As we enter into the season of gratitude, as well as gifting and giving back, we surveyed Bloom team members on some of their favorite ways to Rudolph-red-nose dive into the holiday season and give back to those in need.
We have combined our lists of favorite movies, recipes, and nonprofits that we feel are worthy of our time and perhaps, yours too.
Favorites to Watch
We are a team of unique individuals with eclectic tastes and that is reflected in our holiday movie selections. Whether you like shows that are action-packed, sentimental, or ones that tickle your funny bone, you’re bound to find a few of your own favorites on this list (old and new).
Comedic movies seemed to top our list including; A Christmas Story (RALPHIE!!!), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (of course), Elf (who doesn’t love spaghetti and maple syrup?), Home Alone 1 & 2 (loving Macauley’s recent comeback), The Santa Clause Series (whatever happened to Tim Allen), and, of course, the classic rom-com’s Four Christmases, The Holiday, The Best Man Holiday, and Love Actually.
Other movies that team Bloom might have running in the background while wrapping presents or baking cookies include; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Preacher’s Wife (Whitney and Denzel…enough said), The Family Stone, Almost Christmas, and we can’t leave out one of the most controversial picks—Die Hard. Yes, Die Hard. It’s absolutely and undeniably a Christmas movie (don’t argue with us)! Yippee Ki-Yay!
May we also talk about “the classics”…although that could easily be interpreted as a movie in 2015, depending on who you talk to, I’ll define classics to pre-1970s. To start is the 1946 version of It’s a Wonderful Life. Who doesn’t love Frank Capra’s classic? Next in line is Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Although the 1994 version has its charm, you can’t beat Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood. AND, we can’t forget Bing Crosby in White Christmas. That’s all I have to say—Bing Crosby and White Christmas.
Staying true to our favorite pre-1970 classics, let’s talk animation. The 1960s produced some of our favorites such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), and A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). However, we can’t forget the more recent animated classics such as Polar Express (which is one of the greatest, IMO), The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Klaus.
Although Hallmark has been around for decades, their holiday movie success, which began in 2000, gives our team all the feels. Need a Hallmark Christmas movie recommendation, we say, try them all. There’s nothing better than some cheesy holiday goodness, with a lot of hot chocolate, maybe a handsome prince in a small town trying to be inconspicuous, or a big city character going to a small town that always looks picture-perfect—add a lot of love, and yes, predictably happy endings. And, if you need a break from all-things-Christmas, check out some Hanukkah movies such as Holiday Date and Love, Lights, Hanukkah!
Moving onto streaming, Netflix and Hulu are definitely getting points for their holiday movie efforts such as Noelle, Jingle Jangle, Holidate, The Holiday Calendar, and Happiest Season, among others.
Last but not least, we need to consider the darker side of the holidays…I mean, who doesn’t love a holiday scare like Krampus or Gremlins?
Favorites to Eat & Drink
A common theme at Bloom is our love of food (and drink). We thought we’d share some of our go-to treats to make for yourself or share with your loved ones—only if they’re nice.
Let’s start with the easy…if you’re not much of a chef in the kitchen, but know how to boil hot water, Hot Chocolate is a must (also says, Hallmark)! If you’re feeling adventurous and want to go beyond a packet of powder, try this slow-cooker hot cocoa. It’s not hard and the final result is delish! Another quick and easy treat that lives up to its name is Reindeer Bait. This salty and sweet quick treat is a house favorite and a great recipe to do with your kids, or alone. Just beware…it’s hard to put down once you start snacking. Lastly, if you like peanut butter, these no-bake peanut butter bars are a fan favorite.
For more traditional treats that require a little more effort and kitchen gear, try some of these classic holiday cookies, or more specifically, some office favorites include sugar cookies and peppermint bark. And, if you like a warm, holiday drink, try a hot toddy, mulled wine, or spiked apple cider.
If you’re more salty than sweet, some family favorite recipes for heartier dishes include green bean casserole, cauliflower mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, sausage balls, and baked yams with LOTS of brown sugar and marshmallows.
Favorites for Giving Back
We are an inclusive, passionate, and mission-driven team. Giving is at the foundation of what we do at Bloom, but also who we are as an agency and as individuals. So, whether you’re looking for a recommendation for end-of-year giving, ideas for volunteering, or even holiday gift-giving in the names of your loved ones (gifting chicks and livestock to empower families in need is a favorite annual stocking stuffer), we want to share our incredible nonprofit clients (which we support through our 30 percent pro bono time investment), as well as personal favorites we turn to at the holidays and beyond.
- AGE of Central Texas
- Amnesty International
- Austin Pets Alive!
- A Village for One
- Burrito Brigade
- Central Texas Food Bank
- Donate Life Northwest
- E3 Alliance
- EcoSoap Bank
- Equine Rehabilitation Central Texas
- Fora Health
- Heifer International
- Meals on Wheels People
- NAMI Central Texas
- One Tree Planted
- Oregon Food Bank
- Oregon Humane Society
- Planned Parenthood
- Playworks Pacific Northwest
- Ronald McDonald House
- SAFE Alliance
- Salvation Army Angel Tree
- Save the Manatee
- Susan G. Komen
- The International Rescue Committee
- The Unicorn Pasture
- Toys for Tots
- World Wildlife Fun
Want to get to know Team Bloom? Learn more about our agency and the incredible people who work here!