without my family or parents) and it was such an adventure of figuring out things for myself and learning things by being in a new city in the dead of winter. Throughout my trip I kept a notes section open on my phone titled "New York Journal" and jotted down my thoughts or things I learned:

  • Always check into your Air bnb when you tell the host you will check in....not earliar (even if you think everything is ready) because you risk the key not being there (because you told them you would check in in the morning) and be stuck in the COLD for 30 minutes at 3:00am!!!!!
  • Phones loose power QUICKER in the cold so keep it charged and take an external power bank with you.....especially if you are using your phone for navigation. 
  • Taxi's are WAY LESS SCARY than it seems and feel totally safe (even at 12:00am) + they are always waiting outside any major building for your convenience and are about the same price as an Uber.
  • In an unknown and unplanned situation (3:00 am in the morning) or unknown neighborhood where there are no Taxis, an Uber is your BEST FRIEND because there is usually always one a few blocks away and can be there super fast. 
  • If you get cold outside (like it's 3:00am in the morning) find a warm place to take shelter (Even if it's the first entrance lobby of an apartment complex) until you work out a plan or find your next destination. 
  • In uncertain situations (especially with strangers in a new city) "fake it till you make it".... that is all I have to say. Pretend you have a plan and know everything and no one will question it. 
  • When traveling in winter pack lotion chapstick and use it in LARGE quantities!
  • Markets are your best bet for groceries (there aren't a lot of big chain grocery stores) and you can find one every few blocks...........just be prepared that groceries in NY are EXPENSIVE!
  • "Newyorkers" are very focused and goal oriented people....especially when taking public transportation and aren't apt. to make small talk or give you the time of day. It's not that they are rude, that's just how they are, they are focused and efficient......so don't talk to people....it will give you away as a non native "newyorker" and its weird:)
  • People in New York are DEDICATED to working out (like running in the park), even when it is FREEZING outside! WHY?????
  • When riding the subway you will always be able to know what station you are passing or stopping at by looking for the street / station name tiled on the walls outside your subway car window. 
  • When riding the subway pay attention to the "uptown" and "downtown" subways.....just because you need to take the 6 doesn't mean you can hop on just any 6, if you are headed uptown hop on the 6 going uptown.....pay attention to the key words on signs to see what area you are needing to end up. 
  • Often times the subway will burst your personal bubble (#introvert problems), but just remember, "Newyorkers" are used to riding shoulder to shoulder in a subway car, so if you don't make anything of it it won't be weird....trust me:)
  • Some "Metro Cards" have advertisements printed on them instead of saying "Metro Card" and its quite disappointing when the second main reason you want a Metro Card (besides for riding the subway) is to take a picture of it......so when the machine knows you are a blogger it shoots out an ugly green card:( (so you borrow your friends for pictures) 
  • Don't wear heels......flats are your best friend.....your feet will thank you. 
  • Newyorkers know how to "practically" dress for the cold and wear giant parkas over their stylish work wear. 
  • Most streets are given an # name (like 78th street) and most likely run into an Avenue (like 7th avenue) so finding your way along the blocks and streets is way easier than you might think. 
  • There will always be a bagel place or coffee shop on nearly ever other street......Newyorkers LOVE their coffee and bagels. 
If you want to see a live version of my trip and some fun footage of the places we went you can checkout more in my NEW YORK VLOG!



Have you been to New York?
What are your thoughts? Do they align with my journal notes?

-Madison 

A Day At The Met

Sweater: Faded Glory
Skirt: Thrifted
Tights: Amazon (fleece lined leggings)
Boots: Joules (Amazon)
Boot Liners: Amazon
Beret: Amazon 
Purse: Vintage Coach 


The first major post of my New York trip....hooray!!! New York was seriously AMAZING! Not sure if I will even be able to capture the vibrance and bustle of the great city in all of these coming posts or in my vlog, but it is definitely all I thought it would be and more.
One of our first stops on our trip was The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have always loved going to art museums, seeing history captured in art, admiring the talent of artists from the past, and seeing the many forms of art that exist. The MET was definitely the most impressive art museum I have yet to visit and is broken into so many different sections and time periods of exhibits you can't help feeling as though you are walking through history. I loved that each time period exhibit was in a room (or rooms) that actually resembled the architecture of the time. On one side you were walking through an elaborate and elegant American house filled with furnishings from the late 1700's. In another section of the museum you visit the Renaissance time period and feel as though you are in a dark paneled wood abbey, it was so cool.....I would highly recommend visiting if you are ever in New York.
As for my ensemble for the day, the weather in New York the first day was quite cold (15 degrees and colder to be exact) so I was definitely focused on dressing for the weather. Looking at my outfit you might be wondering how that was even dressing for the winter, but what you can't see are the two long sleeve shirts + tank top under my sweater, the 3 pairs of fleece leggings, and the two pairs of socks + boot liners. With all of those layers and my parka coat I was perfectly cozy in the nippy city air. I would definitely have to say my style inspiration for New York was classy prepster meets Parisian chic (and as all the NY outfit posts come to the blog you will start to see that trend).
This look in particular I really LOVE now after wearing it in NY. I have recently become obsessed with beret hats again, so this black number is a classic staple. I also love how classic turtle neck sweaters are, so pairing this plain black one with this wool wrap skirt was the epitome of classic prep with a hint of french. As for my footwear, I practically lived in my red Joules rain wellies because New York was covered in a blanket of snow, plus they are comfortable and warm:)

Have you ever been to New York?
Have you visited the Met?
Do you like art museums?

-Madison 

First Flight: Necessities & What you should know



If you were to ask me what my BIGGEST fear was, I would probably say Sharks or Flying on a plane. It's not that I don't think flying is cool, its that I have an over active imagination and always imagine the worst when it comes to flying.....I always thought that the plain might crash, but as my brother would say "more people get into car crashes than they do plane crashes" and he would be right. Every day people use flight as a means of travel, its brilliant and efficient and helps us see different parts of the country or world! 
I am 22 years old and I had never been on a plane until my recent trip to NY. That was one of the MAJOR things I was faced with in planning this NY trip was realizing I would have to go on a plane for the first time. I tried to just forget about the whole "flight" thing until it was closer to my trip, so a few weeks ago it hit me. 
Now, flying for the first time isn't only intimidating and a bit nerve wracking because you will be launched into the sky and soaring thousands of miles above land at hundreds of miles per her, but it also means figuring out an airport and manuvering through checked luggage, security, and the airport proticals.....that can be where it gets stressful! 
With that being said, I am a PLANNER......it's part of my personality as an Introvert and also an INFJ that I am not spontaneous and like to know a plan or at least a good bit of details before ever going somewhere or doing something. Therefore, while booking and planning for my first flight was easy peasy at first, flights rarely run on time and travel by air doesn't always go according to plan, especially when you travel in the winter (and a snow storm and blizzard threaten your plans). Thus, even when plans don't go according to how you worked them out, being VERY prepared up front helps you to be flexible without to much stress when you have to change what you are doing.
To make a long story short, the day before we were scheduled to leave for NY a "bomb cyclone" snow storm blew into the east coast and New York and as a result our flight go canceled. This put me into "Re-Planning" mode as I was figuring out the new status of our flight and working to change not only our flight out, but our itenerary as well. With that, we ended up leaving Friday, a day later than we had anticipated. 
However, despite the change of plans and bumps in the road (or runway) I learned a LOT about the necessities for flying, how to figure out the airport, and rationally handling my first flight. So weather you are like me and a bit uneasy when it comes to flying (or have never flown) or still have trouble when it comes to traveling by air, I thought I would share some of the things I have learned.

What I Learned, Necessities, & Tips: 

1) Learn as much as you can beforehand in regards to what you should expect at the airport. Familiarize yourself with the steps to take once you arrive, where to go for bag check, what terminal your gate is in, and where that gate is located in the airport. Flying blind is never good, so answering some of your questions up front HELPS SO MUCH!

2) I even went so far as to watch a few videos on what to do when you get to the airport that really helped. Some of my favorites:

First Time Flyers Guide
How to Go Through Airport TSA 
10 Airport and Flight Tips 

3) PACKING: Make sure you know the size and weight limit for your airline. I opted to get a smaller suitcase so that I would be forced to pack less and thus be in the proper weight limit...I'm so glad I made that choice:) Also, check to see if you are allowed carry on. If you are I would suggest trying to pack carry on and take a personal item on a flight rather than doing checked luggage. We unfortunately had "basic economy" tickets and didn't get that option.
Also, invest in a luggage scale (you can find them on amazon) so you know your luggage weight before you get to the airport. This will help you if you choose to check in online or on the app beforehand.

4) Download the app for your airline. With the app you have access to your reservation, updated schedules, change of flight, airport maps, you can check in on it, and have access to digital boarding passes. It will save you!

5) Don't overthink it.....it's not that big of a deal, so if you don't dwell upon it your mind will be calmer.

6) Pack the essentials in your carry on or in your personal item (I took a backpack). For me this included things to do on the flight as well as my "emergency kit" with things I might need:

  • Book
  • Headphones
  • iPod/Phone with music (I like to listen to instramental soundtracks or my personal playlist to keep my mind calm and occupied)
  • Take a snack (buy it at the airport)
  • Portable power recharge dock for your phone with lightning cord. 
  • Bring water (take an empty bottle through security or buy one at the airport)
  • Dramamine (just in case) 
  • Altoids (these things are lifesavers if you feel nauteous) 
  • Neck pillow or item of clothing from your carry on to use. 
  • Download movies and shows on Netflix 
  • Aleve (or some type of tylenol)

7) CALM YOURSELF!!!! Everyone has their own way of preventing stress, but for me personally I utilized my essential oils on my first flight and I have to say that it made a world of difference. I am a person VERY prone to extreme cases of nervousness at new and uncertain situations, but I never really felt nervous or anxious on my flight and I think it was due to the Young Living Essential oils I used:
  • Stress Away (back of my neck and wrists)
  • Peace and Calm (back of neck and wrists)
  • Kidease 
  • Lavendar (helps with motion sickness)
  • Peppermint (always have on hand if I feel nautaous)
8) Have your ID accessible and on you at ALL TIMES! You will need it to drop off your luggage, go through security, and sometimes to get through your gate.

9) Once you get to the airport you will go and check in (unless you already checked in online), weigh and pay or your luggage (if it isn't included in your ticket), drop your luggage off, and move to security. 

10) Tips for Security: When I was preparing for my trip I had a number of people give me tips for security that helped in being prepared:
  • Wear slip on shoes (you will most likely have to take them off to go through security). I wore my Joules wellies. 
  • Wear pants that don't require a belt (I wore leggings with an oversized sweater)
  • Pack any carry on liquids using the 3-1-1 --> 3 oz bottles in 1, 1 quart clear bag (this has to be removed at security)
  • Grab 1-2 bins for your items for security 
  • All electronics (laptops, tablets, etc. mus be placed in their own bin.....cameras are fine to stay) 
  • Make sure you have reviewed your airlines policies for what is allowed in a carry on bag. 

My experience (taking off and landing ):

Okay, so to say I was nervous would be true (though not as nervous as I had first thought I would be). When we got to the airport, because of our departure flight time, there was hardly anyone there so we were able to go through all the steps super fast. Throughout our bag check, drop off, and security I was thrilled with how nice everyone was (I know that sometimes that isn't the case), but because of that, it helped my first time flight experience be more enjoyable. We made sure to arrive at the airport a good two hours before our flight was scheduled to leave and I would definitely recommend you give yourself plenty of time to go through the bag and security procedures, especially if the airport is busy.

I always thought that going through security would be harder and more confusing that it was, but thankfully because we knew what to expect going in we went through safely and smoothly.
Now, comes the actual flying part:) I think the one thing that helped me with the actual "flying" was listening to music! As soon as we boarded the plane I put on my instrumental movie soundtracks to keeps my mind occupied and that helped so much especially when it was time for takeoff.

So takeoff.......you know in space movies when they are in the rocket ship, buckled up and they count off, 10, 9, 8, 7, etc. and then presto.....they are being launched into the atmosphere at hundreds of miles per hour and feeling all the force of takeoff?!?!?!?

Okay, so takeoff isn't really as forceful and fast and crazy as astronauts in a rocket ship, but I kind of felt a bit like an astronaut when we took off because you could feel a bit of the force of how fast you were going and takeoff and ascent into the sky is very loud at first. However, once we reached our proper altitude we leveled off and the ride was fairly smooth. I have to admit that I didn't think I would like flying at all and I told myself I wouldn't look out the window, but once we were up in the air I couldn't help looking out at the cities we past....plus we were flying at night so it was so cool to see all the lights down below.

Now, the ride was great for the most part, hardly scary, and not to bumpy......that is until we hit some wind pockets (because remember there had just had a winter snow storm) and we experienced a bit of turbulence. The turbulence in the air wasn't really that bad until we reached New York and had to circle getting ready to land......that is when it started to feel like I was on a roller coaster (and I hate roller coasters) because we were being pushed up and down by the wind.....my stomach definitely felt the angled drops......but all the while I never really freaked out (thinking I was going to die or anything). However, it is very reassuring when you hit a bit of turbulence because the Pilot comes on air and warns you ahead of time or during it, so you know it is just part of flying.

Now, the worst part of my flight was definitely the landing!!! The airport we were flying into in New Jersey had a shorter runway and the Pilot told us to be prepared for an abrupt stop......and let me tell you it was abrupt! If we hadn't been warned I probably would have through we were crashing, but once we taxied out of our landing I knew I had safely survived my first flight and actually quite liked it (despite the rollar coasters).

Flying back to Texas was 100% better because we had no windy weather and landing was a breeze. We also flew back in the daytime and the view out the window of the patchwork land below was so picturesque and our flight above the layer of fluffy white clouds was sureal and so beautiful.....I will have to admit that I LOVE flying now!

I'm still a bit nervous about the whole idea, but the process of flying thousands of miles above the ground and seeing life from a birds eye view is crazy amazing! Not to mention it gets you places that would take you days driving but just hours flying.....travel here I come!

Have you flown?
Are (or were) you apprehensive of flying like me
How has your flight experience been?

-Madison 

Top Posts of 2017 & Year Recap


Can you believe it is 2018!!!!! This year has seriously FLOWN BY!!! I remember when the year started, and my spring semester Methods classes began and thinking to myself  "this is going to be a long year" and before I knew it I was graduating! This year has seriously been the busiest year I have had in awhile with full semesters of education classes, methods, and student teaching and loads of travel when I wasn't in school. Looking back on my accomplishments throughout the year I am stunned at the blessings of God and how much he helped me grow

Not to mention how much this blog has grown! I grew so much as a blogger this year, creating unique content, trying new things, learning from others, and also realizing that blogging is not quite as glamorous as it might seem and can easily be a struggle as a "one woman show". However, thanks to you lovely readers, you encourage me and motivate me to keep creating and for that I THANK YOU! Thank you for taking an interest in my life, passions, and love for fashion and being a part of this exciting journey. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of the TOP posts on the blog from 2017 as well as some of my personal favorites. ENJOY! 


Definitely one of my FAVORITE posts of all time because it means so much to me to share who I am and open up about the misconceptions people have about my personality, and through it I met so many people who share my same or similar personality. 


Loved collaborating with Whatever Ministry and their Four:Eight shop for this collaboration to inspire women to find the beauty, value, and purpose in themselves. 


This post came midway through my semester of Methods for education when I was able to spend time in the classroom with students for the first time in my education training and it opened my eyes to so many things, while inspiring me so much! 



Such a fun post and outfit sharing this DIY sweater and quircky accessory, while also sharing what it is like to be "visible" as a blogger.....especially when I am used to being invisible as a person:)


Classy and elegant collaboration with StyleWe in styling this blush pink dress. I loved getting back to my girly childhood roots when I loved pink. 


My Personal Favorites:

What would you like to see more of on the blog in 2018?

- Madison 

Planning a Trip To New York




It all started with an idea....an idea that was originally brought up by another one of our friends, suggesting that we should take a trip to NY. Sadly it didn't end up working out fir our friend to join us, but we decided to continue with the planning and take a trip together in January, since it worked out great for me having just graduated college and right before my best friend started nursing school. We have always wanted to take a trip together, and always planned to do so, but in the past our idea was to travel to England, however, we realized that something within the country might be a better first choice and thus New York it was! 

Both of us love traveling and visiting new places, and New York definitely has a LOT to offer for fashion, shopping, food, and tourism. However, since it is both of our first times visiting NY we decided to do more of a tourist trip mixed in with a bit of food, fashion, and shopping. However, for us, while we are definitely set on a NY trip that is blog and Instagram worthy (lets face it....who doesn't have that as a factor for a NY trip) planning our trip also definitely had a lot to do with budget (we are talking about two college students here) while also considering what kind of experience we wanted to have. When it comes to planning any trip I am BIG on the DETAILS! So for this trip I my best friend and I did a lot of research, looked at other tips, saw what I we were interested in doing, looked for deals, and created an idea for what we want our trip to be so that we can plan accordingly. So our first steps for planning were taking our ideas and figuring out how to make them work which is where we got all the details below:

BUDGET / COST SHEET:
I mentioned that I am a DETAILS person when it comes to planning trips, so something that helped me figure out our budget and keep track of our spending as well as what each of us had to owe, was keeping a file detailing all costs and purchases for the trip. I organized it by flights, lodging, tourism, and transportation, and broke sections down showing total cost and cost per person so that we knew exactly what we were spending. 

TRANSPORTATION:
Did I mention this will be my first time on a plane.....yep....this is a big step! Okay, so obviously we are flying to NY so we had to first start planning our trip, days, and dates around our flight. Originally we were wanting to leave on a Friday but we soon learned that if we left mid week we would be able to save nearly $200 on flights so we opted to leave on a Thursday since we found an amazing deal with United Airlines. 
As for transportation once we get to NY, that is still up in the air depending on our schedule and where we need to go. However, as of now we know we will be taking a bus from the airport  into Penn Station (which is in Midtown) and then taking an Uber from there to our Air bnb. We were originally thinking of taking a bus to the subway station and then taking a subway to a station near our air bnb, but that seemed like to much of a stressful hasel with luggage, especially since neither one of us has every been to NY and knows anything about subway travel (better leave that up to a day without luggage). 
While in NY we will definitely be walking a lot, but one of our days we will be using the Hop on Hop Off bus with out NY pass to get around for the day since it stops near all of the museums and attractions we want to visit. Apart from that, we might use the local bus, subway, or uber to get around. 

LODGING: 
After pricing different lodging options we settled on using Air bnb. We knew up front that we would be splitting our lodging costs which definitely gave us a bit more room for options, but at the end of the day Air bnb seemed like our best choice. Neither one of us has used Air bnb before, but considering the significant cost difference between a bnb and a hotel as well as the amenities an air bnb has to offer (kitchen, living room, etc.) we knew that was our best option. Plus, with an air bnb you get the experience of being a true "Newyorker" by staying in an apartment (and ours is so chic and modern) in a city neighborhood and experiencing all that has to offer (ours is in the upper East Side). 

TOURISM: 
Since both of us LOVE museums we knew we definitely wanted to visit most of the museums in NY as well as many of the local tourist spots such as the empire state building, statue of liberty, and top of the rock. Due to this, we were able to find a GREAT deal with a New York pass that allows you to get into a long list of attractions, museums, and tours free with an all inclusive cost that saves you a TON of money! Since our trip is 7 days we opted for the 5 day pass so that we could easily visit any of the museums or tourist attractions without the hasel and we definitely thought it was worth the money. While the pass itself was $250, once you factor in how much every tourist spot and museum would cost for the length of time we are there, plus being able to skip lines, it is totally worth it! Plus, we have options of taking bus tours, boat tours, and specialty walking tours with out pass to get an even better experience in the city. 

MUSEUMS:
Like I mentioned above, we love museums and with our NY pass we get into Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, and more. However, we also recently discovered that NY has a temporary "Downton Abbey" exhibit and as HUGE fans of the show we knew that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to step into the scenes of Downton Abbey and experience it firsthand. 

SHOWS:
My best friend is a HUGE theater and musical fan and it just seems wrong to visit NY without going to see a broadway show! While there are definitely a lot of options when it comes to Broadway shows, and there were many we would have loved to see, we settled on a classic (and one that fit better in our budget) and chose to go see Wicked which we are very excited about! 

SHOPPING:
What is a NY trip without shopping! So since we are in NY we decided we have to do the "steryotypical" shopping experience and stop into big name stores like Bloomingdales and Barney's. However, we will also stop into the NY versions of some of our favorite stores like Sephora (my bestie is a silver platinum member), H&M, and much more. Oh.....and I just realized the other day (while watching Say Yes To The Dress) that we have to stop into Kleinfeld to take a picture in the lobby! 

FOOD & COFFEE:
I think another thing NY is known for be it with bloggers or tourists, or the general NY dweller is the food and beverages it has to offer. I pretty much stalk all my favorite NY bloggers to see where they like to eat and to find the "picture perfect" spots. Lets just say I have found a number of places that are totally "instagram worthy" and brunch heaven + coffee lovers paradise and can't wait to try them out! However, while we do plan to try our fair share of NY pizza, pasta, pastries, and coffee, we do plan to stop at the local supermarket in the neighborhood that our air bnb is in to grab some groceries for breakfast and dinner. 


Have you ever been to New York?

- Madison 

Christmas Party Wear

Dress: Vintage | Belt: Vintage | Shoes: Thrifted (Michael Kors) | Earrings: c/o Happiness Boutique 


Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes a slew of Christmas parties, family gathering, holiday celebrations, and New Year parties. When it comes to parties, especially around this festive time of year I am always thinking about the perfect ensemble to wear to any holiday gathering. If you remember this post, I talked about finding happiness in the little details of outfits, and this festive Christmas look takes all of that into consideration. 
I always love pulling in shades of the season into my looks, so this green vintage dress seemed like the perfect piece to pull out for a holiday party! Since the dress is green, it was only fitting that I paired a red belt with it to give it a more "christmasy" pop:) With all the colors of the look, I chose to play it simple, yet classic for my shoes and opted for this FABULOUS pair of Michael Kors nude block heels that I found for $8 at Goodwill......seriously my best steal ever! 
However, nothing quite pulls a look together better than jewelry, and I am completely obsessed with these gold double ball drop earrings from Happiness Boutique......absolutely so classic and they give me so much retro inspiration I could seriously wear them with everything, but party wear is their true calling! 
From classic heel and gold ball drop earring, to green dresses and plaid bows, this look has everything I need for a Holiday party, or Christmas Tea, or really whatever fancy "christmasy" thing I feel up to trying:)

Oh, and did I mention Happiness Boutique is offering all of you lovely readers 10% off with the code minniemuseblog until January 20th, so if you need some fabulous earrings for a special occasion you should browse their vast array of styles. 

- Madison

12 Christmas Movies You Need To Watch


It's officially a WEEK until Christmas so I am all about getting into the Christmas spirit and packing in as many Christmas traditions and bucket list items as possible....especially when it comes to movies! Many of these Christmas movies I don't get to watch every year because time gets away from me and life gets busy, but all of them hold a special place in my heart because I remember watching them when I was growing up, settled in with a cozy blanket, cup of hot cocoa, and a crackling fire nearby. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite Christmas movies (that are not Hallmark....shocker, I know) with you all in case you need something to watch this week:) 

  • It's A Wonderful Life - Nothing gets more traditional than this classic black and white movie about the story of George Bailey and his journey to realizing the impact his life has on everyone around him (I actually got to see this as a play at Silver Dollar City a couple of years ago and it was amazing!) 
  • Elf - I didn't watch this until two years ago and I was laughing so hard the entire time! It's not only a classic, but the perfect Christmas comedy about a Christmas obsessed Elf, and you can't help loving Christmas and Santa after watching it. 
  • White Christmas - This might be one of my favorite movies of all time and probably my favorite Christmas movie (WHAT....not a HAllmark....LOL...I know) but you can't help falling in love with the songs, dances, clothes and noteworthy cast in this classic Christmas film. 
  • Polar Express - (I am actually watching this right now as I write this) But I love this movie because of the Christmas MAGIC! The songs, the hot cocoa, the train, the golden tickets, EVERYTHING! It makes you BELIEVE in Santa, and Christmas Magic, and Elves, and Magic trains. 
  • A Christmas Carol (1984) - It took me so many years to watch this movie (our parents thought it would scare us) but the story is so symbolic and makes you think about life....the past, present, and future and the choices you make. Charles Dickens was a brilliant author and this classic and popular story brings the importance of Christmas giving and thankfulness to life on screen. 
  • The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) - If you love A Christmas Carol, this is the movie about how Charles Dickens created his most popular book and changed the spirit of Christmas in peoples hearts FOREVER! Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens and the movie is seriously BRILLIANT! 
  • The Holiday - So this might not be the most traditional Christmas movie, and it really isn't even that much of a Christmas movie, but Christmas time always seems like the perfect time to watch this movie. This move centers around the lives of two women who decide to swap houses for the "holiday" and meet people they never expected to meet that change their lives forever....and can we all agree that the scene where Jude Law puts on his glasses is like the BEST MOVIE SCENE EVER! 
  • A Christmas Story - This is truly a classic! "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!" is such a popular phrase from this movie. I remember my parents showing this to us as kids and finally understanding why everyone quoted it so much. (WARNING: there is a bit of language in this movie, so if that isn't your thing you might want to look it up or skip it)  
  • Christmas Vacation - This movie is a classic Christmas comedy that has everyone laughing at the over abundance of lights, the surprise in laws, the cat in the box, cat food in the jello, fried Christmas tree and so much more! (WARNING: This movie does has some language and a few suggestive scenes
  • Dr. Seuss's The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - I didn't watch this movie all the way through until this year and it is actually a really good movie.....I understand now why it is so popular. The story of changed hearts, and Cindy Lou who believes that there is good in everyone is a heartwarming tale. 
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1994) - This was my favorite Christmas movie growing up (before I discovered Hallmark Christmas movies). I love Susan and her relationship with St. Nicholas and his impact on all the characters, and on the entire city of New York and the best part of the movie when the judge profoundly states: "Now, if the government of the United States can issue it's currency bearing a declaration of trust in God without demanding physical evidence of the existence or the nonexistence of a greater being, then the state of New York by a similar demonstration of the collective faith of its people, can accept and acknowledge that Santa Claus does exist, and he exists in the person of Kriss Kringle!"
  • The Nativity Story - a very POWERFUL movie that brings to life the Christmas Story of Luke 2 and takes us into the chapter that holds the true meaning of Christmas in Jesus Christ's birth and his simple, yet divine entrance into the world!  
What is your favorite Christmas movie?

-Madison