Welcome back to another Bookish Little Christmas feature post! I found this lovely little survey on Book Nut and decided I’d love to post it myself! If you’d like to as well, that would be great! I’ll post a linky at the bottom of this post so we can jump around and see what everyone else has to say about this special holiday!
When do you begin watching Holiday movies?
I usually start watching them right after Thanksgiving dinner, but this year Hallmark had so many cute ones that I did sneak one in a day or two before Thanksgiving. In my defense, it was Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade… so I’m thinking it’s ok that I fudged a bit.
What’s your favorite Holiday movie? Do you have a favorite scene? A favorite line?
I really, really love The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (with Henry Winkler) and The Holiday. There are too many amazing quotes from The Holiday to pick just one!
What’s your favorite TV special?
I love the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting special. I was in NYC during Christmastime a few years ago, and it was so unbelievably magical ad beautiful that I love seeing the decorations every year on TV. I fast forward through the sucky singers!
Are there any specials from your childhood days that you wish would make a come back?
I loved Bluetoes the Christmas Elf and Christmas Under the Umbrella Tree. Oh, and I really loved Barney Waiting for Santa and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. And A Merry Mirthworm Christmas. I’ve slowly found used VHS tapes or YouTube videos of these specials, and I love re-visiting my childhood.
When do you start listening to Christmas music?
Pretty much after Halloween. I don’t go full-fledged until the week of Thanksgiving, though. I love Christmas music and sometimes feel like I don’t have enough time to listen to everything I love before the season is over!
What are some of your favorite albums?
Neil Diamond’s Christmas Album and Christmas Album Volume II
Let Us Adore Him by The Gibbons Family
The Classic Christmas Album by Kenny G
White Christmas by Bing Crosby
Let it Snow by Michael Buble
I have a million more, but I think I’ll stop with these ones!
Is there a particular album you couldn’t do without because it “makes” it feel like Christmas?
Honestly, both of Neil Diamond’s Christmas albums are classics every year. We to them while I put up the tree and while we open presents.
What’s your favorite Christmas song? Traditional? Nontraditional?
My favorite hymns are The First Noel and Angels We Have Heard on High. My favorite Christmas song is Andy Williams’s It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
If you were to make your own holiday mix what would it have on it?
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow by Dean Martin
White Christmas by Bing Crosby
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra
It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas by Bing Crosby
White Christmas by The Drifters (this is the one from The Santa Claus movie)
Here Come Santa Claus by Gene Autry
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays by Perry Como
Mary Christmas, Darling by Karen Carpenter
We Need a Little Christmas by Percy Faith & His Orchestra
O Come, O Come, Emanuel by Neil Diamond
Little St. Nick by The Beach Boys
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson
Joy to the World by Neil Diamond
Mele Kalikimaka by Big Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
See how I’m basically pretty traditional? There’s a million more songs I’d add, but you get the idea!
Is there a book (or two) that you make a point of reading each year?
I have a whole stack of children’s Christmas books that I love looking at each year. I really love Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedilia by Peggy Parish.
What about recipes? Do you have a special food (or drink) that you make or bake only during the holidays?
Spritz cookies are my specialty! I also make Russian Teacakes, frosted sugar cookies, and my mom makes yummy fudge. I found a few new recipes I’m excited to try as well!
Want to share a favorite recipe or cooking tradition?
I might as well share the Spritz Cookie recipe! This is a really popular recipe. You can find it pretty much anywhere.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon no-color almond extract
Red and green food coloring
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat until combined. Do not chill. Stir in food coloring. Fill cookie press with dough and with desired disks, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle on sprinkles.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling rack. Remove from sheet; cool completely.
What’s your favorite memory of Christmas as a child?
I’m not sure how old I was, but a neighbor was walking around outside jingling sleigh bells, and I about lost it! I bolted up the stairs and flew into bed, worried Santa would leave since I was still awake. There’s also the year I got a red kitchen with a ton of food. I played for hours, and was so excited.
What’s your favorite memory of Christmas as an adult?
Wow, this one is hard. I’m going to count a time from high school since I was really close to being 18, which is technically an adult. lol. Three of my guy friends decided to do 12 days of Christmas for me. But they wrote the weirdest, most random things for each day (seriously, they did not make sense and I had to use a magnifying glass a lot of the time just to read them) and gave me the silliest things. I had no idea who they were, so I would sit by the door and then as soon as they rang the bell I’d jump up and bolt outside. They were too fast, or else they had the best hiding spot ever. It became a game. One night I sent up a hidden camera. It was too dark to tell who it was, but the next night one of them dressed up as Bigfoot (where did they find that costume?) and did a dance for the camera. I figured that deserved treats at that point, so I started leaving them things. They finally revealed themselves on the 12th night, and we had so many laughs! I have never felt so special during Christmastime.
Let’s talk gifts. What’s on your wish list this year?
I really don’t want a lot of things in particular. I asked for the complete series of Everybody Loves Raymond, this cute little black kitten hot chocolate mug, some jewelry, and a couple books. OH. There’s a super soft charcoal cardigan sweater with patch pockets that I adore.
When do you begin shopping? Is it something you love or hate?
Believe it or not, I started in June this year! I LOVE Christmas shopping.
When do you do gifts–Christmas Eve or Christmas?
We do gifts on Christmas morning, and we go around the family from oldest to youngest. Each person opens one present at a time while everyone else watches. Its a rule to guess. We love taking our time and making it last as long as possible. We started at 9:00 AM one day and were still going on strong by 9:30 that night, only breaking for food.
Is Christmas Eve family time? Or rushing around crazy time? Or a bit of both?
We take my dad’s dad out to dinner and then drive around to look at Christmas lights. Then we stuff the stockings and go to sleep. During the day we’re usually wrapping last-minute gifts or watching a Christmas movie.
List your favorite things about Christmas.
Listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, reading Christmas romances, spending time with family, driving through light displays (we have two amazing ones here), going to Temple Square to see the lights, baking Christmas cookies, singing carols, decorating (inside and out), going to Riverwoods to see the lights, Christmas shopping, going to Christmas parties, wearing Christmas clothes and jewelry (I have a lot. I should be an elementary school teacher!), going to church the Sunday before Christmas (it’s always such a powerful experience), and giving gifts to people. I love the meaning of the season. I love how happy I am and how much time I have to spend time with my family.