Anyway, because I still want to do it, because the holidays are upon us, and because it's December 1st, I'm going to share 30 Christmas Tid-Bits! Things about Christmas' past, my favorite things, little facts, and more!
1) I love listening to Christmas music and starting the day after Thanksgiving, it plays on my radio non-stop. Play Pandora on your computer using the White Christmas station for some good classics! 104.1 if you're in OKC.
2) Going along with thought #1, I love singing Christmas songs. All the time. Especially my favorite holiday tune, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." Get ready, I'll sing them to you all month long!
3) In the late 1930's, Montgomery Ward actually made up the story about Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer as a holiday promotion. Who would have thunk? It actually aired last night on CBS before the Victoria's Secret Show...weird combination.
4) The Nutcracker is a widely popular holiday ballet, but did you know that the Washington Ballet does a version using our forefathers? A patriotic Nutcracker! How fun!
5) Growing up, Santa always wrote us a note to leave by the crumble of his cookies and drained milk glass. Santa now asks for for peanuts and beer instead. Hmmm....wonder if Mrs. Claus approves of this mid-night snack.
6) When I was eleven, we delivered a Christmas tree to a very dear friend of ours--she was extremely ill. Her friends and family rallied together to decorate her tree and sing songs outside her door. I remember her coming outside to listen. The look of her face was priceless. It is one of my favorite Christmas memories.
7) The first artificial Christmas trees came from Germany and they were made out of goose feathers died green. That could not have smelled pleasant.
8) I have a sparkly pink Christmas tree from my first apartment. Four girls living under one roof with a pink and black living room, how could I not purchase a pink tree?
9) That was also the year we won the Christmas decorating contest in our complex--it literally looked like you walked into a winter wonderland. We had icicle lights hanging like a canopy in our living room with pink ornaments and snowflakes hanging down.
10) It's tradition in our house to open stockings first on Christmas morning. I'm not really sure why--I think Big Sister made that up a long time ago.
11) For years, Big Sister and I would get up in the middle of the night, sneak out the living room and have a peek. The funny part is we never knew the other one did it until a few years ago. Oh how stealthy we were.
12) I've only ever been in three productions of the Nutcracker, but I could still sing you the ENTIRE Tchaikovsky score if you'd like.
13) I love holiday baking. LOVE IT. Treats like jalapeno jelly, holiday meringues, gingerbread, Christmas cookies, and more. Oh my gosh. My mouth is watering.
14) Speaking of food, my family always does Chinese food for dinner on Christmas Eve. Before that, we did pizza. Don't worry, we do a nice roast dinner on Christmas day.
15) Last Christmas Eve, Pyro Man drove through a Dallas snow storm to spend Christmas with my family. A three hour drive took eleven hours. I must be one lucky girl.
16) Did you know that "Silent Night" was written for a choir when the church organ broke? I did not.
17) It's not Christmas until you've watched It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, A Muppet Family Christmas, and Elf. In my book, that is.
18) The best version of A Christmas Carol is the Muppet version. Hands down.
19) Christmas seems to bring out the best in people. Kids are usually on their best behavior, people in general are nicer...unless they're trying to get a parking spot at the mall. All bets are off at that point.
20) In 1870, the United States proclaimed Christmas as a national holiday.
21) This is the first Christmas I'll be spending away from home--don't cry, Mom--I'll actually be visiting with Pyro Man and his family! How fun!
22) Bing Crosby's version of "White Christmas" is one of the most popular Christmas albums and a family favorite--I swear, it's not my opinion unlike # 17 and #18. We literally wore out of a cassette tape of the Binger and were forced to buy the CD.
23) Oh this one is cool! Animal crackers were actually meant to be Christmas decorations, not an edible treat!
24) I actually like wrapping gifts. I think it's really fun and I like making boxes pretty and curling ribbons. I wrap Dad's gifts every year. Oops. You didn't read that, Mom.
25) Dad set our carpet on fire one Christmas eve. While trying to start a roaring fire in our fire place, we discovered the floo was shut when spoke came billowing into our living room. Dad jumped up, grabbed the gigantic tongs (who knows what they're called), and snatched up the flaming log only to drop in our our carpet. Yup, we covered up the burned hole for about year before we fixed it.
26) You can wear holiday apparel all month long and no one judges. The ridiculously decorated Christmas sweater? You can wear that because it's festive. The light up Christmas tree tie? Go ahead and flaunt it at work--it's the only time of year it's appropriate.
27) Christmas cards are awesome. Who doesn't like opening their mailbox and find an outpouring of letters from old friends and families with pictures and updates on their life?
28) Christmas cards were actually invented in 1843 as a way of encouraging people to help those in need. The first card showed a happy family with a child drinking wine and an inscription that read "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You!" They were so popular, people continued to send them year after year. In fact, it was actually the beginning of the greeting card industry. I love sending cards.
29) Mom's kitchen is usually full of holiday baked goods around Christmas time--I'm all over the holiday treats. One year Dad actually beat out Mom in at home fudge competition. His blond fudge won by a landslide, which was shocking since he's mostly a grill man.
30) Christmas Trees--There are three stories I love that entail Christmas trees. One you read, see # 6, and the others involve Dad. We had a 12 ft. Christmas tree my freshman year of high school. It was beautiful in our living room with the high ceilings, however, getting it out was another story. It had to be cut into several pieces to be removed from our house and took my dad, my then boyfriend, and his brother to load the pieces into Dad's truck. I think that's when Mom said no more 12 ft trees.
Then there's my favorite, The Story of the Disappearing Tree. Dad loaded up our old Christmas tree in the bed of truck and took off for the dump. Hopping out of his ride, Dad let the nice dump worker know, "Hey, I got a tree that needs to be unloaded." The dump worked looked at the truck and then my father. "What tree?" he asked. My puzzled father checked his truck and low and behold, no tree! "Well, what do you know!" he exclaimed.
Dad drove up and down the highway trying to find the lost little dried up tree. He never found it. I guess we'll never know what happened to that ol' Christmas tree.
It's funny, we joke that Dad can be a Scrooge around Christmas sometimes, but oddly enough, most of these stories include him. Aw, Dad! You're an ol' softy at heart after all--maybe we should start calling you the Grinch instead!
Happy December, everyone!!