Nicole’s Favourite Things: The “We Need A Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute” Edition

In the last week, I have seen the following outfits on young girls: a one-shouldered bodysuit paired with jogging pants, the type that are tightly elasticized around the ankles, super high-rise lululemon tights with a hoodie, the bottom hem of which ended two inches below the bra line, Cougar boots, and a very high ponytail, and a white mock-turtleneck tucked into very high-rise navy blue flared cropped pants, the shorter hemline emphasizing the old-school Adidas runners and ruffled white ankle socks. The last outfit was accessorized by a red purse with a gold-chain strap. If there was such a thing as a blog back in 1985-1993, all of those things would have made Nicole’s Favourite Things. As it is, I find it very interesting, like I am a fashion anthropologist analyzing current trends and how they related to my own youth.

But I did not come here to talk about the return of acid-wash jeans or bodysuits. I came here to talk about Christmas! It’s time for Nicole’s Favourite Things – and I have lots of favourite things at this time of year, so hold on to your hats! Your SANTA hats, that is!

Nicole’s Favourite Things – The “We Need A Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute” Edition


I alluded to the dress I bought – from Le Chateau, no less – for my husband’s Christmas party. It has sprinted past my other favourite dresses to become, I believe, my all-time favourite. It has surpassed my wedding dress, my perfect black wrap dress, and the black-and-white Sixties-style swing dress I had when I was sixteen. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photo – my older son took the pictures and we switched the tree lighting to try to capture it – but it’s a black sheath with a piece of drapey fabric that makes for a swoopy, uneven hemline. Black and drapey, as we know from all my sweaters, is my jam.

I paired the dress with my three-inch wedge heels, which looked nice, but for someone who spends most of the day working in bare feet, it was kind of painful. I paid for it the next day with the tightest hip flexors you ever did see. I used to wear heels all the time, and they never bothered me. But hoo boy, I’m glad I don’t wear them much anymore.


Holidays on Ice

I bought this book in 2015 and I have read it every December since then. I love David Sedaris, and his “Santaland Diaries” and “Dinah, the Christmas Whore” still make me laugh until I cry, gasping for air, even after that many readings.

My Yard

It seems that my husband has a very competitive streak. We’ve always had a lot of Christmas decorations in the yard, but as our neighbourhood demographics start to change – read: the old people are, um, leaving and new young families are coming in – we have gone from Appropriately Festive to Griswold-Worthy Light Show. My husband’s goal is to show those young upstarts up and let them know how it’s done, I guess. We have the following: icicle lights paired with red ones, colourful signs in each of my three large planters, an entire candy cane lane along our sidewalk and stairs, two light-up trees and two light-up gift boxes, two light-up deer, one moose, one polar bear, two penguins, one hippo, and two snowmen, including a six-foot tall one that has flashing lights and stars. The Mayday tree is filled with sparkling colourful Christmas balls as well:

People stop to take photos of our yard, and at least three elderly men have stopped me, while walking Barkley, to tell me that they admire my husband’s work. How did they know it was him, and not me?

These Ornaments

My mom dropped off this little cutie-pie for me:

I put it near this one that I bought four years ago. They are little friends!

I buy an ornament every year, and this was the one I bought the first year we were married:

This year’s ornament, in honour of the pandas being in Calgary:

This was last year’s ornament, in honour of the cute little chickadees that hang out in the shrub by my garage and become immensely startled each and every time I come out of the house.

Musical Decorations

I love this little cookie-making machine; it plays music and is, frankly adorable. Note the box set of Seinfeld in the background. Santa brought that for the boys last year and it was some of the best money I have ever spent. Other than my new dress, that is.

This is another musical cutie, the snowman and reindeer bop around with the music. The creche in the background is one I brought back from Mexico back in 1997.

Old Timey Ornaments

This little Santa was one I bought from a craft fair, probably circa 1998. Behind him is a bowl where I keep beautiful smooth stones, seashells, and driftwood I collected from the West Coast, back when my husband and I were first married. My mother-in-law had given me the glass bowl; it was her mother’s, and she thought I might like it. I think it was filled with chocolates at the time. She also gave me those ornaments, they were hers from the Sixties. They are extremely fragile, which makes me appreciate modern unbreakable ornaments.

Soapie and Ed

Last year my husband took the boys to Canadian Tire for various Christmassy-yard things, and came home with this adorably fluffy sheep for me. I laughed with delight and christened her Soapie, as she looked like a big foamy soap bubble. This year the trio went to Canadian Tire – AGAIN for yard items – and presented me with the snowman. “He looks like an Ed” my older son said sarcastically, but it was exactly right. Soapie and Ed sit on the hearth above Barkley’s bed, and Barkley tends to be a bit jealous of Soapie. He usually nudges her over once or twice before resigning to his fate.

Dressing Up The Dog

Speaking of Barkley, I went to buy him some food and treats and lo, there was an entire aisle of things for which to dress up your dog. I chose this scarf, which is really meant for a much smaller dog, as it is fairly fitted on his fluffy neck. I’ve been putting it on him to take our walks, and the pure joy I get from seeing him jauntily walking around like a man about town in his festive scarf is much greater than the $5.99 price tag would indicate.

Those are my favourite things this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and that you can enjoy all your favourite things too. Merry Christmas. xo


  1. Aw, ornaments being friends!

  2. I love everything about this. My daughter, “reading” over my shoulder (she is five and cannot yet read) is in love with Barkley. We have been staring at him for many minutes.

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