05 December 2017

Christmas Opinions

Today I'm joining in on a link-up to talk all about Christmas.

Because Christmas is just the best.

Christmas 2011, in Michigan

1. Real or fake tree?

Real trees have not often been a part of my life. A few years when I was very young and lived in the Michigan countryside, my Dad would cut one from the woods on the family property. Other than that, we've always had fake trees, or, more recently, "flat trees," due to the reasonable constraints of apartment life in Malaysia.

2. Favorite Christmas cookies?

I have two top favorites, one being a ginger cookie (not gingerbread, this is more the type that you dip in sugar and it crackles on top, a bit of a lighter flavor than actual gingerbread).

The second is "Andes Mint Surprise Cookies," an old family recipe, a cookie that I've never eaten from anyone else's kitchen than our own family kitchens, so I don't think it's a popular or well-known recipe, but it's very very good!

Christmas 2012, in Michigan

3. Home on Christmas morning or travel?

I'd rather travel than stay home alone on Christmas. Angel worked on Christmas for the first few years of of our marriage, so I'd usually drive myself across the state to spend Christmas with my grandparents and other relatives. In fact, I once had my car slide off the highway when it hit some sudden black ice when I was driving to their place for Christmas. If I wasn't actually going to be home alone, though, I'd rather be home for Christmas. 

4. Clear or colored lights?

Definitely clear lights. This is where Angel and I disagree, but it's okay because I'm right. 

5. Send Christmas cards?I

Always! I'll be revealing this year's homemade Christmas cards on the blog pretty soon.

6. Favorite Christmas present received?

I have many favorite gifts. A few stick out from childhood--like the giant Victorian Playmobile dollhouse. That was pretty awesome, a group gift for my siblings and I. The stockings we received were just about always my favorite part of Christmas--I really, really like candy and snacks and those were awesome.

My sister once secretly bought me a miniature pewter nativity scene I'd really liked when I saw it in the store. It's very tiny and I still have it, it's the perfect minimalist nativity scene for me, one of my most cherished possessions.

Angel once got me the new Pirates of the Caribbean DVD and included a bottle of rum in the package (I'm a staunch teetotaler), which cracked me up, and we kept the bottle of rum in the china cabinet for years until we moved away. I have no idea what happened to it then. He used to get me a chocolate orange every year and I looked forward to those so much! He's also gotten me some nice shoes and dresses for past Christmases.

That time Angel and I each gave the other a yoga ball for Christmas...the exact same one. One of those is the ball I'm sitting on to write this post all these years later so it wasn't that bad of a gift!

7. Favorite Christmas present given?

I've come up with some pretty good gift ideas over the years. Last year, I coordinated with my siblings to buy my mom a 7-stone anniversary band in honor of the 7 kids.

Last year, I also surprised Angel with a full-size bottle of his favorite cologne AND a new backpack for work (up until then, he'd used my old backpack from college. The inside dividers had all ripped and it was in embarrassing condition).

I like to do homemade gifts, hand-sewn items or cookies or the like. I once painted a picture of the lighthouse at Bois Blanc Island on a large rock for my grandparents because that island is a very special place for them, and it's still visibly displayed in their house, I'm always happy to visit and see that.

This is what happens when the company that makes your stockings goes out of business before the last two kids are born.

8. Stockings or no stockings?

Of course stockings! My grandma gave me a personalized stocking for my first birthday and I still have one. Angel never had one, but I found the perfect one for him at a thrift store in time for our second Christmas (our first one was when we'd been married three weeks and we hardly had furniture, let alone Christmas stuff! haha!) It can probably not be underestimated how much I love my favorite snacks, and all the little small surprises that a stocking can contain, so stockings are one of the things I really look forward to!

I think this was last year's Christmas?
9. Christmas PJs?

Never. Ever. I don't like PJs of any sort, and Christmas should ideally be celebrated while wearing a lovely holiday-themed dress, jewelry, and, if I lived anywhere other than the tropics, sparkly tights as well. And nicely styled hair. 

10. Favorite Christmas carol?

O Holy Night

11. Favorite holiday tradition?

Counting down to Christmas with some sort of Advent calendar each year. I also really loved attending Christmas Eve church services with candles and Christmas hymns, but our church here doesn't do that.

12. Early shopper or last minute?

Typically pretty early. I'm not a procrastinator.

Christmas 2013, in Texas

13. Favorite Christmas movie or show?

"The Santa Clause" and "It's a Wonderful Life"

14. Favorite holiday beverage?

Hot chocolate with marshmallows

15. Cookies and milk for Santa?

I've never in my life been able to take Santa even remotely seriously.

What are your Christmas opinions?
Farrah said...

I'm for fake trees because yay for less tree murder. ;_; Ginger cookies are awesome (I also love snickerdoodles). I like super colorful lights and stockings. :D

Andes Mint Surprise Cookies sound awesome. <3!

Unknown said...

I love these types of blog posts - especially since it's Christmas-themed! I will have to disagree with you though that coloured lights are always the best! My favourite Christmas cookies are gumdrop cookies(doesn't seem to be a popular cookie recipe either!)

Kay R. said...

I'm with you on the clear lights! I dont know why I have such an aversion to coloured lights. Also ginger cookies are amazing! My mum made them all the time when we were younger :)

rooth said...

Do your ginger cookies have molasses in them because I think that's a Michigan thing!

Unknown said...

I've had a combination of both for Christmas trees. Recently though more fake trees. Hoping next year there will be a real one! I love hot chocolate and marshmallows. Yummy!! As for stockings, they are a must!!!

Becky @ Disney in your Day said...

We always do real trees. I had them growing up and I love the smell of it, even though it does make a mess! And we do colored lights on the tree. I love to bake but I don't know that I have a favorite cookie myself... I just like to make everyone else's favorites!

AnneMarie said...

This is such a fun post, and I love seeing all of your Christmas photos! Those Andes cookies sound AMAZING. I don't have a favorite Christmas cookie; we always (and still) make tons of homemade candies for Christmas, so that's more my jam (though I do love cookies). It's so sad that your current church doesn't do Christmas Eve stuff! I love going to midnight Mass for Christmas (though sometimes it's at 9 or 10 and not actually midnight) with all the candles and the stars shining outside and everything. Maybe your church will start doing Christmas Eve stuff eventually if they realize how awesome it is? When I was a little kid and we lived in Oregon, we often did real Christmas trees because it's very easy (and cheap) to do that in Oregon. When we moved away, some friends gave my parents their old fake tree, and I grew to love sitting around with my siblings and sticking all of the branches in the appropriate sections (plus, my dad no longer got sick on Christmas, so we wonder if he's allergic to real Christmas trees). When I got married and lived in apartments, we got a small "Charlie Brown" tree, and even though we're in our own house for Christmas for the first time, I'm not sure I want a huge tree-it takes up a lot of room and there's the toddler factor, so for now, I'm quite happy with our $2 thrift store tree that can sit on the table or counter :)

Christina @ Hugs and Lattes said...

Ok so my family has made Andes mint surprise cookies!! We would make them for holiday bake sales in elementary school. Our go to candy is buckeyes, though. We make that every year. Stockings are also my favorite part of Christmas! It’s like the exciting leftovers after the “big” gifts.

Southern & Style said...

I love Andes Mints so I bet I would love those surprise cookies you talked about...maybe you'll share a recipe on the blog sometime!

xoxo, SS

Southern and Style

Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

Those cookies sound great, any chance you fancy sharing the recipe...? I love Christmas services, but we'll be away from our church this year on actual Christmas. I might see if there's somewhere local we can head to. My favourite is the Christingle service where everyone gets a candle and we all sing hymns by candlelight - so pretty. O Holy Night is top 3 for me, too :)

Ali Arnone said...

I did this Q+A as well! Yes to clear/white lights and hot chocolate with marshmallows :) I also need to finally see It's a Wonderful Life; I never have!

Kristin said...

The Santa Clause is probably my very favorite. I'm not a Christmas pjs person either.

Jenny Evans said...

The yoga ball story is the best! Very Gift of the Magi, in a way.

Carolann Chambers said...

I love reading everyone's Christmas traditions. I love making gifts, too, and one of the best things Nick ever made me for Christmas was his homemade macaroons! I love stocking stuffers because I really enjoy finding small gifts. To me stocking stuffers are the most fun to make and open!

Carly said...

I made a cookie last year that another blogger had posted that had andes mints in it and it was so good- I wonder if it's similar! The small little things in stockings are always so fun to pick out-- and see what's inside.