Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Food and Christmas Decorations

Ah, the beautiful tradition of food.

It's kind of glorious, really, because food creates memories just as much as anything else. What is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? What is the fourth of July without a barbecue? What is St. Patrick's Day without green pancakes? Anyway, food is cool. 

My favorites:

Christmas Eve dinner: 
*Funeral potatoes (if you don't know what these are, chances are you are not a Mormon. If you are a Mormon and still don't know what these are, then chances are you weren't raised in Utah or Idaho. If you are a Mormon and were raised in Utah and still don't know what these are, then... I have no words.) 
*Cheesy Beans (this is a family tradition for Christmas and Thanksgiving. No, they are not good for you. Yes, they are yummy!)
*Pie and Ice Cream (usually pumpkin, but cream pies are also welcome)
*Egg nog (with ice cream and Sprite)

It's not really healthy, that's for sure!

*Anything with peppermint. You know how Thanksgiving and pumpkin go together? Christmas and peppermint go together. 
*Gingerbread cookies (or men!)
*Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning 
*Chocolate oranges/orange chocolate
*Oranges in general
*Danish cookies (shortbread)


I love to decorate for Christmas. Most of my decorations have a story! Here's a few that mean something to me (aside from our tree): 

I made these snowmen at a Relief Society super Saturday one year. They've been around for quite a while and I love their cute faces. Aren't they fun? 

These Nativity sets are pretty special to me --the one on the left was the Nativity my MIL would put up every year in my husband's home as he was growing up. The one on the right was the first Nativity I ever owned --Brandon gave it to me as a gift and I was so excited! The picture of Christ in the middle was another thing I did at a RS super Saturday. 

It's hard to see, but the decoration I love the most is the painting in the middle (I explain why I loved it in my Christmas Art post --it's about three posts ago) and the candles. Christ is the Light of the World, you know?

The most important decoration here is the Advent wreath. Advent is important in our family and we have carried on the tradition throughout our marriage. 

These Carousel horses have been a part of Christmas decorations since I was a child. My grandparents bought them for my parents when I was young. They used to be connected by wires, and when you turned on the switch, they'd go up and down and play Christmas music. My parents gave them to us, and after years of use, they finally stopped working. We cut the wires to separate them all, but I can't NOT have the horses up, regardless if they play music or not. 

This small Christmas tree was Brandon's and my first Christmas tree, ever! As long as we live, it will go up. The brightly lit decoration to the left is actually wooden cat with a startled expression, "tangled up" in a string of lights. It was a Christmas gift from a colleague, many years ago, and since we have a cat, it fits perfectly. 

This is my Christmas village. It's not very exciting, but it's mine. My friend gave me the Victorian house in the middle, and I love it. 

More Nativities! If you look closely, there is a tiny olive wood Nativity that Brandon bought for me while he was in Israel a few years ago. After he had gotten it, he was able to find the large olive wood Nativity (on the far left). I love them both so much. The Nativity on the far right is one I made (yes, at another super Saturday!), as well as the photo to the left of it. The "Hope" sign was a gift, but I honestly can't remember who gave it to us. All I know is that I think it signifies exactly what the birth of Christ gave us --Hope. Hope in Him, Hope in His Atonement, Hope in Eternal Life. 

What kinds of food do you eat at Christmastime? What are some of your favorite decorations? 

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