A Few of My Favorite Things

I have been tagged by my friend Wendy to do this lovely Christmas tag, made by another friend, H.M. Wilson.

 

Rules:
Answer prompts with the wintery/Christmassy theme in mind.
Tag at least 5 of your blogger-buddies to take part.
Use the title picture.
Spread the love around!

Here we go!

1.) Favorite “snuggle weather” Books

Hmm… The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is definitely on the list.

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate (short, sweet rhyming picture book).

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Yes, I know this one isn’t Christmas-y/winter-y, but the very first chapter with the hot chocolate and everything…

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2.) Favorite wintery/Christmassy Snacks

(Bonus points for a recipe… *hint-hint*)

Baker cat goes insane... http://themetapicture.com/baker-cat-goes-insane/?fb_action_ids=560033027350276_action_types=og.likes_source=other_multiline_object_map=%7B%22560033027350276%22%3A129775763873528%7D_type_map=%7B%22560033027350276%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D_ref_map=%5B%5D

Haystacks. Which is basically peanuts, chow mein noodles, and melted butterscotch chips all mixed together and plopped into piles to set. And then you eat them. Easy enough recipe.

Jam thumbprint cookies. Sugar cookie recipe that you roll into a ball, push your thumb into, put jam in the thumbprint part, and then bake. These are lovely with raspberry jam.

Mint anything. And this is one I do not get to eat much of, if at all, as my sister is allergic to mint and the smell alone sets the allergic reaction off. But I love peppermint bark and mint M&Ms.

3.) Favorite Hot Drinks

Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Tea?

Pinkie & caffeine... Oh Celestia help us!! (More pony gifs on the page...)

4.) Favorite Christmas Movies

How many am I allowed to pick?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, both animated and non-animated. I’m kinda sentimental about these ones.

Bahaha my favorite scene in this movie by far! "But if I moved the loathing til 9, I would still have time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness...but what will I wear??!":
And it’s quotable.

Christmas with the Kranks is the only “adult” Christmas movie I like. I am apparently extremely picky in the category of adult movies.

Prep and Landing. Which is just awesome.

There are so many more, but I think this is enough for now.

5.) Favorite holiday Songs

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

The Little Drummer Boy (despite my mother’s hatred of it– Hi, Mom!)

Mary, Did You Know (Which, btw, Peter Hollens has done a gorgeous cover of)

6.) Favorite “snow day” Crafts

I don’t really have a lot of crafts that I like to do specifically this time of year, but knitting while watching a Christmas movie is delightful. And there’s always the traditional paper chain.

Also, STORY TIME.

So, several years ago, when my hobbits were smaller, Mom and Dad went Christmas shopping and we offspring stayed at home and made Christmas ornaments out of cereal boxes and… GLITTER.

FREE Cartoon Graphics / Pics / Gifs / Photographs: Peanuts Woodstock animated gifs for winter

We traced around Christmas cookie-cutters, cut the shapes out, and then proceeded to apply glue and glitter. It was very fun and VERY SPARKLY.

We still have at least some of those ornaments.

 7.) Do you wanna build a snowman?

YES! LET IT SNOW!

10 Disney Things to do on a Winter’s Day | Oh My Disney | Awww

 Now!

Do I even know 5 people who would do the tag?

*shrug*

If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, consider yourself tagged. I have seen it. 

Christmas Vader:

Thank you, Miss H.M. Wilson, for such a lovely tag!

charlie brown christmas quotes - Google Search:
Merry Christmas, everyone!

BLAST THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC!

It’s joyful and triumphant.

You know what is hard to dislike? Christmas music. I mean, you may have certain songs that you prefer over others, but the chance that you aren’t listening to some cheerful tunes this holiday season is unlikely.

You know what song my mom absolutely cannot stand, though? The Little Drummer Boy.

The story behind her hatred of this tune is that, when she was a girl, her little sister (my dear Aunt Jennifer) would play it over and over. Eventually, my mother just couldn’t stand the song anymore. This is fairly understandable, as too much of anything is not good for people.

But I love that particular song. Now, I don’t like the movie Rankin-Bass did a million years ago. It’s sad and violent and just…

(Quick Note: Music liked or disliked is not hereditary. Or if it is, I’ve got the recessive genes.)

What I like most about the song is the message.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.


One day, I want to write a new story based on this song.

DFTBA

 

Decorating a Tree

We decorated the Christmas tree tonight!

 

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Moi. Wearing the fake-cranberry strand after taking it off the tree. Fabulous, no?

So, at some point in time, mankind has decided that, annually in December, it is festive to cut down a live evergreen (essentially killing it), place it in one’s house, decorate it with all sorts of tinsel, colored bobbles, popcorn and cranberries, perhaps candles, and then place gifts under it.

I love this tradition.

 

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See the Abominable Snowman? Yeah, he didn’t stay on the tree, either.

This specific tradition begins for my family with food. Summer sausage, cheese, crackers, a vegetable tray with dip…We like food.

(We have obviously set up the tree at some point, either prior to or after the food.)

Then we take out the ornaments. I start putting hooks on them, while the hobbits grab all the ones they can, whether those have hooks or not. I inevitably tell the hobbits to give me a minute to untangle the hooks. I also inevitably get stuck with something or other. (Our tree happens to be artificial, so no, I am not getting stuck with evergreen needles.)

As some point during the enjoyable chaos, I hang up an ornament or two, most likely ones that belong to me or neglected ones (read: ones that I got a hook on and then could sneak onto the tree before the hobbits came back demanding more).

All the ornaments are made of something that won’t break, except for two. One: Dad’s UGA Bulldog that is dressed as Santa. Two: my brother’s latest ball-ornament from his Sunday School teacher. This has his name, the name of our church, a verse reference, the year… and this ornament has broken every year for the past three years. Le sigh.

But for now, the tree is pretty and everything on it whole. The hobbits (most likely the youngest two) will undecorate and redecorate the tree a million times between now and Christmas, but we don’t care. That’s part of the charm, small children enjoying Christmas.

See how lovely it is?

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Yes, I realize the Abominable is still there…

DFTBA!

 

Inquisitive Wednesday– Christmas Favorites Tag

It’s Inquisitive Wednesday! Yes, I realize it’s actually Monday…

And there are too many fun tags! (I’ll try to do the one you nominated me for soon, Erin!)

This Wednesday Monday, I’m doing a tag about Christmas made by Kathryn@ Hidden Orchards. Thanks for such a fun tag!

1.  What’s your favorite part about Christmas?

I’m going to say that my favorite part of Christmas is what is real Christmas spirit– when you are just happy and cheerful just for the reason that it’s Christmas. And hopefully, at least some of that joy comes because of the real reason for Christmas, celebrating the birth of the Savior.

2.  Does your family have any special Christmas traditions?  If so, which is your favorite?

We do have a few traditions. Decorating the tree may possibly be my favorite. While I don’t do much of the actual decorating, I enjoy pulling out ornament, putting hooks on them, and then handing them to a hobbit to put on the tree. And we have snacks while we decorate, specifically summer sausage, cheese, and crackers (I can’t help thinking this sounds kind of German. Does this sound German to you guys?)

3.  Everyone knows that music is best part of Christmas.  What’s your favorite Christmas carol?

I don’t know. I love so many… O Come, O Come Emmanuel is lovely. So is Do You Hear What I Hear. And The Little Drummer Boy. I’m not actually sure that one is sacred…

4.  What’s your favorite Christmas song (i.e. non-sacred carol)?

Um… Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer is fun. What does it say about me that that’s the first one I named? I love Carol of the Bells, too.

 

5.  What’s your favorite Christmas story or novel?

Besides the actual Christmas story (Christ’s birth), I’m going to have to say The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It’s an MG novel about four troublesome siblings who get into the church Christmas pageant with the lead roles.

 

6.  What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?

Oh… I love spritz cookies, but I also like jam thumbprints, and chocolate snowballs. Oh! And gingercookies!

7.  Do you shop at Christmastime?  Where’s your favorite place to do Christmas shopping?

I don’t usually shop at all much less at Christmas. But I love going to the mall around Christmas, with everything decorated.

 

8.  What’s your favorite Christmas treat?

Peppermint Bark. Which may be just because I can’t have it anymore at home because of a hobbit’s mint allergy. Mint M&M’s are lovely, too…

Okay, non-mintness would be dark chocolate. Just the little Hershey’s bars I get in my stocking, nothing fancy.

9.  Do you watch Christmas movies?  What’s your favorite one?

I seems like I already answered this question in one of my last posts, but I’ll answer it again. Yes, I watch Christmas movies and it’s one of my favorite Christmas things to do. My favorite… How The Grinch Stole Christmas, both the animated and non-animated ones.

10.  We all know how much fun setting up the Christmas tree can be.  Of course, there are always those ornaments that you made in first grade that you would rather forget but they go on the tree anyway.  Do you have a favorite ornament?  What’s the story behind it?

A favorite ornament… well, there was my First Christmas Ornament, but it broke. It was a wooden rocking-horse painted mostly red. But my other favorite ornament is actually a set of ornaments with each of the Twelve Days of Christmas things on them. We only have a few of them left, unfortunately.

And that’s it! I want to hear about your Christmases in the comments! DFTBA!

NaNo, Christmas, and a Talking Cat

So.

November is over. And with it, NaNoWriMo.

This NaNo, I added 15,150 words to LASER.

That is the smallest amount I’ve ever written during NaNo.

But this year, it seems a lot of us took away something better than a 50k novel. We have learned that there is little point in writing 50k in one month that we have to edit every word of. While it is fun to write so much so quickly, it is also very stressful sometimes. We chose to not stress out, to take our time enjoying the writing process (whatever that means for each of us).

And for that, we are all winners.

Now. If I may back away from such cheesiness…

IT’S DECEMBER!!!

TRIM UP THE TREE WITH CHRISTMAS STUFF, LIKE BINGLEBALLS AND WHOFLOO-FLUFF!

I better not be the only one who recognizes those lyrics…

I love Christmas. Not just the holiday itself, but the whole season. I love music and movies and the absolute, inexplicable happiness each Christmas brings (I think that’s called Christmas spirit). I love baking cookies and decorating the tree and doing Christmas-y things with my family. I love giving gifts (and getting them, too). The entire Christmas season is just all around fun.

It’s like a giant festival, all ultimately celebrating the birth of Christ.

Of course, not all of it directly celebrates Jesus’s birth.

Which brings me to a somewhat controversial topic.

I mentioned above that I love Christmas movies. Let’s face it, not many Christmas movies touch on what Christmas is really about. And the ones that do… they aren’t always all that good.

Three of my favorite Christmas movies:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Garfield Christmas

Christmas With the Kranks

 

The Grinch… I have loved this story since I was really little. And while it doesn’t specifically say what Christmas is about, it does say: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

Garfield Christmas (I’m not sure what the real title of that is). It’s a 20-ish minute special about the lasagna-loving, orange cat spending Christmas with his owner’s family. As far as true meaning of Christmas goes, this one is absolutely awful. But you know what? I know what Christmas is really about, so I’m not watching this for a message. I am watching this purely for the humor. Some of the humor is kind of stupid, but for the most part, this is absolutely hilarious (and quotable!).

Christmas with the Kranks. This is the only “grown-up” Christmas movie I like. And honestly, it’s not even really that inappropriate for children (they probably won’t watch it, though) (There’s a scene at a tanning salon and then like one instance of swearing. Other than that, it’s pretty clean.). It’s based on a book by John Grisham and it’s about a couple whose only child won’t be home for Christmas for the first time ever. So they plan to “skip” Christmas and go on a cruise instead. They don’t hang up decorations, buy a tree, aren’t having a party– they basically upset the whole neighborhood with this. This movie is also hilarious. As far as “true meaning of Christmas”,  it isn’t touched on. No one was really having a “what’s Christmas about?” crisis, so… I’m not sure the movie actually needs it. The main character’s arc might have been better with it, but since no one else in the movie really cared about that either, it would be kind of odd for that one character.

Anyway. That’s somewhat my take on those Christmas movies. And honestly, here’s my take on Christmas movies in general (and it’s the same as my take on books, oddly enough):

If it’s Christian, great. But I want a good story, too. If it’s a good story, but not Christian, that’s okay, too. God gave us these things to enjoy. As long as they aren’t Satanic, we are allowed to like and dislike according to our own views and personalities.

So, yes, maybe we are too consumed with commercialism and Santa in our Christmas shows and movies. But do you realize just how hard and really impossible it is to talk about Jesus (our Savior) in a children’s show when there are sentient animals (and animals don’t have souls)? (Honestly, though, Blue’s Clues pulled it off several years ago– they still weren’t very specific, though.)

And this post turned out much different from what I planned… I have to go do Christmas cleaning (cleaning the kitchen so we can bake cookies this Friday). Maybe I’ll “review” more Christmas movies later this month because that was honestly fun.

So, how was NaNoWriMo for you guys? And are you looking forward to Christmas? Do you have any favorite Christmas movies? Anything else to add to this post?

DFTBA.