Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Christmas Tag

I saw this tag on Meredith's blog (On Stories and Words) and have considered myself tagged. 


... answer the questions (the rest just won't apply, so i shall bypass them)

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What is your favorite Christmas treat?
Oh, this will be a hard tag! I guess I would have to go with the German butter cookies we always bake. But Marzipan potatoes and kringles are also so good! And the chocolate... 

Are there any favorite traditions your family has to celebrate Christmas?
This is a "Duh!" kind of question, because tradition and Christmas are basically the same word. But yes we do, (Lots!) St. Nicholas day is probably my favorite. It's on December 6th, the night before we clean our boots and set them by the fireplace, and in the morning they are filled with candy, chocolate and often a small present. I guess it's our substitute for not hanging out stockings.

How do you normally celebrate Christmas?
Well... we open all our presents on Christmas Eve! (Your mind just blew didn't it?) Well to us German folks the "Weihnachtsman" comes early. I have never opened my presents on Christmas day. Anyways, we go to church for the Christmas Eve service, then when we get home all the presents are laid out under the tree and our parents try to get us to eat some dinner (usually a very German Christmas Eve meal of potato salad, sausage and another food item) Then we put on the fireplace (because it's cozy) and we lay out some Marzipan, Kringles and cookies and then we open our presents. I like to go one at a time, so I can see what everyone got (and most enjoyingly, to see their faces lighting up!) But my siblings usually hold out for about two presents before "digging" in. We stay up till midnight (or longer) and then tear ourselves away to go to bed.  

Do you enjoy getting presents for your family and friends? Do buy them or go the homemade route?
Giving presents is the best! (Don't get me wrong, receiving is good) but for me, I like making people happy. And I usually do a bit of both, I buy some gifts and make others. Homemade gifts are a great way to go because 1) I enjoy making them and 2) I'm usually broke, or have "limited funds"

Is it cold where you live? Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Well I live in Canada so is it cold?... nope. We are looking at record-breaking temperatures this year, so a white Christmas has a 0.01% chance of happening this year. We had 15 degrees today... Yes I have had lot's of white Christmases, not always and often snow was sparse (but present nonetheless!) 

I finally get out of school and the temperatures go up! (I do so love sledding!) Mark my words, the day I have to walk to school we'll probably be looking at a blizzard...

What's on your Christmas list this year?
A piano

And my Mom insisted on a few other things being on the list so
-Stamp albums
-Dear America Diaries

What's your favorite Christmas song?
Funny. Real funny.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?
One year tried making a sled for my siblings. It didn't go too well, but then my Dad helped me put one together (a fond memory). It's a good sled too, heavy wood, supported 5 inches above the ground on a pair of skis. It's fast and smooth, and cuts through fresh snowfall faster than any storebought contraption,

What does your Christmas tree look like?
Lights in every colour, kind of drooping at the bottom where my 9 month old brother has been trying to reach the ornaments. And decorated with everything and anything, ranging from homemade to expensive balls and glass.

What are you reading this December? Anything festive?
Well I've been reading the Hunger Games, and am waiting to borrow Mockingjay when my friend returns from visiting family (*clears throat* ...Abby...)

Nothing festive, I prefer christmas movies to Christmas books, but if you know of a good Christmas-time book be sure to let me know!

Are you an organized little elf, or are you still finishing up on Christmas Eve?
Well as you know, in my family you have to be ready before Christmas Eve. Most years my presents are wrapped in November, but this year I'm still rushing to get everything done. (And you see, in recent years my family has taken to adding another sibling every few years so it gets more difficult to check people off the list after a while)

How early do you get into the Christmas Spirit?
Differs every year. I was pretty swamped with.. life, this year so it probably didn't start to feel like Christmas until the second advent at the most.

Do you make any Christmas crafts? Decorations? send physical Christmas cards?
Well I make christmas gifts, sometimes I'll make some decorations. I don't send any cards, if I find the time I make some and give them to family and friends.

What's the menu for Christmas day?
Turkey! I real North American Christmas meal, otherwise it would have been a German meal of meat of some sort (naturally:) probably potato salad and red cabbage, maybe carrots and peas.

What makes it FEEL like Christmas for you?
 Decorating the house, baking the first batch of Butter cookies, and Christmas music playing on the radio.

Do you have any relatives coming for Christmas?
Not this year, they live an ocean away.

What famous Christmas character do you most identify with? (Scrooge, Grinch, elf, Santa, etc.)
Gosh I don't know... probably Santa, as I said giving gifts is the best! (Not  trying to sound like
pious nun, I mean it:)

If you were to start a new tradition what would it be?
Hmmm, I think at some point I will "adopt" new traditions and keep some of the ones I cherish now. Like when I get married, most likely I'll marry a Canadian (or American, probably not a German) so there would be new traditions to adopt (Like hanging up stockings), but some I will keep and pass on to my children (Like St. Nicholas day) so it be more of a compromise thing.

What Christmas movies do you like to watch this time of year? Or Which one is your favorite?
Home Alone 1 and 2. Best Christmas comedies ever.

What is your favorite Christmasy book, or book with a Christmasy theme?
I like a short version we have "Little Women: Christmas"

So I will leave this tag mostly open but I will tag one person: Abby at Castles in the air. (Because I want to see your answers, and I know you are likely to find the time to do a tag)

Frohe Weihnachten! 

My lists of random Christmas related things

Hello blogger world! Yes, yes I know...

I moved to space and connection has been slow, you know how it is!

But seriously, between school, strep throat and Christmas it's been hard to find time for blogging (and I may have also been putting it off and procrastinating doing things I couldn't during a normal school week, mainly nothing.)

But my conscience has been nagging so you can thank my little Jiminy Cricket for this post. I thought I'd start with something fun and easy, so I have some Christmas themed lists about movies, music and all that, you may find it interesting and/or it might give you some ideas on what to watch or check out (I know i'm always down for a new Christmas movie:)

Short Christmas movie reviews:
Home Alone 1
Home alone is a seriously funny Christmas comedy about a boy left home alone when his family accidentally leave for vacation without him. Kevin soon discovers that he can do whatever he wants (so of course he does). But things get serious when a pair of bandits decide to break into his house, Kevin takes it upon himself to defend his house (this is where it gets good) he sets traps, and watching the bandits fall into them is as painful as it is fun. The movie also has its warm moments as Kevin makes an unexpected friend and his Mother tries frantically to return to him.

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Home Alone 2
Kevin is lost again, this time in the big Apple! In Kevin-style he makes the best of the situation and uses his Dad's credit card to check into the best Hotel in the City, watching him fool the staff is the most hilarious thing you'll ever watch! Of course the bandits come back into play, they have escaped prison and have set their sights on robbing a toy store. The money from the store is pledged to go towards the Children's Hospital so Kevin knows he has to intervene, with a trap-filled house causing twice the pain it did in the last movie. Kevin makes another unexpected friend and is reunited with his family at the end of the movie. You HAVE to watch Home Alone, go, do it!

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How the Grinch stole Christmas (Live action)
I haven't seen the animated (original) Grinch, but this one starring Jim Carrey is a must see! Hilarious, witty and yet dear to one's heart (Well it is starring Jim carrey). I can't say too much with dishin out spoilers but it's a great Christmas movie.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
This movie is one of the few that my family watches year after year. It's about a family enjoying just another Christmas, except things seem to go wrong at every turn. Between driving your neighbors insane, causing a blackout, electrocuting the cat, and having your brothers family pop in with the intention of staying until spring, what else could possibly go wrong? Well your brother kidnapping you boss might pose a slight problem as well... but in the end its a Merry Christmas all around! This is one comedy-filled movie to put on your "To-watch" list this christmas.

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A Christmas Carol (Disney)
Starring Jim carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, this movie sticks true to the book, just as Charles Dickens had written it, (and it's not really something for little kids) watch out for the doorknob scene in this one! (Made me jump two feet into the air). The movie is easier to understand if you have read the original novel, but still a great movie (and movies based on books that are true to the original story are hard to find!) Definitely a must-see!

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The Polar Express
The Polar express is based on a book by that same title and as I recall is about a train that picks up children that don't believe in santa and brings them up to the North Pole so that they may believe he exists. It focuses mainly on one boy who has an adventure on his way up the pole. It is really a kids movie, and I haven't seen it in years but it seemed a movie worth watching.

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Mickey's Christmas Carol
You're never too old for Disney  (that's one of my mottos so don't argue). This was my first "A Christmas Carol" version, and is of course more kid-friendly than the last. My first sentence basically sums this one up.

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Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
There are several versions of this classic tale, and I've watched most of them, every year since I can remember. So find a version near you! Mostly geared towards kids, but we kids-at-heart-teenagers (or adults) can still watch, I'd say for me it's more of a tradition and nostalgia thing so you might not enjoy it very much, but a shout out to you if you do!

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Jingle all the way
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (you know, the guy with the heavy german accent). He plays a father who is going to stop at nothing to find the one and only toy his son wants this Christmas. The problem? Christmas is almost here and everybody's kid wants the hottest toy of the year, finding one will mean, allies, double crossing and exposing an underground community of fake santas. This movie has it's cheesy points but also endearing and comedic moments, up to you I'd say 50-50.

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Christmas with the Kranks
I found christmas with the Kranks a mostly nah... maybe kind of movie. It might generate some laughs but I found some parts rather boring, silly or over-the-top. But it also had some endearing and funny moments. It's a couple that decide to  skip out on Christmas for that year, but the neighbors are protesting... (that part I didn't get, it's not really their business, is it?)

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The Muppet Christmas Carol
Yet another Christmas Carol version, it is a nice one (even funny) It's a very family-type movie for all ages, you already know the plot so I will just say, it's one to put on your list!

Ok enough about movies, let's move on to... music! I am going to compile a list of christmas songs that I love, and one of songs that I hate (or dislike... a lot) for different reasons that are all my own, so I hope your favorite Christmas song does not end up on my "Hate" list, if so I do apologize. And my "Love" list is longer, because, there is no other way.

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My Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs
It came upon a midnight clear
So beautiful...
O Holy Night
Again, beautiful.
The Christmas song (a.k.a Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)
Sums up all the nostalgia so perfectly.
All I want for Christmas is you
Might seem odd, but I do love this catchy get-up-and-sing song
Little Drummer Boy
I like the German version best, but I think it's a nice song
I want a hippopotamus for christmas
A lot of people find this song annoying, I like it (it's cute) and I want a piano for Christmas this year so...
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Love this song on the piano!
Feliz Navidad
Again a lot of people find it annoying, I love it. I song along to it. And I don't care what anybody says about that.
Mary did you know?
Silver bells
Hark! The herald angels sing
Love this song!
Go tell it on the mountain
Catchy and joyous!
I'll be home for christmas
Not quite sad, but very hopeful. I always imagine a WWI  soldier singing this
Blue Christmas
Somewhat sad, but I like it. Besides, Elvis. (what can I say?)
Rockin around the christmas tree
So old fashioned, I just imagine a cozy 50s style Christmas
The Grinch song
What can I say? I'm a kid forever.
It's the most wonderful time of the year
Yes it is.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
A little sad, but such a part of my Christmas playlist.
Okay so I do like some sad-ish Christmas songs (Christmas Shoes was too much though)
Where are you Christmas?
I love both the "Grinch" version and Carrie Underwood. It's simply a nice song.

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Top Ten Worst Christmas Songs
Santa Baby
A woman with a high pitched voice trying to seduce santa... sick
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa is a creepy stalker who has spies everywhere
Baby it's cold outside
Overplayed and annoying
Last Christmas
You gave away your heart you naive-heartbroken-... oh I'm being insensitive?
Grandma got run over by a Reindeer
Who comes up with these songs?
Run, Run, Rudolph!
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer is a classic, this isn't. End of story.
Christmas Shoes
You know those happy Christmas times? Yes? Well listen to the lyrics of this song and a gloomy outlook is guaranteed.
I'm just not good at finding songs I don't like, there may be versions I don't like but overall I don't dislike a lot of Music in General... well heavy metal is definitely a "NO!" but other than that..

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Here is a list words and things that I associate with Christmas

Butter cookies
Red and Green
Scented Candles
Christmas Tree
Christmas Lights
Candy Cane
Peace on Earth
Christmas songs
Advent calendar
Advent wreath
Red berries
Hot cocoa
Christmas movies
Gift wrapping

Merry Christmas!

I shall try to post again soon, even if only briefly, so
Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! & Frohe Weihnachten till then!