Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five Crazy Things: Holiday Must-Haves

Barbara: Pick your favourite holiday (especially if you don’t celebrate Christmas), and answer this question: It wouldn’t be the holidays without… ?
1. Turkey.
2. Games.
3. Plates of sweets on every surface.
4. Family.
5. Cuddling around music/fire/blankets/books/movies.

1. Turkey and Colin’s stuffing.
2. Leftovers for Boxing Day sandwiches (I think I love this more than the actual dinner).
3. Family and friends.
4. Reading new books and magazines the week between and listening to new music cuddled up!
5. Festive table settings and memories of Christmases past.


  1. 1. Christmas Eve with my boys
    2. Christmas morning and late breakfast
    3. Turkey and gravy
    4. Fires, books, needlepoint
    5. Family and the Barnetts

  2. Hanukkah with kids and grand kids for all eight nights
    Turkey, stuffing, gravy and canned cranberries with neighbors for before Christmas feast or after.
    Christmas day with my other neighbors.
    Leftovers for a week from friends.

    1. Yep it's the leftovers that really nail it isn't it?

    2. Leftovers are better than the original.

    3. Really??? Alright..Leftovers are on my list too now..!

  3. first of all, I'm sorry for not commenting the past few weeks - life, death and work got in the way a bit. But I have just watched all your great videos in one go and enjoyed them very much. So thank you for those, and I hope you've had a lovely Christmas filled with all those 'must-haves' you just mentioned and much more.

    My Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without:
    - family
    - enjoying at least one meal together with that family
    - watching "A Muppet Christmas Carol"
    - having lots of free time to spend with friends, or do nothing, read, watch DVD's, make resolutions, etc.
    - the Christmas Cold...

  4. Never feel bad when you are too busy to come by Margo. We are happy to hear from you anytime. It sounds like you have had life in the face of late. We hope everything is okay now.

    1. How sweet! Everything okay again, thank you :-)

  5. Now Ganesha festival is my favourite so I'm gonna talk about it.
    1. Delicious food
    2. Wonderful vibey festival songs
    3. Different types of sweets
    4. Meeting/talking the people I love
    5. Having ME time with a book/music and a blanket (We travel during some festivals)
    6. I need to see this one temple in Pune during Ganesh festival. Heres a pic:- (,r:28,s:0,i:248)
    Thats how they decorate the place during Ganesha festival.

    7. Watching the awesome parade
    8. Eating "MODAKS", sweet delicacy
    9. Moving around the town looking at different Ganesha Idols and decorations.
    10. Participating in a Worshiping Chant called an "AARTI", the pic above depicts the set that the keep the Ganesha Idol in. Now that whole street is filled with devotees. Around 3-6 blocks are crowded with the devotees the whole time. An when the aarti starts, everybody over there starts chanting and it feels sooo wonderful and vibey.

    1. Amazing image, Shalaka! Thanks for sharing all of these.

  6. - Latkes

    - Leftovers from Christmas turkey ( had a great sandwich today!)

    - Family

    - Friends

    - Bubbly!

    1. I'm reading all the comments here that included "leftovers" and I really can't believe I forgot that one on my list. Sooo good! Thanks, sydney!

  7. Card games (in particular the french game du pix)
    Soup made with leftovers (split pea and Turkey noodle)
    A candlelight dinner
    Rarely seen relatives/friends
    Lights everywhere/decorations

    1. I do so love the lights everywhere. Bringing that extra sparkle to the every day.

  8. This one is gonna be more than 5, I think!

    1. Perogies
    2. Cabbage rolls
    3. My mom's mushroom sauce
    4. Turkey or ham
    5. My mother-in-law's homemade cranberry sauce
    6. Xaio xjes (I think that's how you spell it - ultimately any leftovers become the next morning's pot stickers).
    7. Family (be it blood, legal or of the heart) gathering for fun and love
    8. I can't believe I forgot the leftse. Silly me. :)

    1. Okay, a few here I don't know, Jo, but they sound intriguing...

    2. Lefse (okay, I spelled it wrong) is a Norwegian flatbread made out of potato, cream or milk, and can be flavoured with different things - I think Hubby's family uses cinnamon, sugar and butter.

      Jiaozi (I spelled it with those x-es...). It's like a perogy, but filled with ground meat (my in-laws use ground pork) and Chinese cabbage like Bok Choy or Seuy Choy (again, forgive spelling mistakes). We make them by hand, boil them, eat as many as we can (after mixing some dipping sauce which contains vinegar, hot sauce and soy sauce - and ketchup for the kids), and as a last course break a couple of dumplings, dump any leftover sauce and adding more sauce, take some of the water they were boiled in and have a course of soup. After eating, we boil the uncooked ones, stick them outside to cool, and fry them up in the morning as pot stickers!

      Dang, now I'm hungry again! :)

  9. 1. Christmas Eve dinner (We always go out to one particular restaurant)

    2. Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast the next morning

    3. Massive amounts of baked goods in our kitchen (Momma loves giving edible gifts)

    4. The look on Momma and Daddy's faces when I've gotten them something they really like (I love giving presents. It's one of my favorite things!)

    5. Leftovers (Cause where would we be without leftovers?)

  10. I chose different holidays for different reasons

    1. Christmas would not be the same without children and the excitement they bring to it
    2. Thanksgiving would not be the same without my mom's creamed onions and stuffing
    3. Both of the above really needs family and friends as well
    4. Could not have Christmas without listening to the wonderful Nat King Cole sing Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire, Pernell Roberts singing Newborn King and reading Twas the Night Before Christmas
    5. And could not have Christmas without watching one or all of the following; Ruldoph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Pinky and the Brain Christmas (that's a newer tradition)

    PS: Can someone explain a little bit about Boxing Day and how it's celebrated?

    1. Boxing day is basically just a day or a few days of big sales, kind of like Black Friday in the US. Our family and many others I know use it instead as a day to relax and do absolutely nothing instead. I think in the Maritime provinces it actually is meant to be a day to relax and retailers aren't even allowed to open on boxing day so they have boxing day/week sales starting the 27th.

    2. Mary, Erin's explanation sums it up. Here in Toronto, many retailers also stayed closed for the extra holiday, but the malls were all open for on Boxing Day. I think the holiday started as a day of sport and celebration and turned into a manic day of sales and shopping. I always stay home!

  11. 1. Ham
    2. Coloring eggs
    3. Pretty pastel colors on Easter baskets
    4. Joyful happy church music
    5. Chocolate eggs

  12. For Thanksgiving the must haves are

    1. Mom's stuffing with the sausage and onions

    2. Mom's creamed onions

    For Christmas the must haves are

    3. Children

    4. Family and friends and lots of love

    5. Listen to Nat King Cole's Chestnuts Roasting on Open Fire and Pernell Roberts singing Newborn King at least once. And watching Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Pinky and Brain's Christmas. One or all of these

    Can someone explain what Boxing day is and how it's celebrated? I've heard it mentioned before but don't know much about the tradition?

    1. Still cheering for creamed onions!

    2. I think your comment double-posted, Mary -- fyi, you have some more replies up above!

    3. Thank you Barb the first time I posted it didn't say redirecting like it usually does so didn't think it went through. I apologize for the mess up

  13. 1. Family
    2. Decorations
    3. Awesome food
    4. Even more awesome leftovers
    5. time off from school and work

    this is for all holidays. I just couldn't pick a favorite ;)

    1. Oh, I think summing them all up is perfect. Especially since these apply to all of them, right?

  14. I've been thinking about this for a few hours. While I have plenty of favorites/preferences, I don't have 5 must haves. You'd think people (be it friends or family) would be a must have, but I learned to persevere through all by myself Christmas Days as a military wife. It's not pleasant, but it's doable. I like having a tree, lights, ornaments, etc., but I could do without and would be OK with that. Point being, I just don't have much in the way of Christmas essentials because I've proven to myself in the past that things I thought were essentials aren't really.

    I could only come up with 2 MUST haves:

    1. The chance to be a magical Christmas elf: I cannot, repeat CANNOT, get through a December without getting up to some mischief. Fa la la la mwa ha ha. This is a must have for me. One year, it was gathering together 9 people to pitch in to provide for a piece of specialized equipment for a friend's severely disabled teenage son. One year, it was my son and I taking gift bags of fun, silly items to the on duty firemen. This year, it was taking Christmas cookies and other treats (w/my best friend) out to a power crew guys working on Christmas evening in the sleet/snow and high winds (Blizzard Warning! In Arkansas! WTF?!?). (BTW, it got freakin COLD here that overnight w/no electricity/heater. Brrrr!) And, I had the chance to help out an elderly couple who ran into some difficulties while traveling and had stopped here at our exit on the interstate. It was a simple fix - very easy burden to cure, but it was nice to see what a relief it was to the elderly woman. (She was a silly, silly Yankee, though! Tried to pay me! WTF?!? That's insulting! What is it with Yankees not understanding doing for folks in a neighborly way no strings attached?!? She said, "There aren't many people who would do like this." I looked at her like she was an alien from Pluto. "Uh, ma'am, yes, there are plenty. That's normal for folks down here." Then, she looked at me like I was an alien from Neptune! We confused each other! lol) I had another lovely Christmas conspiracy on a larger scale lined up for a little girl and her mother with some other folks earlier this month, but the target mommy's partner ruined it because he's a stupid, prideful, asshat man! (Grrr!) But, anyway, the biggest delight for me during the holidays is benevolent conspiracies. I am all about magical elf mischief. I used to could do more, and do it more independently, years ago when married and monied. But, I still pull it off, now, just with added accomplices! :)

    It is waaaay, waaaay too much fun being Christmas sneaky!!! :D *evil genius mad scientist laughter* MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

    continued below...

  15. 2. My other must have is holiday music. It's just not the Christmas season without Christmas music. I will call that an essential. The thought of Nov. and Dec. without certain songs is, quite literally, painful to me. My favorite traditional Christmas carols are Angels We Have Heard On High (Deb - My favorite version is from The Trouble With Angels, of course!), Oh, Holy Night!, and Adeste Fidelis (yes, it's gotta be in Latin - the English just doesn't have the same effect).

    But, even more than traditional Christmas hymns, there are certain bits of music that, when I stumble across them on the radio for the first time each holiday season, I pause with emotion welling up inside me and goosebumps down my arms. It is officially Christmas time when I hear these songs. I love, love, love them. Enough that I often deliberately sneak listens to them year round! But, there's something superspecial about them spontaneously showing up on the radio. It's the arrival of a moment.

    1. I will dance around to this one in the living room year round! Love this group! Love this song! For DECADES!

    2. Oh, my heavens, YES.
    The defining Christmas tune of my tween and teen years.

    3. Another one I listen to year round because it's just a great bit of music.
    I've caught myself singing this to myself in July before! lol

    4. And, the most hauntingly beautiful bit of Christmas to come out of the 1980's. I love this so very, very much. It stills me. It's as though this piece of music were holy ground.

    p.s. I also definitely want to give a shout out for the Maccabeats and their super awesome Hanukkah tunes. <3 <3 <3

  16. I just thought of something else. While I won't call it an MUST HAVE, I will say that it is a special enough, meaningful enough, important enough, strong enough preference that I'll go ahead and mark it down.

    I have certain ornaments that make my chest squeeze every year when I unpack them. Tears happen. There are a very few ornaments that have hung on my tree every single year of my life: my jingle bell angel with my name engraved on it from my first Christmas, the 2 beaded elves, 3 antique glass ornaments from my grandmother, a wooden Raggedy Anne, and a ceramic angel. There are only 4 remaining plastic snowflakes from a larger set my aunt and uncle gave my parents for their first married Christmas. And, there's an angel made out of a seashell and 2 folded fabric green angels and a felt cylinder soldier boy. These are from the Pensacola years. There's a spray painted silver pine cone from my kindergarten year Sunday School class at church when we lived in Panama City. Also, I have 2 sand dollars painted with Christmas motifs, one I made in Brownies (Girl Scouts) and one at school from Christmas 1979. (I was 6 years old, 2nd grade).

    I always get ferklempt when I unwrap these ornaments. They make me want to go home to Florida so badly. I miss the ocean.

    1. Brilliant, brilliant list, Rigel! Made me verklempt too! So impressive how you've taken ownership of the elements you can control and always gift yourself (magic elf, indeed :) ) xo

  17. Just got back to our place after driving from our hometown. Bit sleepy

    1. Coffee in the morning.
    2. Kwanzaa colors. Each family member gets a color. When each color is drawn the person picks a present for themselves or someone else. Makes the present opening time go by slower.
    3. Christmas pickle. Just ask me about this one :]
    4. The movie A Christmas Story. Sis and I watch every year.
    5. My family NEVER travels anywhere, but we are always welcome to guests :]

    1. A Christmas Story! That's one of our must-haves too. The Kwanzaa ritual sounds lovely. Okay, Christmas pickle. Please explain.

  18. This is really tough one. I asked my sister and she was not able to answer either. We do enjoy the traditional food for each celebration through out the year. But we don't mind skipping them, if we spend the holiday by ourselves. I honestly can't think of one thing that would be a must for any celebration.

    1. The best part of that is that you're never disappointed if an element is "missing", right?

  19. p.s. I'm supposed to go get my years-in-the-planning first tattoo tomorrow night. (It's my birthday weekend. I turn not-young-anymore on Monday. Dammit.) I'm nervous! Way lots!

    But, I don't know if it's gonna happen or the appointment have to be rescheduled for Saturday. Ice pellets tomorrow and more ice and snow tomorrow night are in the forecast. I don't know if the big bridge will be safely passable. (The studio is over in Tennessee. I cross the river in Missouri.) I'd be fine driving over, but I have to worry about the drive back late. (I'm in an older car. No anti-lock brakes.)

    I'm all fluttery guts and weirded out that the time is finally here and the whole 40th birthday tattoo thing is becoming a reality instead of just an act of fantastical daydreaming. Yikes! What was I thinking?!?!?

    I'm fighting with all my might not to chicken out, but the temptation is there. It's not the pain that worries me. (Please. After child birth? So not even.) It's the doing something so permanent that is so NEW to me. So, very, very new. New identity.

    Scared! But, excited! But, freaked out! But, determined!

    OK, might as well admit it. Complete basket case!

    Barbara! Deb! Colin! Come hold my hand! Please!

    1. If you've got the right design in mind, and are SURE it's the one you wants, symbolizes what you want, represents what you want, I believe it's the right permanent decision. *disguises self as Barb--holds hand*

      My daughter turns 18 tomorrow, so if it helps, I'm a nervous mom. I don't know why. She's become a reasonable, common-sense, responsible young adult with strong ideas of who she is and what she wants. What she wants is to go out with her boyfriend, who she's been "with" for almost a year now.

      I'm proud of her, but still nervous. More decisions will be made by her. (I hope the personal safety are at least good ones.)

    2. Oh, wow. Thanks for these, you two. Rigel, I have it marked on my calendar that you turn 40 on Mon -- but we'll be out of town. So in case I get sidetracked, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You have so so so much to celebrate. I feel like we've watched a major metamorphosis over the last couple of years and I think a tattoo to honour that is essential (aka, holding your hand right now!!). Dawn, what a lovely reflection of your daughter's development. Happy birthday to her too!

  20. Hi everyone, just had a chance to read the rest of these this morning. Love them all, Easter included! Yeah Nat King Cole is a must listen and we just watched A Christmas Story again. Elf is a recent holiday have but our all time not to be missed is the black and white version of Allistar Sim's A Christmas Carol. That, Charlie Brown and the Grinch are must see's for us! Rigel my goodness, it is upon you. Go for it girl. Grab 40 by the balls!!!!!!!!!!


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