Top Ten for My Christmas Bucket List

This week Natalie and I discussed some Christmas wishes on our podcast.  We outlined some bucket list items for the Yule Log and shared some of our own list items.  Here is my Christmas Bucket List Top Ten:

10.  Participate in a Messiah Sing-a-Long.  Even though I am not a singer, I definitely think this would be such a tremendous rush.  Doing it somewhere like Washington National Cathedral would be the best!

9.  Plant my own Christmas Trees.  I think it would be great to have a yard where I could plant some trees that I would later use as my own trees to decorate.

8.  Attend the Pageant of Peace National Tree Lighting Ceremony.  I have been to see the tree and the displays, but I have never been to the event, the one with the President of the US.

7.  A limo Christmas light tour.  I have always wanted to round up my family and go on one of these tours.  They just are so expensive!

6.  Go for a ride in an actual one horse open sleigh.  Somewhere in a snowy resort, this will happen.

5.  Take a family vacation at the holidays.  I think it would be wonderful to all go off together on a wonderful journey late on Christmas day.

4.  Rockettes & Rockefeller Center Tree.  I have been to New York City many, many times but never at Christmas.  Seeing the Holiday Spectacular followed by a walk up 5th Avenue and a visit to the tree at Rockefeller Center is a must!

3.  Build my own nativity set.  Natalie laughed at me a little when I mentioned this one, but I think this would be a great accomplishment.  Maybe it could be something to do with my nieces and nephews and then gift it to them later in life.

2.  Homemade Christmas.  I would love to have one year where every gift I give is something I have made personally.  This would be such a challenge since I would have to think of all possible gifts in advance and really make them great. Such a challenge.

1.  Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s.  I’ve already shared a lot about this dream.  My mom and I have shared viewing the television broadcast for years and I can’t even imagine how great it would be to see it in person!

There it is- some of my list.  If anyone has any suggestions or helpful hints to make it happen, PLEASE let me know:)

Snow Train to Leavenworth–not the prison

Yesterday, Jeremy asked me about my Christmas bucket list.  If you’ve watched enough 1930’s and 40’s movies, you will remember that the high society New Yorkers often took the snow train to Vermont for weekend getaways, skiing and romance.  That would be #1 on my bucket list.  Amtrack recently re-instated the New York/Vermont snow train, and one day I hope to be on it.

On the West Coast, though, one Snow Train goes from Seattle, Washington to Leavenworth, Washington each of four weekends in December.  Leavenworth, at the base of the Cascade mountains, was once a thriving lumber town.  When the lucrative timber industry dried up in the 1960’s, the residents made a decision to do a makeover of their town, transforming it into a Bavarian village and catering to tourists.  Strangely, it worked!

At Christmas, Leavenworth goes all out, and the Snow Train ($169 per person) features breakfast, Santa, entertainment, a day in the village, the tree lighting and caroling and then dinner on the return train.  It sounds a little like a packaged Christmas, but I imagine that many families make it their tradition.

Podcast #27- 167 Days to Go!

Podcast #27– Click here to listen to this week’s podcast- Our Christmas Bucket Lists.

Following a recap of bargains, poison, skates, and patriotism we get right to the point.  This week we discuss some of our personal wishes for Christmas, our own bucket lists.  We share hopes to have a homemade Christmas, a snow train to Vermont, and a sleigh ride.  We wrap up with a Christmas Bucket list for the Yule Log.  Big news included on that list and we need YOUR suggestions to make a decision- listen to find out more!

Christmas Bucket List

This morning I was trying to decide what I wanted to post about today.  I had a lot of ideas but then as I was working in the yard I had a new idea.  Bucket List!  Natalie and I have been talking about our love and excitement for Christmas now for 6 months.  We’ve talked and written a lot about what we do, we like, we know, and we wish.  But what about our dream to do list for Christmas, you know, a Christmas Bucket List?  I will be challenging Natalie to create said list as soon as she returns from her journeys.  This will be our dream list of the Christmas things we hope to do in our lifetime.  Here’s my first one…

Visit St. Peter’s Basilica for Christmas mass.  St. Peter’s is the largest Christian church in the world and a center of Catholicism.  It covers 5.7 acres and can seat thousands.  It took 120 years to build and is sadi to be the burial site for the apostle Peter, its namesake.  With all that space getting in would be easy, right?  Just get to Rome and make your way to the church and wait in line.  Nope!  It is like a quest from the crusades to find out how to get the elusive Christmas tickets for a Papal mass.  Now if you want to go for a regular mass at the Basilica, Pope or no Pope, there are daily masses at 8:30, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 5:00.  On Sunday you can choose between 9:00, 10:30, 11:30, 12:15, 1:00, 4:00, 5:00 and 5:45. If you want confession, that’s daily.  To get these tickets, according to a site for visitors, you just go to St. Pete’s Square and find the bronze doors to the Apostolic Palace and request tickets from the Swiss Guard.  I wonder if there is a password needed?!  The site directs readers that wish Christmas or Easter mass tickets to go to the site for the Church of Santa Susanna, the home of the American Catholic Church in Rome.  But if you read closely on that site they let you know in no uncertain terms that they cannot help you with tickets for Christmas or Easter because “having to sit and tell people that they are not going to Saint Peter’s and experiencing their hurt and anger is just too much for us”.  They do let you know that your best hope is to contact the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan at the Bishop’s Office for U.S. Visitors , Office of the Vatican in Rome.  You may make your request by fax or email.  Don’t expect a reply to or conformation of your request, there are simply too many!  So how will I be able to know that I can get these tickets for my trip?  Plan far in advance and pray, pray a lot!