Random Christmas facts about myself that I thought I would share as I'm watching You've Got Mail. Nothing poignant, but just fun!!!
1. My top 3 favorite Christmas movies: It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, White Christmas,
2. Favorite Christmas treats: Mom's peanut butter balls, iced soft sugar cookies, my raspberry linzer cookies, white chocolate pretzels, and toffee cracker candy, fudge....I love so many!
3. Favorite Christmas dessert: Mom's Coconut cake with fresh coconut
4. Favorite Christmas food: Mom's dressing, sweet potato cassarole, and Grandmother's ham. Oh, and Charissa's pineapple on the ritz.
5. Favorite Christmas Drink: Mom's raspberry tea, Charissa's percolator punch, my wassail.... Or the delicious mocha coffee my wonderful husband treats me with every couple of years.
6. My Christmas decorating style: hmmm. What I try to go for is a traditional, old fashioned Christmas with some whimsy thrown in. Less glitter, more garland and berries! And lots of warm scented candles and gingerbread boys.
7. The number of trees in my house: 1 large, 1 skinny, 1 small partridge in a pear tree-tree, 3 table top trees, and 1 wooden one. 7 total.
8. I'm bad at last minute buying and wrapping. I love doing it, but I tend to drag it out.
9. Mr. Cozy is awesome at wrapping! He gets it done early and beautifully. My man is full of hidden talents!
10. I'm decent at getting Christmas cards out. I love this tradition, but I admit it got lost in the busyness a couple different years. I LOVE receiving them, and I hang them around a door facing like my parents do.
11. I'm great at cooking scratch meals and baking cookies or treats during Christmas-time.
12. That is, until the last few days before going home for Christmas. Then frozen meals and restaurants are usually what happens most nights to keep my sanity and dishes at bay, somewhat! I guess it makes the Christmas dinners with family that much better! (I'm just too busy cooking and baking ahead for the big Christmas meals. And, of course, wrapping gifts!)
13. The last few days before leaving to go home is definitely crunch time!! Each year I try to be better organized with being ready to go so it's not so hectic. This year I have kids, so I'm going to have to excuse myself if things aren't just right! As long as we leave room in the car for the kids, we'll be fine! (Lol)
14. When we leave to go back home--3 1/2 hours away--to visit family, our vehicle looks like the Beverly Hillbilles! No room whatsoever, and I carry plates of food the whole way.
15. Great Christmas music sets the tone for an amazing road trip, though.
16. Favorite Christmas albums: Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas, Steven Curtis Chapman's The Music of Christmas, Michael Buble, The Rat Pack Christmas, Amy Grant's A Christmas Album. I like old school and classics! Christmas Carols, White Christmas, and Tennessee Christmas are my kind of songs. Don't laugh.... I also like Kenny G. ;)
17. I have to say that I may be the most disorganized that I've ever been this year. Having children certainly has changed my structure and tidiness. I have to lower my expectations this year as I'm still learning to "do life" with two tots. Confession: many days I'm still in pjs at 11:00...am! I'm not lazy (promise!), just distracted!!!
18. Our children are SO much fun this time of year!!! We've done advent calendar, and opening the door to find a little treat is the highlight of their day! We read Christmas books, and it takes me back to my childhood. They're bringing the "magic" back!
19. We just taught our children, "Away in a Manger" after them never hearing it before. They're in awe of this song, and always ask want to hear it again and again! :) That is so precious to me.
20. My kitchen is crazy overflowing with Christmas mugs, cake plates, and the like. I need a bigger house, because I so love Christmas things! :/ There's not much counter space right now, so it's imperative I try to keep up with dirty dishes and clean up right after cooking.
21. The gifts I've received the most in Christmas past --that I love!!-- are coats, Christmas decor and cookcooks. Also, maybe scarves.
22. I love hearing about Jesus' birth! I love watching The Nativity movie, going to live nativities which was a big childhood tradition, and Christmas programs focused on Jesus. It's good to be reminded of what's really important.
23. The Christmas programs I was a part of particularly 1-5th grades, were some of my very best memories, and I would do that part of my life over in a heartbeat.
24. I had one of my first solo/duets in the 5th grade Christmas program with a girl who bragged and bragged about being so good. I couldn't help but feel proud when my last note was held out strongly for much longer than hers. Nothing drove me crazier than a braggy girl. Lol!! I found out that night that the soft spoken girl that I was had a competitive streak, but I would never have said much about it. It's funny how I remember that!
25. I love getting new pajamas from my parents on Christmas "Adam". They have given us kids pjs every year for almost as long as I can remember, and my sister and I get a picture with a funny pose! I'm so glad now we have children who will open new, little pjs with us!!
26. Best childhood snow was 1994. We went sledding down a huge hill on Christmas morning at Granny and Grandpop's farm after the big country breakfast. We also ice "skated" with tennis shoes on the frozen pond. Looking back, standing on a frozen Ky. pond scares me to death!
27. Favorite Christmas memory: Too many to name! Our family holds many wonderful traditions! One of the best ones while growing up was my parents invited our cousins that were our age to come over for a sleepover, and we would have the best time cutting out, baking, and decorating sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles! Flour and icing everywhere! Afterwards, we would go caroling and deliver treats. Amazing time we had!!!
I also have always loved the excitment and wonder of Christmas morning!
My parents have always woken us up by singing, "we wish you a Merry Christmas". :)
We wake up extra early now --before Granny and Grandpop's big breakfast at 9:00--to slowly open gifts as we watch the sunrise and hope to see snow on the ground. Now days, Mom fixes a special coffee drink to sip on as we begin opening by 6:00!
28. In 2008, after we moved away from our families, I started a tradition with my husband to host what we named Cookies and Cocoa Christmas party. I make a ton of cookies and candies, and friends of my hubby's in med school and now residency could come to relax and de-stress over delicious confections! It started as a way to have others in our home, and since most of us weren't living around family, it helped to us unite. There's something comforting about eating homemade things in somebody's house that makes a friendship feel more like family. It's an annual tradition, but with the changes of our family, we're skipping this year. Next year it will resume!
29. As of right now I have not one gift wrapped. (And yet I'm taking the time to blog on random Christmas facts.). :/ Eeek!!!
30. What makes Christmas to me is Jesus' birth being recognized, celebrated and sung about. And my family. For me, my husband and kids, parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, and all, are what make my Christmas so memorable every year! Traditions that we hold year after year and that we come to expect is so wonderful to look forward to and cherish. I cannot wait for us to all be together again and celebrate together the birth of our Savior! I'm beyond blessed to have family I love spending time with, especially at Christmas!!
31. Just thought about one more neat memory to share. For about two years growing up, my parents set up as the main Christmas tree, my mammy's silver (aluminum?) Christmas tree. It had some sort of colorful, lit disk that would turn behind it. My little brother Taylor and I would sit up at night in the dark in the light of that tree, and I remember just watching it change different colors. I thought it was magical! I'm glad we could use her vintage tree a couple times after she had gone to Heaven.
Most years as a child we bought an enormously fat tree that would invade the living room. I loved it! The bigger, the better, was our motto!