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What's Up Magazine

Ten Top Ten: Best Christmas Ever

Dec 20, 2018 04:00PM

By Catherine Rohsner

Christmas is less than a week away. People have been holiday shopping, Christmas decorations have long gone up, and everyone has been looking forward to waking up on Christmas morning for a while. Below are ten top ten items in various Christmas categories to make your Christmas day that much more special, from songs to destinations. Enjoy!


There are so many fantastic Christmas songs are out there, it’s hard to choose just ten. Even when you look at various top-rated charts, all of them differ in some way. Below are ten of the songs that are featured most often. Regardless, there’s no question that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is number one on the charts.

#10 Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes

#9 Felíz Navidad – José Feliciano 

#8 Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

#7 Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

#6 White Christmas – Bing Crosby

#5 It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé 

#4 It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams 

#3 The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole 

#2 Last Christmas – Wham! 

#1 All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey 

If you want to listen to something real special go to YouTube and check out “O Holy Night worst rendition ever FUNNIEST SONG ON EARTH.” It’s worth it.


Christmas bedtime stories . . . besides food, my favorite! Whether your child likes to read them, or you are old enough to read them again, I’ve listed ten of the best in order of original publication.

  1. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann
  2. A Visit from St. Nicolas (Twas the Night Before Christmas) by Clement Clarke Moore
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter
  5. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  6. Enid Blyton’s Christmas Stories by Enid Blyton
  7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
  8. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
  9. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  10. A Full House: An Austin Family Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle


This list is based on the Rotten Tomatoes ranking, narrowed down by cherry-picking what I believe to be the most iconic. On the official site, Home Alone sits at a distant #46, while A Christmas Carol resides at #24. I have seen the latter too often to give it any other place than 2nd.

#10 Home Alone (1990)

#9 White Christmas (1954)

#8 Elf (2003)

#7 A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

#6 Arthur Christmas (2011)

#5 Holiday Inn (1942)

#4 Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

#3 Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

#2 A Christmas Carol (1951)

#1 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)


And now for “Top Ten Don’ts of the Holiday Season” with your host, Catherine Rohsner.

  1. Don’t burn the tree down.
  2. Don’t let the cat get to it.
  3. Don’t burn anything, except maybe a bonfire if you’re into that. Or a candle.
  4. Don’t forget to take the price tag off your presents before you wrap them.
  5. Don’t get reckless with the Christmas light display (don’t overdo and stay safe.)
  6. Don’t save your shopping until the last minute.
  7. Don’t give thoughtless gifts (or not bring something when you’re supposed to.)
  8. Don’t use the holidays as a platform for controversy.
  9. In general, don’t be rude. Give your family, friends, and retail workers some gratitude.
  10. Last of all: don’t forget why you’re celebrating the holiday.


Thymes’ Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle is my absolute favorite when it comes to holiday décor. As I browsed, I learned that there’s a lot more to holiday decorating than just the basic tree and wreath.

  1. Artificial tree: Best Choice Products Spruce at Amazon
  2. Tree Stand: Krinner’s Tree Genie XXL
  3. Garland: Lit Pine Pottery Barn Garland
  4. Wreath: National Tree Company Crestwood Spruce
  5. Lights: Everglow 2980-22 100 Clear White Wire Light Set
  6. Inflatables: Airblown 3.5’ Snoopy on House Christmas Inflatable
  7. Stockings: L.L. Bean Christmas Needlepoint Stockings
  8. Holiday Candle: NEST Fragrances Classic Holiday Candle
  9. Glass Ornament: Kurt Adler Glass Ball Ornament Set
  10. Collectible: ITOMTE Handmade 16-inch Swedish Scandinavian Gnome



Imagine a table laid with a sumptuous feast, all ready for you and your family’s Christmas gathering. You might see a ham, or a turkey, or even a prime rib gleaming in the center. But what about all the dishes around your favorite centerpiece? Brussel sprouts, green beans, roasted carrots, and potatoes . . . are those mashed or au gratin? Sweet potatoes, a butternut squash casserole, and delectable mushrooms . . . a rice dish with an assortment of flavors, stuffing, and even a steaming Yorkshire pudding sit before you. What you have just imagined are ten of the best side dishes to grace your Christmas table in 2018.


Festive dishes are what bring people together, but what about their wishes? Inspired by and my own experience, here’s a compilation of top gift items in ten categories.

  1. For Her: Scented candles or essential oils.
  2. For Him: Nothing can range from classy to purposefully tacky like a tie.
  3. For Teens: A portable phone charger.
  4. For Children: Fingerlings Interactive Untamed T-Rex. 
  5. For Kids-Teens: Not Parent Approved: A Card Game. A PG version of Cards Against Humanity.
  6. For Home: All New Echo Dot. Add Alexa to any room.
  7. For Kitchen: Instant Pot, the newest pressure cooker.
  8. For Family: Harry & David gourmet and floral selections.
  9. For Work: Stationary.
  10. For BFFs: The most useful, aesthetically-pleasing, and extra gift you can think of.


And now . . . the one dessert we’ve all been eyeing, but allow ourselves to indulge in more during the holidays: cookies! 

  1. Gingerbread Men
  2. Eggnog Meltaway Cookies
  3. Peppermint Cookies
  4. Sugar Cookies
  5. Peanut Butter Blossoms
  6. Rugelach
  7. Linzer Cookies
  8. Spritz Cookies
  9. Thumbprint Cookies
  10. Peppermint Bark

But wait—the circular dessert glory doesn’t stop here: check out our very own 2018 Cookie Bake-Off winner recipes online or in the November 2018 issue of What’s Up? Magazine for the best of local deliciousness!


Every family has their own spin to the festive day itself. Still, there are a ton of ideas for you and your family to consider adopting into the fun this year.

  1. Hide the pickle ornament. Whoever wakes up and finds it first gets to open the first present!
  2. Christmas caroling. Always a treat whether you sing or not.
  3. Cookie exchange. Share a literal treat.
  4. Light show tour. Drive around the neighborhood to finally take in those Christmas displays.
  5. Advent calendar. Celebrate with an activity a day, candy, or letter all the way to Christmas.
  6. Decorate the tree. One of my favorite events growing up!
  7. Read a Christmas story, or 25. However you’d like to do it.

If you’re a little more active . . . 

  1. Ice skating,
  2. Minute-to-win-it Christmas games, and a
  3. Scavenger hunt to find the last presents make for great fun.


Let’s cut to the chase. There are winter wonderlands in the world waiting for you to find them. You may have decided to stay home for the holidays this year, but don’t let that stop you from letting ten of the best settings for the season pass by your festive fancy. 

  1. New York City
  2. The Greenbrier at White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia
  3. Quebec City
  4. Lapland, Finland
  5. Zurich, Switzerland
  6. Puerto Rico (if you want to go tropical)
  7. Kaikoura, New Zealand (it’s the height of summer there)
  8. Charleston, South Carolina
  9. Vatican City
  10. Bethlehem