• Culture and Entertainment

    Christmas Movies and Books

    In addition to watching Hallmark movies (more on that later), we re-watched a lot of childhood favorites plus some old classics. I’ve seen all of these before (although A Charlie Brown Christmas only once and didn’t remember it well) except Polar Express. I had few more new to us movies from the library but couldn’t motivate anyone to watch them with me before they were due back.

    Christmas Sing Along. I hardly paid attention once I realized it wasn’t the one I thought.

    Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Sing Along. I enjoyed this; its quite short to an adult. I thought it lasted forever as a child.

    Polar Express. We didn’t even finish this as we were so bored. It was both weird and boring. I’m not ever sure I’ve been that bored.

    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

    A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Frosty. As cute as always.

    Its a Wonderful Life. I liked it better this time around, but I still don’t greatly enjoy it, especially as a Christmas movie since it has SO much angst.

    White Christmas. Still waiting on Holiday Inn from the library. I’m thinking I will still prefer White Christmas.

    Hallmark was rather a disappointment this year. We only had the second channel temporarily, so we didn’t get to see to many old favorites (they’ve seemingly moved most of them over to that channel). And most of the movies didn’t get a super high rating from us except A Perfect Christmas. A Nutcracker Christmas, Christmas Cookies, and Finding Father Christmas were cute in my opinion (the latter is on the second channel) but nothing like our favorites.

    I didn’t do much Christmas reading because I ordered so late. I read Christmas with Anne, marking down food references: turkey, plum pudding, and mince pie featured in almost all the stories, and nuts, candies, taffy, and fruitcake made a couple appearances and raisin pudding at least one appearances. This seems so 19th century and British and Canadian. Only fruitcake is familiar to me (in name, we don’t usually have it). We have turkey at Thanksgiving and ham or beef at Christmas and Christmas Eve.

    I read one prosy, sententious story from Christmas from the Heart three. I haven’t been inspired to read more. I have Letters from Father Christmas from the library now, but I might just wait until next year.

  • Daily Life

    Blogmas: Decorating, Christmas Cards, Celebrating and Advent Calendar

    I’m going to combine a couple Blogmas days as a Q and A

    How do you decorate? Real Tree or Artificial Tree?

    The three younger girls are the main decorating committee and they’ve got a nice little pattern. For the family room they decorate the tree with a light hand (we use to have an excessive amount of ornaments) and the stair railing, and we have new stockings this year (so cute). For the dinining room they put a smaller tree in the corner, put lights on the sideboard, and hang ball ornaments from the chandlier. We also have Christmas china on the table. 

    We have artifical trees. We’ve had real a couple years. I plan on having real at my own home (and real branches for decorating), both because I prefer genuine and to cut down on storage space. I’ve wanted to get a little tree for my room, but I’ve got so much stuff the decorations would get lost. I am thinking of hanging snowflakes from the ceiling and window where they will be more noticeable.

    Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?

    I think we are pretty moderate. We can get loud, but we aren’t really “party” people.

    Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)?

    I collect pretty ones, I want to keep one of each of my favorites. I don’t always send them, but they are nice to have on hand. We used one in a package we sent. I think I will send one to my grandparents for fun and maybe as a thank-you to friends for our gingerbread house decorating party.

    Advent Calendar?

    We have this little kiddy one from our childhood that the three little girls use now. I’d love to have a wooden one; I’m considering asking a family friend, the one who made our cedar chests, if he could make me one because I would like it to be solid and specific (long rather than square or tall). I would also like to have a chocolate advent calendar  one year.

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Part Four

              Okay, final Christmas post. Yes, I do know it is February, but I have been rather busier than usual since I have seven classes this semester. After our family Christmas we went to my grandparents…in our pajamas and robes since many of us received new pajamas.

                       All of us girls were given snowmen decorations and a little jewelry box.

    My next youngest sister and I both received lovely jackets.

              I knitted this eternity scarf for my grandmother-it is lovely if I do say so myself; I want one now 😛 I was still working on it up until a few minutes until we left for their house. Genius planning, I know.

              A few days after Christmas we visited some friends, and I received these gifts. I had to reread this book, the first of the trio (after I read the third installment which just came out). The first one is by far my favorite.

              So, that wraps up my rather uneventful Christmas. I wasn’t worth much in December; I cannot remember what exactly I did with all that time, and I certainly did not go out much. Hopefully next December I will be a little more festive.

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Part Three

    I am sorry for the delay; it is rather ludicrous as it is the 5th day of the new year. We celebrate our immediate family Christmas in the morning. My sleep-obsessed sister was not so late this year, so I think we started opening in the  eight o’ clock hour. Our living room was a sea of wrapping paper as all of us siblings bought/picked out gifts for each other and our parents-such fun! Breakfast was our traditional one of Dad’s homemade cinnamon rolls.

    The gifts in my stocking. My parents always give us a piece of fruit and candy. I was particularly pleased with my fruit this year; I looooove pomegranates! The object in the bag is a charm with my initial on it.

    These were from my mother which she bought at a recently discovered antique store.

    This was from my father; he really picked it out himself. I think he did a good job because although he has five daughters (a la the Bennets-we have said he is like Mrs. Bennet with regards to marrying off his daughters…), he does not quite understand feminine things, partially, I am sure because some of the girls are tomboys and none of us are divas (my sweet brother said we are dudes which was of course charming…-_-). I love my bright pink huge computer bag; it will be interesting carrying it around campus for I will have to bring my computer nearly always this semester. Oh, and it matches my computer.

    Each of us got our own nice new fluffy bath towels-Dad’s idea. I had one of the last dibs on the colors, but I like it, especially since it coordinates so well with the washcloths Mom picked out.

    As you can see my parents are practical gift givers for the most part. My mother and I were recently discussing my difficulty with buying practical, boring necessities such as tights and gloves and always going for the pretty things. I am even less likely to buy myself athletic clothes, but I like these. The other two pants I own are both years old-as in four or more.

    My siblings are not so practical-yay! (I did like the practical stuff). One of my sisters picked out the above and another the below…or it may have been the same sister…

    Hmm, I am thinking this gift was not simply for me; this is my three younger sisters favorite version of Emma. My mom and three littlest sisters adore this Mr. Knightly.

     This was a gift from my most mischievous sister-it expresses me exactly.

    The itunes card is from my brother and the Harry Potter book marks are from my nearest sister…my favorite gift of all.

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Part Two

    I am afraid that there will be two more Christmas posts. Too bad peoples, I love documenting absolutely everything.

    I made these  “Grinch” cookies for my dad on the 23rd and got my littlest sister to illustrate the sign. I had wanted to have them out waiting on Christmas morning as kids do with cookies for Santa, but there was no way to do that with fresh cookies and still keep it a secret from Dad.  I got this idea from Pinterest, but I am not a great cook or baker, nor did I check the recipe-I just added green food coloring. The cookie dough looked like playdough, and the cookies, well, they looked like sick cookies. Nevertheless, they made my dad, the self-proclaimed Grinch, happy, and they tasted perfectly yummy.
    This is my pile of presents minus my grandmother’s which I finished moments before we left to celebrate with my grandparents…typical me-I am lucky it was finished at all.
    Christmas Eve we celebrate with my mom’s extended family. The adults draw names; I got my dad and gave him the two Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies. The below are my gifts. We also draw names for  ladies’ and men’s stockings which are filled with small gifts. The first year I was an “adult” I won; my cousin whose first or second year it was won this time.
     This is my stocking which my mom made for me when I was little; isn’t it darling?! She made a different type for my sisters and then her creativity ended-the rest of the kiddoes got rather blah stockings 😛

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Season Part One

              Okay, my first proper Christmasy post. Last year I could not pull it together to post about Christmas.
    The first two photos are of my graham cracker house which I made alongside my friends and siblings at our friends house on Tuesday the 18th. Our family made graham cracker houses last year using royal icing as glue which turned rock hard. The candy had to be scraped off. In the end a lot of candy was wasted. My friends hot glued the houses together which I was considerably less enthusiastic about (to put it mildly). I am not a fan of superficiality, false advertising, faux things, fakiness, etc. so I did not like the explicitly understood waste of candy this entailed. Why not use cardboard and glitter if it is not to be really, real?!!! 
              Spurred by this and by an idea I had had in my head at least a year, that Saturday I set about making a gingersnap house which took me at least four hours. Since I was cleaning up the breakfast mess previous to that, I was in the kitchen for around/at least five hours. That my friends is part of the reason why I do not care to cook or bake much. Anyway. It looks like gingerbread and does not taste as gingersnappy as I would have wished (we did not have cloves as my mother does not care for them so that was at least part of the reason).
              I made syrup and poured this into the cut out windows for “glass windows.” Some of the windows were not transparent and all of them were yellowed, but since I am not good with confectionery and baking, I am satisfied that they hardened and stayed in properly. I used boiled molasses as glue for my house, and it worked splendidly. I had purposely over baked the house pieces as I thought the cookie would be to soft to stand. I am lucky that everything came together fairly well with no cracks or collapses. I did, however, miscalculate on the roof and covered that section with chocolate which did not look so bad. I only did a section of fencing and my decor was rather sloppy; I was getting tired and bored of the house, and I needed more support for the fence than it itself could provide. All in all though, I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself although the perfectionist side cannot get over the obvious mismatch between the house in my head and the real one. I intend to try this again every year, so I am sure to improve. I like making little Christmas traditions all by myself.
              On the subject of traditions, I have watched White Christmas at least three Christmases in a row of my own accord. That movie is such fun. Three of my sisters joined me on the evening of the day on which I made my gingersnap house. Another girly tradition we have is to watch tons and tons of Hallmark movies. For the last several years we have watched A Christmas Card at least twice every year. This year the channel had several good new ones. Some of our favorites were A Bride for Christmas and Hitched for the Holidays. When my dad’s mother and stepfather were alive, we would go to one of the theatres downtown and watch A Christmas Carol being performed. Even though I was scared, particularly of the Ghost of Christmas past, I enjoyed this tradition. I have not gone for a couple years, but I want to restart this tradition at least for myself somehow.
    So that was some of our pre-Christmas fun!

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Break Plans

    I have a great many plans for Christmas break, but since it is nearly one quarter over for me and I haven’t accomplished much, I am not certain that all the plans will be even attempted but plans are fun to make anyway.

    I definitely must clean my room. It is so messy that it is actually dangerous for me to walk around in it. I need to more than merely clean it; it must be organized so that I can craft easily. I am also hoping to find a small but essential missing part of my sewing machine (I normally use my mothers, but I thought I should give mine a shot again).

    This is the only “organized” portion, but I am happy with that little bit and proud of my pile of presents.

    I want to be quite industrious with my crafts as well. I want to add several more items to my etsy shop (I have quite a few started) as well as make two Christmas gifts. I also want to make a few items of clothing for myself.

    Here are some of my yarn crafts. I love yarn so much; its like candy for crafters!

    I also intend to update the look of my blog and etsy shop a little bit.

    I need to learn to use this camera manually.

    And finally, I plan on reading the 100 Cupboard series.