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Holiday Blogger Q&A

Came across this little Q&A tag on For What It’s Worth and decided to jump on the wagon. It’s been a while since I did a meme and since I’m trying to get back into blogging at least semi-regularly, I thought this would be a nice step that might bring some readers on my blog. After all, what is a blogger without at least a couple readers? Head on over to The Blended Blog to see the linky party and the rest of the posts. It’s a very cute blog too.

The Blended Blog Holiday Q&A

1) Real or Fake Tree? Neither? I live in a small apartment and have no space to put up or store a tree. I do decorate but no tree. I usually end up buying a bundle of pine branches and scattering them around my apartment for a touch of nature. Plus, nothing for the cat to destroy.

2) Favorite Christmas Cookie? It’s a split between the good old sugar cookie and thumbprint cookies, usually with raspberry jam but other jams and even Nutella are good too. Since having to go gluten free in my diet, cookies are a big problem. It’s hard to find GF items in a bakery and making cookies myself is still a bit of a learning process. I have gotten a good sugar cookie but have yet to produce an acceptable thumbprint cookie. Darn it.

3) Home on Christmas Morning or Travel? Travel. Although it’s rarely Christmas. We often gather on the closest weekend. It’s just my Dad, my Brother, and Sister-in-law these days.

4) Clear or Colored Lights? Clear! We always had colored lights when I was kid. (My grandparents had green lights on their tree.) But as an adult, I love the clean, simple look of white lights.

5) Send Christmas Cards? Yes! I actually join card exchanges because I love getting good old snail-mail holiday cards. The people in my life are less enthusiastic about it, the party poopers.

6) Favorite Christmas Present Received? The gold heart ring with my birthstone that my Mother got me when I was a young teenager. It doesn’t fit anymore, alas, but I still love it.

7) Favorite Christmas Present Given? That’s going to be the gift I got my sister-in-law this year. She asked for a prop from a TV show she loves but was unable to do the footwork to look for it. So after much searching, I finally found a Jadeite Fire King c-handle coffee mug that Giles uses in season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s going to flip.

8) Stockings or No Stockings? No stockings. No fire place. But I do have the old stockings my grandmother used to hang on her fireplace when I was young. I’m afraid of them fading even more, so I keep them wrapped up but I do have them.

9) Christmas PJ’s? Nope. Plenty of other festive wear but no PJ’s.

10) Favorite Christmas Carol? 

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we have no place to go,
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

11) Favorite Holiday Tradition? This one is tough. My family was never one for traditions. When I got to be a teenager, if I wasn’t the one to put up the tree, then it didn’t get put up. Or any decorations, for that matter. I was like 14 or so. We always had a meal and presents but very little effort was put into Christmas by my family. I know, kind of depressing.

12) Early Shopper or Last Minute? Early shopper! I’ve been done since before Thanksgiving.

13) Favorite Christmas Movie or Show? A Charlie Brown Christmas, of course!

14) Favorite Holiday Beverage? Hot Chocolate. Although hot apple cider is a close second.

15) Cookies and Milk for Santa? No. If I hadn’t seen it on TV, I wouldn’t have know that was a thing. Cookies are for eating, not bribing mythical spirits.

Thank you for reading!

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Christmas Bucket List 2017

Christmas Bucket List

Christmas is but two weeks away and you have limited time to get in as much holiday cheer as you can before the New Year. This weekend I’m going out to see some Christmas light displays with friends. I’ve got all my Christmas shopping done but I still need to send out cards. Bit behind on that. I’m dearly hoping for some snow for Christmas but that hasn’t happened since I was teenager around here. But I am hopeful and the weather man says it just might, MIGHT, be possible to have a white Christmas this year. Fingers crossed.

My cat is quite frustrated with the Christmas decorations. I won’t let her play with them and she is obsessed with a rice sock snowman I made a couple weeks ago. She’s knock it off the shelf and then drag it away to her lair, which is under the bed. I finally had to move it up high to get her to leave it alone. She was very annoyed with me after that. Thankfully, the is not tree for her to get at. My apartment is too small for one.

For Christmas, I shall attempt to make a gluten free cheery coffee cake using the Aldi’s baking mix. The recipe is on the back of the package. The baking mix makes wonderful pancakes but this will be the first time I’ve tried something else with it. I hope it comes out well. The holidays are a rotten time for people on a gluten free diet.

Stay merry, everyone! Have a great Christmas.

Thank you for reading!

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Virtual Advent Blog Tour 2011 – Small traditions.

Welcome to the Virtual Advent Blog Tour 2011!

Question: This calendar traditionally helps count down the days until Christmas, and behind each number it contains a prize.
Answer: Advent calendar.

Christmas and the holidays have always been understated in my family. I’m afraid you won’t be finding a post about a lot of big Christmas traditions here. My family is small with just my nuclear family (mother, father, and brother) and only a few extended family members (maternal grandparents and my uncle and aunt). When I was a child, we went to my maternal grandparents’ house for the holidays. Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving were all marked with days at their house and meals taken together. I’ve never really thought my family very big on traditions and have often felt a little disappointed by this.

But I realized that even if they were small, my family had traditions too. Meeting at my grandparents’ house in itself was a tradition. It was always a very serious decision to decide which day we were going to go over. Would we meet on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Then my mother and my uncle (her brother) had to decide who was going to bring what to the holiday feast. Who would bring what pie and if my mother was going to bring Russian tea cakes or not. My grandmother cooked. Boy, did my grandmother cook.

My brother and I in 1987.

Question: In what country did the Advent calendar originate?
Answer: Germany.

My grandmother made the best chicken and, try as I might, I can never make my chicken taste the same. I will always remember going to her house and walking into the kitchen to find all those pots and pans bubbling on the stove and both of the double ovens fired up. Her kitchen had a green tile backsplash and a green stovetop and green doors on the ovens. There was even a green rug in front of the sink. She used to pull a stool into the kitchen so I could get up on the counter and sit to watch her cook.

My grandparents, 1987.

Question: How do you say “Merry Christmas” in French?
Answer: Joyeux Noël.

Another tradition we had was my grandparents’ Christmas tree. It wasn’t that we all helped decorated it or anything. It was always up before we arrived. But the tree’s mere presence was a tradition. You see, it had green lights. As a child I never realized how strange our tree was but friends often exclaimed how odd a Christmas tree with green light was when they saw pictures. My grandmother had these curious little red and white ornaments. To think about it, the tree must have clashed horribly with itself but I loved that tree. As a child I remember sitting in front of its soft green light and pretending I was on the moon or in fairyland.

The green tree. The picture doesn’t do it justice. 1988.

Question: How do you say “Merry Christmas” in Spanish?
Answer: Feliz Navidad.

I miss those little traditions that I didn’t even know were traditions until they were gone. There is no grandparents’ house anymore these days. There is just my parents and brother now. We’ll probably have dinner together on Christmas and exchange a few gifts. Nothing special, nothing really big. But that’s a tradition now too.

Merry Christmas big and small!

Presenting! My grandmother’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Sift together and set aside:
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Blend together:
½ cup softened butter
½ cup Crisco (shortening)

Add to this:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon water

Beat thoroughly, then beat in 2 eggs.

Slowly add flour mixture you set aside before.

Remove beaters and add 12 oz. package of chocolate chips plus 1 cup chopped pecans if desired.

Drop by ½ teaspoon on greased cookie sheet (or on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper).

Bake 375 for about 8 minutes. Watch for burning on bottom of cookies if using a dark pan!

Remove, cool slightly, and enjoy warm and gooey!

Thank you for joining me!

 

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