I am never on time for this blog event! And I love to participate because Leslie is such a sweet soul. Anyway, better late than never?
DECORATING, TRADITIONS AND FAMILY RECIPES
In what ways do you decorate for the winter holiday season? Do you use traditional colors or have your own color scheme? Is there a theme to your decorating? Since Wyatt has been born, I have found myself actually becoming more minimalist in our decorations. I am not sure why, exactly. I am trying to be more mindful, and put out our very favorites. We do use traditional colors, lots of reds and greens and plaids, because I love plaid. And we do try to keep to a nature type theme when we can. Our tree is actually all wildlife/nature themed ornaments except for a few that Wyatt was given as gifts, like Daniel Tiger. And a smurf leftover from my ornaments as a child. I do have all my own childhood ornaments boxed up in the basement but we are trying to start a tree that is all new for Wyatt to keep as his own keepsakes one day, with a few old ones as well. Wyatt also has a little tree in his room that has all of his own ornaments on it.
A story about our tree. When Wyatt was born, it was not under the easiest of circumstances. A total of 12 weeks in the hospital between the two of us, and Billy missed a lot of work. Money was very tight, bills were late. We didn’t know how we were going to do Christmas honestly, and planned a very small, modest Christmas, with a gift or two for Wyatt, socks for each other, and a tabletop tree (the one in his room now actually) And then came Faye. An angel of a person, a family friend of my mom and aunt’s my whole life. She gave me my first job, then made it easy on me. I have so many Faye stories. Anyway, that Christmas she sent us $200, a total surprise, out of the goodness of her heart. I remember standing in my living room crying. We went and bought a tree, some lights, and gifts for Wyatt. That year Father Christmas was named Faye and I will never forget.
Share a family holiday tradition or recipe. Is there something new you plan to try this year? Hmm.. our family loves to make Empire Biscuits and Coconut Tarts at Christmas. We actually have two camps, Team Empire Biscuit vs. Team Coconut Tarts. My grandma used to make them, then my uncle..now my cousin’s wife and my sister-in-law generally make Empire Biscuits and I will make coconut tarts. Because I am team coconut tart, all the way. I did a post on them here!
FAVORITE HOLIDAY BOOKS, MOVIES, SONG OR SHOWS
Do you have a favorite Christmas book, movie, song or TV show? Why is it special to you? Is there a popular holiday book, program or movie you have never seen? So so so many!!! Christmas movies: Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, a favorite of mine from childhood that I still watch every year, A Muppet Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown Christmas, and Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation. I think they are just tradition now to watch!
How do you handle the stress of the holidays? Do you have some go-to for restoring calm to your life when things get crazy? I have found that starting really early with my Christmas shopping so I am practically done by December helps so much! I have also started to cut down on the activities – we try to do some things, but we don’t need to do everything!
SPARKLE AND SHINE
What will you wear over the holidays? Do you dress up for New Year’s Eve? I don’t really dress up much for the holidays. I did buy a fancier top from Amazon this year to wear Christmas day, with jeans. It is green with lace detail and almost swiss dots. And short sleeved because for some reason our holidays are always so hot. Lol. As for New Years, not anymore. We do a “Noon Years Eve” with my cousin, his kids, my brother and niece and sister-in-law, where we do a countdown and have fun stuff for the kids. This year my cousin is going to make us winter champagne cocktails too, for the adults. We will probably have a pretty quiet evening and go to bed early. Lol. I have never liked or enjoyed New Years Eve. It always makes me sad and melancholy. So I don’t mind missing it.
How do you feel about snow? What are the chances you will see a white Christmas? Do you enjoy any snow day activities? What will the weather be like where you live in this last month of the year? I love love love snow!! Living in Michigan it is just part of our life. This year however the forecast doesn’t call for snow until the 26th. Which bums me out!
‘TIS BETTER TO GIVE
Do you have a gift-giving budget? For how many people do you buy gifts? Do you buy for the postman, your hair dresser, nail tech, children’s teachers? When do you open gifts? Who is the hardest person you buy for? My family buys for just the kids these days, and sometimes one of us gets wild and makes gifts for the adults, like jam or soap or something like that. And we buy for our parents. So I guess we just don’t buy for siblings. Lol. I used to buy for Wyatt’s entire team, which was like 6 therapists, a teacher, an aide, and a nurse – now with homeschooling I just buy for one therapist! The hardest gift – my dad and stepmom. I never know what to do for them!
If you could give a kind of impossible gift to someone, what would it be? Perhaps something beyond your price range? Or something you can’t buy. Something intangible. Oh man. So many things. Some so personal I can’t really say. I will say instead..that everyone could be happy for at least one day, all together.
FAREWELL 2021, WISHES FOR 2022
As we bid farewell to 2021, what was your biggest success this year? Will you be making goals or resolutions or plans for 2022? If so, what will some of them be? My biggest success – my monarchs. That was such a fun project that Wyatt and I did together. I always make resolutions, but I don’t get down on myself if I don’t achieve them. You’ll have to check back at the beginning of the year for mine.
Describe 2021 in 3 words. Name 3 things you wish for in 2022. Keep on moving. And three things I wish for 2021… I am going to just stick with smallish things here. Nothing noble. So lots of picnics, good books to read, and moments of laughter with loved ones.