A Christmas meme

This week, I took a break from cooking. In fact, the last meal I made was this Red Seasonal Salad and another loaf of Nigel Slater's bread (this time with salt!) on Sunday. My kitchen however, has still been getting a lot of use, thanks to my mother-in-law who arrived last weekend. Since Monday, she's been spoiling me and Daniel with some of our most favorite Brazilian meals. Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you all about her moqueca. Talk about maravilhosa.

I'll soon be back in the kitchen baking a whole bunch of holiday cookies, but right now, I'm going to forget my multiple to-do lists and finally take part in this Christmas meme that Kate tagged me for a few weeks ago.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate, and if possible, Mexican hot chocolate. I recently tried Max Brenner's which is rich without being overly sweet with subtle bursts of spice. It also comes in a cool, odd-shaped mug.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

We wrap presents at our house which particularly pains me because I hate to see all that paper go to waste. Most years, I try to salvage whatever leftover boxes, ribbons and paper we have (I'm so much like my grandmother, it's scary). Maybe this year I'll just try sitting them under the tree.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

When I was really little, we had those fat, funky colored lights, but at some point we switched over to simpler white ones which I've continued to use on my own tree the past few years. My decorations are indoors only, but I love how so many people in Brooklyn get really into their outdoor holiday decorations (Easter and Halloween are particularly popular). It's kind of like Christmas cards. I never send any, but love getting them!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?


5. When do you put your decorations up?

Depends. This year, we put up our tree the first weekend in December since we leave for Brazil the day after Christmas.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

There really isn't one Christmas dish that we serve every year, so I just look forward to the whole meal usually. Thanksgiving is the holiday with the truly craveable dishes that are always on our table year after year.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:

I have three:
-Opening one present before bed on Christmas Eve
-Singing Christmas carols at midnight mass with my entire family (and this is coming from someone who hasn't been to church in years!)
-Opening my stocking on Christmas morning

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

When I was really young, I went snooping in a closet and found all these wrapped presents. I couldn't really read yet so I thought they said "Love Sarah" (the name of my cousin). When my Mom found me, she assumed I had read what was written and while scolding me said something along the lines of "Well now you know there's no such thing as Santa Claus!" Thanks A LOT, Mom.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Yes, usually. Unless we're in Brazil and then we open all our presents on Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

When my Mom moved into the city, she gave me all of the ornaments that we had used when I was a kid. The year Daniel and I got married, we had a tree-trimming party and asked all of our guests to bring an ornament, so our tree is a collection of both old and new. Every year, I subject Daniel to the same stories about two that I made in elementary school (a clothespin reindeer and a framed photo of me and my brother).

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

Love, love, love it. Especially in New York where snow forces everyone to slow down. Brooklyn is even more beautiful when blanketed in snow. Snow days or at least delayed office openings aren't bad either!

12. Can you ice skate?

Yes, thanks to skating club. Every Friday night (from 4th-8th grade), kids from my hometown's four elementary and middle schools went to Rye Playland to ice skate for a few hours. My favorite part was at the end of the evening when all the boys had to ask a girl to skate couples. We'd skate to a song (Paradise City and When I See You Smile come to mind) and the best couple won a free slice of pizza and a soda.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

A Cabbage Patch kid and one of those Swatch phones

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?

I love having lots of time -- not just the usual few hours -- to spend with my family. And the extra days off from work allow me to cook, relax, work out, read and just really enjoy my days. And most years, it means a nice, long trip to Brazil!

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Cookies, specifically gingersnap and sugar ones

16. What tops your tree?

Either a glass angel that my Mom passed on to me or a stuffed snowman

17. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

Giving, but receiving is definitely a close second!

18. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Little Drummer Boy

19. Candy canes! Yuck or yum?

I've tried to like them many times, but overall, YUCK

20. What do you serve for Christmas dinner?

This is the first Christmas we've ever hosted, but it's going to be semi-potluck. Daniel and his Mom are making a this prime rib roast from Epicurious, my Mom's bringing stuffed tomatoes, a salad, pearl onions and potatoes, and my cousin Brooke is bringing an appetizer. I'm in charge of dessert and still don't know what I'm making. Maybe these or this. Any suggestions?

Since a meme is supposed to be shared, I'm going to tag Anne from Good American Housewife and Andrea from Madison & Mayberry. And to anyone who wants to participate, let me know so I can see your responses.

Happy holidays!

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Anonymous said...

Definitely the gingerbread roll. Yum.

Lia said...

Anonymous, I wish I had read this sooner. I went with those spiced chocolate cakes which were good, but way too rich in my opinion. Oh well, there's always next time!


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