This was originally posted on kimschoenherr.wordpress.com on November 16, 2011.
Despite family drama and being frantic for a full month, a few things still manage to make the holiday season (Thanksgiving to Christmas worthwhile, and this week, a few of them have come into my life. Some of these may sound selfish, but these things really are my reasons for liking the holidays.
5. Cordial cherries
These are, quite possibly, my favorite candy. They have to be Queen Anne, though, because Zachary has this weird too sweet, chemical taste that I don’t really enjoy. And the chocolate isn’t that good. I know because I just finished a box.
I grew up on Queen Anne, and I did have some home made ones once, but I’m sort of dedicated.
4. Free stuff
Everybody loves presents. If you say you don’t, you’re lying. Christmas presents are the obvious reasoning here, but also, the 22nd of December is Chris and my anniversary (3 years!) so that comes with presents and a really great, fun day. But it’s not just about gifts. I love going to the mall and enjoying the decorations (especially the Somerset Collection), or driving around the neighborhoods and looking at Christmas lights. There’s something beautiful about the lights twinkling in the dark, or the guy down the street playing Christmas music timed with his lights.
Not only are free gifts awesome, but free entertainment and the beauty of the season are great reasons as well.
3. Black Friday
Do I really need to explain this one? It’s become a tradition for us to look at Black Friday ads after dinner (and clean up) and set our schedule for the next day. I might be going out really early on my own this year because I’m looking for a laptop, and my future sister-in-law likes to make us late (I’m still bitter that I didn’t get those boots two years ago) but it’s still an awesome tradition to spread out all of the ads. I’ve gotten some great deals during Black Friday (a $75 jewelery box for $30, a $30 socket set for $15) so I’m hoping this year might work out well for me.
2. Marshalls/TJMaxx/Tuesday Morning
I like to give unique gifts, so when I’m Christmas shopping, I usually go to Marshall’s, TJMaxx, or Tuesday morning. I know they’re going to have something unique at a super low price (like a $7 jar of asparagus pasta sauce and some handmade pasta) and I can usually find something that people like. Also, I’m cheap.
1. Great food
The most important thing about the holidays is probably the food. Honestly. When you think back 10 years ago to Christmas, are you thinking about the presents? What happened with your family? No, you’re thinking about how good that ham was. Or how moist the turkey was at Thanksgiving. Or you remember how good grandma was at making jello salad.
My family dinner at thanksgiving has to have two staples or it’s not thanksgiving – green jello salad, and green bean casserole. I could eat green bean casserole all day every day, but jello salad is reserved for the holiday season ONLY! It’s that little bit of desert that makes it to your first plate of food, and everyone in my family fights over it (my mom makes two sometimes – one for the day of, and one to eat with leftovers the next day). It’s all marshmallow and jello and cream cheese and cherries. Oh man, I’m drooling just thinking of it right now.
Christmas dinner is a little different. At thanksgiving, my mom and I make pasta noodles, and we have home made chicken noodle soup (along with nutmeg arguments every year), sloppy joes, and more green jello. There’s always shrimp cocktail, kolacki (we’re Czech), and meringues to use up the excess egg whites from the kolacki. I’m getting hungry and excited just thinking about it. Christmas at my dad’s is always different, but there’s usually ham, turkey, and some Italian favorites. My favorite tradition, part food, part just awesome, is going to the MGM after we leave my dad’s. They eat dinner at 3 or 4 on Christmas, so by the time we leave, we’re hungry so we go gamble, drink, and eat. My brothers and I started the tradition 2 years ago, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to stick because it’s one of the best ones yet.
New Years always has bean soup and herring, for luck.
What are your favorite holiday traditions? What are your favorite foods to eat at Christmas? Will you be going to the casino this year on Christmas because it’s an awesome idea?