Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coffee Chats: Merry Christmas!

Hey folks, welcome to our chat! Come on in a sit a spell. We're only chatting once this month because of the ca-raziness of the Christmas season, but we hope you'll join us in reminiscing about our childhood Christmases and discussing plans for this year. Join us in the comments section, and we hope you'll stop in again real soon!

Nicole : I can not believe Christmas is here already.

Holly: I can, but I can't at the same time. Yes, the year is flying, but I love October-December so much that it's what I look forward to every year.

Nicole: Yes, I agree that it is the best time of the year!

Holly: Are you ready for the big day(s)?

Nicole: Of course not.

Holly: Haha!

Nicole: I still have some presents to finish up, and I'm scurrying to get everything ready for our Christmas program on the 23rd. I just have to finalize a few costumes and props, and (hopefully) that will be ready to go. How about you?

Holly: Whew, you're busy! Surprisingly, I am ready for Christmas! Presents are all bought and pretty much wrapped and mailed. I just need to make some cards and tags. Our Christmas cantata is over, road trip to Chicago planned, and all we need to do is pack and give our dog a bath and trim. Which, I will gladly pay anyone to do for me...

Nicole: Sounds like a blast. ;)

Holly: The only place I'm not ready for Christmas is work. Where I am so far behind that it makes my head hurt to think about it. :)

Nicole: Ouch, not cool. Are you doing any baking for the holidays?

Holly: Kinda. We have a young married's class Christmas party this weekend, and I'm making some cute appetizers and yummy peppermint chocolate shortbread for that. Other than that, I don't have any baking to do. And I must say, I'm enjoying it :)

Nicole: Peppermint.Chocolate.Shortbread. Oh my stars.

Holly: Yeah...can't remember where I found it, but I'll have to pin them. How did your cookies turn out the other day?

Nicole: They came out really nice, we had tons and tons! Sprinkles were EVERYWHERE!

Holly: How fun!

Nicole: Yes, it was fun, especially with 5 kids to help...we just won't say how many times fingers were licked in the process!

Holly: Ummm....good thing I'm not eating any of those cookies! That brings back memories of making sugar cookies with my mom and sister though.

Nicole: Yes, I always did it growing up, too.

Holly: It's been several years since I've made any, unfortunately.

Nicole: Sugar cookies are pretty much my *favorite*...but maybe that is because we mostly only have them for this one season? I'm not sure!

Holly: They are delicious. Especially with yummy, colorful icing. Or is it frosting? I can't keep that straight.

Nicole: Frosting on mine. Icing would be the thinner stuff. (In my opinion)

Holly: Gotcha. Are you done with baking, or are you just getting started?

Nicole: Pretty much done, I think. I made the things for the Ladies Meeting and the cookies yesterday, my mom is finishing up some sweet breads today. I don't think I will have too much more to do in the cooking department.

Holly: So, do you have a big Christmas Eve or Christmas meal?

Nicole: We do have a big Christmas meal with my grandparents (which will actually be on Christmas Day for a change...imagine that) and then with the other side of the family we actually have a big breakfast meal, at noon. We're weird like that.

Holly: Breakfast is definitely good anytime of the day!

Nicole: Yes, and we have a spread, let me tell you. It is so yummy. What will you be doing this year for a Christmas meal?

Holly: I have no idea. This is my first full Christmas day not in Ohio with my family since I was 4 or 5. Sob. My family always had our big Christmas meal on Christmas Eve because we didn't want to do dishes on Christmas Day. Go figure. We always had finger food and just hung out munching on Christmas Day. I love it. But...this is the first year to spend the holiday with the in-laws, so I really don't know what to expect.

Nicole: Sounds exciting! "Firsts" can be lots of fun. Have you and Andrew made any of your own Christmas traditions yet?

Holly: Kind of. In college we started the tradition of going to McAdenville, NC (aka: Christmastown, USA) to view the absolutely gorgeous lights. It's even better this year since we only live 15 minutes away now.

Nicole: Oooh, I've been there a couple times too! I'd forgotten about that place.

Holly: Something I started this year and we're going to do as a family next year, is the observation of Advent. I use Ann Voskamp's Advent devotional, and it has been so amazing to go through this year. It really sets my mind on the true Reason for Christmas. I'm kind of sad our denomination doesn't observe it, but as a family we always will. We plan to stay home next year for Christmas, so I'm sure we'll get more traditions then.

Nicole: That is a great idea! I know a lot of people, regardless of religion, observe some type of Advent to get their minds focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

My family has a gazillion traditions (no joke...ok, practically) but the main one that stays the same is family. Some of my extended family I only see at Christmas, and it is an extra special time getting caught up with each one in person and not over Facebook. Nothing compares to the in-person chats.

Holly: That is the neatest thing about your family. Most families aren't that close, and that is so special.

Nicole: It sure is! My Aunt is like a hostessing queen and always has the house decorated nice and everything all festive.

Holly: I love, love, love decorating for Christmas!

Nicole: Have you had fun decorating your new house this year?

Holly: Oh yes!! I did a post about that on Tuesday. It's been so much fun since, and I know this is weird, but the entire decorating scheme of the living room is done to make Christmas look amazing. My Christmas decor colors are red, white, silver, and a little green. So the white couch and gray walls really make it look nice. I had a blast!

Nicole: I love, love red and white decor. Love it. Did I mention I love it?

Holly: You may have.

Nicole: I absolutely botched any of my own Christmas decorating this year (as in, all my decorations are still in bins...sad, but I can barely see my carpet yet anyway, so I didn't bother) but I had fun with the decorating at the church. It is so much fun to take an idea and see it all pull together!

Holly: I saw that, it looks great!

Nicole: Do you purchase any decor items after Christmas, when stuff goes on sale?

Holly: I did last year. I got 60 silver and red glass ball ornaments at Target the day after Christmas for $6 or $7. Score. I really don't need any Christmas decor right now though, so I didn't buy any this year and probably won't even get any after Christmas either. You?

Nicole: No, not usually. Most of my decor just accumulates from who knows where. And most of the stuff at the church becomes a, "stink, I ran out of lights" trip to the store. I am usually more interested in buying the discounted Christmas chocolate than anything. ;)

Holly: Haha! Good plan!! Clothing bargains are my favorite the day after Christmas. That's another my family's traditions: shopping :)

Nicole: Oh yeah? Sounds fun!

Holly: It is! It's funny, 'cause some families don't think they have a ton of traditions, like ours, but if you search hard enough, you can find them!

Nicole: Yes, I think you would notice the traditions even more if some dared to suggest not doing them...I know for us, its cries of, "But we ALWAYS do that!"

Holly: So true.

We can't close the chat without mentioning some of our favorite Christmas songs: secular and sacred.
Nicole Oh yes...Rocking around the Christmas tree!

...just kidding, just kidding!!

Holly: You slay me.

Nicole: No seriously, I have to say "O Holy Night" is one of my top 5.

Holly: Me too!! I get all teary-eyed every time I hear it! "Silent Night" too. There's just something about it.

Nicole: As for non-sacred, I have always liked "Let it Snow, let it snow, let it snow" for some weird reason....because I don't really want it to snow, I just like the song.

Holly: I like "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" because I was actually married by a "Parson Brown". No kidding. Except we call him Pastor Brown, but same difference. It makes me giggle. And this is a new one, but I cry every. single. time. I hear "Christmas Shoes." Apparently I cry at a lot of Christmas songs....

Nicole: Yes, yes, love the christmas shoes song! (I can hear Ben mocking us now...oh well)

Growing up we always listened to the "all Christmas music station" for the whole month of December ("Star, one-oh-one!" was the name of the station...I can still hear it now). There was this sweet song called "The Maine Christmas Carol" about the spirit of Maine at Christmas sweet and "homey" feeling!

Holly: Awww... I love songs like that! "Christmas in Killarny," I think Bing Crosby sings it, is like that too. I love it. Back home Sunny 95 is our all Christmas station. Here it's 102.5, but it doesn't have the same ring to it. :) My mom loved a Christmas tape she had by the Statler Brothers, it was full of those old-timey, feel good Christmas songs, and we found the CD a few years back. Now Andrew and I love to listen to it.

Nicole: My mom is addicted to Karen Carpenter...harder to find these days, but totally a tradition for us!

Holly: Oh yes, they are Christmas classics! And who doesn't like Linus and Lucy, the famous piano song from the beloved Charlie Brown Christmas?

Nicole: Oh yes, they are with Rudolph and Frosty in a class all their own!

Holly: Awww, I'm homesick for childhood now!

Nicole: You can watch them as an adult. Its ok at Christmas. :)

Holly: I know, and I do. I had to introduce Charlie Brown Christmas to my husband. Still have to get him to watch Frosty and Rudolph too since he's never seen those. So it's fun to see him watch them for the first time.

Nicole: WHAT!!??!! Your poor, deprived husband.

Holly: I know, I know.

Nicole: I'm surprised he survived childhood without them!

Holly: We're in therapy now for that. Just kidding!!
Oh, and true story: when I worked retail, the store I worked in had TVs everywhere that usually played sports stuff. The night that Charlie Brown Christmas was on, I convinced my manager to let us turn it on all the TVs. It was great. We had customers standing around watching!

Nicole: Oh how fun! I just love that at Christmas, anyone can get away with stuff like that.

Holly: Yes, it's fantastic, and most everyone is in a great mood!

Well folks, we want to wish you all a very Merry CHRISTmas, and we'd love to hear all about your Christmas traditions, decorating, baking, and all other things holiday related! Share with us in the comments section!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate you taking the time to comment! Some comments may need to be moderated, so don't be alarmed if your comment doesn't pop up right away. I can't wait to hear from you!