Wednesday, December 13, 2006

7 Christmas favorites

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year, probably because my family is so big on traditions. To my way of thinking, enjoying certain foods and activities only at Christmastime helps build good memories of this special season. So today I thought I'd share seven of our Christmas favorites:

Favorite Christmas fruit
Harry & David's Royal Riviera Pears. I slurped one down just a minute ago; that's what gave me the idea for this post.

Favorite Christmas tea
Fortnum & Mason's Christmas Spiced Tea. Extremely fragrant. If you love cloves with cinnamon and orange, this is your yuletide tea.

Favorite Christmas video
A Child's Christmas in Wales. If you love the Dylan Thomas poem, this is the Christmas video for you. I've watched it at least once every Christmas since it came out in 1987. Because the family in the video seemed to be having so much fun with their Christmas "crackers" and silly paper crowns, we adopted that tradition somewhere around 1990.

Favorite Christmas story
The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry. We keep a copy of this, along with several other Christmas stories and poems, on the coffee table for browsing during the Christmas season. Magi is a short and very, very sweet story. Click on the link to read it right now at Project Gutenberg.

Favorite Christmas tree
We drive to a local farm, tramp way out into a snowy field where all you can hear is the wind and your own freezing breath, and cut down a tree. Since he was four or five years old, our Number Two Son has always had the final say on tree selection. Nobody remembers when or why he was given that power. Sometimes traditions don't have clear beginnings, they just are.

This year he chose a white pine. Oh, the fragrance!

Favorite Christmas decorations
Everything that goes on our tree is handmade or special to our family in some way. As we decorate, we reminisce. My favorite tree ornaments are my kids' baby shoes.

Favorite Christmas music
The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky. I'm listening to it right now and remembering that when we attended the ballet last year, Number One Son nudged me in the ribs and gave me a horrified look. I had forgotten where I was--and I was humming.

How about sharing some of your Christmas favorites in the comments?


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6 comments:

Dale-Anthony said...

I love Christmas, our family has lots of traditions like your own. It also seems like people are always happier and more cheerful around Christmas.

By the way, great blog.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I just love Christmas!

Favorite Christmas movies...It's a Wonderful Life (did you ever ask yourself why the Bailey kids are in school on Christmas eve?)

And Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation!

Neal said...

Oh Brenda, great topic for comments! :-)

I think Christmas has to be my favourite time of year as well, and, like you, we have many traditions.

My wife loves listening to carols in December. Personally, I think you can overdo it, but I have to admit that it is really nice to get out those CDs just and listen to them again.

My favourite decoration is a very battered old goose (wings made of 2 real feathers) with Father Christmas on his back. The whole thing is on a spring so that as he bounces up and down his wings flap. He was bought from Woolworths when I was tiny. Decorations get put up the weekend before Christmas to a background of carol music or, if I get my way, Bing Crosby and friends.

On Christmas Eve, we always read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". We have a big hardback version with beautiful illustrations. Then we lay out the stockings (one each, with names so as not to confuse Santa), together with a small whisky and mince pie, and a carrot for Rudolph. ALWAYS gone by the morning.

TV: well being a Brit, it has to be the Queen at 3PM. If you can time things so that you sit down to your meal as she comes on, then you've got it just right.

The whole of Christmas Day is really a bit of a ritual, and one that we all love. From the cold Cumberland sausage and champagne mid-morning, to the present opening, to the meal, to the games of charades, it all has to be done in a particular way. And right about now, I can't wait for it to all kick into motion!

Neal said...

Oh Brenda, great topic for comments! :-)

I think Christmas has to be my favourite time of year as well, and, like you, we have many traditions.

My wife loves listening to carols in December. Personally, I think you can overdo it, but I have to admit that it is really nice to get out those CDs just and listen to them again.

My favourite decoration is a very battered old goose (wings made of 2 real feathers) with Father Christmas on his back. The whole thing is on a spring so that as he bounces up and down his wings flap. He was bought from Woolworths when I was tiny. Decorations get put up the weekend before Christmas to a background of carol music or, if I get my way, Bing Crosby and friends.

On Christmas Eve, we always read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". We have a big hardback version with beautiful illustrations. Then we lay out the stockings (one each, with names so as not to confuse Santa), together with a small whisky and mince pie, and a carrot for Rudolph. ALWAYS gone by the morning.

TV: well being a Brit, it has to be the Queen at 3PM. If you can time things so that you sit down to your meal as she comes on, then you've got it just right.

The whole of Christmas Day is really a bit of a ritual, and one that we all love. From the cold Cumberland sausage and champagne mid-morning, to the present opening, to the meal, to the games of charades, it all has to be done in a particular way. And right about now, I can't wait for it to all kick into motion!

Brenda Coulter said...

Sounds wonderful, Neal. Quite different from our Christmases, and yet the same, if you know what I mean.

Dale-Anthony, thanks for stopping by. I agree that people are more cheerful at Christmas--unless you go to the shopping malls.
;-)

Bonnie, I have often wondered why those poor kids had to be in school on Christmas Eve.

Neal said...

Apologies for the double posting btw. Blogger threw a fit after the first one, so i assumed it hadn't got through, but it obviously did.