Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Favorites

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in the Mitten it has been unseasonably warm. Which I love. Any day that I can wear flip-flops in December is a really good day.

My husband is enjoying the snow free roofs and warmer temps, being a roofer and all. It is much simpler to do a roof sans snow.

But the growth of dandelions and the lack of snow makes it not feel so much like Christmas. I mean, we've decorated, and we are baking, but...

I've put in my order for snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It can then feel free to melt. The 10 day forecast doesn't look overly promising, but we can always hope, and synchronize our dreams with Irving Berlin's.

In order to spread some Christmas spirit here on the blog, I am sharing a list of my Christmas favorites. (Idea borrowed from my friend Elizabeth.)

So, without further ado, my favorite....

-Christmas Movie...hands down-White Christmas. And, horror of horrors, I start to get all teary-eyed watching it like my mom used to. Which I used to think was so pathetic. I still think it is pathetic, but it doesn't stop me. Sigh.

-Christmas Carol...this is a tie-Hark the Herald Angels Sing and In the Bleak Midwinter. I love the lyrics in both. "Born that men no more may die..." and "God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor the earth sustain. Heaven and earth will flee away, when He comes to reign."

-Winter Holiday Song-probably Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, sung by Nat King Cole.

-Tasty Winter Drinks-hot cider. I'm anti pumpkin and peppermint, which limits my options at this time of year.

-Traditional Christmas Meal-that would be Eggs Benedict on Christmas morning. I don't know what got us making Eggs Benedict every year, but this is such a great tradition. I make Julia Child's hollandaise, and Brian poaches the eggs and toasts the muffins. So really, I eat the poached eggs in a pretense of being civilized. Because it would be quite uncultured to just eat the hollandaise with a spoon right out of the pan. I do tell my kids that this is one meal that they can lick their plates.

-Favorite holiday desserts-hmmm...this is a toughy. Because I'm all about dessert. I guess my favorite Christmas desserts would be all the bars that I make around this time of year. Lemon Bars. Goodie Bars. Toffee Bars. (recipes all here) I could make them at other times of the year, but for the most part, I don't. I love assembling plates of cookies to take to our pizza guy, mailman, and all the holiday gatherings that we attend. Tomorrow is my big baking day. I will make a pan of each of these cookies, plus a large batch of Sally Ann (a.k.a. "Grandpa") cookies.

-Fun decoration-this would be my Disney character music box that plays God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. My great grandma gave it to me as a wedding gift. She has been gone for many years now, but it makes me smile whenever my kids wind it up. It's my favorite, and I'm pretty sure it's their favorite too.

-Sparkly holiday lights. I love Christmas lights. I have them on my tree and on my bannister. I like doing that squinty-eyed thing that makes the lights look all fuzzy and special. We usually do a drive once during the season to check out everyone else's decorations. We've never done the outdoor decoration thing, but I love seeing what everyone else comes up with.

not this year...yet

-Special Christmas memories. My first Christmas married to my husband. My first Christmas with a baby. My first Christmas with a baby girl. Finding out right around Christmas, on two separate Christmases, that we were expecting a baby. Christmas Eve night plans to stay up all night with my siblings. But, then all of us falling asleep, and none of us waking up quite as early as we imagined. So many good Christmas memories...

-Beloved Scripture verses. Luke 2:1-5. 

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

I know that is only the beginning of the Christmas story, but those five verses are what I learned as little kid to recite (by myself) at our church Christmas program. So, while I know the story continues in the next verses, these particular five have a special place in my heart. And, yes, I learned them in all that archaic KJV language.

Well, wasn't that fun! It's your turn. Tell me what some of your Christmas favorites are!