Nicole's Favourite Things - Holiday Loving Edition
So, as I mentioned only a couple of sentences ago, I am drinking Bailey's and coffee. When else is having an alcoholic beverage at eight in the morning socially acceptable? IT'S THE HOLIDAYS. Bailey's and coffee is my second-favourite holiday drink, the first being red wine. It's red, therefore festive. Back in the day, my old roommate and I used to drink hot chocolate and Bailey's, which is also nice, but significantly higher in calories and lower in caffeine zing. Coffee it is! I like having this with my mother, who drinks her coffee black and the Bailey's ON THE SIDE. She is the only person in the world that I know of who does this. I'm old-school, glugging it right into my coffee. Hence the somewhat randomness of this post.
Oh, hahaha! I just thought of Christmas Vacation "Hallelujah, holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?" But honestly, now that my kids are older and are at school all day, I miss them. It's fun having them home even if they talk my ear off about their pretend restaurant and what would I order if I was there, and if I ate meat, what kind of meat would it be? Also, would I like a side order of cilantro? And did I know that (something something something I've tuned this out) King Boo (something something) Yoshi in (somewhere something) Mario Kart?
The other day I went to buy some dog food in the strip mall near my house, the parking lot of which is terrifying. I always feel like I take my life in my hands whenever I venture into that parking lot: so many seniors blindly and without reflexes driving their gigantic boats of cars, mixed with super-impatient university students blazing past them. It's QUITE unnerving. Anyway, I stopped in at the nearby drugstore after buying dog food, and there I witnessed perhaps the most entertaining elderly mother/ adult daughter argument ever. The elderly mother was very loud and belligerent, and the daughter was trying in vain to shush her. At one point, she shouted "Goddamn it, Susan, stop pushing a tree on me. I don't want a goddamn tree!" "Ssssh, Mom." "I mean it, I don't want a goddamn tree!"
Oh, family togetherness for the holidays. This brings me to the next point:
The Tree and Ornaments
We have a fake tree, because of various allergies in our house, and so the tree goes up December 1st or earlier. It looks like Christmas threw up on it, and I love it:
The boys have their favourite ornaments. Mark likes the Joy one, with the snowmen. Sweetly enough, this is the ornament I purchased the year he was a baby, on his first Christmas! Jake loves the purple sparkly reindeer, among many, many others (notice the Ben 10 one below it). He likes to have all his favourites close together on the tree.
That little tiny creche is one of my favourites. I also bought that cute little gingerbread lady this year. The tiny snowman in a Santa suit is left over from a set I bought with my roommate - of hot chocolate and Bailey's fame. When we left the apartment we shared, I got custody of the little snowmen.
This little set of penguins is cute. They fit together like matryoshka dolls. The boys set them up, and Mark put the baby in the middle because, as he said, "Babies like to be with their moms." Aw. My heart exploded.
Years ago, my mother-in-law gave me this old glass bowl with feet. It sits on my end table year round, with ocean-smooth rocks, seashells, and drifwood in it. At Christmas, I put in some old ornaments from my husband's childhood, also given me by my mother-in-law.
When I graduated from university, I took a trip to Mexico with a couple of girlfriends. While shopping one day, I found these little nativity clay figures. The little barn came later, from somewhere that I don't recall. But setting up the creche is a fun tradition in our house, especially since the kids have named the sheep and cows and like to play with them. One of the sheep is named Mo, I don't know what the others are called. Oh wait, let me ask the boys. Okay, the others are Eely and Blimblimblim. What? Aren't all livestock named Blimblimblim? It's as common as Spot the Dog or Bessie the Cow.
Since our tree has a finite number of branches, but my ability to buy new ornaments each year is infinite, some end up in otherwise merely decorative vases. Note the pine cones, those were collected years ago from my in-laws' place.
Look at these cute little snowmen! Even though the girl one is missing buttons, it brings me back to the days when we were starry-eyed newlyweds, instead of the staid old married couple we are now. Kidding! We still grope each other in public.
The bathroom - destination for broken ornaments everywhere. More of those little snowmen!
I put a bow on our medicine cabinet, and my husband was not a fan. Why? No one knows.
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of such slutty festive favourites such as Santa Baby and Baby, It's Cold Outside. But did you know I pretty much love all Christmas music? The exception being Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime. Even thinking of this song makes me stabby. Last year I acquired Michael Buble's Christmas album, and it is seriously fabulous. I could listen to it all day long, and lately I have been. It has the cutest male version of Santa Baby. "Slip a Rolex under the tree."
I also love playing holiday music on the piano. I've had that Rudolph song book - which is completely falling apart - since I was maybe 12. I still love it.
Food! I love festive munchies. My mom makes something that used to be called butterhorns, but my husband started calling them honey buns, and Jake started calling them funny buns. Semantics, people. A rose by any other name, etc. This is my favourite treat and I only eat them at Christmas. I also love my mom's chocolate Yule log, for which I am going to eschew my non-dairy thing. I must have Yule log! Sadly, I am facing my first Christmas without cheese. I'm not sure what I will do to compensate for this: maybe lots of mixed nuts and bits and bites? I don't know, and at this point I've had enough Bailey's and coffee that I really don't care. Food, what? MOAR BAILEY'S PLZ.
So tell me, dear reader, what are your holiday favourites? What do you love best about this time of year? Tell Nicole everything. xoxo