Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Fun

I picked this up from a fun new missionary friend of mine by the name of Cheryl Cash. She is a missionary in Uganda and had these Qs and As on her blog
recently…thought I would participate as well.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? For me (Kelly) …steaming hot chocolate with whipped cream on top…however, in Benin during the hottest season of the year, this just does not have the same appeal…that is a treat for the good ‘ol USA!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Sets them under the tree. It’s what he does!! I have seen it in the movies and that is what he does at our house!!

3. Colored lights or white? I love them all! At the moment we have white lights on the tree and around our windows and colored lights in the bushes!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes we do!! We have always hung the mistletoe just over the ledge that leads into our bedroom! Mommy and Daddy and all the kids know what to do if you are caught in this fun spot!!

5. When do you decorate for Christmas? We decorate EARLY!!! This is our favorite time of the year. Tori and Randy both have birthdays the first week in November. Tori is the 5th and Randy is the 8th…we pull it all out and decorate the weekend just after their birthdays! We started doing this when we first moved to Benin because there were no signs of Christmas anywhere and we needed some help getting into the spirit and we wanted our kids to really enjoy the season!!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? Broccoli and cheese casserole, cream corn casserole and Honey baked ham, preferably sitting right beside each other on my plate!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Believing in Santa….I loved the excitement and anticipation of his coming! My parents played it up so big and I believed them completely. I enjoyed the build up of Christmas Eve…out to dinner, rushing home watching the sky as my Dad pointed out where he thought he was seeing Santa, watching the news at night hearing the Santa report, setting out the cookies and milk, reading Twas the Night…, and crawling into bed with strict instructions not to get out of bed without calling my mom first, hearing my Dad play out a conversation with Santa after he had gone outside and somehow made noises on the roof that in my child’s mind were the prancing and pawing of each little hoof… and literally dreaming about Santa and what he might bring all night. Christmas morning was such a moment of wonder to walk into that room with my mom and dad and see what Santa had brought for us all!

8. When and how, did you learn the truth about Santa? One Easter morning my parents and sister and I were on a camping trip. I woke up early and looked out the window and saw my parents hiding Easter eggs….What? They were the Easter Bunny? Does that mean they are also Santa and the tooth fairy? Did not take me long to put it all together and ask my mom a few days later. She replied with, “What do you think?” I was a smart kid and I was disappointed. I soon got in on the fun of prolonging the belief so that my 3 younger siblings would keep up the fun of believing for as long as possible!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No! Let’s save it all for Christmas morning!!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With all kinds of ornaments that represent all the years and seasons of our lives…I especially love looking at the ornaments with pictures of our kids' first Christmases and of Randy and me at our first Christmas!

11. Snow. Love it or hate it? Love Love Love it!!! I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas!

12. Can you ice skate? Yes…nothing to brag about but I can keep myself standing most of the time! I especially love ice skating outdoors. One time I had the opportunity to ice skate on Lake Louise in Banff, Canada!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A huge train set that I got from Santa, it was on wheels and slid under my double bed …not sure what age that I was but I remember getting up in the middle of the night and playing for hours with it with my Dad….very special memory…especially years later as I realized all the work he put into building it for me.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Remembering Jesus birth and thinking about the love, joy, purpose and security that he gives to our lives, Laughter, making fun memories with our kids and being with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? A small piece of everything on the desert table

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Decorating the tree with the kids and watching the kids enjoy the Christmas music

17. What tops your tree? An angel….yesterday Timothy and I were sitting on my bed looking at the tree and talking about how pretty it is. He said, “Mommy, if we sit here long enough do you think that angel will start talking to us?” I said, “No, tree angels don’t really do that” He said, “that is what the Daddy says in the Alabaster book.” This is a book written by Max Lucado that tells the story of an angel at the top of the Christmas tree that tells the story of Jesus birth to a sweet little boy who watches the tree every night from his bed. Yikes! Lord Help my unbelief!

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I love giving gifts! I love shopping for gifts and anticipating the thrills of the ones receiving the gifts. I LOVE receiving gifts from my husband who always puts so much thought into his gifts. He remembers things about what I like and things that I have mentioned that I want, even after I have already completely forgotten them myself!

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? We love them all. Don’t know how to pick a favorite! We love the hymns and the carols…all the old classics and of course anything sung by Amy Grant!

20. Candy canes. Yuck or yum? Yum! Bring 'em on!


Donny said...

1. Hot Chocolate for sure. Must have a candy cane or a peppermint dropped in for added bit of fun (closest thing I'll get to spiking any drink!!)
2. He wraps them in my house. Just like the Polar Express Movie. All the packages have to be wrapped in nice neat square boxes so they fit good in his sack!!
3. White - I love the classy look and feel to them!
4. We have never done that but I wish we would! Maybe next year. Our kids would really enjoy that and... SO WOULD I (hee hee)!!
5. Right after Thanksgiving. If we were in town, I'd start Thanksgiving afternoon during the Cowboy game like we did growing up. Christmas only comes one time a year so you have to enjoy it for as long as you can.
6. This cheesy chicken enchilada soup that my wife makes!! Yummmmmmy!!! With some crumbled up tortilla chips - you can't beat it.
7. Santa made a special early visit to our house one time and delivered some early presents. It was so fun having him in my living room.
8. Oddly - I don't remember. I don't have a distinct memory but at least now I now the truth that he really doesn't come down the chimney with all those presents at once. You are talking about how Donner and Blitzen lower them down one by one... right?? What other "truth" are you referring to!!
9. As much as possible, hold them til Christmas morning. Obviously family obligations might require you to open up some sooner but I love saving as many as I can for Christmas morning.
10. Thankfully my wife does that. I would get too frustrated. She always makes our tree look so good. We still do a LIVE tree (that should have been one of the question) and I love it. But I love decorating the outside of our house - lining the room, the yard and covering the bushes with lights and a fun sign out front.
11. Love me some snow!!
12. Heavens no - that would not be a pretty sight! I skate by on alot of things but not on ice!!
13. A Big Wheel !! It was soooo cool!!
14. Watching my kids get into the Christmas spirit. While I'm typing this, my 5 year just came to tell me that he needed to change pants. When I wondered if he had accidentally let his bladder get the best of him, he said no he needed to change out of his sweatpants to jeans because "Santa always wears a belt"!! Love it !! It's always the balance of trying to teach them about the birth of Jesus and having fun with all of the other Santa-related stuff. Both are so cool!!
15. Ok, this is going to sound bad but anytime I can make my carrot cake during the holidays, I'm happy. It was my Aunt's recipe that I learned to make many years ago and I love it.
16. Love the Christmas music, driving around and looking at Christmas lights and our Vaughn Family Christmas traditions! And I love being in Colorado at Christmas when that works out with my in-laws and that side of the family.
17. An angel of course
18. I really enjoy the shopping and giving too. So much fun to see if you can get just the right gift.
19. That's a tough one. There are so many. But I must say that if Michael Crawford's version of O Holy Night is played, I'll stop what I'm doing and just enjoy the moment.
20. Candy Canes - who DOESN'T like them! What a treat. Especially in hot chocolate like I mentioned before.

Thanks - this was fun!!

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

Kelly had her turn, here's MINE:

1. I'll branch out and say EGG NOG for sure!! It's THE seasonal drink! Making it from scratch is a challenge but fun (what we have to do over here in Africa....but more fun to buy it in the store).

2. No, DV, Santa doesn't wrap packages! Come on! UNWRAPPED!

3. All lights, but I like the white on the outside trees and bushes and on the tree...then solid color (red) lining the trim of the house. Not too much yard art. I'm curious of what your vision is DV for your yard art? Do I get to see a picture of the house this year, Ned?

4. Hanging mistletoe is a must and something Kelly and I really enjoy!!

5. I love decorating as soon as we can in November! But no TREE until after Thanksgiving. AND YES, I prefer a LIVE tree (although I've enjoyed our artificial one we've had over the years here in Benin).

6. Brocc/Cheese casserole greenbeen/cheese.

7. Getting Dallas Cowboy "uniforms" for Christmas!!! I also remember getting Dallas Cowboy playoff tickets from our uncle Tim...don't remember the year or even if they won...just remember Texas Stadium being cold! Maybe they played the Eagles.

8. I don't remember. I really don't. Seems like something I would remember.

9. Maybe extended family gifts can be opened, but anything within the immediately family AND Santa is on Christmas Day!

10. White lights and lots of fun ornaments, lots of them from places we have visited or lived.

11. LOVE THE SNOW!! Never had it on Christmas, except for one year (maybe '76?!!)

12. Ice skate? Are you kidding?! NO WAY. I'm a clumsy nightmare for all those sweet up-and-coming figure skaters who are trying their best to practice for the Olympics! SMASH! OOPPS 'XCUSE ME! Or I spoil the moment for all those romantics out there trying to enjoy a Christmas moment on ice. WATCH OUT! INCOMING!! That's why I never like to go ice skating. Whew...thanks for letting me share.

13. I mentioned the Cowboy jersey earlier...nowadays it is the gift I get from Kelly and the kids. Each year, they take a percentage of the money we spend on each other and make a donation to some charity or organization that I would think was cool...they make it in my name and wrap it up for me as one of my gifts. I love to see what they to see their to think of the tradition of this gift as the kids get older and have more of a say in the charity.

15. Celebrating God's wonderful love for us...sending us Jesus! He is the perfect GIFT! I love having fun with all the Santa, snowmen, reindeer stuff...but it's ALL about Christ! I love the Christmas carols that talk about Christ. (I do love the "other" carols as the barking dogs on Jingle Bells!)

16. I love making Christmas foods with the kids...we do Christmas pancakes...shaping our pancakes into snowmen, reindeer, trees, etc. I love making a 3-D snow man with cupcakes! OK, it is all about JESUS,'s hard to make pancakes in the shapes of shepherds and manger scenese...just not the same.

I love the smells of pumpkin bread, egg nog, all that cinnamon. OK, I'm sounding like FOOD is the #1 thing at Christmas...yikes! It is still all about Jesus! I promise!!

17. We had a star growing up. Now it is an angel. I love both.

18. LOVE giving. Love picking out the perfect gift and being creative. We do alot online nowadays living over here in Africa...but I love the browsing through all the shops...I love the crowds! If I was there, I'd normally be among the 7am crowd the day after Thanksgiving. And I would likely be at Target on Christmas Eve just soaking it all in and looking for last minute stocking stuffers (sometimes it is Walgreens or CVS for that).


20. I'm going to go against the grain here and say EEEECCCKKKK to the sticky messy candy cane thing. I like the flavor...but the mess is never really worth it. Bah Hum Bug on the sticky sticks. In all our country's technology and creativity, why can't someone create a non-stick candy cane. HA! Maybe in those melt-away strips like they use for breath fresheners...!