Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Quick Six

It's times like these when I question my sanity in taking a retail job.  In all honesty, I had only intended to work the holiday season when I accepted a part-time position at a local department store two years ago but I found that I enjoyed working with the public again, the store management liked having me on their team and the rest, as they say, is history. It's fun...for the most part.  I even enjoy the frenzy of Black Friday and the rest of the holiday season.  My swollen knees, sore feet and sleep deprived body, however, do not. Which is my long way of saying I've done nothing since Thanksgiving but sleep and work, beginning at 5am Friday with a 12 hour shift (on my feet) and continuing through today. Those book reviews I had planned to write this weekend?  Didn't happen.  The holiday novellas I wanted to read?  Yeah, those didn't happen either.  Nary a decoration graces my house, inside or out.  But the holiday spirit?  It's alive and well and waiting for me to catch up on my next day off.  So, before I remove the ice packs from my knees and hobble off to bed, here's a quick six to get us all into the holiday spirit.

1)  What's your favorite Christmas Carol?

     I have two:   "I'll Be Home for Christmas"  and "Silver Bells"

2)  Do you put up a Christmas tree?  How many?  Colored lights or clear?  Live or artificial?

      I've put up multiple trees in past years but I'm stopping with one this year.  Colored lights.

3)  Do you decorate or light the outside of your house?

     I drape garland with red bows along my front porch.  No outside lights this year.

4)  Do you send out Christmas cards?  Store bought or home made?

     I buy cards, write a personal note in each and include Christmas photos of the dogs in the cards that go to people who don't think I'm weird for including photos of my dogs. ;-) 

5)  Do you do any holiday baking?  Is there a "must have" treat you make every Christmas?

     I do a lot of holiday baking and candy making.  Must make recipe for me is my Dipped Log Cookies, a kind of pecan sandie cookie, dusted with powdered sugar and dipped in chocolate.  Bet you can't eat just one!  (You can find the recipe here.)

6)  What's your favorite way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season?

     I put on my Kenny G Christmas album, turn off all the lights except the tree, prop my feet up and absorb the beauty of the music and the lights.  Never fails to soothe my frazzled self.  

One randomly chosen person will win a book from my prize stash or - if you live outside the U.S. - a book from

Merry Christmas!




  1. Frenzied is the right word.
    1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
    2. We have one artificial tree with colored lights.
    3. No outside decorations.
    4. I hardly send out cards these days.
    5. The cooking and baking are done by my relatives.
    6. Just sitting back and catching some of my favorite shows or if I'm shopping, I'll treat myself to a little something.

    1. Hope your holiday is not frenzied, Jane. Enjoy your treat!

  2. I'm so ready for the Holidays!! I went Black Friday shopping got lots of good deals!
    So for the questions
    1. Jingle Bells
    2. One tree I do clear lights and I let the kids put all their hand made ornaments on
    3. Just 1 sign outside a arrow pointing to my house and its says The North Pole
    4. I change my cards every year this year I sent through a computer site and hand them personalized with family photos
    5. I love baking my favorite is my oreo cheese cake. so easy to make too just cream cheese, cool whip, sugar, vanilla extract and oreos oh and a chocolate crust too :)
    6. I read to de-stress I have at least 5 holidays books for this year to help me de-stress!

    Happy Holidays everyone <3

    1. Glad you found some good deals, Savannah! Love oreo cheese cake! Well, to be honest, I love oreo anything! ::grin::


    1) Oh Holy Night - just beautiful.

    2) We have a smallish artificial tree. You couldn't tell because there are always SO many decorations on it. Many the children made at school years ago. They are the most precious.

    3) No lights outside, but we love to wander the neighbourhood & see what others have done.

    4) We don't send out cards. If I'm not going to see the person close to Christmas I telephone.

    5) We've actually started making treats & putting them in the freezer ready. So far we have made rocky road & coconut ice.

    6) I'm knitting. I've started early because I'm excited about my present project. Kind of crazy because we are going into Summer here in Australia. It's very relaxing. Reading is a given.

    1. I have to get busy with my baking. I've usually started by now!

      The coconut ice sounds interesting. What is it, exactly?

  4. 1. Silent Night

    2. One tree, artificial with red and gold lights

    3. Just a wreath on the door, I've cut down on the decorations as my sons get older.

    4. I buy my cards and write a personal message to everyone

    5. I don't bake but my son's granny very kindly makes my pudding and cake for me :)

    6, Bailey's, I usually wait until Christmas Eve when all the panic is over and treat myself to a large Bailey's with ice.

    Back to the hectic planning and panic buying :)

  5. 1= The first Noël, so beautiful.
    2= I have a single fake tree with white lights & lots of different ornaments.
    3= A green wreath with a red bow on the door. No lights, I’m not that technical.
    4= Yes, both store bought and homemade. Some people appreciate the effort. But one lady told me a homemade card was cheap?! She gets a jolly Santa I picked up at a store: Suit yourself.
    5= I always make a gingerbread cake, absolutely love it.
    6= Reading a Christmas romance novel :D

    1. Seriously? She said a homemade csrd was cheap? I treasure homemade cards and gifts!

  6. Silent night is my favorite Christmas carol.
    Don't put up any tree now. When I did it was colored lights.
    No outside decorations either, when I did it was lights and all the trimmings.
    Store bought Christmas cards with notes inside.
    My mother was the baker, I am a savory type of person so when I cook there is very little sweet involved.
    My de-stresser is reading, I start reading my Christmas stories in October now, I have so many it takes me a while so the Christmas romances take me clear through to the New Year.

    1. I love Silent Night too, Dianna. That's always the last song we sing at Christmas Eve candlelight service and it never fails to bring me to tears. So beautiful.

  7. Joy to the World is my favorite Christmas carol.
    We put up a tree with clear lights.
    We put some lights on the outside of the house.
    I buy cards
    I do some baking and the family's favorite is a something called Wonder Bars with chocolate chips, walnuts and cocnut.
    My favorite de-stresser is reading and it is always nice to take a little bit of time to read a good story.

  8. 1) What's your favorite Christmas Carol?

    Religious: “Angels We Have Heard in High”; Secular: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

    2) Do you put up a Christmas tree? How many? Colored lights or clear? Live or artificial?

    Probably only one Christmas tree this year with colored lights, but some years I’ve had a Christmas tree in every room from tiny, artificial ones to a huge,live one.

    3) Do you decorate or light the outside of your house?

    Just a wreath on the door and a bow on the mailbox this year.

    4) Do you send out Christmas cards? Store bought or home made?

    I buy paper cards and will write notes on those I send to family and friends that I seldom see. I’ll also send several dozen e-cards.

    5) Do you do any holiday baking? Is there a "must have" treat you make every Christmas?

    I’ll do lots of baking—cakes, pies, and cookies. I have several recipes handed down from my grandmother and great-aunts via my mother that I use every year. This year I’ll also bake a cake/bread called “Bishop’s Loaf,” a recipe given to me by a dear friend in whose family it was a tradition. It’s labor-intensive, and so I haven’t used it in several years. But Jane died several months ago, and baking it and remembering our years of friendship will be the next best thing to a visit with her.

    6) What's your favorite way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season?

    With the number of reviews I have to complete this month, reading is not the de-stresser it used to be, but rereading an old favorite Christmas romance, particularly one my mother loved too, still works, as does reading one of the grands’ favorites with them.

    1. The Bishop's Loaf sounds interesting, Janga and what a lovely way to honor your friend. I know she'll be there with you in spirit.


  9. 1) What's your favorite Christmas Carol?

    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

    2) Do you put up a Christmas tree? How many? Colored lights or clear? Live or artificial?

    Oh yes. Just one. Both kinds of lights. Fake tree.

    3) Do you decorate or light the outside of your house?

    Sometimes-- I try! :-)

    4) Do you send out Christmas cards? Store bought or home made?

    I do send out cards! Oh, gosh, I can't make cards. I have to buy them.

    5) Do you do any holiday baking? Is there a "must have" treat you make every Christmas?

    I cannot cook ;-)

    6) What's your favorite way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season?

    I never really feel stressed-- I love the holidays!

    1. Rudolph gets some love! :)

      Good for you, to not feel stressed during the holidays. That's the way we should all be!

  10. 1. I have thought and thought about this and I love all Christmas carols and hymns. I don't know if I could choose just one. "Joy to the World", "Silent Night", and many others! I love to listen to old tapes of my fave childhood artists singing songs like "Christmas Waltz" and "The Christmas Song" and "I Love the Winter Weather".

    2. I love my Christmas tree and llllloooove multi-colored lights. This year, though, we had to go with a pre-lit tree with white lights. Actually, the lights are more of an off-white and they are pretty, but miss those colored lights.

    3. We've got colored lights on the porch railing and I have red lights around a candy cane swag that is on the front of the house by the door.

    4. I usually send out cards, but not sure I will do so this year.....

    5. I used to do all kinds of holiday baking and candy-making, but in recent years have made Scottish shortbread or Danish Puff for the neighbors.

    6. Turn off all of the lights, turn on Christmas music, and just sit in peace...even if it's just for a few a good way to de-stress. Oh, and drinking a cup of eggnog!!

    1. I know what you mean about the songs, Deb. My favorites tend to change from week to week.

      I bought a pre-lit tree last year and thought about going with the clear lights but just couldn't give up the colors. I love them! :)

  11. 1. Hark the Herald Angel's Sing
    2. I put up a tree after 1st of December, I have about 4 strings of lights. I also have my little ceramic tree that I have set up to.
    3. I decorate inside, and my landlords decorate the houseside of the hosue.
    4. I send out cards and always write a litte personal message in each.
    5. Not a lot of Christmas baking. I usually make up many loaves of my Pumpkin Bread. I give some as gifts.
    6. Put on some Christmas music, turn on the lights and make a nice drink, usually a hot chocolate or a cup of coffee with a shot of Baileys..

    1. I love pumpkin bread! That hot chocolate with a shot of Baileys sound yummy. I usually lace mine with Kahlua. ;-)

  12. 1. Favorite Christmas song: Elvis singing "I'll have a Blue Christmas without you." Yes, I know it's strange, but for some reason, I love it. And yes, I know it's not a Christmas Carol. Favorite Carol would be "Silver Bells."
    2. No Christmas tree as we have no little children at home. I put up a few rather humorous and Florida-style decorations though.
    3. We don't put lights outside as we live in a condo and it's rather frowned upon. Scrooges! ;-)
    4. I do send out cards. I know it's old-fashioned, but I promised my mother-in-law to keep up with her family.
    5. I love to make cut-out Christmas cookies and decorate them. In addition, peppermint bark is my favorite so I make that and share! Delicious!
    6. I don't let myself get stressed during the holidays, however, the best way for me to de-stress is to find a quiet spot and read! My favorite.

    1. I love peppermint bark! I make a lot of that too.

  13. 1)Favorite Christmas song: What Child Is This I do like Oh Holy Night too.
    2)When we lived in Wisconsin we went out to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree. In Florida we tried buying a feesh tree only to have it lose all of it's needles. We now have an artificial tree which actually is full and looks quite real. We use colored lights. lots of them!
    3) No outside lights. We also live in a condo with rules.
    4) I send out Christmas cards with a note every year.
    5) I make spritz cookies ! I give gifts to family only.
    6) Shopping stresses me out. I try to buy things throughout the year.

    1. My first Christmas in Florida (after growing up in Michigan), my dad came home with a tree that looked like it was straight out of A Charlie Brown Christmas. As I recall, the needles lasted about two days. lol

  14. 1 12 days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser
    2] One tree - fake with only white lights
    3] hubby does outside lights... trees, fence and small area around porch
    4] Only a few with notes
    5] Sugar cookies and Chex Mix
    6] not much family to shop for -- and we decided a number of years ago that trading gift cards was kinda silly.[we all live far apart] and don't really need more stuff... so we donate to local food banks, etc. instead.

    1. My granddaughter of the heart makes the best Chex Mix! It's a must have for our holiday celebrations.

  15. 1. Winter Wonderland
    2. I put up a small artificial tree with colored lights.
    3. I put lights up around my front door, porch and the bushes - all colored lights.
    4. I send out about 30 Christmas cards, all store bought.
    5. No holiday baking, but I have to have my pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas - store bought is good enough though. :D
    6. I love when I drive up to my house and the Christmas lights are on, it puts me in a good mood every time. I don't have to do much shopping, mostly online, so I don't get all that stressed during the holidays.

    1. My lights don't go on until I get home but I immediately start to feel good once I flip that switch.

  16. Fav song: Josh Groban's Oh, Holy Night.

    We put up a small artificial tree with white lts - this is the 2nd year we did this, usually we had a bigger one with colored lts, occas had real trees.

    Some colored lts on the bushes outside and some decorative things in the front of the house.

    I make some cakes and this will be 2nd annual cooky making with my granddaughter.

    Not as much shopping as I used to; cut out friends, we just go out to dinner instead. Like to enjoy all the food and see my granddaughter's eyes light up.

    1. I adore anything Josh Groban sings!

      I make cookies with my grandniece. She's six. We have a blast! :)

  17. 1) What's your favorite Christmas Carol? The Gift by Garth Brooks
    2) Do you put up a Christmas tree? How many? Colored lights or clear? Live or artificial? A live tree and the bigger the better. Twinkle, colored lights.
    3) Do you decorate or light the outside of your house? My husband refuses to do outside lights (bah humbug) so we put up lights in the windows - it use to be candelabra but now we buy already made up collection of lights that are santas and angels and snowmen etc.
    4) Do you send out Christmas cards? Store bought or home made? Store bought cards. I use to put long notes in mine but they've gotten shorter over the years lol. And when my kids were young I put in their school photos for some who didn't get to see them.
    5) Do you do any holiday baking? Is there a "must have" treat you make every Christmas? There is a special thumb print cookie that we make with grape jelly and sprinkled nuts and almond extract.
    6) What's your favorite way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season? For me it's always reading.

    1. I have those window lights too. Much easier than climbing around on the roof. ;-)

  18. Hi, PJ--I hope your feet have recovered.

    My favorite Christmas carol is "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" or "Silver Bells."

    We put up one real tree with colored lights.

    Outside, we have colored lights around the porch.

    We send Christmas cards, homemade.

    Homemade fruit cake is our annual baking project.

    I don't love shopping unless I can do it before the stores get nutty. My favorite way to destress is to drink tea and read. I always have an eye out for Christmas stories.

  19. Hi Nancy! My feet (surprisingly) held up pretty well. It's my knee that wimped out. ;-)

    Another nod for "Silver Bells!"

    I love Christmas stories too. I always save a few for closer to the big day when the craziness of work threatens to put me over the edge. lol!

  20. Jungle bells
    Send cards

  21. 1.My favorite Christmas carols tend to me the traditional sacred ones-Joy To The World, Adeste Fidelis, and Silent Night. So beautiful!

    2. I don't really put up a Christmas tree or decorate, sorry.

    3. See #2-Sorry! lol

    4. I definitely send out holiday cards. (I usually try to find ones that are general like Happy Holidays Seasons Greetings) I use store bought-I definitely am not creative enough to do home made, lol.

    5. My meager culinary skills are very limited. I'm much more likely to eat than cook, lol. As a matter of fact, I'm having left over sweet potato pie for breakfast! :)

    6. Definitely reading a good book and listening to some great music.

    1. Sweet potato pie for breakfast is always a good choice! :)

  22. 1. I don't have a favorite but I have been singing "I'll be nuts by Christmas" at work. :)

    2. We haven't put up a tree since we got our last cat, Emory. He's one of those cats who loves to climb up in the trees.

    3. We haven't decorated in several years but we used to put lights up on the eaves.

    4. I do cards for my immediate family and give them out when we exchange our gifts.

    5. I was definitely not a baker in my past lives. :)

    6. Either by reading or by driving up in the mountains.

  23. 1) What's your favorite Christmas Carol? Silver Bells and I'm dreaming of a White Christmas
    2) Do you put up a Christmas tree? How many? Colored lights or clear? Live or artificial? I'm being lazy this year and no tree!
    3) Do you decorate or light the outside of your house? Again with the laziness and desire to save on electric bill... no lights this year
    4) Do you send out Christmas cards? Store bought or home made? Store bought
    5) Do you do any holiday baking? Is there a "must have" treat you make every Christmas? No baking... but I do sometimes buy christmas goodies :)
    6) What's your favorite way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season?
    Listen to christmas music! I adore the oldies :)

  24. let's see..
    1) What's your favorite Christmas Carol?

    I like almost all christmas carols :D

    2) Do you put up a Christmas tree? How many? Colored lights or clear? Live or artificial?

    Nope, we no longer put one up.

    3) Do you decorate or light the outside of your house?

    never do any outside decoration. it's almost a sure thing it'll get ruined or stolen.

    4) Do you send out Christmas cards? Store bought or home made?

    I used to buy and send it to my friends. but now i text or message them instead :D

    5) Do you do any holiday baking? Is there a "must have" treat you make every Christmas?

    No, we have no special thing happening during christmas.

    6) What's your favorite way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season?

    some quality time to read, listen to music and basically do nothing else

  25. Favorite Carole - Hark the Herald Angels sing
    I do put up a Christmas tree- hopefully next week so I can enjoy it as long as possible since it takes such effort to get it together
    Just a little outside, like a wreath
    I hope to get cards sent out this year
    I want to get some baking done too
    to de-stress I read