Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bench Talk: Favourite things about Christmas

Christmas carols are playing on the radio and everyone is buzzing with their lists of 'things to do'. Christmas trees are for sale on the lots and Christmas cards are arriving in the mail.

What is your favourite thing about the season of Christmas?

Come and share with us.

Merry Christmas!

What is my favourite things about Christmas, well let me think....

I like Christmas carols but not so much the radio stations that only play Christmas songs this time of year. It seems to me that they play the same 20 songs over and again. So I usually listen to my CD's that way I can switch it up.

I love to receive mail (the old fashion kind) and so this time of year is great. I love getting cards and Christmas letters. I also like watching the old Christmas movies, Holiday Inn, Bells of St. Mary, Bishops Wife (the original) and of course It's a Wonderful Life.

I love to have the house all decorated and festive but I am finding it a bit hard this year. The tree has been up for a week and I just got around to getting the lights on it yesterday. There is still two box's in my dinning room full of decorations. I am not sure if I will bother putting them up or just take the box's back downstairs.

I like to see a blanket of white outside but only when I know everyone is home and not driving in it. I heard we are to expect some snow this week.

(Sunshine) I love snow at Christmas time especially on Christmas Eve. The big beautiful snow flakes that stick to your nose. It may sound strange but I enjoy being outside and shoveling the snow and chatting with all of the neighbours. Everyone comes out of their houses and we all end up helping each other. Little Miss Sunshine starts out with her little shovel but eventually she ends up tobogganing on the hills on the front lawn. She laughs and giggles and she really enjoys it. Miss Teen Sunshine enjoys shovelling and she usually just picks up a shovel and starts on her own.

The kids love to toboggan at the back park. They slide down and walk back up the hill and then we walk home (sometimes we drive back home) and have some hot chocolate.

I love Christmas music. Miss Teen Sunshine who is always singing anyways converts to singing Christmas songs this time of year and I love to listen to her. Little Miss Sunshine has also started singing. She tries to emulate her sister.

I enjoy all of the family get togethers and all of the yummy special foods. It is a Christmas Eve tradition to have 13 different dishes prepared for that evening. This includes the appetizers and desserts. We all contribute to the meal so that no one is stuck doing everything on their own.

Before dinner is served we go around the table and give thanks for the gift of being together and for anything else that anyone wants to contribute.

We open our presents after the stroke of midnight but first we have the youngest person bring baby Jesus from room to room singing a traditional song and then we lay him to rest in the manger.

On New Years Morning we go over to my mother in laws house and have traditional foods that all have a very special meaning. Later that day we go to one of the aunties homes and drop in and see a lot of people that we don't normally see during the year.

My favourite things are friends and family coming together. Everyone is off from work and we all have time to just enjoy each other's company.

Receiving Christmas cards is also one of my favourite things. A lot of the cards come with pictures of friends and family and I enjoy seeing how everyone has changed from year to year. I just ordered my Christmas cards and I will pick them up tomorrow and start to mail them out.

I started giving calenders as gifts about 10 years ago. Each month has a different picture of my family. My mother in law and my sister always say that that is their favourite gift each year. They are already bugging me to make sure that I do one this year. Every year I tell them that I may not do one as I am so busy and with these digital pictures its a lot of work to get them done. Really I am just bugging them. The calenders are one of my favourite things too.

On Christmas day I receive phone calls from friends and relatives that I don't usually talk to. That is also a lot of fun. I also connect with my mom's family over seas.

I love to drive around the neighbourhood and see all of the beautifully decorated homes.

Watching the kids open their presents and looking through the presents that Santa has left in our stockings is also a lot of fun. The expressions on the kids faces are still priceless.

Cathy here; I LOVE CHRISTMASTIME! The Christmas season for me starts with the arrival of Santa in the Toronto parade. This is near the middle of November. I will start playing Christmas Carols and singing (much to the chagrin of my family!) My mom and sister and I will go shopping for all our presents and enjoy having lunch out. I have my Christmas cards done and will package up the gifts that are being sent out of province.

I love sharing stories and traditions with my friends. Christmas brings out the kindness in people and you see people smiling and laughing more. There are more gettogethers and of course we have the annual cookie exchange! I'm baking tomorrow with my mom. We are also trying some gluten free cookie recipes. My cousin's wife sent me some great info and we are going to experiment with some recipes. (thank-you L! They did go to market on Saturday.)

The first Sunday in Advent the family got together to bake the Christmas Pudding. Once all the ingredients are mixed there is always the annual debate over whether or not it needs more rum! It always needs more rum!

My sister's birthday is in mid December. We have always put up our Christmas tree then. Now, we all meet at our folks place and put their tree up and have dinner. Around that same time, Hubby and I with the boys will go and pick our tree. Actually, each boy takes a turn each year picking out the tree and each year I have to refer to my pda to see who's turn it is! Whomever gets to pick out the tree, the other gets to put the Star on top! Don't laugh, it works!

The first Saturday in December is our annual Family Christmas party. Everyone who can meets at my aunt's party room and we have a blast! We also arrange a meeting in the middle of summer but Christmas is a must! Everyone has something special they make and as we only get it once a year it is really something to look forward to. We play games and sing and just have a great time sharing the old family stories together. We all hope by getting together like this, it will give each younger generation a real feel for their 'roots'.

My Hubby is german so on Christmas eve my folks and sister and family all get together for a traditional german meal. Hubby makes the bowla which is fruit punch with a kick! After church the kids all get to open gifts from the german and french side of the family. (this helps to alleviate some of the craziness come Christmas morn). Christmas morning dad makes ackee and saltfish with journey cakes, yum! We make a traditional turkey with all the fixins and enjoy the day together. Each year we alternate at whose home we celebrate. We all sleep over from Christmas eve to Boxing day. It's fun for the kids and everyone can celebrate with no worries.

Wow, this is a long post! I hope you have all enjoyed us sharing with you our favourite things about Christmas time!

On behalf of the ladies, may we take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

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