Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Hodgepodge Holiday Spirit

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks for making time in this busy season to play along here. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. Then leave some holiday cheer in the form of a comment for the blogger linking before you. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond  

1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit? 

If you've been reading here a while you might remember answering this question in a long-ago edition of the Hodgepodge. December 15, 2010 to be exact. Ten years ago. What??? 

Let's not get sidetracked by time travel. Here's what I wrote back then-

"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."

One thing I love about blogging is looking back and seeing how events and feelings have held up or changed over time. The first paragraph of my original answer still holds true, as does the last. 

We may have to work harder this year to find our holiday spirit, but I have managed to drill my focus down to the baby in the manger. Everything else is tinsel on the tree. Which is nice, but not essential.

2. What's one thing you've baked this month? Have you eaten the finished product? How much baking do you do around the holidays? What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year?  

I do quite a bit of baking this time of year, although I'm trying to rein it in a little in 2020. Hypothetically speaking I don't need to eat two or three Christmas cookies every day between now and Jan 1. I most recently baked a non-Christmas treat, chocolate chip banana bread, because I had overly ripe bananas and didn't want to waste them. I put that loaf in the freezer to have when my grandsons are here since this is a treat both they and their momma love. 

My family expects cookies on the menu, and lots of them. I try to oblige. 

3. Your most recent 'half-baked' idea?

I'm trying to remember something I've done recently that didn't go the way I'd planned and the only thing that springs to mind is a dinner I cooked recently that was delicious. Also super messy (most of my cooking is) and labor intensive and I forgot about the labor intensive part until I started prepping things at the rather late hour of 6:30 PM.  

4. Where were you the last time you 'baked' in the sun? The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed? Which one on the list appeals to you the most? If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go? 

We spent a long weekend visiting friends in Florida waaaaay back in March. We drove home just as lockdowns were beginning. 

I've been to several sunny spots listed including Dubai, Miami, St Lucia, and Antiqua. I would not say no to a trip to Bali but if I could lie on a beach anywhere right now I'd probably pick something closer to home. Maybe the Keys. 

5. Today I wish I had more _____________________.

Blank space in my to-do list? Hours in the day? Is that cliche? Maybe so, but also true for me today. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

When peace on earth is hard to find...


  1. Ah yes, Key West would be a lovely place to hang out on the beach. Or Tampa Bay where my cousin lives.
    I think many people are rethinking and redoing Christmas this year because they have to. Hopefully, good memories and new traditions will result from it.

  2. It is really hard for me to get in the spirit and decorate this year. Youngest daughter is telling me if I put up a tree that this would make me happy. Nope...It is just sad to me. I also told daughter I didn't think the stable was decorated the night Jesus was born (this ended the conversation).
    Prayers for all to find Hope this Christmas.

  3. Wonderful thoughts on Christmas Spirit. I think we are all just doing our best this year to find something close to normal, but as long as we keep the focus on that baby boy we'll do just fine.

  4. I was chuckling about your "not essential" comment. It is true that a lot of fluff is not necessary to celebrate Christmas. I think I'll need to go in and modify some of my answers now that I've had a night of sleep. :) I think your thoughts from 10 years ago were good. Blessings!

  5. Love that the true Spirit of Christmas does not ebb and flow. That is so true! And, aren't we thankful for that truth. Wishing you and yours a most wonderful time of the year.

  6. The Keys sound like a lovely choice. I'd like to go back there one day. I am going to have to see if I answered that question ten years ago. I just saw a birthday cake I made ten years ago on my blog photos so I think I was hodgepodging back then :)

  7. I just first Hodgepodge was in April, 2011 :)

  8. It is a bit hard to keep up the holiday spirit this year. We thought our youngest son and his girlfriend would be down. Her parents live an hour north of us but now it seems neither are coming because of C-19. She doesn't want to fly and Jeff doesn't have enough time away from the job to drive down and make it a nice get-away. BUT... we rarely have any family here for holidays anymore so bah-humbug and get on with it. We remember the reason for the season and share with friends who are also alone and that makes it all worthwhile and fun. Thanks for a great Hodgepodge, Joyce!! XO

  9. I like your answer for Holiday Spirit. This year is definitely going to be different. Love the song, thank you for sharing.

  10. I have no Christmas spirit at all, despite that the city and houses are more decorated than ever ! We will be alone, just the two of us which has happened once when our son was in Australia. This year just nothing and a stupid rule, ONE person as guest ! (the other, mostly they are couples )has to remain outside ??? and travelling is almost impossible, you have to make a test before going and when you come back too ! If meanwhile you are positive you have to stay 2 weeks at home !!

  11. I always seem to wish I had more hours in a day!

  12. Hoping to replan a mother daughter Key West trip for Mother’s Day since Covid cancelled our plans for last year. Such a fun spot.