TBB Asks – Holiday Questions

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1st off, thanks to Daenel over at Living Outside the Stacks for bringing The Blended Blog to my attention by sharing her TBB Asks – Holiday Edition. I’m loving what I’ve had a chance to read so far! And I’m super excited to participate in my first TBB Asks Linkup.  It’s 15 questions about the holidays, so let’s get started!

1- Real of Fake Tree?

We always had fake trees growing up, but I married into a real tree family, and they are starting to grow on me.  It means that we don’t decorate for Christmas until much later (mid-December, as opposed to Thanksgiving weekend), but I feel like it makes that holiday a bit more special.  And my favorite are the years that we get trees dug up, so that we can replant them.  We’ve done it a few times and our Christmas tree has been a gift for my step-dad, tho I think this year we will get a tree dug up and plant it as Mil’s first Christmas Tree.

2- Favorite Christmas Cookie?

Making me choose a dessert is evil, there are so many good ones, but I can probably narrow it down to one of two things.  It would either have to be my Grandmother’s Divinity, or The Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies from KevinAndAmanda.com. They are very different, and neither is really a cookie, but they are amazing.

3- Home on Christmas Morning or Travel?

I’ve always gotten up at home on Christmas morning. We generally go somewhere (or 3) during the day, but there is something nice about being able to wake up in your own home on Christmas morning. 

4- Clear or Colored Lights?

I’m a clear light person, and my husband is a colored-lights person.  It was a bit of a problem the 1st couple years we were married, but I’ve come up with a brilliant solution.  I usually wrap the tree in both white and colored lights, and unplug the colored lights once my husband goes upstairs for the night.  It’s the best of both worlds.

5- Send Christmas Cards?

I’d like to say that I’m a Christmas card person, but I’m really terrible about it. I sent them the 1st year I was married, but I’ve only done it a couple times since then.  I am happy to report that I sent cards this year. I had photos of Mildred to send to everyone, so that helped.  Hopefully sending pictures of her will be a driving force to get them done every year.

6- Favorite Christmas Present Received?

This is a terribly hard decision, but I think the best thing I’ve ever gotten was the Featherweight sewing machine that my husband got for me a few years ago.  I absolutely love using it, and hope to get back to using it more once Mil is a little bigger.  As it is, I still haven’t finished Mil’s baby quilt.

7- Favorite Christmas Present Given?

I don’t feel like I’ve ever given anyone a super amazing gift, but I was really proud of myself last year when I sent a shoebox through Operation Christmas Child in each of my sister’s names as part of their Christmas.  It was pretty cool, because we were able to see where the shoeboxes ended up (Ecuador).

8- Stockings or No Stockings?

I love the idea of stockings, but I don’t really have anywhere to hang them in out house.  I know I could hang them just about anywhere, but I feel like those are the sort of thing that need a traditional place, like a mantle. Perhaps I’ll get a fireplace of some sort one day and we can use them.  Until then, we will just have to be a no-stocking house.

9- Christmas PJs?

I’m not a fan of Christmas-themed pajamas, because I feel like you can only wear them at Christmas.  But I do love a nice new pair of PJs for Christmas (hint hint).

10 – Favorite Christmas Carol?

We Three Kings.  I prefer this song as sung in a church, but there are some beautiful modern versions.

11- Favorite Holiday Tradition?

We don’t really have any family traditions, so to speak.  I mean, we play Christmas music while we decorate the tree, but that’s pretty much the extent of it.  Perhaps the hubs and I can start some traditions with Milli (and no, it will not be that evil Elf on the Shelf).

12- Early Shopper or Last-Minute?

I like to think of myself as an early shopper, but there are always a few last minute things.  I blame my husband for this, as he has an inability to decide what he wants until 2 days before Christmas. Actually, other than his gifts, everything has been purchased since before Thanksgiving. I was not about to drag Milli around shopping after Thanksgiving, because people are crazy.

13- Favorite Christmas Movie or Show?

There will always be a soft place in my heart for all the old classics, like Rudolph, but my absolute favorite holiday show is A Charlie Brown Christmas.  There’s something about that little tree that gets me in the feels every time.

14- Favorite Holiday Beverage?

My favorite holiday beverage is a Peppermint Hot Chocolate.  I drink hot chocolate year-round.  Caffeinated beverages and I don’t get along so well, so instead of coffee in the mornings, I do a hot chocolate.  And, I love doing seasonally appropriate flavors.

15- Cookies and Milk for Santa?

I don’t know if we will do cookies and milk or not.  I don’t remember leaving cookies when I was little, tho I did believe in Santa Claus.  I’m not sure how we will handle that with Mil. There is something beautiful in the idea of Santa Claus, so perhaps we will do it. Tho, I hope that the Santa she believes in will be closer to L. Frank Baum’s version of Santa Claus than the one we see today.


I’d love to know how you feel about these.  Pick a topic (or all of them) and chime in!

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  1. anna on December 11, 2017 at 7:37 am

    1- Real of Fake Tree? I grew up with real trees but they’re just not available here. I miss the smell!! So green plastic. DH loves his tree and puts it up as close to the 20 Nov (our WA) as he can. But then it stays up till 6 Jan and takes up quite a chunk of the sitting room. He loves it, and decorates it after I help him put it up. We have a manger scene for me and the tree for him. He hates to take the things down so I take care of that after Epiphany.
    2- Favorite Christmas Cookie? Spain has amazing Christmas sweets but they are bought not home made. Honey, almonds and eggwhite figure large along with spices. I can’t compete with mantecados, polvorones and turrón (a thick almond and honey nougat) so I don’t. I miss divinity though.
    3- Home on Christmas Morning or Travel? Home. We used to go to my SIL’s house but since their brother died she has ignored us. We sit and enjoy a good movie or two, read together, and listen to music.
    4- Clear or Colored Lights? Both, as long as they twinkle. DH prefers nontwinkly lights but he lets me have them that way.
    5- Send Christmas Cards? No. Email cards. One physical, given in hand to my bestie. I used to send dozens and then I realised no one ever sent one to me out of all the ones I remembered. Then when I converted, I lost my family anyway.
    6- Favorite Christmas Present Received? The one time my DH totally surprised me in the present dept was in about 2002 when he gave me the first DVD player we ever owned. I didn’t even know it was in the house.
    7- Favorite Christmas Present Given? Giving a baby quilt for a much longed-for baby.
    8- Stockings or No Stockings? No.
    9- Christmas PJs? No.
    10 – Favorite Christmas Carol? I really love mideval Spanish carols like “Riu Riu Chiu” and “Non, ninon”, or just instrumental music like Mozart’s Christmas concerto. I like madrigals too, can’t beat a rousing falalalala! (I was once told by a preacher that the falalala para was where they cut the dirty parts out. I think he honestly believed that.)
    11- Favorite Holiday Tradition? The day at home with my sweetie, eating something nice (usually roast duck or lamb with a curry rub) and just taking it easy.
    12- Early Shopper or Last-Minute? We don’t go much on presents, so I like to get the food stuff tucked in the freezer/cupboard in November. Then we can kick back and enjoy. The cooking part is my “fun”, the decorating and “little secrets” part is his fun.
    13- Favorite Christmas Movie or Show? It’s not specifically Christmas, though there is a Christmas bit. The holidays aren’t official unless we watch “Wind in the Willows” (the movie, not the series) by Cosgrove Hall.
    14- Favorite Holiday Beverage? Any sparkling white. This year it’s Lambrusco Bianco because the only Blanc de Blancs we could find is dry, and I’d as soon drink sal volatile as dry bubbles.
    We don’t do Santa Claus.

    • Andrea on December 11, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      You know how I love Wind in the Willows, but you’re right that I don’t think of it as a Christmas movie. I like the idea that part of your Christmas tradition doesn’t have to have anything to do with Christmas at all.

      • anna on December 12, 2017 at 3:46 am

        Well there is the scene where Ratty and Mole go back to Mole End, and have to clean up because it’s been empty all those months…and the carol-singing mice turn up. That places the scene at Christmas, but there’s nothing overtly Christmassy about it.

        • Andrea on December 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm

          I do love the caroling mice.

  2. anna on December 18, 2017 at 10:20 am

    I just realised for once in my life I scored the perfect Christmas present for Himself. I gave up years ago as his tastes are eclectic but v. personal–if it’s a symphony it’s this conductor, or that performance, etc. Same with clothes, he’s funny about colours and textures etc. so for years I’ve let him buy himself something he wanted.

    But for the past couple of years we have needed a new mattress. We looked around this time last year and a good one was over a thousand Euros. Eek! A couple of weeks ago DH saw that one of the best mattress shops was having a big sale, and I was able to buy a top-flight mattress for half price! He is sleeping better, and in a lot less pain (untreated scoliosis, and being 72). I just realised, hey, I paid for the mattress, so it counts as both our Christmas pressie!

    • Andrea on December 18, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      That’s great! I have a few friends who instead of buying Christmas presents for each other will take the money they would have spent and purchased something nice that they need, like a new mattress, oven, or the like. It works really well for them and certainly makes sense if your significant other is hard to buy for.

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