Hope you all are having a great Saturday! I know I am! I started this 17th day of December with a fantastic run. I debated going to the gym and sweating it out on the treadmill for a bit (but how boring is that?!), but after stepping outside and feeling the sun on my face, soaking up the 70 degree temps–Yes, I said 70 degrees. In farenheit. On a mid-December day. I guess there are certain perks to being down in Georgia during the winter season, although I will say, I do miss my Wisconsin snow (and basically everything about Wisconsin, really), especially around Christmas time–I decided to take full advantage of this global warming business and hit the trails at one of the local parks near my house. Rocking out to an updated playlist on my i-pod, successfully dodging fresh dog doo and enjoying some much-needed fresh O2? Yep, I think is was a pretty darn good run, if I say so myself. But the best part of it all was enjoying a big ‘ol slice (or two) of this when I got done.
My mom was given homemade zucchini bread by one of her friend’s for Christmas and I just couldn’t help myself…so I helped myself to some 🙂
Right now I’m about to get my Christmas partay on, but while I’ve got some time, I thought I would share with you all a little Christmas-y survey of sorts. I love reading about holiday traditions and thought it might be neat to share with you some of what me and my family have done over the years. I would love for you to participate as well so feel free to leave me a comment on any or all of these questions so I can maybe learn a little bit more about how you and your family celebrate this joyous time of year 🙂
25 Questions: Holiday Style
1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate all the way! With lots of marshmallows. And whipped cream. And even more marshmallows. Actually come to think of it, you could just give me a heaping cup of whipped cream and marshmallows and I’d be a happy camper 😉
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Oh he wraps them! And wraps them amazingly well at that, with bows and ribbon and fancy paper, the whole shabang. Who knew that Mr. Kris Kringle was just a wrap-superstar. Although funnily enough, he has the same hand-writing as my dad. Hmm…
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I am a sucker for colored lights on the tree and house. I know, I know. White are a bit more elegant but I think colored lights brighten things up just a tad more (pun intended) and makes things more cheerful and exciting. And since I am usually the one who has to (I mean gets to) hang the shiny things, I get to choose 🙂
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I usually don’t hang mistletoe but I think this year I am going to buy one of those headbands that has mistletoe that hangs down from the front of it so I am always under the mistletoe. Although now that I think about it, that could be both a bad and good thing, depending on who I run into while wearing said headband haha.
5. When do you hang your decorations up?
My family makes it a rule that we do not, under any circumstances, start our Christmas decorating until after Thanksgiving (but boy do we hit it hard right after, especially my mom and I who have a shared love of Christmas decorating. The only exception would be maybe the tree. That we wait for until usually the first week or so in December, just so that it won’t dry out and go bald before the big day). I can’t stand it when I start seeing stores and houses all dolled up for the holidays at the same time we are still carving pumpkins and getting our Halloween costumes together. The baby Jesus and Dracula shouldn’t be mixed.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Every Christmas Eve, my mom makes her famous homemade chicken-noodle soup with homemade biscuits. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. It is a simple dish, but it is in that simplicity that I fall in love with it year after year. It reminds me of home.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
When I was about six years old, my mom, dad, sister and I were just coming back from the candle-lit Christmas Eve service at our church when out of the corner of my eye, I saw what appeared to be a shooting star in the sky. My dad had noticed the very same thing and as he took my hand inside his, he said to me, “Did you see that hunny? That was the exact same star that Mary and Joseph followed to Bethlehem the night Jesus was born.” To this day, I still look for that star shinning in the bright, night sky. It may sound corny, but that star reminds me that miracles can happen if you believe.
8. What is on your Christmas list?
I really don’t have anything on my Christmas list this year, anything monetary or physical anyway. My real gift is just being able to spend this time with my family and loved ones. I also enjoy spreading a little cheer by giving to others. There is nothing quite like seeing the smile on someone’s face when you surprise them with a little somethin’ somethin’ 🙂
9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
My immediate family (mom, dad and sister) open the gifts that we got each other, as well as the gifts from our extended family in Wisconsin and Colorado on Christmas Eve night, right after we get home from church. My sister and I usually always fight over who gets to be Santa and hand out everyone’s gifts. And she usually wins. On Christmas Day, we open ‘Santa’s’ gifts.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
My tree is what I like to call “Random Beauty”. We decorate it to the brim with lights (colored of course), tinsel, popcorn garland and a hodge-podge of ornaments, each of which holds a memory that makes me smile and warms my heart. I would have to say that one of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating the tree.
11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
LOVE it! And miss it oh so much!
12. Real tree or fake tree.
My tree is as real as real can be, no fakies in my house.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
My favorite Christmas gift was the trip to NYC that my mom, sister and I took over Christmas a few years ago. It was a little bittersweet because my dad was not with us (he was in Iraq at the time which was kind of why we decided to go away for the holidays that year) but it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. There is just something so magical about Christmas in New York City.
14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Hands down, spending time with my family and friends.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Oh goodness that is a toughy! I would probably have to say my favorite holiday dish would be any and all type of cookie. yes, I know. That is a shocker. Me? Like cookies? Every year my mom and I put on our aprons, gather our recipe cards and have a blast making a mess out of the kitchen, whipping up and baking trays and trays full of yumminess. Our go-to kinds include mexican wedding balls, peanut butter kisses and my famous sugar cookie cutouts.
16.What is your favorite tradition?
My favorite tradition would be going to the Christmas Eve candle light service, singing Christmas hymns (no matter how terrible I am singing them), giving praise for the miracle that was Jesus’ birth and being able to share it all with my family.
17. What tops your tree?
It usually is an angel that I made way back in Sunday School. It’s a bit rough and the wings are a bit tattered, but that angel still makes its presence nearly every year on my tree.
18. Do you prefer giving or receiving?
110 % giving! I actually kind of want to take over Santa’s job when he retires (does anyone know how I can get him my resume?). I get so happy and excited whenever I give someone something, to see the smile and surprise on their face upon opening a gift or to hear their delight over a thankful phone call. The gift for me every year is giving.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
My favorite Christmas song would have to be ‘Carol of the Bells’. It, to me, is Christmas wrapped up in a song 🙂
20. Candy canes, yuck or yum?
Meh. I am kind of indifferent when it comes to the stripped candy peppermint stick. However, crush them up and make some of this? Now we’re talking 🙂
21. Favorite Christmas movie?
It’s a toss-up between A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation. My family and I have endless marathons of both of these cinematic gems every year, as well as breaking into quotes on an annual basis.
22. What do you leave for Santa?
Cookies and milk for the big guy and carrots and celery for Rudolph and the gang. I am looking forward to the day when I have kids of my own and get to enjoy Santa’s ‘gifts’. I will of course handle the cookies and milk, and my future husband can take care of the carrots. Sounds like a pretty good plan, no?
23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Everyone wakes up early and makes a bee-line to the Christmas tree. After going to town on our presents (stockings first, then what’s under the tree), we enjoy a nice breakfast/brunch and then have a mad marathon tournament of board games (we also have a tradition of getting a new board game every year. After over 24 years of Christmas’, our closet is a spitting image of a Toys R’ Us catalog).
24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?
At the mall. There is just something about being out among all the cheerful (and sometime crazy) fellow shoppers that puts me in the Christmas mood. Because nothing says the holidays than fighting an old lady over the last season of Glee on DVD, am I right?
25. Christmas letter or Christmas card?
I always do a Christmas card but I love reading Christmas letters that I get from other people 🙂
Okay guys…now it’s your turn. Tell me about some of your traditions!
I best get to my party before all the good appetizers are gone. I hope you all have a great night!