Awhile ago, I saw some fun blogs (my sister’s included) about 5 things…things you don’t know about me, things I am good at, etc., and I thought I’d do a fun twist on that for the holidays and my awesomer than awesome (awesomer is a word, mmk?) 12 day vacation that is now upon me!! (weekends included. Off from today through Jan 2!!!)
So, without further ado…my twist on ’5 things’ – 5 favorite holiday memories, 5 things I’ll be doing on my vacation and 5 of my all-time favorite holiday foods.
5 favorite holiday memories:
- Waking up in the middle of the night with my sisters to open our stockings from our mom. Seriously, we”d be STOKED and super excited to go to bed, just to hopefully wake up *before* morning to open our stockings together. I distinctly remember falling asleep, hearing my mom wrap gifts (because side-note: we didn’t ever believe in Santa, my mom didn’t want us to believe in it for a number of reasons, but one was the dissapointment when we learned he wasn’t real!), and practically jumping out of my skin excited. So, one of us would naturally wake up when she’d gently place the stockings at the foot of our bed, and we’d (likely) feign sleep for a bit and then wake up and open our stockings together (we shared a room)…and our stockings were legit, STOCKED with awesome stuff. Practically regular-sized gifts in there, not just the little things. Favorite item? The lifesaver ‘book’ that had every flavor in it (even butterscotch, which I’d save for last because I hated it, but would still eat them when all the others were gone!).
- Christmas Eve at my Nonna’s house. This time of year, I miss her so very much…but Christmas Eve at her house was a feast. If you are Italian, you know exactly what I mean. EVERYONE would come over, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and it’d be a feast of seafood…stuffed clams and shrimp, and fried fish, and her famous homemade Sicilian pizza. And the obligatory Carlo & Rossi ‘jug’ of wine. She loved with food, and this was her time to shine. She’d watch the mass in Italy (given it was Christmas Day there, by the time the evening rolled around), and spend time with each of us, telling us stories of our childhood and being her loving self. <3 Nonna, now, and forever.
- The year my dad decided to ‘go big or go home’ with our Christmas Tree and get one that was probably 10 feet tall. No joke. Our house, which we’d just moved into (ish?) that year, was a post and beam, which high, vaulted ceilings. And he wanted that tree to reach as high as it could. But try getting that sized tree home and into the house. Besides almost ripping the roof off the car with tying it to the top, it had to come in through our sliding glass doors, as it was far too big to get into the regular door. Oy vei, but man, that thing was colossal and beautiful.
- The first year I woke up alone, on Christmas Day. It was just a couple months after I was separated from my ex-husband. Waking up alone in my house, the house we shared…was tough, to say the least. But I remember waking up with somewhat of a sense of pride, because I did it. I was home, I was alone, but had so much to look forward to with my family. And it was probably the best Christmas season I’d had since getting married. No horrible in-laws, just me, my family and anything I wanted to do. It was a pivotal time for me.
- Waking up on Christmas morning…with M. This is a to-be-had memory for this Christmas :-) I honestly, cannot wait to wake up on Christmas morning, with him, in our first place together. It will be a wonderful feeling. <3
5 of my all-time favorite holiday foods:
- Fruitcake. No, seriously. I used to love fruitcake. And if someone put it in front of me now, I might actually have a taste. But I bet it wouldn’t taste as good as childhood memories recall ;)
- Sugar cookies!! Seriously, the best. Add some frosting and a few sprinkles, divine with a cuppa coffee. Cue cookie party 2011 please!!
- Gingerbread houses. I suck at making these, but I am going to try and make one with M Friday, perhaps, or myself, if I dare attempt it alone ;-) They are fun and they are SO tasty too.
- Butternut squash. Okay, this is completely random and probably screams Thanksgiving more, but I cannot get enough butternut squash right now. I love love LOVE it. Honestly ate it as a snack the other day. Yumtastic.
- Polar eggnog seltzer water. Seriously, this stuff rocks. I actually don’t like eggnog, at all, but when I heard about this seltzer, I had to try it. And it is freaking awesome. If your stores sell them, please try it. For me?
5 things I will do on my vacation:
- Clean. And namely, my closets. Yes, seriously. When M cleared out his apartment at the end of October, he had more shit than I’ve ever seen before. I think even he was surprised by the mass of papers, junk and random stuff he’d accumulated in the year and a half he lived there! Needless to say, it’s all shoved in three of our closets and it just taunts me. I love a clean home, so our place is plenty clean, but just *knowing *what is lurking behind those doors drives me batty. This will make me happy.
- Run and barre n9ne to my heart’s content! This is a given, I know. :-)
- Help my sister Jen PACK!!! They are moving from NH back home and I could not be more thrilled. To have my sister just 35minutes away (ish?!) vs. 1.25 hours means the world to me. To be able to see each other more regularly and to spend more time with my niece puts the hugest grin on my face. It is truly a blessing and will be a wonderful start to 2012!
- Cookie party 2011! Okay, it sounds bigger than it is, but every year for the past few, I have helped my sister Jess bake tons of cookies for the various parties she hosts (they’ve got a big enough place to host a lot of our family gatherings and her in-laws and it’s become an awesome tradition), so Friday, we’ll bake and bake and bake (with our fabulous friend Steph, too!). AND EAT them too. Yep, I definitely plan on having a cookie or two for lunch. And maybe a glass of wine. Rebel, I know.
- Have fun, but don’t overschedule myself, either. M doesn’t get any time off for the holidays (and is on call on Christmas weekend, to boot!), so I will eke out whatever time I can with him when he is home, and spend the rest of my time seeing the friends I don’t get to see very often, my family, and honestly, spending some time by myself too. I don’t want this week off to whizz by, because I need it. Mentally.
So, there ya have it. My 5 things, holiday edition! What about you, what are you looking forward to? Share, share! Or better yet, write your own! :-)