Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Writing the Cyber Highway!

Mary, at Mary's Writing Nook tagged me for the 12 Christmas Things About Me Hoopla meme. I didn't get to it last weekend like I thought I would so here it is, just in time for Christmas!

And they are:

1. I've never spent Christmas away from my family--not even once. I believe life is family and family is life, especially during the holidays! I'm very blessed to have a supportive, loving family and I wouldn't trade them for the world. And... I'd never make it without my Mother's old-fashioned cornbread dressing :-)

2. When I was a child, All I Want for Christmas Are My Two Front Teeth and O Christmas Tree were my favorite (non-religious) Christmas carols and Away in a Manger and Silent Night were my favorite (religious) Christmas songs. And... I sang them a lot!

3. We always went to church to see the Christmas play and then we visited in the auxiliary building afterward. Lots of homemade goodness filled the counters and tables. I remember the laughter and joy displayed across the faces of the church members. These are wonderful memories!

4. My Mom and Dad not only worked hard decorating our home and lawn for the holidays, but they always helped my Grandma with her decorating, too. From Christmas lights strewn all over the house and fence to the big, beautiful trees complete with icicles, there was so much Christmas spirit lighting up our homes. This is another of the many lessons my parents gave me in "going the extra mile."

5. Grandma lived next door to us, so it was only a hop, skip, and jump to her house. Mom and I would go over and the three of us would bake. I'd always help with smaller jobs. Grandma would always make her banana cream and pecan pies. Mom baked carrot cake and made banana pudding. All these delicious treats were made from scratch, with lots of love. The aroma was divine!

6. Every year instead of ham or turkey like other households were preparing, my Grandma insisted on chicken salad sandwiches instead. Yes, that's right. She'd pull out the ole grinder and Mom would help her fasten it to an old oak chair. She'd ask me to chop the celery and onions while she pulled the chicken from the bone. Lettuce was chopped, too. All this went through the grinder, turned manually. Once everything was ground together Grandma would add salt, pepper, and mayonnaise to taste and then it went on fresh white bread. Delish! Of course, I'm vegetarian now and Grandma passed away a few years ago, so Christmases just aren't quite the same.

7. I've never liked eggnog and I guess I never will. It just looks, sounds, and is so yuck to me!

8. When I was younger, I lived in a neighborhood full of elderly people. So, I was pretty much like their granddaughter. These little ladies would make special Christmas baskets for me with cookies they'd baked themselves, hard, old-fashioned candies, candy canes, and sometimes little breads/muffins. I'll never forget this and I guess it's why as an adult I now find myself baking bread and cookies and delivering Christmas baskets--especially to the elderly, who a lot of times are homebound.

9. Each year my family piles into a vehicle and drives around looking at Christmas lights. It's one of our traditions and my Mother says we're always going to go "light looking" each year. Usually, we sing Christmas carols, nibble on snacks, talk, laugh, and admire all the beautifully decorated homes. It's a great time!

10. Rudolph has always been my favorite Christmas character--other than Santa, of course! I love singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and watching the annual cartoon :-)

11. Christmas is about giving, so my family has always given in one way or another. From donating groceries to needy families to helping someone pay their utility bill, we try to give gifts that are meaningful.

12. The most important thing about Christmas to me is that this is the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, so long ago. I love the thought that my Savior was born and I love taking time to honor that special day.

I hope you've enjoyed these 12 Christmas things about me. My prayer is that you'll have a warm, healthy, happy, and blessed Christmas!

I know you're all busy preparing for your own holiday traditions, so I won't tag anyone. If you want to jump in and participate in this meme, feel free to. Leave the link to yours in the comments if you do. Otherwise, Merry Christmas from Michele, at Writing the Cyber Highway!

Bonus Thoughts:
Remember how simple Christmas used to be? The Sunday School teacher would ask what we'd most like to have and answers varied from: world peace, food for hungry children, or to give clothes and blankets to those without a home and maybe that awesome toy at the top of our wish list. But now that we're grown, we'll first answer: a laptop, iPod, PDA, or some other tech gadget. The hungry, cold, and homeless folks--those trapped in the war zone-- many times fall to the bottoms of our lists, fade into the cobwebs of our mind... Isn't it something how time changes things and makes us forget what's most important?