Meet the Blogger, Christmas Version #festivebonbons

December 13, 2021

Meet the Blogger, Christmas Version

Meet the Blogger Christmas version (white text against a snow covered pine tree background)

I’m linking up today with Deb @ Deb’s World Blog for A Festive Bonbons Linkup.
Why bonbons?
he word ‘bonbons’ creates a festive feel. Bonbons are small bits of Christmas cheer like our questions. A bonbon is a sweet or small confection, especially a small ball coated in chocolate.

Here are Deb’s questions:

Festive bonbon questions

Christmas Tree:

I like to celebrate Thanksgiving before putting up Christmas decorations. Years and years ago, we bundled up the kiddos and picked out our tree from a tree farm. As the children became adults and we experienced an “empty nest,” we bought our first artificial tree. There have been a few iterations of the fake tree. We started with one that had color coded individual branches and the lights were put on manually, and now our tree is easy to assemble (three pieces) and is pre-lighted for the win! When the children were little, I would take them to pick out an ornament each year, so our tree was filled with treasured, unique, individual ornaments which reflected each child’s interests that year. Now that they’ve moved out along with their box of ornaments, I have enjoyed more thematic trees. The one item that never changes is the angel tree topper. I think it’s been on almost every tree we’ve ever owned (except perhaps the first few because I can’t remember the year I bought it).

My Christmas Tree

This was last year’s tree.

close up of my treetop Angel

This year’s tree with a closeup of the treetop Angel.

Christmas Carols:

I love ALMOST all the Christmas music, traditional and modern. Enjoy an assortment of a few of my favorites! What is your favorite Carol?

Christmas Books:

Luke 2: 1-20 is my favorite Christmas Story!

I don’t think I have a very favorite Christmas book but there are several books that have poignant Christmas scenes which I love. For example, Little Women and The Deal of a Lifetime. Do you have a favorite Christmas story?

Christmas Movies:

I don’t have a Christmas movie I watch every year, but a classic that I love is It’s a Wonderful Life. How many times have you seen it? Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?

Christmas Cookie:

I don’t think I have a favorite Christmas cake, so I’m “tweaking this category”! I have a weakness for decorated and frosted Christmas sugar cookies, Russian teacakes (powdered sugar coated balls of pie crust! …..also known by other names), and peanut butter cookies with a hershey’s kiss pressed into the center after baking made by my mom. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Chocolate, Nuts, or Fruit:

My favorite chocolate at Christmastime is the Bordeaux selection from the Sees Candy Box! I also love ANY chocolate covered nut clusters! I like my fruit (bananas, apples, mandrian oranges, strawberries) with chocolate fondue please! What is your favorite Christmas treat?

Christmas Traditions:

Our family has always celebrated on Christmas Eve. Maybe this is a Midwest U.S. or Scandinavian tradition? I’m not sure, but I can’t image it any other way. I love the warmth, the candles, the Christmas lights, the fireplace….. all the Hygee! Plus I’m a nightowl and the evening is when I have the most energy….my family would hate me in the early morning hours!

Hygee Essentials:

sitting in front of a fire with socks, blankets, and hot drinks

Roaring Fire
Cozy Blankets
Warm Socks
Oversized Sweaters
Hot Chocolate
Pine Scents
Comfort Food/Traditional Foods (ideally everyone brings a dish to share)
Optional: stormy weather

When my children were young, we always went to a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service before or after opening presents. As my children grew to become more independent and it was more challenging to corral them, convince them, conjole them into attending a service and as our family began to grow to include sons- and daughters-in-law and grandchildren, we let go of this tradition. I do miss the tradition of a quiet and lovely Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

Christmas Eve candlelight service...people holding candles in a darkened room

Another tradition we enjoy as our children have become adults with families of their own is to play games (the minute-to-win it varieties). A big hit with the children of all ages. We also play a dice game in which a pie tin with a pair of dice is passed around the room…..each time a double is rolled, the person gets to choose a gift (which I have purchased). When all the gifts have been chosen and unwrapped, we pass the plate of dice again and if the person rolls a double they get to steal (actually trade their gift for the other person’s). We set a time limit of 5 minutes for this part of the game. The reason I started this game is because our family was expanding with marriages and grandchildren and it was too expensive for everyone to buy gifts for everyone. We decided to just buy for the “littles.” Because I wanted everyone to go home with “something,” I introduced the dice game and bought all the gifts (a sneaky way to gift them!). Do you have a favorite family game?

“Times when families laugh together are among the most precious times a family can have.”
~Mr. Fred Rogers

What’s on the Table?

On Christmas Eve my family of origin always had Oyster Stew. I never ate the oysters but we all learned to love the savory stew and oyster crackers. We also loved how much my dad loved carrying on the tradition from his childhood. When my own children grew old enough to voice their objections and we started including girlfriends, fiances, and in laws in this traditional meal, I started supplementing it with something they’d like. After a while, there were only a couple of us enjoying the oyster stew and it was extra effort to literally prepare two meals. So, I eliminated the tradition of oyster stew and began a new tradition of Mexican food (which is plentiful and delicious and available for easy takeout in Southern California). Everyone is happy now as we enjoy chicken enchiladas, taquitos, tamales, chips and salsa, and a couple of side salads. What is your traditional meal?

a bowl of oyster stew....a person dipped into the bowl and is holding a spoon with one oyster

Christmas Memories:

Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money and our Christmas presents were minimal by today’s expectations. My parents did make sure we received one thing that we really, really wanted. The remainder of the gifts were practical (pajamas, etc). I always loved getting a new book which I would devour over the school break! My strongest memory of winter vacation is reading my new book! For many years this was a Nancy Drew book!

Then there was the Christmas when I was very young and received a John Deere tractor (riding toy….not motorized/battery powered in those days….pure pedal power). Yes, I grew up on a farm! My mom found me up in the middle of the night (sleep walking) excitedly riding my tractor! My other favorite gift as a young girl was a new doll!

When my children were young, I enjoyed creating a family-centered and magical Christmas Eve for them! Those memories are kept safe in my heart. Of course, Christmas was always at my house, so I also have memories of being so tired!

One special personal memory occured the first year I was married. It was my first Christmas away from home, and one day my dad showed up at my door, kidnapped me, and took me to a Christmas tree lot and bought me a tree (complete with stand)! I have no idea why he did that, but it was such a surprise and so very thoughytful! I’ll never forget the gesture!

All I Want For Christmas Is…

 Because of the Pandemic, this is the second Christmas where we will not have an extended family Christmas gathering. We decided to be safe one more year and not take unnecessary risks with the new variant surging in our communiy.

I have two requests on my Christmas list:

  • GO AWAY Pandemic!
  • Peace on Earth

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

Let There Be Peace on Earth With Vince Gil and Amy Grant

Peace on Earth (sign) decorated with doves and holly and a snowy blue border


How would you answer these questions?
If you participate in this linkup, please include your link in comments and linkup with Deb @ Deb’s World Blog.

Festive Bonbon Link Party Graphic

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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  1. Christmas in New Zealand is very different because of it being mid-summer, Carol. Yes, I put up a tree but it doesn’t look anything as beautiful as yours. It’s going up late this year as I always wait for my grandson to help decorate it. So that is happening this Saturday.
    Christmas carol: Silent Night.
    My favourite Christmas book and movie are the same: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
    My Christmas cake recipe is an old family one handed down for several generations. I have made a couple of small tweaks.
    Yes to chocolate, nuts and fruit.
    If we’re home we just barbecue. This year we’re Christmasing with my cousins and they do the whole traditional ham etc. I am supplying the trifle.
    Christmas traditions? Champagne breakfast
    Memories: creeping out to the tree at 2am when I was about 8, and knocking over the bike my dad had reconditioned for me, the tree, the lot and waking the whole house.
    My Christmas wish: that no one go hungry.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog Carol, and Merry Christmas.

    • Thanks for sharing Sandy! I love the story about knocking over the tree and bike! Yikes! I adore Silent Night and The Grinch also! 🙌 let’s both wish to end hunger. 💔

  2. How many times have I seen It’s a Wonderful Life? Now there’s a question! I used to watch it with my dad when I was little and it’s still a part of our regular Christmas routine. So 40+ viewings at least I would say! My favourite carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. And I’m absolutely with you on your All I Want for Christmas wishes!

    • Wow! I think you win the prize for most viewings of Wonderful Life! I love that you have that memory with your dad! I love Little Town as well! Thanks for commenting Joanne!

  3. I loved this post and finding out about your Christmas favourites and traditions. I love It’s a Wonderful Life but the Muppet Christmas Carol also comes close as a favourite

  4. Dear Carol

    Hello from the UK. Many thanks for this post. As regards favourites mine could be:

    Carols – as regards the UK, there is Carol Vorderman, and my wife and I know someone locally called Carole! However, as regards songs though, possibly ‘Hark the herald angels sing’.

    Books – I had a loo-k at Luke 2 v.1-20 to remind myself. To be honest, any story about the heavenly Father’s beautiful Boy, who became a Man is wonderful.

    As regards other books, I don’t know. I don’t read anything particular each year.

    However, ‘The Railway Children’ by Edith Nesbit is very good.

    Movies – ‘The Railway Children’ again, with Jenny Agutter as Roberta. ‘Elf’ is very good though for the humour.

    Cookie – this could be my wife as the cook-ie!! This might give me brownie points for saying this!! And brownies are cookies!! My wife was a brownie as a child, part of the Girl Guides movement, so I think this proves my point!!

    Chocolate, nuts or fruit – any good quality chocolate, any colour, but dark chocolate probably best if I am not after the calories during a hill/mountain walk. Calories can be anagramed to ‘I se carol’ or Is carols’, so maybe after a good sing song, calories are essential.

    As regards nuts, are you crazy? Or just nuts!! Seriously though, walnuts are the best for me, once I realised that fresh they are superb. A rancid walnut is not.

    As regards fruit, the satsuma is ideal, plenty of vitamin C and orange like the sun. Which reminds us of the Son of God, Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate.

    And juicy, because Jesus was born a Jew, d’you see?

    Favourite family game – any silly games are good. Drawing consequences where each person draws a part of the body, typically with three sections, head trunk and arms and legs. I think the first action was to put a name, anybody’s name at the top of the paper to then fold over to conceal it then pass along for the next person to do the next bit, the head and so on.

    Writing consequences very good with names of two people, where they met, he said, she said, the outcome was. Can be extremely funny.

    Traditional meal – turkey with all the trimmings. Christmas Pudding with brandy butter. My mother did sometimes do a poached pear with a tarragon cream sauce as a starter. I haven’t had it for years.

    As regards the Christmas wish list, your wish is my command. Baldmichael the angel at the top of the tree waves his magic wand thus.

    GO AWAY Pandemic! – the pandemic is the panic of the dem, or demos, the people. There is nothing to panic about or fear.

    Covid 19 is the ‘flu dressed as a monster to scare the children of God. The ‘flu is the internal toxicosis of the body, partly due to metabolism of food and partly due to the many poisons in our environment which can and do enter our bodies in the air, food and water.

    The toxicosis of the body basically involves the production of urea which we must excrete, or poison ourselves. Over indulging at Christmas can be a problem.

    But in essence we get ‘flu usually in the winter/end of winter when our vitamin D levels are low in the northern hemisphere away from the sun. Vitamin C is great to help purge the system as it is an anti-oxidant.

    This is one reason why the current version of the ‘flu has been rebranded Covid 19. It’s in the name. vitamin C Or VItamin D. My stress is on the capitals.

    19 is the atomic number of potassium, letter K as a symbol. K-2 vitamin recommended with vitamin D to reduce risk of furring of arteries.

    Peace on Earth – with the knowledge of the above there will be peace on earth regarding the pandemic of ‘flu.

    Regarding the pandemic of evil, there will be peace on earth when people acknowledge the Son of God the heavenly Father. Or C (see) the eternal ring ‘O’ of VI -ctory of the D-addy (the heavenly Father. Or C.O.VI.D for short.

    What’s on your Christmas wish list? – that people will wake up and realise that I am telling the truth. I am a fool, an old fool now at 61 years of age. But I am a little wiser than I was.

    Come and see my site, there is something for everybody I hope. And it’s all free!

    A very happy Christmas to you and all your family, and all the heavenly Father’s blessings in New Year.

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

    Please excuse the nom-de-plume, this is as much for fun as a riddle for people to solve if they wish.

  5. What a great read Carol, your responses were all so interesting and a great way to get to know you more! I loved the gift of Nancy Drew books too, back in the day, and that story about your dad kidnapping you was delightful! I’m not sure about the oyster stew though. Thanks for joining in and sharing your answers to these questions. I also enjoy the Danish way of living but not for our Christmas due to the heat! I’m sorry to hear you can’t have a family get together again this year, we’re attempting it this year and fingers crossed all goes well.

  6. I was a real tree person until I moved to the subtropics. The needles really shed in the warmer climate. Now it’s an artificial tree with preinstalled lighting all the way. Each year Santa gives our son a Christmas ornament, usually focused around one his interests. The idea is that when he sets up his own home, he’ll have a start on Christmas tree decorations.

    My earliest Christmas memory is racing down to the tree to discover hulahoops for each of us. It didn’t take us long to work them out.

    I grew up in upstate New York near the mountains so our Christmas tradition was to wake up early, open up the presents, then go skiing!

    • Thanks for sharing memories! Buying your children ornaments is wonderful until they move out and take their ornaments with them! Suddenly one year we had nothing but a few stragglers with which to decorate our tree!

      I imagine you miss skiing on Christmas Day!

  7. Great post! I only like “rock Christmas” music which I’ve been informed is not “real” Christmas music, ha!

  8. I love that you shared this, Carol! I loved reading about your Christmas experiences. We always eat chocolate covered fruit at my house. I really like dipping pineapples in chocolate!

  9. What a great post, Carol. I loved reading it and listening to all your musical selections. I also just downloaded Once in a Lifetime from the library to read later today. I love all things Christmas, but spending time with family is the most important thing for me. Here are my answers in short.

    Christmas Tree: I usually put it up the first weekend in December. I used to either give each of my children an ornament or they would make one. Over the years, my ornaments I had collected got put away and we used the kids ornaments. They both took their box when they moved out, so now I use my ornaments I collected over the years (some from my mom, MIL, from our travels) to decorate the tree.

    Christmas carol: O Holy Night or Go Tell it on the Mountain. I love the verse you picked out from “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, it is even more fitting this year.

    My favourite Christmas book and movie are the same: A Christmas Carol

    For me I love to bake and eat cookies. There are certain kinds I only make at Christmas that everyone, including me, love. Coconut Date Balls, Snowball Cookies, Thimble Cookies, Chipits Toffee Bars and so on. I make about 16 different kinds and fill tins to give as gifts.

    Yes to chocolate. I am not a big lover of nuts, unless they are covered in chocolate.

    What’s on the Table: We are pretty traditional. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy stuffing and if my brother is coming I have to have corn. A salad of some type. Recently I added a soup course and always serve my Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup. Dessert is pumpkin cheesecake and whatever cookies and squared I have left. We also do a brunch when the kids get her around 10:00 and I serve a pecan french toast casserole and fritatta.

    Christmas traditions? Santa always fills everyone’s stocking. We used to go to Christmas Eve service as well, but now I go alone. This is the first year my daughter will not be here for dinner, she is going to her boyfriend’s parents for dinner. It will be different for sure.

    Memories: We used to get together Christmas Eve at someone’s house, and always had such a great time, but we haven’t done this for the last 3 or 4 years. Everyone’s family is too big. I am the worst, I was always up before everyone else and would wake them so everyone could look in their stockings. I have to wait until my kids and grandkids get here now.

    My Christmas wish: Wow, too many things. Eradicate Cancer, End this pandemic, no one go hungry, Peace on Earth.

    Merry Christmas Carol! 🎄🎅💖🤗

    • Awwww! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Carla! You have a post in the making here! You are definitely the baking queen! I used to bake more when the children were young. That pumpkin cheesecake sounds delicious! I used to bake cheesecakes to give away to friends.

      You’re getting close to leaving for Florida! Is someone driving with you? I love road trips!

      Merry Christmas Carla! 🎄🎁

      • I am driving by myself, with several audiobooks downloaded to listen to along the way. I take 3 days, no more than 8 hours driving per day. I actually don’t mind driving alone. Merry Christmas!

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