Thursday, November 18, 2021

Monthly Musings: Holiday Preview 2021

Today I am linking up with Holly and Patty for Monthly Musings. I am really enjoying this link-up and look forward to it each month! So, on to the prompts!

 Share your favorite holiday traditions

Tradition is such an important part of my parenting style; I feel like I may slightly over-do it. But, I haven't had any complaints from my children, in fact,; now that they are older, they are the ones pushing to keep our traditions alive, so, I guess I've done something right. 

Anyhoodle, one of my favorite traditions is sending our holiday cards. I have always tried to create, how shall we say it...untraditional cards, and, each year they have gotten more irreverent than the year before. Last year's card probably set a new low bar, but hey! It was 2020.

Cards from years past...

Another favorite tradition is the holiday hot cocoa bar that makes its' appearance on Thanksgiving day. Since my children are now of legal drinking age; the bar features some extra flavors, if you get my drift.

Each year, we decorate gingerbread houses. This tradition started as soon as the kids were strong enough to squeeze icing from a piping bag and, each year the houses have gotten more and more fancy. We're bougie like that.

 Do you see holiday lights? Driving tour on your own? Attend a park or festival?

When the kids were little, Hugh and I would throw them in the car, pajamas and all, for a driving tour of whatever lights were available in our area. As they grew up, so did the displays in our neighboring city, until, they were so amazing that it would be a shame not to enjoy them. Last year, neither of the kids were home early enough to join us, but, Mom was in town, so we threw her in the car. For the record, we did not make her wear her pajamas.

 Favorite holiday recipe

I would have to say, my cut sugar cookies are the recipe that I get asked for the most, and, I can't blame folks for that. They are soft, sweet, but not too sweet (that's what the frosting is for!) and they are a lot of fun to cut out and decorate.

Last year's decorations: an ode to the pandemic...

Must have holiday fashion staples

Well, this is a little out of the box, I am no fashionista, so I'm going to write about staples of a different type..., recently, I have been collecting vintage blow molds. So, for me, I would say they have become a staple of my holiday decor'. Hugh even built a stable for my Holy Family.

Old fashioned popcorn balls are also a holiday staple, as well as being a tradition that I forgot to mention above. The recipe has been handed down through generations and, last year, Mom taught the kids how to make the syrup. My dad was the best popcorn ball maker in the world; his popcorn balls were always the perfect size and consistency. None of us has reached his level of mastery and it is another thing that we miss most about him; especially at Christmastime.

Any special or extra festive plans this year?

This is going to be an interesting year. My son (affectionately known as the Man-Cub) is graduating from college on the 11th of December. In Hawaii. Sooooo, we will be in the tropics for a large portion of the month (so sad, amiright?). We will be back in Colorado just in time to travel to Mayberry to spend Christmas with Mom, but will miss out on the annual Parade of Lights in Petticoat Junction, as well as some other events that we would normally attend. I'm not complaining! I am 100% invested in experiencing all that Hawaii has to offer for the season. Mele Kalikimaka, y'all!

    Best holiday planning tip

I have always been a list-maker, and I find that helps make the season go more smoothly, but, the best tip I can offer is: recognize the fact that even the best-laid plans can go sideways; embrace the chaos.

Favorite holiday movie

I am a sucker for the old school Rankin Bass holiday specials of my youth. Santa Claus is Coming to Town is my absolute favorite, followed by Rudolph.

I would have to say that my family's favorite, however, will forever be Christmas Vacation. Hugh recites practically every line while we watch it. Not annoying at all...(it is Christmas and I will not kill my husband, it is Christmas and I will not kill my husband....)

 Die Hard-Christmas movie or not?

No. No. No. A hundred times, no.

Tree/decorations before or after Thanksgiving 

Traditionally, I start decorating the tree on Thanksgiving day, once the dinner has been eaten and the dishes have been done. This year, since we will be out of town for the majority of December, I am decorating earlier and far less extravagantly.

Do you celebrate other holidays on December?

We don't. Hugh was raised by Jewish parents who didn't practice, so he and his siblings were exposed to the more commercial aspects of Christmas (think: no baby Jesus and lots of tinsel). I was raised in a huge (or, as Hugh describes it: yooooooge) Catholic family, so we chose to raise the kids as Catholics (of which, I admit, I did a piss poor job).

Well, this has been fun! I can't wait to read everyone else's posts; there's just something fun about peeking into other people's lives. In a non-stalkery way, I mean, obviously.


  1. I think I could handle Christmas/ December in Hawaii too! Enjoy your trip.

    My boys have decorated gingerbread houses each year too and last year my son made his own sugar cookie house and decorated it! I was very impressed as I am definitely a "buy a kit" kind of person; though I will buy extra candy to decorate/eat. LOL. I love Christmas Vacation and can quote that movie in full too (though I try really hard not to while actually watching with the family).

  2. Oh my gosh you had me cracking up! Your holiday cards are hysterical and not wanting to hurt your hubby because he quotes Christmas Vacation? A riot! My hubby does too :) Thanks for linking up!

  3. Your posts always make me laugh and I think Christmas in Hawaii should be a new tradition!!! That sounds so great! Also, I love your past cards and your sugar cookies.

  4. I'm a bit late but those Christmas cards are EPIC!!! Not sure which part you're heading to, but I've been to Maui once and the sunrise and bike ride down a volcano are not too be missed! Have a great time in Hawaii!