Friday, December 18, 2009

7 (really) Quick Takes Friday--volume 62

Gemma and I slept out in the livingroom again. She wouldn't sleep until after 10, but slept fairly soundly. I did nurse her three times last night, but she was less restless in between nursing. She has a stuffy nose, but thankfully didn't have too much trouble nursing.

I am really late with the Christmas cards this year. Friends in Europe (the couple I've left there after twenty-odd years over here) will likely get my cards after the 25th. A number of people will have to be satisfied with an email greeting (I know, you can't display those, so they aren't as nice as a card in the mail!) Those friends and family who celebrate Hanukkah...? Well, I blew it this year. It came early and caught me off guard. Oops. Sorry!

Thanks to a friend who is making runs to a Food Co-Op in Nashville, we will be expecting a bushel of Fuji apples and 88 navel oranges tomorrow! A bushel! I had to look that one up, but apparently there's about 42 lbs. of apples in a bushel basket! That is about what my two youngest kids weigh together!

Back to work today after a marvelously lazy day yesterday. I did nothing (well, one small load of laundry which I haven't even folded yet). We watched Polar Express and A Christmas Story, we drank hot cocoa with marshmallows and ate spekulatius, we cut paper snowflakes. And I nursed and held a sick baby. I really enjoyed being an underachiever for a change. But now I'm another day behind, and I guess I'll have to march double-time to catch up...

I'm hoping we will get our Christmas tree today or tomorrow. I want to go with Bret this year. Last year my brother-in-law chose a perfectly beautiful tree for us, but Bret? My sister's theory about Bret is that he picks trees based on compassion. He always seems to find the most pathetic tree with some gaping hole somewhere that needs to be filled in with our largest ornaments. True, by the time it's all dressed up, any tree looks fairly good. But dressing it up is more pleasant when the tree doesn't look like a Dr. Seuss creation...or Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.
So, generally we get a tree a bit before Christmas and then keep it at least until Epiphany if not longer. Here in the South, it seems most people put them up the day after Thanksgiving and then the trees, minus any needles, are on the curb the day after Christmas. What are your thoughts on this?

I would love to hear about other families Christmas Eve traditions. We've been fiddling about with ours the last few years, and I am eager to have a "tradition" in this house. I liked having an easy buffet of finger foods and such for Christmas Eve, since we generally feast on the 25th. But the vigil of a Feast is generally a day of abstinence, and I was thinking about a simple meal of Clam Chowder and homemade bread this year (not that that would go over well with the kids...)

Anyway, this still took me longer than I'd hoped. I need to put a couple of cards in the mail and knit a bit before Dominic awakens and the house is subsequently thrown into chaos!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen over at Conversion Diary. And have a happy "Last Sunday of Advent Weekend"!


  1. In the Southwest, Tamales are the traditional Christmas Eve dish but they are hard to make meat free, LOL!

    I'm planning to make a pasta salad this year - I got snowflake shaped noodles - but that's not a tradition. It's just going to be easiest for busy schedules, I can make it ahead, and it will be a good lunch/snack on Christmas because we don't eat the big dinner until supper time.

    One of our other traditions though is to have a big fresh fruit plate and breads for Christmas breakfast. Easy because I don't have to cook - but special, I cut up fresh pineapple and starfruit and have a bounty of it.

    I've been sleeping on the couch with Alianna sometimes, too. Husband gets up at 4:30 for his new job, between the snoring, the baby, and the alarm I was being awakened every half hour all night long!

  2. It is my general impression, though I have only lived in Iowa, that the American tradition is to put up your Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. This is what my husband and I did as kids. As adults, however, we have been putting up our tree no earlier than the week of Christmas and taking it down no earlier than Epiphany. As kids we did at least keep the tree up through New Years Day.
    I really like waiting to put up the tree. In Christmas stories about the olden days it seems like people are always decorating the house for Christmas on Christmas Eve.

    As far as Christmas Eve traditions. It has always been the tradition in my family to invite people over and have the big meal on Christmas Eve. We have been staying home (just our immediate family) on Christmas Day and eating left overs after Mass. It's nice to have the cooking over with for Christmas Day though I have been thinking about having something more casual like clam chowder when we have people over this year. And then maybe wait and have a turkey with the fixin's either on Christmas Day or for Epiphany for just our immediate family. We'll see. I guess I'd better decide soon, huh? Have a good day!

  3. Good afternoon! We do so much with Advent as well as visiting with family and friends before Christmas Day, that our tradition has become to keep things low-key and easy. We attend the Christmas Eve Vigil, and the children are allowed to open one gift before bed. Also, earlier in the day, cookies are baked for Santa! And, as I already mentioned to you, on Christmas Day, we are doing a deli tray this year with a lot of munchies and goodies to go along with it. That seems odd to me as I have always cooked; but a friend suggested it, and my family thought it was a great idea!

    Glad Gemma is feeling better. Sounds like you had a wonderful day yesterday!

    Oh, we are one of those families that likes to put the tree up for Thanksgiving dinner AND keep it up through the Epiphany... so, a few years ago, we broke down and bought a beautiful artificial tree.

  4. At our house, I'm the one who gets up at 4:30, but I know all about snoring husbands and frequent night-time nursings!

  5. I just found your blog recently and have been enjoying it so much I just decided to follow! I saw that you have a list of Catholic sites that you link too many of which my husband and I also like to read from! I was wondering if you would take a look at my husbands new site He is just beginning a Catholic counseling private practice and we would like to get the word out to Catholics all over the country. Let me know what you think if you get a chance! Thanks so much and I hope the baby feels well soon!(for both your sakes!)

  6. Ah....we hope to go cut our tree today! Usually we get it around now (wait for my son to return from college) and then keep it up to Epiphany. But last night coffeedoc told me he wanted to keep it up to Candlemas - as that was what Pope JPII did. ?????? Oh my. We'll see.
    As for Christmas Eve. We tend to have our "Christmas" dinner on the eve as my little one's bday is Christmas DAY. So the dinner is her bday choice. (yeah, that has meant hot dogs for Christmas before...think about it). But it's now always midnight Mass, w/ sleepy in tow. Very tough to GET there but always glad we do.
    Merriest Christmas wishes to you!!!


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