5 things…holiday edition

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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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 ;)
  2. Sugar cookies!! Seriously, the best. Add some frosting and a few sprinkles, divine with a cuppa coffee. Cue cookie party 2011 please!!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Run and barre n9ne to my heart’s content! This is a given, I know. :-)
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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! :-)

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29 thoughts on “5 things…holiday edition

  1. Ahhh I love this post!! It absolutely SCREAMS “I AM HAPPY” which I LOVE! And it totally made me giggle thinking about opening our stockings at midnight. I LOVED that so much! I’m totally doing that for our kids (IF we have them) someday ;-)

    Love you sis! Can’t wait to make lots of fun new memories this holiday season with you!!

    PS. I miss nonna so much and your memory of Christmas Eve made me cry a little bit…I know she’d be so proud of all of us today. <3

  2. So much fun and goodness here this morning…exactly what I needed to read! I’ve been enjoying my fair share of holiday cookies (and a little vino, too). ‘Tis the season. :-)

  3. Have fun building the gingerbread house!!!! Take pictures! :)
    I’m looking forward to our annual cookie baking at my mom’s house on Christmas Eve. My sister is coming home from Chicago tonight so the whole family will be together!

  4. I love this post!!

    My mom’s about to wake up on her own for the first time this Christmas (now I’m crying as I type this) in over 30 years. My heart breaks for her, and I’m hoping her heart holds as much pride in it as you did. (She won’t have any of us there, either…which bugs me even more.)

    Christmas Eve to me is just as peaceful or even more so than Christmas Day. It’s the fact that I sit in my living room, with the love of my life, quiet Christmas music playing, and only the light of the Christmas tree knowing there’s another memory upon us. It’s knowing that this beautiful, peaceful night represents the blessing that is upon us.

    My girls know “Santa”, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that both my husband and I felt the magic of it all as kids, and I found out simply because I recognized my mom’s handwriting on the tags. Haha. I don’t remember feeling disappointed, because my mom made a point to keep the magic in the house regardless. However, I do remember that from that point on, I felt more magic in the music, the company, and the overwhelming number of blessings I had in my life: a home, a family, sisters, education…

    Funny thing about fruitcake…I remember liking it, too! ;)

    1. Aww. I hope your mom is okay this weekend. I really feel for her! I love your memories, love the magical feelings! As for Polar Orange, yum!! How about birch beer ;-)

  5. Fun post .. I’m off until January 3 now too …feels so good. I’m aiming to walk everyday but tomorrow it’s going to be on snowshoes or skis ‘cos we got dumped on today!

    I still love fruit cake – traditional English fruit cake and this year I have Christmas pudding for our dessert. Planning on wrapping tonight since the kids aren’t here.

    Happy Christmas to you!

    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family Mandy!! I have not had traditional English fruit cake, but I bet it’s way better than what I’m used to ;-)

  6. such a fun read! I love the memories from Christmas as a kid with my sisters. And I’m excited for you to have your 1st Christmas together living with M – yay! Also great news that your sister is moving back. It’s been nice being in Dallas close to my sisters…although that will change because Billy and I are moving after the new year! Details to come…

    Enjoy your holiday! xo

  7. this was adorable! i love reflecting during the holidays. I bet you and your sisters were just too cute together.
    Merry Christmas Jo! sending you some fruitcake love.
    hehe.

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