Sunday, December 03, 2006

THE Holiday Meme

Without further adieu, here is my version of the holiday meme that has been around the blogosphere and back...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? At this point in my life, I’d have to say Hot Chocolate (with TONS of marshmallows, of course!) BUT, there was a time earlier in my life that I was crazy about eggnog… during my childhood, when I weighed oh, about 75 lbs., I would drink it until I was sick. I don’t think I can ever get the image of the containers out of my mind either… they were green cartons with red poinsettias.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Why, he sits them under the tree, of course! Doesn’t everybody know that all those bows and ribbons would get absolutely crushed in Santa’s big bag of toys on Christmas Eve? When we were kids, my sister and brother and I would “stake out” our area of the living room on Christmas Eve, and made sure mom and dad knew so that they could “tell” Santa… since they were in cahoots with him and all, you know.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White, definitely. Though, for a while when I was single, I had those big retro style colored lights and my tree, and really liked them.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not this year… I have no kisses to give away since Andy is gone!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Homemade cornbread dressing. Hands DOWN. My mom and my grandmother make the BEST. It is out of this world good. A close second would have to be crawfish chowder.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Just one? Seriously? I had an idyllic, amazing childhood. I really did. Christmas was a special and magical time of the year every single year. My mom and dad really worked hard to make sure everything was perfect. And really it was. I remember our matching/coordinating Christmas PJs every year. I remember sitting on my Daddy’s lap as he read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. I remember setting a beautiful Christmas table with mama’s Lenox holiday china. I remember the “Kenny and Dolly” Christmas tape that we literally wore out, and the beautiful Vienna Boy’s Choir tape that always heralded the beginning of the season. I remember snuggling with my brother and sister as we all slept in one big bed on Christmas Eve (yes, we did this until we were TEENAGERS. Shameful!)
I remember the unbelievable Christmas dinners my mom (still does) cook. I loved it when the whole extended family came to our house every year for Christmas dinner. I thought it such fun the Christmas my daddy hid diamond earrings for mama and wrapped them in a big round container of oatmeal. I remember going to the Christmas tree farm every year and stomping about until we found the “perfect” Christmas tree. I loved the Christmases as we got older, and the magical place we would help our mom turn our house into. The FIVE Christmas trees we would put up in different areas of the house, and how each room had a touch of Christmas in it. I loved the Christmas teas and open houses we had. I remember the tried and true Sugar cookie recipe, and how sis and I never could get that angel cookie to come out “just right” (her wings always broke). I remember the days and days of baking in the kitchen. I remember the tins of sweets, treats and goodies that were stacked up on the counter. I remember when Daddy used to get us to leave a broom by the door so that Santa could “brush off Rudolph’s hooves” when he came inside…. I remember finding a pile of leaves by the front door the next morning. I love the gorgeous handmade glittery stockings handmade by my mother that we still use. I loved feeling the cold of Daddy’s cheek as he came inside from checking just once more to see if he saw any sign of Santa’s sleigh. I remember the toasty fires Daddy made in the fireplaces… and sitting by the firelight with just the beautiful Christmas lights on- and all of the great conversations there. I remember the countless Christmas pageants, the angel costumes, and the way the live nativity thrilled me every single year. I could go on and on, but I guess I’ll stop here. What a wonderful trip down memory lane.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? The year that I opened my Mom’s closet door and saw a Cabbage Patch Kid’s doll playpen complete with a matching CPK doll that I had put on my Christmas list to Santa. I cried and cried and then mama took me into the kitchen. She gave me a book, and had me sit on the counter and read a story in it to her while she was cooking. The story was “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”. She asked me not to tell my younger brother and sister. I did as she asked.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, usually we each open one gift.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I used to just do hodge-podge colors and ornaments, but the last 3 years, I have kept everything on my tree in the color scheme of red, green and gold. I have LOTS of sparkly, shimmery and glittery ornaments, and I just love the way the tree shines when the lights are low. A lot of my “meaningful” ornaments are in this color scheme, so it works out great. I have traveled a good bit, and I get an ornament from every place I (we) go. It’s nice to look and them and reminisce.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Well, LOVE it since we don’t get it that often down South. It is always a special, magical treat when it comes.
12. Can you ice skate? Well, actually, YES! Yes, I can! When I was in college, did a lot of “inline” skating. After that, an indoor ice skating rink opened up in the town where I attended college, and we had a great time falling all over ourselves learning. This came in very handy as I did a travel nurse assignment in New England… ended up dating a guy up there for a while, and was invited to go ice skating with him in the heart of Boston. I’ve been several times since then (in indoor rinks). I am CERTAINLY no expert, but I’m passable.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? In childhood, probably the “Be-be” doll that I got when I was about 8. She was SO beautiful… and had a gorgeous smocked dress on courtesy of mama. In adulthood… Andy gave me a pair of diamond solitaire earrings our first Christmas.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Conveying to my children the wonder and awe of Christ’s birth. The unbelievable way that the Savior came to earth. Being around all of my family. Catching up, hanging out, not having a schedule, and laughing until my side hurts. Watching the faces of my little ones on Christmas morning.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Homemade fudge, fruitcake cookies, Divinity, Pecan Pie and homemade coconut cake.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Seafood on Christmas Eve, baby!! Every year on Christmas Eve, we have fried oysters, Seafood gumbo and usually fried Shrimp and hush puppies. We have access to amazing fresh gulf seafood right at our doorstep, and this has always been our “night before Christmas” meal. Amazingly enough, this was also the C. Eve tradition for both my mom’s family growing up AND my dad’s family growing up. Now we are into training that “fourth generation” in this tradition. I also LOVE the breakfast casserole on Christmas mornings. My mom, my sister and I will make a breakfast casserole (we have several GREAT recipes) the day before, and pop it into the oven as we open presents.
17. What tops your tree? A beautiful sparkly gold star.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving! I LOVE the look on a loved one’s face when they open that “perfect” gift.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Hmmm…. I have several. “ Do you hear what I hear”, “ Carol of the Bells” , “Gesu Bambino”, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas”
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?? I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.


Michelle said...

Jennifer ~ That was sooo sweet!!!
Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Your family Christmasses sound magical. Thanks for taking the time to share these lovely memories :)

Tammy said...

I loved reading this! How wonderful that you were blessed with a truly happy childhood and such magical Christmases! You were truly blessed! Your parents sound amazing! :)

And isn't it fun having little ones of your own at Christmas? :D

Big Mama said...

This whole post was good, but my favorite part was all of your Christmas memories. I could almost picture everything. And you know what? It was a great reminder for me that the things kids remember about Christmas are the little things, not whether or not they got a certain toy.

Sweet, sweet post.

Susan P. said...

Jennifer, that was so heartwarming to read. You are so blessed that you have so many, "I remember's!" I know your children will grow up having many as well:)

gail said...

I've seen this one a lot too, and even did it myself! I loved your answers, especially your answers for your memories; they were all so good and I could imagine each one as you described it!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this! What wonderful memories to have!


Teeny Tiny cabin said...

I loved reading about your childhood Christmases. Very precious memories. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

I like hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows too! :P

BTW...I think this is my first time to your blog, feel free to stop by my blog and say hello as well!

Anonymous said...

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
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