Friday, December 16, 2011

25 Questions: Holiday Style

I think some of the blog surveys I have read lately look like fun so I'm going to participate.  I usually do some sort of holiday related post and this one is fitting.

•Eggnog or hot chocolate?

I like Eggnog but I love hot chocolate.  I prefer Silk brand eggnog with vanilla rum and pumpkin pie spice.  I make the Hershey's cocoa recipe for hot chocolate that is listed on the back of the box as my go-to but recently I tried Mexican hot chocolate using dark cocoa, cayenne, and cinnamon and that was delicious!

•Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

All gifts are wrapped.  Mine have bows and gift tags but when I was younger my mom didn't bother with it...she wrote Love, Santa on mine and stacked them together.  I have one family member that doesn't wrap some of her kids toys, she takes them out of the package to put batteries in them and assemble them as needed.   When I was a kid my dad spent a good bit of Christmas morning cutting those annoying plastic ties that were sewn around Barbie's head so I could play after unwrapping my gifts.

•Colored lights on tree/house or white?

When I was younger we had colored lights that blinked and played music.  As an adult I am all about white lights - R loves to mix colored lights and white lights together.  I won for our tree this year!

•Do you hang mistletoe?

I think it is a cute tradition but no I never have.  However in the Carolina's mistletoe grows in nearly every oak tree and our new lawn is covered in them.

•When do you hang your decorations up?

I try to restrain myself until the day after Thanksgiving.

•What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Our family usually did a traditional Turkey or Ham dinner similar to a Thanksgiving style meal.  Everything my mom makes is delicious but I am a huge fan of candied yams....(it's honestly my dessert but always served alongside the meal).

•Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Everything Thanksgiving evening we would go see the local Christmas lights.  When I was younger there were several streets that did extravagant yard displays.  Now one of the home owners ( a cousin of mine) lines both sides of the street for about a mile in a beautiful light show.  You can park and ride a "train" through the lights and get hot chocolate or a snack while your children ride a carousel.  Santa is there taking children's Christmas wish lists and there is a big old fashioned candy shop where you can buy pounds of Christmas candy along with homemade jars of jam and preserves.

•What is on your Christmas wish list?

I didn't make one.  I've been eyeballing some citrine earrings for a while though and  I hope they are under my tree.  I also hinted to my mom a couple of Pandora bracelet charms and a Hot Tools brand curling iron from Ulta.

•Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

Only 1, almost always new pajamas.  I opened mine right before bedtime on Christmas eve.  R and I are going to do our gift exchange and cook a special meal together on Christmas Eve this year.

•How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
In years past I've bought only gold and bronze ornaments for my tree which was lovely with white lights and matched my interior decor.  In the past two years I've hung very special ornaments given to me by family and friends.  This year R and I bought an ornament from every location we visited on vacation (we added 5 new ornaments).   I also have my sentimental ornaments and he has a small collection of Hallmark airplanes and motorcycle ornaments given to him by his mother.  We still used white lights and my collection of gold balls to fill in bare spots.

•Snow? Love it or dread it?

Dread it.  Eastern Carolinians notoriously do not "do" snow.  We don't particularly like driving in it and our towns are not prepared with the necessary snow equipment to get things cleared off in a quick manor.  I like the idea of it and I love to look at it - for about a day and then I truly am over it.

•Real tree or fake tree?

Fake tree.  I had a real tree one year when I was growing up and it came from a reputable tree farm but after a few hours our home was infested with some flying insect that was multiplying at a rapid rate in that tree.  NO thank had that tree torn down and outside before night.  I tried a real tree the first year I had Lilly and I learned real quick that my cat thought that tree was hers and only hers.  We decorated it and within an hour she had climbed it and it toppled over spilling ornaments everywhere.

•Do you remember your favorite gift?

Three years ago I received a queen size hand sewn quilt made by my grandma, mom, and great aunt.  I can look at every stitch and judging by the quality I can tell which woman was working on it.  There is a lot of detail in the design and it took them most of the year to get it done.  All 3 women have arthritis so I know it was a difficult task to accomplish.  My grandma actually spent 2 years working on a quilt for every person in our small family but I think mine is the most beautiful - the fabric is vintage and it is very detailed.  She told me when I graduated high school that not every gift can be bought in a store.  I have 2 very special presents and both were given by her.

•What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

I love anytime my family gets together around a big meal.  It is very special this year that R and I are going to see his family and mine.  I'm about to get very sentimental during this post.....Christmas eve 1997 was the last night my dad was home with us.  He went into the hospital on Christmas day that year and died two weeks later.  I learned then that time with family and making special memories are the most important things in life.

•What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Peter Paul Cake (otherwise known as Mounds cake or Peter Paul Mound cake).  It is a chocolate cake covered in coconut icing and sometimes includes a chocolate filling between the layers.  It was my grandma's favorite and she made it every year.

•What is your favorite tradition?

I love going for a Christmas movie after Thanksgiving dinner.  R and I went this year to help us get into the holiday spirit.  I also love Black Friday shopping with mom - the deals are great but the energy of the shops and being able to select special gifts for friends and family in one day is really a lot of fun.

•What tops your tree?

I always had an angel growing up.  I have a giant bow on mine now surrounded by gold floral picks.

•Do you prefer giving or receiving?

I love the task of selecting gifts for others.  I love putting together gift baskets and wrapping presents too.  If I find something truly special for someone, especially something they aren't expecting I get super excited!

•What is your favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night - Martina McBride version.  The line "Christ the saviour is born" if sang correctly will bring tears to my eyes.

•Candy canes, yuck or yum?

Yum.  I like peppermint but I like the fruit flavored and the chocolate mint ones too.

•Favorite Christmas movie?

Toss up between The Grinch and The Santa Clause.  I also love Christmas Vacation and Love Actually.  At some point during the holiday season all of these will go through the DVD player.
•What do you leave for Santa?

Cookies and Milk.  Traditional we made homemade tea cakes (a very crispy, slightly sweet cookie). 

•Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

When I was younger we would open presents first and stocking last.  My mom always makes sausage and eggs with toast for breakfast.  Family starts to pour in around 11:00 am.  This year we are going to R's family first and mine second so my family is having Christmas supper so everyone will come later in the day.

•Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

Both.  I only do Christmas shopping in store on Black Friday - at least I have for the past 3-4 years.  After that I take advantage of the many online sales and free shipping.

•Christmas letter or Christmas card?

I've never done a Christmas letter and now with facebook, skype, and email I think my family keeps in touch throughout the year.  I send Christmas cards...mine were actually sent out on Tuesday.  I love to include our annual Kappa Delta Christmas seal on my envelopes:
I think this year's design might be my favorite so far!

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