The Christmas season is upon us again. I can’t believe it. This year has simply flown by.

You know how Oprah has “Her Favorite Things” list? Well I thought I would share some of my favorite things, including some of my favorite things about the Christmas season. It won’t be nearly as impressive as Oprah’s, but here it is nonetheless.

I love all things hair and makeup, so quite a few of my favorite things are in the beauty category. Like Thayers rose petal witch hazel with aloe vera facial mist. It is a gentle skin toner, alcohol free, so it doesn’t dry out my skin. It leaves my face so moisturized, it is absolutely wonderful.

I also love the beauty line called Love Beauty and Planet. So far I have tried their sulfate free shampoo and conditioner and aluminum free deodorant. I love the way my hair feels after washing it with this shampoo. 

The deodorant is good too; however, it doesn’t hold up well in Texas summers, so I am still on the hunt for an all-natural deodorant that can hold up in the Texas heat.

I have come to really enjoy wearing lipstick and have started a little collection. My favorite one so far is none other than one that my best friend sells. It is called Power Lips Fluid by Nu Skin. It’s a matte lip which is my favorite at the moment and it lasts all day, I’m not even kidding. I apply it once and don’t have to worry about touching it up at all throughout the day and the best part, it does not dry out my lips one bit.

I love food, but just to warn you - most of my favorite food products at the moment are dairy free.  That’s because I am lactose intolerant. However, I’m fairly new to the lactose intolerant club. Earlier this year I participated in the Daniel Fast. If you are not familiar with this fast, it’s basically cutting out anything that does not come from the earth, so no milk is allowed. 21 days later, I tried to consume dairy products again and it did not go well. I will spare you the details. Since then, I have been trying to find good dairy free substitutes for some of my most loved food items like ice cream, mac-n-cheese, pizza, yogurt, chocolate, and queso, just to name a few. It has been a challenge. I’m not going to lie. I still eat cheese, but only sparingly, because I have yet to find a good dairy free cheese. Although, I got word of a good dairy free cheese option from a friend recently, so I remain hopeful.

My go-to dairy free chocolate treat has been chocolate hummus with strawberries. It tastes like chocolate icing and it is semi-healthy. I call that, crazy good.

I absolutely love So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt. I’ve tried so many dairy free yogurts and so far this one tastes great, and the coconut flavor somehow does not overpower the fruit flavors. Also, it is the consistency of “yogurt” if you get my drift.

My favorite dairy free ice cream is Nada Moo. So far, this is the closest to the real thing that I have tried. I can’t wait to try all their flavors, but I can tell you right now Lotta Mint Chip is the bomb! They use a coconut base and non-GMO ingredients right here in Austin Texas. It is vegan, gluten-free, and fair trade certified. I haven’t gone yet, but they have a scoop shop off S Lamar Blvd in my city. It is family owned and they serve scoops, shakes, and espresso and also seasonal flavors. Seriously, even if I didn’t need to eat dairy free ice cream I would still eat this ice cream.

If someone were to ask me what are some of my favorite things about Christmas time, one of the things on that list would definitely be these three words: Hallmark. Christmas. Movies. Who else loves Hallmark Christmas movies? These movies are one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I love them. I can’t help it.  Yes, they are predictable, cheesy, and a tad bit unrealistic, but they are wholesome, cheery, uplifting, and festive.

Finally, do you know what I really enjoy right now, like more than all the other things? It’s the fact that one of my best friends is getting married on the 21st of December to her one and only. I couldn’t be more thrilled for them. To be honest, I am trying hard to not let the enemy steal my joy for them. I can already hear the lies he will try to feed me as my friend’s wedding draws near, like “You won’t be happy till you get married,” or “She is moving on with her life without you.” First of all, not today Satan! Second, my happiness is not found in an imperfect person but it is found only in God the Father. Third, my life does not start the moment I get married. My friend is simply moving into another season, but that does not mean we are not both still moving closer together - while at the same time moving closer to God.  He is the only one we both cannot do without in this thing called life…this most wonderful life at this most wonderful time of the year!

Wonderful Things
by Bethany Gomez

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