Nadia’s Christmas in pictures

Dear Optimists,

What a Christmas, eh? It’s not quite over yet, so today’s post will be drawings of small incidences from the Christmas Days.

On the 23rd, the boyfriend’s gift came all the way from England. 5 days earlier than what they had told me. Happy dance!

On Christmas Day I was so lucky to be tackled by an evil bug. I had been dreaming about Christmas food forever and when the evening finally arrived, I couldn’t get it down. Yes, I’m dying in this picture, thank you for asking.

But we did manage to get a picture of everybody on Christmas Eve:

On the 25th, we celebrated with even more food and more family members. I still wasn’t feeling well, but little Emma couldn’t care less. She made sure we both got covered in chocolate:


Did you have a lovely Christmas Eve and/or Morning?

Snowmen and elves,
Nadia.

A very Danish Christmas

Dear Optimists,

Christmas is around the corner, in case you haven’t noticed. For me, as a Dane, Christmas is tomorrow evening. We spend the evening eating duck, goose, turkey and/or pork loin (which is horrible!), dancing around the Christmas tree while caroling, and opening presents.

I stopped celebrating Christmas during my teens, but it’s starting to grow on me again. This year I’m celebrating with the boyfriend, my parents-in-law and my Mum. I even bought a dress:

For dessert we will have a traditional Danish rice pudding with almonds and cherry sauce on top. The almonds are chopped, but we leave one whole almond in the pudding. Whoever gets the almond will receive a prize! I can’t wait!

Even though I really don’t fancy this dessert, I eat until I burst.

The following days will most likely be spend with family where we eat some more.

I’m curious: How are you going to celebrate Christmas? Do you have any special traditions?

Love,
Nadia.

Holiday Films!

Dear Optimists,

So the other day I wrote about Christmas Music…today I think I’ll talk about my favorite shows and movies. Top of the list is definitely Scrooged and Christmas Vacation. “Shitter’s full!” And if you haven’t seen the movie…go rent it NOW. But as a throwback, I always love catching Christmas Eve on Sesame Street…who remembers that one? Oscar convinces Big Bird that Santa can’t possibly fit into the chimney, so BB heads to the roof to wait for Santa as the rest of Sesame Street searches desperately for our large avian friend.

And an often forgotten Christmas movie, another of my favorites, is Gremlins. Say what you want, but it IS a Christmas movie. Gizmo was Billy’s Christmas present! And come on…what a fun holiday movie it is.

Of course, I couldn’t talk Christmas shows without mentioning Charlie Brown, Rudolph and all of those old classics. It’s a Wonderful Life is good too, of course.

How about you? Any favorites holiday films?

Love,
Den

Christmas celebrating

Dear Optimists,

The Optimists can’t come to the computer right now, since they are both busy gift-wrapping, garland-making, Christmas caroling, Christmas decoration-making and Christmas spirit-spreading.

They promise to be back tomorrow. Merry Christmas, fellow Optimists!

Love,
Den & Nadia.

Christmas Music


Dear Optimists,

I’m kind of fixated on the whole Christmas thing right now…the tree is trimmed, the Christmas Lego sets are up, the 100-year-old train set heirloom is running and I’m done shopping. Last week I discussed a few traditions, so now I’m thinking about Christmas music. I refuse to think about it before December 15th, unlike the DJs who start ramming it down our throats on Thanksgiving. So I thought I would go with a discussion on the best Christmas records of all time. And I mean RECORDS.

I have this amazing album called Jingle Bell Jazz on which a jazz band covers a bunch of holiday songs. Best 25 cents I ever spent. It’s one of my favorites. And I could NEVER go a whole holiday season without my favorite two: Beach Boys Christmas and Charlie Brown Christmas. Those two are always playing when it comes time for a Christmas event in my house. Another favorite, which took me years to find, is The Ventures Christmas Album. They kind of mix up carols with their own songs and sound…so much fun!

This year I’ve added a new addition. Even though I think the world has had enough of Zooey Deschanel, the new She & Him Christmas Album is adorable. It’s all cover songs, so I appreciate that they didn’t attempt creating new songs. There are a few with the lovely ukelele that they seem to love in their music, which is a nice addition, and they even did two Beach Boys covers! So yes, I’ve added it to my list.

I also love Mele Kamikimaka. It always makes me think about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But heck…we’ll save movies for another day.

Love,
Den

Christmas Hilarity

Dear Optimists,

One year, my really loud cousin was showing off for my grandfather’s video camera and yelled “Mommom watch me!” as he attempted a dance in front of the tree. He fell into the tree instead.

Priceless. And it’s all caught on video.

Love,

Den

Bad or Good?

Dear Optimists,

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would focus on some of my favorite traditions.

As a kid, we would always go to my paternal grandparents’ house for Christmas dinner. One year, my grandfather informed me that santa left me an extra gift under their tree, but it was addressed to me! So here I am, all excited about getting an extra present over my sisters, and when I open it I find…

…potatoes.

Wah waaaaah. My grandfather would razz me, telling me I must have been bad. Apparently he thought santa gave bad kids potatoes! I always hear he gave them coal…maybe it’s an Italian thing?

The worst is that I couldn’t even keep the potatoes. He would take them back, telling me they were his lunch for the next day.

Love, Den

Guest Post! Family traditions

Dear Optimists,

Don’t you just love Christmas? When I was younger Christmas was about presents and family and food, but also about the actual Christian meaning of Christmas.  As my brother and I grew into the teens, it became a lot more about the presents than anything else. Then as we grew up and both moved out of our first home, we realised it was about so much more than that! We both, at the ages of 27 and 29 (he’s older), still wake up at 6AM with excitement of the day to come, but the first Christmas we did this and we weren’t together, we had a little cry on the phone to each other.

The years we had spent being excited about presents, we realised we got excited for reasons unbeknown to us back then. We loved waking up together and opening our stockings, then waiting for the all important 8AM wake up call for Mum and Dad. We would head downstairs to see if the carrot and milk we left for Santa and the reindeer had been eaten and drank. We would open our presents from Santa with such excitement, and then get dressed in our best clothes for trips to see the family and then back home to settle for a big Christmas dinner and crackers 🙂 And oh the joy of Christmas films on the TV. Arguing over who got the remote and which film we would watch first was the best!

My brother now lives in Edinburgh and I very rarely get to do this ritual with him anymore. We managed to both be in the same place last Christmas, and I woke up in the morning at 6AM and bounced into his room to give him a big sloppy hug and kiss, with happy tears in my eye, since we were both home and could be like kids again. Every year, our presents are still from Santa, and last year we played our games on the Wii, instead of playing with Legos like we did when we were younger. (Den’s note: Why did you stop playing with Legos? They’re the best! Can I have yours?) But we still argued over the television. Some things never change!

Its amazing how some families have traditions that will live for years, I know I will enforce the same values into my children, and I hope they do with theirs. So my fellow Optimists… I ask, what family traditions do you have at Christmas?

Love always,
Beth of the great blog Life Since Then