Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Award & A Christmas Meme

DAWN (private blog) tagged me for this combination award/meme and I thought I'd better get it done before it completely slips my mind. A Christmas meme is kind of anticlimactic if you don't get around to posting it until after Christmas, don't you think?

Here are the rules for the Christmas award.~~~~~

You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award.
The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas.
You must link back to the person who gave you the award.
You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas.
If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space!
Pass the award along to as many people as you like.
That can be 1 or 50. It's up to you!
But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going!
Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment or an email.

1. First and foremost is that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. All the lights, tinsel, decorations and gifts are secondary to the true meaning of Christmas: the Christ child that was born almost 2000 years ago, came to earth to live as a man and died to save mankind from his sins, then returned to the Father, and will come again.

Soon, Lord Jesus, soon.

2. Having said that, I do enjoy the colorful lights, tinsel, decorations and gifts of the Christmas season, while remembering the true meaning of Christmas. I'm just a big kid at Christmas time.

3. I love the songs of Christmas. I like both secular songs and Christian songs. "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night" are my favorites, but I also like "Carol Of The Bells", "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and many, many more. I can't think of many Christmas songs that I don't like.

4. I love to go caroling with my church family. I'm blessed that 3 of my sisters attend the same church as I do and also JESSICA, Jason and Emmy, so we all go caroling together every Christmas.

5. What would Christmas be without family? Next to Jesus I love my family best. I have such wonderful, happy memories of joyous Christmases past, and we're making new memories every year. Having Jason join our family in 2006 and then Emmy in 2007 is a special blessing.

There's nothing quite like seeing the joy of Christmas through a child's eyes. I'm really looking forward to watching Emmy open her gifts this year now that she's old enough to understand more about Christmas.

And now, I'm tagging JESSICA, MIGHTY MOM, BARB, GREENEYES, PEA and anyone else who'd like to do this meme. Please let me know if you do this meme so I can read your answers.
I'm also going to republish a Christmas meme from 2006. I thought it was good for another round and many of my readers have come along since this was published so I hope everyone enjoys it.

I'm changing a few dates and pertinent facts to make some of the answers current. I won't tag anyone for this one either, but if you'd like to use the button I made and do this meme yourself, have at it. Just let me know if you do this one so I can read your answers.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?

Yes, please. I love me some eggnog, but when it's cold outside that rich, creamy hot chocolate warms you from the inside out in a way that eggnog can't. Unless you really doctor up your eggnog with an adult beverage(s). In which case if you drink enough eggnog you might think it's hot chocolate before too long anyway, or you might not care anymore. What was the question?

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

Wrap. Or bag, as the case may be. Jessica is 21 and half of the joy of Christmas was watching her tear into the gifts. Even as a kid, Mama always wrapped our gifts. No toys just setting under the tree for us. I like to build that anticipation.

3. Colored lights or white?

Yes. I like them both. I've done all clear lights on the tree, and all colored. For outside lights, (which we never do - 300 pound arthritic women and ladders just don't mix. Nuh uh, no way) I love the old fashioned big colored teardrop shaped bulbs. I think they're called C3's. Love them on trees and shrubs and on rooflines.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope. But if I had any, I would. We manage to hug and smooch without it the rest of the year. I do remember my Daddy bringing home the real stuff occasionally when I was a kid. If he saw it when he was out squirrel hunting he'd shoot it down out of black gum trees with his shotgun. It's one of the few things that birds can eat that's poisonous to people, by the way.

5. When do you decorate for Christmas?

It varies, but up until the last few years I put up the tree and decorated on Thanksgiving night or the Friday after. In 2004 my Daddy died on December 19th, then my Mama died on April 13, 2005. I didn't have the heart to put up the tree the last several years. Jessica put it up and took it down for me. So far I still haven't decorated for Christmas, and I've about decided I'm not going to put up the tree or decorate this year.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert?

Hmmm....My Mama's homemade cornbread dressing and giblet gravy, I think, though it's hard to choose.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Probably when I was about 6 or 7 years old, Daddy got up early one Christmas morning and dragged his feet in the snow to make it look like Santa's sleigh had made a landing in our yard. Of course it was a couple of years later that I figured out the truth behind it. And many more memories than I can ever express in words. Thank you, Mama and Daddy for making Christmas so special for us. We never knew we were poor financially until we were much older. In all the ways that matter, we were rich.

8. When and how, did you learn the truth about Santa?

I think I was about 9 years old. I was bound and determined to stay awake and see this Santa Claus guy. There was always a big discrepancy between what I ordered for Christmas and what was actually under the tree on Christmas morning. This had to be investigated, you understand? What's the point of writing letters to a guy and sitting on his lap, telling him your wish list, when he couldn't deliver the goods after both a verbal and written request?

And so I stayed awake. Much to my surprise, Santa ran over the coffee table in the dark and said some words that I got in a LOT of trouble for if I said them. And it wasn't "sugar!" When I peeked around the bedroom door into the living room, I saw my older sister Donna hopping up and down, carrying presents to put under the tree.

Santa. Investigated and found to be an impostor, cussing sister in his place. Rats!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

We NEVER did when I was a kid. Christmas morning was when we all opened gifts. Period. But through the years, with having several sets of grandparents and great-grandparents along with our own Christmas, we pretty much open gifts whenever. I personally would rather wait until Christmas morning. I think it's kind of an anticlimax to have all the gifts already opened before Christmas morning. But, I can see where that's an opportunity to put the emphasis back on Jesus for the day, and take the focus off the gift thing.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

What, I have to have a theme?? As I said, I have both clear and colored lights, so when I unpack the lights, I decide then which to use. Other than that, anything goes. I have ornaments that I've bought and that have been given to me. Sadly, I don't have any of the ornaments from my childhood Christmas trees. Mama and Daddy's house burned in February 1987 and they lost everything. So all my ornaments are a very eclectic mix. Theme, schmeme. I do like themed trees, but I like variety, too.

11. Snow. Love it or hate it?

Absolutely love it. Here in Northeast Arkansas we probably average 1 white Christmas out of every 10. Unlike our more northerly neighbors, a white Christmas is a rarity here, and to be treasured and wished for. But I love snow anytime, not just at Christmas.

12. Can you ice skate?

Of course, doesn't everyone? mean with skates and all? Um....NO. Not on purpose, anyway. Fat people and falls on hard water ain't a good combination. That's some bad ju-ju. I'm allergic to pain and broken bones.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

Honestly? I don't really have a favorite, but the most memorable was one I almost didn't get. Cecil and I (okay, mostly me) were snooping because we suspected Mama had hid some Christmas presents for us. And we were right. We found them in Mama's chrome cake cover. She had gotten us both a silver locket for Christmas and hid them until she could wrap them. We didn't cover our tracks well, and she discovered our snooping.

Man, was she mad! She told us since we snooped we weren't getting them. But before Christmas she relented and they were under the tree on Christmas morning. I still remember exactly what that locket looked like, but I have wracked my brain and I cannot remember what happened to it. I sure wish I still had it.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?

Hands down, Jesus first and family second. Period.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Whatever I'm munching on at the time. The one with the most memories attached? My Mama's homemade Jam Cake. I have so many memories of watching and then helping her make them as I got old enough to be more of a help than a hindrance. And also MAMA'S CHEESECAKE.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Caroling with my church family. And taking food baskets and gifts to needy families with the ladies from my church. And watching classic Christmas cartoons as we put up the Christmas tree and decorate for Christmas. Frosty, Rudolph, Garfield, and the California Raisins, among many others, have played in the background every year since Jessica was born in 1987. Ah, the memories....

17. What tops your tree?

Hmmm....Well, up until a couple of years ago, it was a blown glass, for lack of a better term. It was a replica of one of those Victorian spires. But I think it gave up the ghost Christmas 2005 when Jessica was in a bit of a hurry to get. that. tree. put. up. as fast as possible so she could be done with it, for Pete's sake! Now I have a cheap glittery metal star thing that I've used the last couple of years. It's a lot harder to break than the glass topper was.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Again, YES. I'll just be honest and say I love both. I love seeing someone's face when they open a gift I lovingly made or chose especially for them. And I love to be the recipient of such a gift. It has nothing to do with the cost of the gift, it's knowing the love and care and thought behind the gift.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night and Silent Night are my favorites, but I love almost any Christmas song. Did I mention I love to go caroling?

20. Candy canes. Yuck or yum?

Yum! But not a steady diet of peppermint, please. I like variety. So feel free to give me most any kind of candy.

We've got about 3 inches of freezing rain, sleet and snow on the ground here right now, mostly sleet. All the schools are closed and most sane people are staying off the roads. Adding to the already icy conditions we're now getting freezing fog, of all things. Nasty stuff.

Praise the Lord our power hasn't gone off because we'd be in deep she-ha-ha. Our apartment is all electric so when the power goes off we don't have heat, lights, hot water or any way to cook. Unless you count my gas grill, and I hope I never get desperate enough to have to slip and slide out there to use the grill.

I still have to make some Christmas goodies and some dog treats for my vet friend if I ever get the gumption, but so far I seem to be lacking motivation.I'm going to get this posted and head for bed. I'll be around to visit soon.

I wish you all a happy and joyous Christmas season, and a happy Hanukkah.


MightyMom said...



surely not.

my eyes must need to be cleaned.

well, thanks for the award as I do love Christmas. But meme's are DUNN.

Unless I decide to do it after New Year...that'd be different.

Love ya babe.

Barb said...

Thank you, Diane. I've seen this award all over the place and I think it's so sweet. I will post it proudly and I thank you for giving it to me. And I thank you for having the courage to tag me because I have a reputation for dropping the tag ball. This one, I will do!


zzop357 said...

I forgot that you caught me!!!
It's kinda embarrassing!
Love you Sister, Donna

It's All Good! said...

Hi Diane, love your 'revealing who Santa really was' story. Although it wasn't too funny for you at the time, I sure am laughing! I could just picture it.
Glad your settled in with your TP ;) and all, sounds like bad weather you're having.
It's still snowing on & off today. I was thankful to be able to switch around some cleaning jobs I have to get done, and just stay in today. Probably would need snowshoes to get into them anyhow. Understanding clients for sure!
Baking sugar cookies with Grace this afternoon. A perfect before-Christmas day for us.
God bless,
Brenda :)

Linda said...

Great post Diane. You always make me smile and always make the visit here so warm and welcoming. I love your header - just beautiful.
I think we feel much the same way about our childhood Christmases. We were not rich in material things either, but my Mom and Dad always made Christmas so wonderful for us. I have so many cherished memories.

Minx's Den said...

Love you new look on your blog! very cheery and I always enjoy reading your blogs! You are a wonderful person!

love ya

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

LOVE your banner and Christmas look :)

stay warm

Merry Christmas my dear dear friend

Aunt Jenny said...

I did the meme on my blog...boy, that one took awhile...I am off to bed...goodnight!!
Have a great rest of the week and try to stay warm!!!

Lucy Stern said...

Freezing Fog? I have never heard of that... We have had overcast weather for the last few days with hanging clouds that leave a heave mist in the air...It was cold and humid for a couple of days and now it's back in the 60's.....Stay off those icy streets.

I like Christmas too. Last Saturday morning, TF and the two grandkids decorated the Christmas tree. JJ is seven yrs. old and he took pleasure in placing the ornaments in just the right place. Jocelyne is three yrs old and she would jump up and down and shout, "I did it, I did it" when she put an ornament on the tree. She especially liked the angels, so TF gave her all of the angels to put on the tree. Grandma/I was in the kitchen making cookies for them to eat when they were done. They all enjoyed the cookies and watching the lights blink on the tree.....

Reading your meme made me think back to my days as a child growing up in a poor household, but with lots of love. Favorite memory: A few days before Christmas dad would let us sleep under the tree. We would crawl into our sleeping bags and watch the Christmas lights until we couldn't stay awake any longer. Sometime during the night dad would sneak in and turn off the lights....I can see it now in my mind.

Have a great Christmas Diane and family....

Hootin' Anni said...

I'm glad to know that Dawn passed the awesome award I presented to her to you!! That's awesome. And I too like the song "Do you Hear what I hear?" And no other can sing it like Bing Crosby. I know that ages me, but it's the best rendition for me.

Dawn said...

Thanks for doing this - you're the only one so far! I know it's hard, and I haven't been getting around to visit much this week. So much to do before 30 people from SS over for dinner Saturday night (I did this to myself - nobody else to blame!), and all of DC's family arriving Sunday night (there will be 30 of us in all for the whole week - 4 staying here). Then the new fridge is arriving Sat morning, and choir practice Sat afternoon. Today I'm finally going to get some Christmas shopping finished, after a nice, relaxing lunch with an old friend at Panera's. I had the kiddoes all day yesterday and I'm wiped out!

So glad you didn't lost your power!

Nancy said...

Congrats on the award! It is lovely!!! You deserve awards as you put so much time into each post!

What a fun post!!! I really enjoyed this one!!! I loved reading about your Christmases past, especially about your dad dragging his feet in the snow to make it look like Santa's sleigh had been there! That was just theeee best thing I've heard a father doing for his kids!!! I can see you were blessed with great parents!

I need to check out your Mama's Cheesecake as I LOVE cheesecakes!

If I don't get back to visit before Christmas, I want to wish you the best Christmas ever! It should really be a lot fo fun with Emmy this year now that she is old enough to understand more this year. You just can't beat Christmas seen through the eyes of a child! Love you!!!

(((((( HUGS ))))))

Tammy said...

Well, I guess your freezing rain is heading my way! I just got a Weather Bug long as it is outta here by Monday when I travel to Ky I'll be fine and dandy ;~D

Hope this finds your day safe, happy and warm!♥

moreofhim said...

As always, Diane, you're a hoot! I just love your post. Laughter and tears abound here at my computer desk. I had to laugh about the 300 pound woman, arthritis and ladders - I hear ya, girlfriend!!

I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Merry Christmas! I'm so glad we've gotten to know one another and look forward to getting to know you better in the new year!

God bless you and your family!

Love ~ Julie

kansasrose said...

Congratulations hon on your award. Well done! :) I love your answers dear freind. Ya got the Christmas HOLY spirit goin' on at your home that's for sure. The birth of THE INFANT JESUS! yeah!

hon I'll try and get to this second meme later tonight. Neat questions. don't think I've ever done this one. I adore reading what you wrote here about this holiest of times of the year. Hope you and your sweet hubby Lamar, Jess and Jason and the Princess Emmy, and all your family-kin, church family and friends have a beautiful,safe and holy Christmas week. Loveya, Jen xxxooo

RennyBA said...

Congrats with you Award -- well deserved!

Great meme; always great getting to know a good blog friend even better!

Regarding #9: Did you know that the tradition in Norway for all is to open the gifts on xmas Even :-) Thats the big celebrating time (after the church bell ringing xmas in at 6PM.

Michael Manning said...

I have to watch from the sidelines, Diane. I have the Flu bug and my computer is in the shop. But I see that we've enjoyed Christmas similarly! We never opened presents the night before, but the kid across the street from me did! Your Christmas spirit is Cheery and fun. Lots of Love, my friend! You have a Wonderful Family! Blessings! :D)

Jeanette said...

Gday Dianne.. Love your festive header. And lovely post.
A very Merry Christmas to You and Yours.... Jen

Morning Glory said...

Hi Diane! I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Mountain Mama said...

Hello Diane. I enjoyed reading your meme answers. You and I think a lot alike.
I have been making Christmas cookies the past few days. I hope to make one more batch yet today. Oatmeal Butterscotch.
Then a few more tomorrow maybe.
Actually we are expecting a terrible storm tonight with lots more snow (already have about 8 inches) and high winds up to 90 MPH. I am praying it blows out before it reached us.
If my power goes out there won't be any more baking for a while. I have gas heat so will still keep warm and lots of candles too. I have a big kettle of homemade chicken veggie soup simmering. I don't think I would like it cold!
I hope you get done all the things you need to and have a wonderful Christmas.

Love you dear friend.

Betty said...

Hi Diane,

I enjoyed reading your meme. We haven't decorated for Christmas this year either. Just can't get in the spirit for some unknown reason.

I hope you are having a good weekend.