"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.