The holiday season is here, and we’re jumping for joy! Some of the best parts about December are the holiday movie marathons that take place. We can’t wait to sit around the house in our PJs, watching these classics with our loved ones. Here are some of our favorite holiday movies and why we love them!

1. It’s a Wonderful Life – The most classic Christmas movie ever. Clarence and Zuzu’s petals and the Bank and Loan and Jimmy Stewart in the 40’s, ah. It’s a Christmas Eve tradition to drink egg nog, watch the whole movie and then catch the Santa tracker on the local broadcast station. Don’t forget: every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings!

2. Home Alone – Where are all the ’90s kids at? It’s hard not to watch this movie every year, as it seems to be on every channel at all hours of the day (which is perfectly okay with us). KEVIN?!?!?! Beware: the sequels are terrible (except the second one, according to Rachel).

3. A Christmas Story – The nostalgia! There’s nothing better than getting to relive your nerdy, dysfunctional childhood all over again. We can’t wait to watch this one and quote along with every iconic line. Thank goodness for the 24 hour marathon on TBS!

4. Elf – It’s hard to believe this one didn’t exist before 2004 – it’s such a classic! Just your typical movie about accidentally being transported to the North Pole as a toddler to be raised alongside Santa’s elves…wait, what? Buddy the Elf is absolutely hilarious, and if you aren’t constantly quoting this movie in your everyday life, you’re doing things wrong. SANTAAAAA!!!!!!

5. Eighty Crazy Nights – An animated Hanukkah movie might not be top of mind for a holiday classic, but it’s definitely one to remember. Invite your Jewish friends over and sing The Chanukah Song at the top of your lungs – “instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights!”

What are some of your favorite holiday movies to watch during the winter season? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, reminding us all that this year is almost over. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect back on the year, thinking about what we have accomplished and how we can improve. It is a time to contemplate what we are thankful for, as we spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Our team at Wellington Group Marketing and PR has decided to share our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and why it is such a special holiday to us.

Dawn – We love the holidays at our house! Thanksgiving is one of our favorites – good food, running the Turkey Trot together, time with friends and family, late afternoon naps with football playing in the background, and most importantly time to give thanks and reflect on all that we have. While I don’t get to do this every year, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions (I’ve been doing this since I was in high school) is to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast at several homes. It’s basically Thanksgiving dinner hopping and I love it. You really can’t beat a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and I like to be able to enjoy one as many times as possible in one day. I also love being sent home with leftovers!

Rachel – My favorite Thanksgiving tradition involves walking to the neighborhood park with my family after we are stuffed and full of wine. My cousins and I always fight over the swings and relive our glory days as kids sliding down the playground slide. It’s a great chance to catch up with family and reflect on all that we are thankful for!

Julia – For the past two years, I’ve participated in the ThunderCloud Turkey Trot and have loved it. It’s a great way to burn calories before the big meal and come together as a community. This year though, I’ve signed up to help the Austin homeless shelters with their Thanksgiving meal, which I hope will become my new tradition. I also love spending time with my family and watching the UT football game.

Nicole – Almost every Thanksgiving, my whole family is able to come together from across the U.S. to spend the holiday together. The tradition of my whole family meeting in my hometown of Chicago is my favorite part about Thanksgiving because it so rarely happens. With both of my brothers living in California, my aunt and uncle living in Texas, and other family spread out throughout Illinois, it’s one of the only times every year we can all spend together. We watch football games, cook and bake a variety of foods, share what we are thankful for, play games with the little ones, and overall just have a great time.

Michael – The Wellington’s have traditionally been big “decorators” at holiday time. The Halloween pumpkins that didn’t morph into jack-o-lanterns are repurposed into the Thanksgiving displays, joining the turkeys and hay bales that foretell the coming feast day, when big families and bigger appetites converge for a few hours of thanks, gluttony and football. Thanksgiving Day is spent at the Wellington home in Abilene—while the turkey is roasting, all the Christmas decorations make their way out from storage. As the ladies head out early for the Black Friday sales, I begin transforming the house and yard into a glowing winter wonderland. It’s a labor of love, whether the temperature is a sweat-producing 90 degrees or a finger-numbing 28 degrees with spitting snow. Each passing year makes this Thanksgiving weekend tradition a little harder to maintain, but for now, the tradition continues.

What are some of your favorite parts about Thanksgiving and what traditions does your family partake in? Let us know in the comments below!

Zilker Tree

Here at Wellington Group, “bright” is our middle name. So you can imagine how we get clap-your-hands giddy this time of year with all of the bright and beautiful lights that blanket our fair city of Austin. Here are some of our favorite bright spots for the holidays!

Trail of Lights
Going on now through December 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Zilker Park is the one, the only Trail of Lights. With free admission and local nightly performers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go and visit this beloved Austin tradition. Oh, and don’t forget to hop across the street and partake in another Austin tradition – a spin under the Zilker Tree. 

37th Street Christmas Lights
You know you’ve made it when there’s a Wikipedia page about your Christmas tradition! And the homes on 37th Street at Guadalupe definitely deserve it. Keeping Austin weird during the holidays since the 1980’s, this row of houses is known for it’s quirky holiday decorations and lights. Get the friends and family in the car and ooohh and ahhhh at these creative takes on Christmas decorations.

The Four Seasons Hotel Lobby
Complimentary hot apple cider and cookies? A Dr. Seuss inspired gingerbread village? Where do we sign up? The Four Seasons Hotel Austin lobby is known for its one of a kind hand-crafted gingerbread villages complete with tiny twinkling lights. This year, it’s a Gingerbread Who-Village inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There is also a “Welcome to Who-ville” sign and a train. We think we just heard the Grinch’s heart grow two more sizes.

Holiday Lights & Ice at Barton Creek Spa & Resort
With Skating, s’mores, games, 200,000 twinkling lights and Austin’s largest outdoor skating rink, it’s the 4th Annual Holiday Lights & Ice event at Barton Creek Spa & Resort. The ice rink is open now through Monday, January 6. Plus, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central & South Texas, benefitting local children in need.

Do you have any other Austin holiday traditions? Let us know – we’d love to hear them!