Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Wonderland Blog Party Week 1: A Merry Little Christmas


I'm participating in Natalie and Anna's Winter Wonderland Blog Party. Instructions on how to join are on both their blogs! But even if you don't join, I hope you'll have fun reading my posts. :)

1. What Christmas tree ornament holds the most sentimental value for you or the most memories?
It's a glass Hershey's Kiss ornament with a little goldish heart on one side, tied with a red ribbon. A friend of mine gave it to me about sixteen years ago and it's the one I always look for first when decorating the tree.

2. Favorite Christmas cookie?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! Maybe Norwegian Thumbprint Cookies. I'm pretty sure it's my dad's favorite Christmas cookie too. Funny, we haven't made them yet this year. Maybe I can do that tomorrow.


3. Favorite Christmas colors-red and green, blue and white, or gold and silver?
I'm fond of them all, but my favorite colors are the traditional red and green. Although the last two years I've decorated my tree with wine, pale green, and pale pink ornaments trimmed with gold and silver. I love the effect it has, the tree shimmers. It's sort of a modern take on a Victorian tree.

4. What are your top 3 favorite Christmas movies?
Top three, hmm. Well, Prancer definitely. Sam Elliott is awesome in the role of the somewhat crusty father, and I just love any story with a child who won't stop believing in Santa. Then The Santa Clause with Tim Allen and then The Christmas Card about a sweet soldier who tracks down the lady who wrote him a card.

Sam Elliott and Rebecca Tickell in Prancer

5. 3 favorite Christmas carols and 3 favorite Christmas songs (Carols are songs you sing in church, songs any other Christmas song)?
In no particular order, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Three Kings, and Good King Wenceslas for the carols. And for the songs Michael Bublé's Cold December Night, Josh Groban's Believe, and Bryan Duncan's Christmas is Jesus.

6. Sledding, ice-skating, skiiing, snowball fights, or snowmobiling?
Probably sledding although I haven't done it in years. Snowmobiling is also fun though I've only done it once. I love the cold, but not so much being out in the cold freezing my toes off.

7. Your most memorable Christmas ever was.....
Oh, I don't know. Last Christmas was fun because Caitlin and I went to Disneyland at the beginning of December. I know it's early, but it felt like Christmas and the entire park was decorated for the holiday. It was gorgeous and made me so happy.

Caitlin and me with Tinkerbell (A little Disney magic at work)

8. Best Christmas gift ever?
My mother made me a doll for my fourth Christmas, and I still have her. Charlotte's head has been replaced at least twice and the hair re-rooted once, but she's still with me. Caitlin even made her a new outfit for me for Christmas last year. Charlotte is full of good memories.

9. What's your funniest Christmas story?
Oh, probably about three or four Christmases ago when the entire family, every single one of us, was sick. Lovely! I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but it's funny to me in retrospect. Other than that, my memory isn't bringing anything to the surface. I'm sure there were some when I was a kid, but that was quite a few years back and the old memory fails me.

10. Have you ever done "Secret Santa's" in your family?
Nope, never needed to since there's only the four of us at Christmas, five if you count the cat . . . which we do.

11. During a snowstorm would you rather read or watch a movie?
That totally depends on my mood and how many textbooks I've read in a semester. Lately I've been watching movies with the bad weather, just to give my brain a break.

12. Your favorite Christmas album.
It's a toss-up. Either Bryan Duncan's  Christmas is Jesus or Michael Bublé's Christmas.



13. Do you have a family Christmas tradition? 
Swedish Coffee Bread. We always make at least one batch in December and every Christmas morning we have pinwheel pie, sweets, and a sliced loaf of Swedish Coffee Bread. It wouldn't be Christmas without the sweet scent of cardamom in the air.

14. What is your favorite colors to wear throughout winter? 
I like deeper colors in the winter, like wine or rose or red or a dark enough green and blue, sometimes black.

15. What do you like better: baking Christmas cookies or wrapping Christmas presents?
Probably baking Christmas cookies. At least you get to eat them!

16. Snow-shoveling the snow or staying inside? 
Staying inside. Do I look crazy to you!? ;)

17. Do you like winter? Why?
Yes, very much. I love the briskness of winter, the chill, the excuse to wear comfy sweater and slippers, and a reason to drink hot chocolate. I'm also of Scandinavian descent so cold weather agrees with me.

18. How many Christmas trees do you put up in your house?
It's usually five. Two small ones for mine and Caitlin's rooms, a slightly bigger one to go on the pass-through between the kitchen and dining room, the 5 1/2 foot one in the family room with all of our traditional decorations that hold memories, and my 7 1/2 foot one in the living room done in the wine, pink, green, gold, and silver mentioned earlier that the guests see.

19.What kinds of awesome decorations do you put on your tree(s)? 
I'm a sucker for Nutcracker ornaments. I have three different sets of them. One that my mother made for me, one from 1984 that Santa put in my stocking a few years ago, and one set that I found this year at Hobby Lobby that I just couldn't resist. I've got twenty-five glass icicles on the tree, a lovely glitter-encrusted coach that reminds me of Cinderella, pink bows tied to the tree, a gorgeous Titanic ornament, and many more, too many for me to count. This year, Bilbo Baggins has joined the crew, and I also have the first three ornaments from Hallmark's Twelve Days of Christmas. Downstairs we have all of the "family" ornaments, candy canes on apples from my dad's childhood, antique ball ornaments from my mom's childhood, ornaments from their early marriage, and then from my childhood, and then some new ornaments from Hallmark like The Grinch, Santa Snoopy, and Glinda the Good Witch. We're eclectic on the downstairs tree, just as I like it.

20. Francesca Battistelli's song "Heaven Everywhere" is so beautiful and talks (or would that be sings?) about how Christmas makes it seem as if Heaven were everywhere. Read this selection of some of the lyrics, and tell us how you would help people feel "Heaven Everywhere".
"...It's Christmastime, there's something in the air
There's a little bit of heaven everywhere..

It's funny how it takes a holiday
To show us how the world could truly change
If we all took the time to really care
There'd be a little more of heaven everywhere

It's the grace that we show to a world that needs hope
It's giving our lives knowing they're not our own
It's the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There's a little bit of heaven everywhere..."

I've never heard this song. It's lovely. The holiday season makes people more aware of the homeless and destitute, but then they forget about them for the rest of the year. Wouldn't it reflect "heaven everywhere" if people did their part to help these poor and downtrodden all through the year instead of only one month out of the year? Soup kitchens need volunteers and so do food pantries. It's such a fulfilling experience, and my small part of shining "heaven everywhere."

9 comments:

  1. I love your answers, Carissa!! Thanks so much for participating in our party! :)
    Aw, your "best give ever" is so nice! I love it when people still have old toys like dolls and stuffed animals. I have many, myself. :)
    Haha, I was sick one Christmas too, when I was little. I just laid on the couch and moped. :p
    I love your answer for question 20. It's so true. Everyone is very giving and friendly at Christmas, but once it's over they forget about being unselfish and loving to everyone they meet.
    I'm glad I was able to introduce you to the song! It's one of my favorites! :)

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    1. Thanks for hosting the Blog Party! I'm really enjoying it so far, it's adding to the fun of the holiday season for me. :)

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    2. I'm glad you're enjoying it! I am too, and so is Anna. Don't forget to read her posts, too! She's the one who originally came up with the idea for the party. :)

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  2. Great answers! And thanks so much for participating!

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    1. Thanks! And I'm thrilled to have the actual time to participate. :)

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  3. Love your answers. I have to say that my three favorite Christmas songs are O Holy Night, Silent Night, and Little Drummer boy. I am a tradintionalist when it comes to Christmas songs. My favorite Christmas gift is a quilt that my mom made me for my 2nd Christmas. She even sewed my name and Christmas 1988 on the back. It was the only gift that I got on Christmas morning that year, because I spent that Christmas in the hospital and it was they only thing that they would let me mom bring in. It covered me in my hopstial bed. Then everynight till I out grew it. It's still on my bed now but mostly for show.

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    1. Ooh, I love O Holy Night and Silent Night too. Such beautiful songs, and like you, I'm rather traditional in my choice of carols.

      What a sweet gift from your mother and a what an ideal time for her to make it for you. I'm so sorry you had to spend a Christmas in the hospital! I have a tiny wall-hanging from my mom that she made when I turned sixteen. It says "Always my Daughter, now too my Friend." We've had our ups and downs, but I treasure that wall-hanging.

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  4. What a fun meme! Your tree sounds gorgeous, and I'd love to taste those cookies :-9

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    1. As I'd hoped, we actually did get the cookies made today! Yippee!

      I'll take a photo of the tree and post it when I get the change. Probably on Sunday. :)

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