Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friends are Calling Yoo Hoo-Wednesday Hodgepodge Vol 6

Does anyone still say yoo hoo? It feels like a word I might use here on Wednesdays~you know, 'Yoo Hoo! It's time for the Hodgepodge!" Obviously I've had that song Sleigh Ride on the brain ever since Monday when I wrote the title to this post. It's catchy! And doesn't it feel sort of like we're all neighbors here?

Its not too late to join the fun...the 'rules' for playing along are just above the button on my sidebar. And yes I know Christmas is less than two weeks away but who needs to be shopping, baking or wrapping when they can be wasting time blogging?

1. What does it mean to have the 'holiday spirit'?

I think holiday spirit is that little kernel of excitement on top of that little kernel of anticipation all mixed together with a sense of contentment deep in your heart. I have to say I haven't quite captured it yet this year and I think that's due to a number of things including, but not limited to,

a. I am not hosting Christmas in my own house this year oldest is working now so naturally there are complicated logistics to be sorted and accepted
c. because we're spread out we haven't done any fun holiday things all together as a family yet and I'm not sure if/when we will because see #b.

Figuring it all out is just another step towards the new normal known as the empty nest. And here is what I do know... I do know that the real spirit of Christmas doesn't ebb and flow with our circumstances, our schedules, our pocketbooks, the weather, or any of life's big and little disappointments. The real spirit of Christmas is eternal.

2. What's tops your tree (s)? Why?

We have an angel on top of our sun room tree. We bought her when we were first married so she's been with us a long time.

sun room tree, 2010

She has always been lovingly placed atop our main tree but in this house she is on the second tree. Our main tree, which is in the family room, is taller and bigger and for some reason she doesn't sit properly on the top branch. Right now there is a ribbon and bow and some sparkly picks on top of the main tree and that works too.

3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?

I guess that would be while traveling a couple of weeks ago. I like my hubs to travel with me because a. he carries all the stuff and 2. he deals with any inconvenience while I sit in a chair and sip a latte. Well, there are other reasons too but those are the big ones.

On my most recent trip I had to sort out re-booking a cancelled flight once I got to Heathrow (along with thousands of other people), deal with a missing bag in Germany, and maneuver all my fragile and awkwardly shaped boxes thru three airports and into the overhead bins for the flight home. Everything, including me, arrived in one piece so yay me!

4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?

Probably my sense of many wonderful smells that are particular to this time of year...I'm not sure any other season can say the same.

5. What is there too much of in your kitchen?

Plastic grocery bags? I jam them into a basket in my pantry and I'm pretty sure they multiply in there. I try my best to use canvas bags at the market but about 50% of the time I leave the bags in the car and don't realize it until I'm checking out. Bother.

6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big meal? Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it?

We'll have a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Eve late in the afternoon so we can attend church together as a family that evening. Christmas Day will be more casual...we'll add a baked ham to the turkey leftovers, some delicious hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, a yummy punch along with all those cookies and we'll call it a day. Our Christmas morning tradition dictates that we have coffee cake and/or home baked cranberry bread while we open stockings. Once we finish with the stockings we sit down for a nice breakfast featuring a sausage and egg casserole as the main attraction. And when breakfast is over that's when we'll open the gifts. I love breakfast on Christmas morning.

7. What is the best thing about winter?

Snow and ice on the trees...makes me think of fairy tales and peace and God's amazing attention to detail....

February, 2010

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Daughter2 took her last exam of the semester yesterday and I will be seeing her sweet face at the airport today. As soon as we collect her very large suitcase we are going to lunch and then home to start on our holiday baking. I haven't made a single cookie yet which is a shame but is also probably a good thing since no one has been home to eat them but me and the hubs. I'm looking forward to sharing many hours together as we mix and bake and taste test during these next few days. I mean, ya gotta taste test, right?


  1. How excited you must be to see Daughter #2 today!

    Yes, Christmas isn't quite the same for empty nesters, especially when our kids marry and have families of their own and they have to try to coordinate time with both sets of parents and of course their own families. We just have to create new traditions and cherish the moments we have together.

    Enjoy your time with Daughter #2. ;-)

  2. Ooooh! Plastic grocery bags. I have oodles. Have a lovely day!

  3. I like traveling with my hubby for those reason too. :) AN shopping with him. He'll drop me off at the door and carry the packages. I love being spoiled.
    I realized about a month ago that my daughter wouldn't be coming home two weeks before Christmas. Ever. Since she got married this summer, she wants to stay with her Husband. Whatever. Kind of hit me hard when I realized that. Have fun with your girl!

  4. You completely captured what I was trying to say for #1. When I read about the fiasco in Heathrow, I thought, "Wow. What an experienced traveler Joyce is. I would've been pulling my hair out!"
    Have a good time with your girlie today! OS didn't have his finals on Monday because the university was closed due to the weather, so he has it on Friday. Great. That delays his arrival home. :(

  5. Great answers, Joyce! And thanks for all the warm fuzzies! I just couldn't find any today! : )

  6. Great post today! Thank you so much for this. So glad you are going to see Daughter today. Hope the airport is not snowed in. I like to travel with hubby too. He keeps me laughing. And your angel is so pretty!

  7. I just had a moment to log in and link up with you this morning. We're heading back home in a minute, but I'll hopefully be back tonight to read your answers and check on the others too. See ya.

  8. I loved reading this. Enjoy welcoming your daughter!

  9. I love the part of your answer that describes a part of the holiday spirit as "a sense of contentment deep in your heart". I'm sure you must be feeling some of that today with your daughter coming home.

  10. Nice post. I love your traditions. As the children get older, marry, and have children, there will be opportunities to make some new ones as well!

    I know what you mean aboutthose plastic bags. They do seem to multiply :)

  11. Love your picture of the trees and your angel on the tree.

    Enjoy your daughter being home and may she bring you extra Holiday Spirit!

    On a final tree huger note (as we are over the top about recycling here), please take your bags to the store to recycle:) It's your future grandchildren's world your taking care of:) :) :)

  12. I think this is the first time I've participated in the Hodgepodge! I did it podcast-stlye (don't worry, it's SHORT--less than 5 minutes.) Hope you'll stop by!

  13. Ahhh...the joys of Christmas vacation when children return home from college. My own Chicky will be home on Friday. I cannot wait to put my arms around her.

    Beautiful pictures of the trees, by the way. I live in Florida and never get to see that first-hand.

  14. I always enjoy reading your answers, Joyce. I, too, leave my canvas shopping bags in the car far too often; therefore, I have way too many plastic bags in my house. I have placed them by the door to take to the recycling bin...if I can remember.

    Have a great Wednesday,

  15. Yes, those plastic bags do multiply and I always forget my "green bags" in the car too.

    The empty nest does present a whole new slant on holidays and it will become even more different when they marry and bring spouses in on the mix. It's called "adjusting." "o)

    I think all that definitely deserved a pat on the back!

    Blessings for a fun cookie baking time!

  16. I can hardly wait to see my daughter on Christmas Day! I miss having her with me before. But she is all grown now and has her own life. I'm happy for her, but I miss my little girl!

  17. I enjoyed reading your answers and participating in this blog hop today..I hope I have time to read more posts but I'm baking...
    I just wanted to comment on your first answer: Often at this time of year, I've been a little sad about decorating the house especially when we've lived away from family..It seemed I was doing it just for myself since we wouldn't have anyone over while it was all decked out..then I started hosting an Open House..I did it a couple of times in various locations to get acquainted with neighbors..every year it just seems to overwhelming to do it all in time but I'm always happy that I did...
    Enjoy your time with your Daughters...I remember how I felt when mine came home from college after being away a while.
    Mama Bear

  18. I know you're enjoying having daughter2 home. Have a fabulous time. Thanks for hosting. Blessings, SusanD

  19. Enjoyed your answers as always. I love what you said in #1 - "a sense of contentment deep in your heart" How true is that! Enjoy your daughters, it is hard when they start having families of their own. Eden Jade is spending the night at Granny's Saturday night, bubba has to go to his mom's this weekend so we will not see him till Monday. So it will just be me and Eden baking cookies. Should be fun!
    I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!
    until next time... nel

  20. C is home problems. It is nice to just know that your kids, I mean adult children, are home.

    If you have any problems traveling, you're welcome to stop for the night or just an hour or so to rest. We aren't too far off I-81.

  21. Love your angel tree topper and I hope you have a great time with your daughter home. My comes home tomorrow night. Can't wait!

  22. What a beautiful / fun blog and post!

  23. We use our plastic bags to put recyclable things into in the kitchen. We seem to have less now that I remember to use my shopping bags! I bet today was a great day for you with daughter2 coming into town. I agree, I don't like to travel along. I try to carry almost nothing on the plane.

  24. i love how the world looks after a good snowfall - your picture captures it beautifully!