I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. This week has been completely insane! :} I was tagged by Spicemuffin several days ago, so I figured it was about time to get this post up! :)
1.) What is your favorite part of the holiday season?
I love the music and the decorations. Listening to Christmas carols and songs that I heard as a child always brings me so many pleasant memories of Christmases past. :) The decorations are special, too. I feel like I'm greeting old friends as I open up the ornaments and knick-knacks that brighten up our home for the holidays. I especially love sitting in the living room with all of the lights off, looking at the beautiful lights on the tree.
2.) Who do you celebrate Christmas with?
My hubby and I usually celebrate most of Christmas with my family, although we get together with his family as well, usually on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day in the afternoon.
3.) What is your favorite gift that you have received?
I've had a lot of special gifts over the years. Of course, the one that tops it all was the engagement ring I got from my hubby (then boyfriend) on Christmas Day of 2001. :D Aside from that, one of my most memorable ones was the beautiful porcelain baby doll that my mom made for me the Christmas I was 11. She was so cuddly and adorable, and incredibly special because my mom made her. :) I still have her, although she's currently packed away.
4.) What's your favorite Christmas carol?
I love "What Child is This", "O Holy Night", and "Jesu Bambino". And I just have to add that two of my favorite Christmas songs are "Round and Round the Christmas Tree" by Bing Crosby and "Home for the Holidays" by Perry Como.
5.) What's your favorite Christmas food?
Definitely my aunt's homemade fudge and gingerbread. She brings them every year for Christmas. Mmmm, I can almost taste them! ;)
6.) Can you sleep on Christmas Eve?
Um, now that I'm a mom and getting less sleep than I used to as a girl, it's easier for me to sleep than it used to be. But I still get really excited and usually wake up to check the time several times throughout the night.
When I was a little girl, it was my job to wake everyone up on Christmas morning, but I had to wait until 5:30. I can still remember waking up every hour and checking my clock with a flashlight (I didn't have a digital alarm clock or anything like that). Then I'd count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s to 100 to pass the time. I did a LOT of counting most years. ;D
7.) When do you wake up on Christmas Day?
We normally wake up at 6:30 (we decided to push the time back an hour since the girls are so little). Although last year, my hubby and I both couldn't sleep, so we went out to the living room at about 5:00 am and sat by the tree together. It was a really special time. That might just have to be a new Christmas tradition. :)
8.) What's your most memorable memory?
I'd have to say my hubby's Christmas proposal on the beach. You can't get much better than that! :)
9.) What are your Christmas Traditions?
Our traditions have changed a bit over the years. When I was in high school and college, and then when hubby and I were first married, we would go over to the coast with my side of the family and rent a beach house.
When that started getting too expensive, we did Christmas Camp. My brother was the cook at one of the local Christian camps (about 45 minutes away from us in the mountains). We would go up to camp for 5 days with my side of the family and spend Christmas there. Side note of interest: one of these years I got to experience my very first "White Christmas". It snowed on Christmas Eve, and when we woke up on Christmas morning, the ground was covered with a blanket of white. It was absolutely beautiful! :)
My brother stopped working for the camp last year, so last Christmas we all met at my aunt's house and stayed for 5 days, just like before. That's what we're planning on doing again this year, too. It worked out very nicely. Her home is big enough to house all of us comfortably without feeling crowded or claustrophobic. Also, being in town was really nice since my hubby works for UPS and usually has to work late on the Friday before Christmas (sometimes on Christmas Eve, too...depending on what day it is). It was great to be able to be with my family while I waited for him to get off, without having to worry about where he was or if he could get to us.
So, that's the place we go. As far as other traditions, we always start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. We do 2-3 Advent Calendars starting in December to help the days go faster. :) We usually head over to my aunt's house the Friday before Christmas and spend the entire weekend playing games, watching movies, visiting, and listening to Christmas music.
On Christmas Eve, I tuck the girls into bed and read them the Christmas story from the Bible. In the morning, we wake up at 6:30 and open our stockings. We then have a traditional breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits, and sausage gravy. Then we open our gifts from one another.
This year will be a little bit different with Christmas being on a Sunday. We may not go to church that morning. I know that sounds horrible...but I'm just imagining piling 3 tired, crabby kids into the car and making them sit still for an hour, knowing full well that they have presents waiting for them back at Mimi's house! I think we'll just play it by ear. ;) Maybe we can listen to one of Pastor's sermons on the radio that morning. :)
10.) Do you have a real tree or an artificial tree?
Sadly, in recent years we've converted to an artificial tree. I was always a real tree girl myself. My family always went to the mountains to cut our tree and bring it home. It's been our tradition for as long as I can remember.
However, the sad fact of life is that things have to change. Another fact of life is that at least 2 of my children are ALWAYS sick over Thanksgiving weekend. I don't know what it is, but no matter what I try, their immune systems have officially gone kaput by then. And let's face it, going up to the mountains to cut a tree in the snow isn't too fun when you have a bad cold!
So, our tree-cutting tradition fell by the wayside over the last couple of years. I've also discovered how nice it is to open a box, put a tree together (a pre-lit tree, no less!), plug it in, and be done! No dying tree (since yours truly is HORRIBLE at remembering to water!), no constant vacuuming of pine needles, no waiting for hubby to finish stringing the lights before we can hang ornaments...wow, there are some definite advantages to an artificial tree!!
I do miss the pine scent, but last year my brother gave me these pine-scented sticks you can hang on your artificial tree to make it smell like the real thing. It helps...a little. ;)
I do hope we can go back to having a real tree once the girls are a little bit older. I'd love for them to be able to experience the same Christmas tree-cutting adventures that I used to have. :) I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens, though.
Thanks for the tag, Spicemuffin! :) It was fun being able to reminisce over Christmas memories and traditions.
Jen of Dolls and Nachos
Phoebe of Love That Doll
And anyone else who'd like to participate!
Have fun, everyone! :) More posts are coming soon!
P.S. Do you like my new Christmas playlist? I had so much fun putting it together. :)