December 20, 2017

Winter Wonderland Tag

Merry Christmas, my friends!!! What have you all been up to? I hope your holidays are joyful and sparkling and maybe even filled with snow, if you live someplace where that happens. :P But even if your Christmas isn't as magical as it could be, I hope you're having a happy one, resting in the peace that our Savior came and lived and died for you and me everyone. <3

Recently I was tagged by Amaris of The Storybook Journal with a tag of her own creation and I'm here to fill it out because it's fun and I need to bring some Christmas magic to this blog. :D


1. Name a few things you love about winter, and a few things you don't love so much about it.
Well, if you don't count Christmas as my MOST FAVORITE thing about wintertime, I also love...
1) Snow. Icy, lacy flakes and clumps of it stuck on all the trees like sugary frosting.
2) Smoky chimneys and the colors of the sunset behind the black, leafless trees.
3) Warm sweaters and boots and coats.

A few things I don't like:
1) Snow. Cold, messy, grey, slushy snow ugh.
2) Cold, endless gray days. Come spring, it's like I forgot what sunshine is.
3) Putting on fifteen layers of clothing because I can't even feel my fingers I'm so cold.

2. When you were a child, did you "believe" in Santa Claus?
Yup, we did do the "Santa Claus thing". (*waits for people to judge me*) (kidding) Though I probably won't do it with my own imaginary-hopefully-someday children, I still have fond memories of the experience. You know, leaving out the cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. I love fantasy, so the magical side of the Santa Claus tradition appeals to me. It's so fun to believe in elves and flying reindeer and such when you're a kid....but then, it's also kind of ridiculous and detracts from the real meaning of Christmas. You don't need Santa to appreciate the gifts you've been given, and you CERTAINLY don't need Santa to appreciate the gift of Life we've been given by Jesus.

*gets off soapbox*

Sounds of Christmas
Bring Crosby's voice//crackling fireplaces//the indescribable, delicate sound of snow falling to the ground//the oven heating up to bake delicious food//bells at the grocery store//Christmas hymns//wrapping paper being torn apart//George Bailey saying "I want to live again."//
It's safe to say that It's a Wonderful Life is one of the most popular holiday movies of all time—but even if you've watched the classic dozens of times, we're willing to bet there's still a lot you don't know about this beloved movie. Take a look at some of the surprising stories behind the 1946 film's most iconic moments.

3. Is there a book or movie that you really love to read in the Winter as opposed to other times of year?
Little Women is definitely a Christmastime movie to me, even though it's not a Christmas movie exactly. And winter is always a good time to settle in and watch North and South  or Little Dorrit. (But then, every time is a good time for those series. :P)

4. Is there a particular Christmas movie that you watch EVERY year as tradition?
It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, Christmas Carol on Christmas Day. I've also begun watching Eloise at Christmastime every year by myself because it's one of my very favorite Christmas movies and it's kind of fun to have your own tradition. (Plus, I don't think anyone in my family cares for it like I do. :P)

Tastes of Christmas
gingerbread//sugar cookies//sticky peppermint candy canes//cold air that burns and tingles in your lungs//snowflakes from the sky//hot cocoa//
5. Do you usually get a real tree or a fake tree for Christmas? Who's in charge of decorating it at your house?
Real tree allll the way. (We used to do a fake tree but thankfully those days are over.) I usually decorate it, with help from my mom or brother. (But seriously, is there anyone who LIKES having a fake tree? Please tell me. I'd like to know.)

6. Does your family usually stay home or go visiting (relatives, friends, etc.) on Christmas Day?
We used to always visit our grandparents when we lived in Florida, but ever since we moved we stay home on Christmas Day.

Sights of Christmas
Christmas lights//snow//pine trees at the tree lot//wreaths on doors//people with packages at the post office//colorful frosting on cookies//black and white movies//nostalgic ornaments on the tree
7. What does your family usually do on New Years Eve? Any traditions? Do you ever stay up till midnight?
We are so boring; we rarely do anything for New Year's. :P We usually watch a movie or something. Sometimes we stay up till midnight, sometimes not. *shrugs*

8. Do you get snow where you live? If so, have you ever built a snowman and named him Olaf?
Hahaha. Yes. we live in Michigan. Yes, we get snow. :P In answer to the second question....no. Sorry, Olaf.

Feels of Christmas
the poke of Christmas tree needles as you decorate the tree//soft blankets//the sting of snow on your face//silk smooth, crinkly wrapping paper//hot mugs of tea or cocoa//heavy packages that you shake and still can't figure out what they are :P// 
1930 Cover Art - Better Homes & Gardens by American Vintage Home, via Flickr
9. If it's snowing outside, would you prefer to go outside and build snowmen and enjoy it, or would you rather stay inside with a blanket and something hot to drink and maybe a movie or a book?
This is hard. What I'd really do is go outside and enjoy the snow THEN come back in and have something hot to drink and read a book. :P So let's just say....both.

10. When do you start looking forward to or getting excited about Spring?
...After Christmas? Haha. Probably sometime around the end of February. :)

Smells of Christmas
chocolate//peppermint//pine trees//fresh, snowy air//gingerbread//

Winter

I tag anyone who wishes to do this tag. Please link back to Amaris's blog!! :D

Merry Christmas, my friends! 
Do any of you have a fake tree and like it?
What are some of your favorite sights and sounds etc. of Christmas?

PS. Please raise your hand if you're a gift-shaker. I really want to know I'm not the only one.

PPS. Have you seen this video? xD

16 comments:

  1. We have a fake tree, and I love it. We apparently had a real tree when I was little, but Mom didn't like it (pine needles everywhere apparently)

    Lovely post, Natalie!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Catherine!! I never would have guessed so many people like fake trees, but y'll proved me wrong with your comments. :D

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  2. I love your answers. :) (Although, I can't exactly relate to many. :P) (That's what imaginations are for. It was 39 degrees (102 degrees) here yesterday. Not exactly snowy weather.)

    We've had a fake tree for the past 15 years or so, I think... it's been a lloonnngg time since we had a real one, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't within my lifetime. :P Our tree is rather sentimental, and it's SO old. We've only ever had the one, and the amount of times it's been sat on by little children (those bottom branches look so inviting!) tripped over (sometimes the presents beneath it are underestimated in size) and bumped into, it leans a little and sags a lot. :P But it's loved. Very loved.

    My favourite sights and sounds of Christmas... the sound of sausages on the BBQ, carols playing, the air conditioning going as hard as it can, laughter and shouts from the kids, the murmur of conversations, the TWHACK of hitting each other with balls made out of wrapping paper... ;D My favourite sights... all I can think of is food haha. Trifles, ice cream, pavlova, a leg of ham, seafood, the hilarity of one present carefully wrapped with a ribbon in a perfect bow, and one beside it that was clearly slapped together last minute with never ending amounts of sticky tape (either that, or it was kindly wrapped by a little child ;)).

    Actually, I never shake my presents. :P I try very hard not to guess them, because I find it way more fun to find out what it is WHILE I unwrap it!

    And oh, WOW. That video had me laughing SO hard!!! Like, I was crying laughing! That was SO GOOD. XD (I've gotta show that to my family, haha!)

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    1. Thanks, Gabby!! Oh mmyyy woooorddd. 102 degrees??? Now that's something *I* need my imagination for! :P

      Awwww. I can totally understand having nostalgic, sentimental feelings for something that's been in the family for so long. <3

      Okay THANK YOU FOR TELLING ME ALL YOUR FAVORITE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS. Because you described it all so beautifully and now I feel as if I can accurately picture (somewhat) what an Australian Christmas is like. :D

      Isn't it hysterical?? I hope your family enjoyed it!!



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  3. I loved reading your answers!
    First of all; I have never seen "Eloise at Christmastime"! Is it a classic movie or a newer one? That's totally fun to have a tradition all yourself. I suppose I have one too; every year when I wrap presents in my room, I listen to Owl City, and I'll just sit there on the floor wrapping until my back is killing me. Yep. That's my tradition: A backache. (stick with me I'm seriously fun)

    Secondly, we have always gotten a real tree, but this year we decided is our last year. Next year, it's a FAKE tree. :) Enjoy your needles!

    Lastly, I SHAKE PRESENTS ALL THE TIME. And I try to guess what's in them. Usually I'm pretty good, probably because I usually have a decent idea of what I'm getting. :)

    Anyways, I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season!
    Thanks for doing the tag; I hope you had fun!

    -Amaris

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    1. Thanks, Amaris!!

      "Eloise at Christmastime" is a newer (2000's) movie based on the Eloise childrens' books. She lives in the Plaza hotel in New York City and has all sorts of adventures. :) "Eloise at Christmastime" is technically a sequel to the first movie, "Eloise at the Plaza". Here's my review of the movie: http://ramblings-of-a-red-head-girl.blogspot.com/2015/12/eloise-at-christmastime.html

      Wrapping presents with music is so fun and I LOVE Owl City!! (I hate backaches, though. :()

      Thanks; we will! ;)

      Heehee, glad it's not just me!!

      I did have fun, thanks! Happy 2018!

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  4. Loved reading this. Especially where you added in sights, feels, smells, etc. of Christmas.

    I also have a fake tree and like it very much. :)

    Merry Christmas!
    ~ Elanor

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    1. Thank you, Elanor!!

      Happy New Year!

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  5. I love Christmas. And I love this post <3

    I really like your idea about watching certain movies every Christmas :-) I wonder if I might enjoy doing that . . . But, the thing is, there are only a few movies that I actually like re-watching? Most of the time, I prefer to just watch [or read] something once, and then just keep the memories in my head. Because you can't experience it the same way twice. At least I can't. Oh, well--maybe someday I'll have accumulated enough films that I can successfully re-watch; and then I'll start a tradition like that :-)

    HAHA Santa Claus is real and nobody can tell me that he ain't. Also, there are elves living in our attic. Fact. *solemn nod*

    :-P

    [In all seriousness, though--I will definitely be teaching my own kids about Santa Claus because it's personally very important to me. HOWEVAH, everybody has their own way of doing things! Nobody has to do what I do, if they don't want to! It's all cool :-)]

    Nope, never had a fake tree. My grandparents used to have one, if I remember right--and I found that slightly horrifying. I'd rather have NO tree than a fake tree.

    Favorite sights and sounds of Christmas? *thinks*

    I really like the smell of sugar cookies, which my mom usually doesn't bake except at Christmastime. And I love the smell of gingerbread--we do have that more often, but still, it's a very Christmas-y thing. Evergreen needles smell fabulous <3 Also, incense in church makes me cough, but still, IT DOES SMELL GOOD.

    As for favorite sights: our little manger scene, because it's cute. And the Advent wreath in church with all its candles lit. And also the wooden Santa Claus figurines on the mantelpiece; most of all because they remind me of my pretend-grandfather, our old next-door neighbor who was also a WW2 veteran. He carved all the figurines himself, and gave them to us. I loved that man so much. I miss him. <3

    Merry, merry Christmas, dear friend!! *hugs*

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    1. Thank you!!!! <3

      I literally grew up on the tradition of watching Christmas movies ever year. So it's hard for me to imagine NOT doing it. (Plus I've allllways been a big movie re-watcher.) I agree, the experience really isn't ever the same as the first time. And that can be sad...but I've also found that some movies grow on you even MORE after the first watches. Until they becomes close friends. And you pick up on SO MUCH DETAIL. For instance, my mom and I have watched P&P 95 SO MANY TIMES and yet we always find something new to comment on or notice. :D

      Anyways. I hope you enjoy re-watching Christmas films someday if it works out!!

      Good for you. :D I don't think people are WRONG to have their kids believe in Santa Claus. Just not the best idea for EVERYONE. (What makes Santa Claus important for you, if you don't mind my asking? I'd love to know. :))

      For me, I'm not sure whether I'd go as far to say no tree over a fake tree, but I agree. I just LOVE real trees. ♥

      I LOVE your smells and sights of Christmas!!!! And ohhh, yes, the nativity scene! I forgot to mention ours, but I love it so much.

      Now I want to know what the incense in church smells like. :D

      Your old next door neighbor sounds like a wonderful person. ♥

      Happy New Year!! *hugs back*

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  6. Beautiful post!
    A few of my favorite sounds of Christmas are -> music classics like Nat King Cole, Harry Connick Jr, Dean Martin etc... Church bells ringing and the soft snow falling. Favorite sights? Christmas lights, fresh baked goodies ;) our advent tree... oh goodness, the list goes on! Ha ha

    Livvy

    P.S. I would appreciate it if you could come for a visit to my blog -> belivy.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Livvy!!
      I love Dean Martin's music, too! And the rest of your list is really beautiful. :)

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  7. I can really relate. My human family does the exact same stuff. I mean exactly!
    My favorite Winter thing is the fireplace!

    Heidi (the sweetest Pit-Bull in the world)

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    1. I really don't know what to say to this. ;P

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  8. THIS POST. Where do I even begin? This was such a perfect Christmassy post. <3 <3

    I love how you put in "sights and smells", etc. of Christmas. That added so much to the post. And I love the pictures you chose! (The It's A Wonderful Life picture!! I may have to steal that one. ;))

    Okay, I'm judging you terribly, TERRIBLY much right now. YOU BELIEVED IN SANTA CLAUS??!! Oh Natalie. This is why we should have known each other as children. I would have set you straight. :P HAHAHAHA! TOTALLY KIDDING!!! I'm not judging you at all. The traditions you described actually sound really fun. But just...how did you explain the cookies still being there in the morning? (Or did your parents eat them during the night? Heehee. ;))

    Do you guys collect presents under the tree in the days leading up to Christmas, or do you put them all under the tree Christmas Eve night? We always do it Christmas Eve night (or rather my parents do) so then when we come down in the morning we're seeing all the presents for the first time. :)

    Your tradition of watching Eloise at Christmastime by yourself sounds fun! I wish I could watch it with you! (Only I guess that would ruin the tradition, wouldn't it? Haha. ;))

    We're that other boring family. We don't do anything traditionally for New Years either. :P

    ~Miss March

    P.S. That video was funny! :D

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    1. Awww, THANKS. ♥

      I'm glad you did. I debated on it, because I was having trouble coming up with things to say. :D But I'm glad I did. (Go right ahead! :))

      Well, I'm glad my childhood fantasies weren't CRUSHED, then. ;P Heehee. They were fun! And ohhh yes, no worries there. My dad would eat the cookies. :D

      Well, when we did Santa they'd all "appear" under the tree during the night. (My mom hated that part, actually, because she'd have to get up to put them out. I don't blame her. :D) But now we just put them out whenever. :)

      No that wouldn't ruin it! :D We should watch it together sometime, even if it's not Christmastime, haha. ;)

      This year we watched a movie. That's it! :D (Happy New Year!!)

      PS. Glad you enjoyed it!

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