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Visions of Christmas: A Belmont Vision Top 10 list of holiday proportions

  1. Dickens of a Christmas:  For 27 years, the historic town of Franklin, Tenn., has given Christmas-lovers the opportunity to travel back in time to experience Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol.” More than 250 performers will take to the streets in 19th-century garb on Dec. 10-11, acting out scenes from the story, dancing, singing and entertaining passers-by. There are restaurants and adorable little shops everywhere, giving people the perfect opportunity for last-minute holiday shopping. Gifts aside, Dickens of a Christmas gives people the chance to walk around and enjoy the holiday atmosphere. Vendors selling Victorian fare (like giant turkey legs, kettle corn, roasted nuts, sugar plums), dancers and street musicians, and the event’s annual staple, a musician who spins familiar Christmas carols on glass harmonica —a table full of glasses, half empty and half full.

  2. Listen to She & Him’s Christmas album, “A Very She & Him Christmas.” This step only requires listening to Zooey Deschanel’s voice crooning “Blue Christmas” as you sit and read “A Christmas Carol” by the fire (for fire making reference, see No. 5). No further elaboration needed. (P.S. Belmont guys, Zooey Deschanel is now single. Please try and contain yourselves.)

  3. Watch any number of ridiculous, heartwarming Christmas movies and try not to cry from the crippling nostalgia: Any of the Claymation classics — namely, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” but if you must, “Little Drummer Boy” — “Home Alone” and its sequel, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” any disambiguation of “A Christmas Carol” and most importantly, “A Christmas Story.”

  4. ICE!, returns for another year of awesome sculpture with a DreamWorks theme, focusing on characters from DreamWorks’ “Madagascar.” The exhibit, created from more than 2 million pounds of ice, includes sculptures of our favorite DreamWorks characters, and more importantly, giant ice slides. Need I say more? ICE! Featuring DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar runs from Nov. 18-Jan. 3.

  5. Get a Yule log: When I was a kid, I had no idea what a “Yule log” was. It was a concept that was never explained to me. Thankfully, God created Wikipedia for people whose parents neglect to teach this awesome and majestic tradition. A Yule log is not only “a large log formerly put on the hearth on Christmas Eve as the foundation of the fire,” according to Merriam-Webster. It can also refer to a giant chocolate cake. So really, the options are endless. Start an epic bonfire with your own personal Yule log. Put it in your fireplace, or if you don’t have a fireplace, find one to put it in. Or, make a chocolate cake. A clear win-win situation.

  6. Opryland Hotel Christmas Lights: Every year, the Opryland Hotel puts up so many Christmas lights I’m willing to bet you can see it from space. While this isn’t exactly an official “event,” going to see the lights is a perfect Christmas-time activity nevertheless. Opryland is fun to roam around in anyway, but during the holidays the hotel aims to impress and doesn’t spare any expense with the giant Christmas trees, thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights and the occasional Santa Claus wandering about.

  7. Decorate. Everything. Put up a tree (even if it’s a sad Charlie Brown tree), throw up lights on every available surface and strew about bags upon bags of candy canes. And don’t forget the glitter.

  8. Treat yourself to your very own “Ugly Christmas Sweater’.” Over the last few years, there has been spike in the popularity of what people usually refer to as “ugly Christmas sweaters.” These knitted gems are at the tippity top of the fashion tree in holiday wear. You can typically find one of these babies at your local Goodwill, on eBay (18,289 already listed on Thanksgiving Day) or even better: in your grandma’s closet. You don’t want to be caught dead drinking a hot chocolate without one.

  9. Go Christmas shopping at Green Hills: Or DON’T. Enough said.

  10. Enjoy the break while it lasts: No school, constant infusions of candy and awesome food, plus crazy amounts of sleep. Nothing is better. Happy Holidays, folks.

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