Good Morning Daffodil-ers!
I am so honored to be able to guest blog on C-Monday, whilest our friends Kate and Kev are off on their European adventure. What's ironic is that in my life, I am currently keeping a blog regaling the tales of my travels in India, so I should be good at this right? Wrong. My instructions from Kate are to share something holiday-esque like a recipe, decorative inspiration, or fashion tip. I am currently living out of a backpack, moving homes every two nights, and have eaten every single meal out for 90 days. Needless to say, I have been staring at the screen with my hands in keyboard position waiting for inspiration. I have realized how thankful I am to have a creative friend like Kate for the days when I am going to have to actually match a lamp to a comforter or make an appetizer that does not have the words "bagel" or "bites" in the title. So after some contemplation and brainstorming, I have decided to share some of my favorite Christmas time traditions with you all.
1) Wrapping Gifts with Jane Austen
While most people grumble about the time and energy it takes to wrap everything you have purchased for your loved ones, wrapping gifts is probably my favorite holiday tradition. There is something therapeutic about the rhythm of wrapping; and let's be honest, when you are surrounded by all the fabulous trinkets you bought for others, it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. For as long as I can remember, I have been wrapping my Christmas gifts with one of my favorite women, Jane Austen. After hauling all of my gifts and 250 rolls of Snowman wrapping paper into my parents bedroom, I pop the five hour version of Pride & Prejudice into the VHS player, and I get to work. I realize that there is nothing holiday-esque about Pride & Prejudice, but the holidays are about happiness, and nothing makes me happier than five hours with Elizabeth Bennett. If my brother and dad are lucky, I finish my own wrapping in the middle of the third tape (yes...you read that correctly...TAPE), and I offer to wrap their gifts as well. For the record, my parents also have rooms with televisions accompanied by DVD players in their home, but the tradition started with VHS and if I were to change that, it would not be much of a tradition now would it? One wrapping tip I will give you is to try to match your wrapping paper of choice with your personality; it gives your gift an extra kick. For example, when I see Kate over the holidays to give her the souvenir I got her in India, it will probably be wrapped in some paper with skateboarding Santa men on it. The moral of my story is that you can turn the evils of wrapping into some quality alone time. With the right movies, cup of chai tea, and string of mini candy canes, wrapping could turn into your favorite holiday hobby.
2) Christmas Light Displays
You know that house in your neighborhood with 15,000 strings of lights covering every inch of the front exterior of their home; usually accompanied by the entire K-Mart set of life size blow up versions of Santa, each of his reindeer, Frosty, and a giant pine tree? I know you know what I am talking about; every neighborhood has one of them. They are usually referred to as "the crazy house" or "the house with the tacky lights" or "the neighborhood eyesore", but we all know that we are really harboring feelings of jealousy and awe. Without these crazy people, Christmas just would not be the same. Since I was Cullen's age, my family and I have spent one evening every Christmas driving around the Northern Virginia area for hours on end, searching for the houses of crazy Christmas light people. We usually stock the car with delicious snacks and hot chocolate, and pop Bing Crosby into the CD player to set the mood. My brother and I used to keep our eyes peeled out the windows to be the first to spot signs of a crazy Christmas light yard, to which we would scream "FOUND ONE!" Then my family would pull up to the house, turn off the ignition, and stare in immense appreciation at a 450 pound statue of Rudolph. So, this holiday season, get your favorite people in a car and go on a crazy Christmas light scavenger hunt in your local area. If you see any of the culprits, make sure you thank these people for their community service and for sacrificing their child's education for the December electric bill.
3) Christmas With the Right Family
After Christmas dinner at my grandparents home in Perryopolis, PA; our family partakes in the most anticipated Christmas tradition to date...Christmas with the Right Family. All that is required of this fun-filled family game is one gender-neutral gift and a whole lot of Christmas spirit. Basically, everyone sits in a circle around the table, while one person is elected to read the Right Family Christmas Story. In the story, each time the word LEFT or RIGHT is mentioned, you have to pass the gift in that direction. Upon completion of the story, whomever is left with the gift in hand gets to keep it! In our family, my young and sassy cousin usually throws a fit if she does not win, so we end of up giving the gift to her anyways; but the game is a wonderful tradition for us. To play yourselves this year, you can print the story of the RIGHTS here: http://www.angelfire.com/fl2/thisnthat/games/gameright.html
Happy Holidays everyone!