Thursday, December 20, 2007


Gonna play this week. My Mindy Swap pal writes:

"I have debated with myself for weeks about today's Friday Five.

Self 1: It should be deep and theological.
Self 2: But it's almost Christmas, it should be fun and warm and sweet.
Self 1: But your last Friday Five was sort of silly. You should show your more serious side.
Self 2: You worry WAY too much!
So after consulting with my fourteen year old daughter, we're going playful, pals o' mine! I love stories, so I hope you'll tell some about your favorite Christmas memories."

1. What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave:

I blogged about this before, but Blogger kicks me out when I try to find it. It was a pair of nylon stockings that I got for my mom. I had sneaked into her lingerie drawer and learned her size and favorite color. Then my dad took me to buy them. I wrapped the box myself. It was the first really beautiful present I ever wrapped. With gold fabric ribbon and a beautiful bow. I was very proud of this at six years old.

2. What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.

Nowadays it's my bruschetta that I got from a restaurant chef. I don't have the exact amounts in front of me, but as I recall in my eggnog fog:  10 ripe plum tomatoes, diced; 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil; 1/4 cup fresh chopped oregano; one clove garlic (truly no more than that); 1/4 cup olive oil or less or more depending on your taste; salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and serve over sliced french bread lightly coated with olive oil and toasted in the oven. 

3. What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)

Opening gifts one person at a time. It takes for-flamin'-ever, but it makes the day last longer. (actually I'm probably the only one who insists on this. But being the queen bee of the family, all must obey my commands BWAHAHAHAHAHA)

4. Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?

My church is  starting a new tradition that we could do without: Canceling the choir's Christmas concert and giving them half the sermon time on Sunday to sing a "special song". Otherwise it's several hundred dollars of poinsettias that, until this year, were just left to wilt. Fortunately this year our congregational care pastor collected them and drove them to convalescent homes in the area. He is one right on guy. Unfortunately he's semi retired and only part time.

5. If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?

Lose the gifts. Lose the stress of decorating and cooking. Buy tickets to Hawaii to lay on the beach and play in the waves, with just the three of us.


RevHRod said...

Thanks for playing Swap Pal! I can almost see that six year old's present for her mom. I wished for a trip to Paris in my blog but now I'm thinking Hawaii would be okay too!

Cathy said...

What's this swap pal stuff? Did I miss something?

The nylon stockings - were before pantyhose and of course stockings were very special!

RevHRod said...

Princess Mindy had a mysterious envelope swap. It was too cool. Presby Gal sent me a Halloween costume, my own treat bag and some other cool stuff. A map of Paris! And all for under $10!

Presby Gal- your dad made fun gift labels? Too cool! Maybe we're secretly related. ;-)

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oohhhhh YESSSSSSS another that insits gifts are opened one. at. a. time. the only way to really do it right... i mean seriously, the wise men took like 2 years or something to reach Jesus right? isn't it the least we could do to take our time then opening gifts? well it's a stretch but...obviously it's still the only way to go.

Joan Calvin said...

Love the stockings story. One gift at a time is right, too! You get to savor what everyone gave everyone else.

Diane said...

I love your christmas present story. and there are times when it would be great to get away...Hawaii sounds perfect!

Quotidian Grace said...

I've had many Christmas seasons when I wished we were going away for Christmas to someplace like Hawaii or London, but never done it. Too chicken to disrupt family expectations, I guess. Some day, though, I'm gonna do it!

We also do one gift at a time. And I always make fun gift tags--from Rudolph, Ms. Claus, Martha Stewart, Morpheus, etc. Sometimes the tag is a clue to what's inside, sometimes its a red herring!

SpookyRach said...

What Grace said....

Jackson always wants to spend Christmas at a cabin in the mountains, but we've never had the guts to tell the family we won't be here for Christmas... maybe next year...

Singing Owl said...

We do the one-at-a-time thing too. Otherwise you can't see people's faces. I've never made brucietta, but I may try it. :-)

I am Chorus said...

Opening gifts one at a time is my tradition too, and I love it!

revhipchick said...

wonderful play!

i especially love your response to #3(evil laughter is a thrill!) we do one at a time. quite honestly, i don't understand not doing it that way!

hawaii is brilliant!
Merry Christmas!

chartreuseova said...

I'd like a warm beach for Christmas too.
Bruschetta. Yum! We make a similar recipe (adding a drizzle of honey and a tiny bit of minced onion) We often use a store bought pizza crust brushed with olive oil instead of the french bread. And if we have any topping leftover, it goes onto sandwiches, toasted bagels, chips or almost anything...can't get enough.

cpclergymama said...

Bruschetta sounds amazing! I too love the one at a time gift opening. And nothing says Christmas like a trip to the islands! Merry Christmas!

Wyldth1ng said...

Wilting poinsettias sounds like a crime.

Barbara B. said...

Ah, it's so good to be Queen Bee, huh? :)

Jan said...

We also wait for each person to open his/her present. With four kids and one kid-in-law, this takes awhile. Glad we're not alone in this.

Deb said...

Yup. We do the one-at-a-time thing too. For one thing, when I wrap a bunch of presents all at once, it helps me see if I switched the labels... "Uh... honey... I don't think your daughter really wants that reciprocating saw I bought you..."

And I'll see you in Hawaii next year. yes and yess!!