Christmas Countdown 2018!

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Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Cleander » Nov 26, 2018 9:05 am

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first Christmas thread of the year! I hope all of you had a glorious Thanksgiving!(And for those of you who love in non-celebrating countries, I hope you had a nice time doing whatever it is you do this time of year. :D
Anyway, the Christmas season is beginning, and I thought this would be a nice time to post a thread wherein people could countdown to Christmas and maybe share a bit about how they celebrate and what it means to them. Being new on Narniaweb, I didn't know if someone else usually did this, so I asked a couple of friendly forum mods if I could. And they basically said,"Give it a go." So here goes!
It is now 29 days till Christmas! The clock is ticking, and I have not even started my Christmas shopping! However, my family has started one of our biggest Christmas traditions already: watching every single Christmas movie or TV show that we own! We had to start early this year because there's a ton of them!
OK, that's my first countdown comment. Now it's your turn. Simply post comments that begin by telling us how many days are left until Christmas, and then answer one or more of the following questions:
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
What was the best Christmas you can remember?
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
What is your favorite Christmas food?
What was the best Christmas gift you have ever received? (Feel free to get spiritual on that one if you wish.)
What is your favorite Christmas Carol or song?

Ok, that looks like that's about it. I'll be posting once every week wherever days aren't counted. But hopefully that won't be necessary :D You can do this more than once if you want.

A Merry Christmas to you all! LONG LIVE THE TRUE KING!
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby stargazer » Nov 26, 2018 10:29 pm

Nice opening, Cleander!

Thinking about which question to answer got me feeling all nostalgic, so I'll go with a variation on the 'best Christmas I can remember' and reminisce a little bit.

One candidate for best ever has to be a "Hallmark moment" my younger brother came up with back in the mid-1980s. After college he took a job halfway across the country and couldn't be sure he'd be home for Christmas. He and I secretly planned to get him home and surprise my parents. He arrived in the evening and we made the 2-hour drive from the airport to my parents' house. They weren't home so we had him hide until they arrived. The unexpected reunion was wonderful. (Some companies ran ads with scenarios of this sort around the same time; check out the Folgers coffee one here).

My dad's birthday was December 18, a week before Christmas (his parents even gave him 'Noel' as a middle name). When we were growing up, we'd celebrate his birthday and then set up the Christmas tree to mark the beginning of the season. (Such a short time might seem quaint by today's standards, but this was over 50 yeas ago, when the Christmas season didn't begin at Labor Day. ;)) Even retailers waited till after US Thanksgiving to break out Santa and decorations). Now that he's gone the date is another way to remember him.

Finally, I'm fond of many of the old classic Christmas carols and hymns, and have long noticed how many of them refer to the night and the stars. As a long time amateur astronomer, a number of these are special to me.

I grew up on the edge of a small town, and nearby was a small hill I could walk up to get a good view of the dark sky to the east and south. The winter nights were so quiet about the only sound was snow crunching underfoot. That spot is full of astronomical memories (like seeing Halley's Comet there for the first time in December 1985), but among the best are going up there after all the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve services and family meals and gift-giving (all of which were great), and just spend some quiet moments under Orion and the Milky Way, often with those beloved hymns in mind.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Cleander » Nov 27, 2018 4:53 am

Wow, that definitely sounds like something out of a hallmark movie! That reminds of something my family did for my brother's wife, who hails from Virginia and at the time hadn't seen her family in a long time. It was Thanksgiving, actually, and we snuck her folks into our house and then invited her and my brother over, taking great care to conceal the extra car that her family drove here in. Her family hid in a back room until everybody was settled, and then jumped out and scared her! I seem to recall she screamed. And possibly cried.
So that was possibly the best Thanksgiving I can remember. We'll have to try it at Christmas sometime. :D
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby johobbit » Nov 27, 2018 2:56 pm

So heart-warming reading of these wonderful memories for each of you!

Thanks, Cleander, that is such an inviting Intro. :)

28 days until Christmas Day!

A few selections from me:

What was the best Christmas you can remember?
Wow, that's a hard one. Each Christmas is so special as the family gathers ... I honestly don't think I can pick one. So, every year. ;)) :D

What is your favorite Christmas food?
The turkey and mashed potatoes; my homemade mocha Christmas log.

What is your favorite Christmas Carol or song?
Like stargazer, my favourites are the older carols and hymns. You just can't beat them for rich truths and beautiful harmonies. We're hoping to have a carol sing at our home. While it is lovely being accompanied by the piano, I appreciate, just as much, singing a cappella. The human voice and blending of harmony is so amazing. We are also planning a carol sing on the morning of the 16th at a housing unit for people with varied types of disabilities, and are eager for that too.

With our middle son now engaged, we have to 'share' him with his fiancée's family (who live 7 hrs away). This year it is their turn to be with her relatives, so we will be celebrating Christmas with our family here at New Year's instead. Next year, it will be our turn on Christmas day, and so on. :)

On the 25th, though, we will be having our daughter and youngest son here, along with my dad (nearly 92 yrs old) and my sister. My mom died a couple of years ago and we still dearly miss her at these gatherings.

We have put up all our Christmas decorations already (2 wknds ago) because this past Saturday was Christmas on my husband's side at our place. Our living room and dining room look so festive. However, because we always cut down a tree, we have to wait until the 2nd wknd of Dec to do this, so it lasts well through New Year's. We're excited to get it up and decorated. :D

Each year we order a turkey from a local farm (through a 100+ year old business in town), so I must do that soon. Yum! I enjoy having leftovers so as to make a hearty turkey soup.

Of course, in all the excitement and festivities, I pray I will keep close in my heart and mind, as well as share with others, the real reason we celebrate: Emmanuel, God with us! Amazing.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Anfinwen » Nov 28, 2018 7:12 am

Twenty-Seven days till Christmas, and nineteen till my flight home for Christmas! Thanks for the countdown!

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Our family candy making day shortly before Christmas. The goodies made are peanut brittle, caramels, and a couple flavors of taffy (hand pulled, of course, which is so fun).

What was the best Christmas you can remember?
Where I'm from snow at Christmas is never a given, but one year we had somewhere close to 2 feet shortly before Christmas. On Christmas Day we took the truck to my Grandparents' house, and my dad stopped to pull someone out of a ditch. That good deed and the snow have stuck with me.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?
"The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart. It's romantic and funny and sad and heartwarming.

I have a feeling this is going to be an awesome Christmas, and I can't wait to go home.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Kalta79 » Nov 30, 2018 2:32 pm

26 days til Christmas!

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Really don't have any now, but when I was a kid it was decorating cookies at Grandma's house.

What was the best Christmas you can remember?
Can't pick out one specific, but as mentioned above, I loved being at Grandma's house for cookie time. I didn't care about making my cookies pretty, I just wanted to see how much frosting and decorations the cookie could handle before it broke apart :ymblushing:

What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Right now I'd have to say The Perfect Gift.

What is your favorite Christmas food?
I'm not picky, I like 'em all. Except green bean casserole. Not a fan of green beans really.

What was the best Christmas gift you have ever received? (Feel free to get spiritual on that one if you wish.)
Just the already mentioned memory of the fun of decorating cookies.

What is your favorite Christmas Carol or song?
Away in a Manger as done by one of the Celtic Woman singers...Lisa somebody I think.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Cleander » Nov 30, 2018 6:07 pm

Wow, thanks for posting guys! (BTW,I love cookies that are a bit overdecorated, Kalta79; more just because I love eating the extra icing!) :D... But I guess they're pretty that way too.
I see that the 29th has been left uncommented on! *Gazes sternly at nobody in particular* So, as my own rules dictates, I shall make up for it.
On the 29th: 27 days until Christmas!
What is your favorite Christmas movie?- Definitely The Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott. It's the best done adaptation of that book in my opinion, and Scott really does a great job portraying Scrooge's gradual, reluctant, and thoroughly realistic change of heart. He does a great job faking an English accent as well! And this version of Marley is by far the most terrifying... :-s
I'll answer my other questions on any future fill-in comments I may have to make. Until then, Merry Christmas! Happy Count-downing!...



Or is it "counting down"?
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby stargazer » Nov 30, 2018 6:39 pm

Away in a Manger as done by one of the Celtic Woman singers...Lisa somebody I think.


Celtic Woman's A Christmas Celebration is one of my go-to favorite collections for Christmas music (another is country singer Kathy Mattea's Good News, which has a nice version of "Mary, Did You Know?"). I enjoy watching the DVD of the concert, which has longer versions of several songs (and includes a few not on the CD).

I enjoy their versions of a few songs that had previously become a little stale for me (like "The Little Drummer Boy")

It looks like a white Christmas is likely here (it usually is). A big storm is moving across the US Great Plains and may give us some snow, followed by temperatures around 0F/-17C.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby fantasia_kitty » Nov 30, 2018 8:06 pm

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Growing up we never really had traditions that I specifically enjoyed. When I was little we had to read the Bible story of Jesus's birth before we could open presents, but being a kid waiting to open presents, that was torture. :)) :ymblushing:

What was the best Christmas you can remember? I do rather miss going to visit my grandparents for Christmas, so that must have been pretty special since I still miss it. :)

What is your favorite Christmas movie? Um, I love Muppet Christmas Carol :)) I also love While You Were Sleeping, which isn't exactly a Christmas movie, but I count it. ;)

What is your favorite Christmas food? My mother-in-law makes these white chocolate covered oreo truffles..... Those are right up there.

What was the best Christmas gift you have ever received? You know, I have dozens of birthday gifts that I remember, but as far as Christmas gifts are concerned.... :ymblushing: Yeah, I don't remember very many. Or at least I can't remember for sure that they're a Christmas gift. I guess I can list some good gifts and you all won't know the difference. :))
My husband got me a small greenhouse one year and I have put that thing to good use! Sadly it's kind of falling apart now and I finally lost a panel out of it in a good ol' Kansas wind storm, so it needs some repairs.
My parents got me a flute one year when I was in high school, however, my musical interests ended when high school did. I need to dig it out for my kids though. I bet they'd enjoy it.
Last but not least, my mom got me this gorgeous red, leather-bound copy of Lord of the Rings a few years ago. :D :x

What is your favorite Christmas Carol or song? My favorite has held this spot for a couple years now, it's Pentatonix's version of 'O Come All Ye Faithful.' It's so joyful, I love it. :D

Getting ready to start the Christmas season with my kiddos. :D We got our tree tonight. According to my schedule we weren't supposed to get it until Sunday, but our family pictures got pushed back due to an injury to the face on the baby ;)) :P and so we got our tree tonight. ;)
The above mentioned schedule is that we're doing the Symbols of Christmas for homeschool. Tomorrow is the nativity and we're going to go see a live nativity at a local church farm. I guess it's quite something because they go all the way from Jesus's birth through the resurrection. Looking forward to it. :)
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby aileth » Dec 01, 2018 10:14 am

Twenty-five days till Christmas!

Today we will do our third annual sing-through of Handel's Messiah. The most glorious (and strenuous) Christmas music ever. Mind you, there are others that come close: Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and Corelli's Christmas Concerto (instrumental), just to mention a few.

On Friday we have the village's Christmas parade, where we usually do a carol-singing float.

Looking back, I think that music has always been a big part of our Christmas tradition. Yeah, we were given presents, and all that. But that wasn't really the biggest part.

We don't decorate right now (world's best decorator? No, no, no!); maybe in a year or two when the niece is older. I do like seeing other people's decorations, though, especially all the lights. At this time of year the sun sets around 2:30 (because mountains) which means the extra lights are so cheerful.
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Re: Christmas Countdown

Postby Movie Aristotle » Dec 01, 2018 11:34 pm

Wait. So I’m confused. Are we on 24 or 23 now? Do we count Christmas Day or not? Let me ask Siri...
Siri says 23, so I’ll go with that. I meant to post before midnight. ;))

23 days until Xmas!

So, I don’t know what is my best Christmas, but I do have a fun memory to share. In 2010, I was in a production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. I remember being backstage and looking out of the huge windows into this little outdoor area. It was snowing heavily, but prettily. I think this was possibly the same night I went to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for the first time. (For reference, this would have been the same snowstorm that collapsed the roof of the Metrodome.) Well anyway, I remember staring at the snow falling past the window, snow so beautifully lit by the yard light. It was a magical moment that I thought I would never see again.

One year later, I was back in the same room, looking out the same window, doing an encore production of the same show, looking at another wonderful snowfall. It felt like I had never left that room. It was hard to image that an entire year had gone by because it was so identical to that magical moment the previous year.

Anfinwen wrote:What is your favorite Christmas movie?
"The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart. It's romantic and funny and sad and heartwarming.


We have a nice little one-screen theater in a nearby town. Incidentally, back when this theater played current films, this is where I watched the midnight showing of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Well after it was closed down and refurbished it focused on showing classic movies for a time. I took my mom to go see The Shop Around the Corner after my dad died. I’d seen many scenes from this film before, but I think this was only the second time watching it from start to finish. It is such a classic.

fantasia_kitty wrote:According to my schedule we weren't supposed to get it until Sunday, but our family pictures got pushed back due to an injury to the face on the baby


Nothing too serious, I take it?
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby King_Erlian » Dec 04, 2018 2:30 am

21 days to Christmas.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Singing carols around the village (this was when I was a teenager. No opportunity to do that now.)

What was the best Christmas you can remember?
Visiting a friend and her family in Connecticut. That's when I discovered egg-nog. You can't get it in Britain.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Just about any version of "A Christmas Carol" aka "Scrooge". My favourite version of that is the BBC one from 2000, an updated one starring Ross Kemp as Scrooge.

What is your favorite Christmas food?
Roast chicken rather than turkey. (And egg-nog to drink. But you can't get it in Britain... X( )

What was the best Christmas gift you have ever received? (Feel free to get spiritual on that one if you wish.)
A copy of Pink Floyd's "The Wall", when it first came out in 1979. It inspired me to write my own rock opera, "Locusts And Honey", about the life of John the Baptist. And that inspired me to keep writing.

What is your favorite Christmas Carol or song?
Carol: Hark The Herald Angels Sing. Secular Christmas single: "Step Into Christmas" by Elton John - it reminds me of childhood Christmases. Can I also mention "Son Of Man, Son Of God" by... erm... me?
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby johobbit » Dec 06, 2018 9:34 am

19 days until Christmas Day!

aileth wrote:Today we will do our third annual sing-through of Handel's Messiah. The most glorious (and strenuous) Christmas music ever.

The Messiah sing-through sounds absolutely glorious, aileth. How did it go? I would LOVE to have been there (lower alto here!); what a tremendous joy! :x

At this time of year the sun sets around 2:30 (because mountains) which means the extra lights are so cheerful.

:-o Wowser, that is ... early. Truly, the colourful, cheerful lights this time of year bring warmth to the heart. I do enjoy the longer nights for a number of reasons ... this being one of them. We have various strings of mini-lights entangled in garland strung around our living room and I look forward to turning them on every single day. So cozy and welcoming. :)

King_Erlian wrote:That's when I discovered egg-nog. You can't get it in Britain.

Really sorry to hear that, Erlian. we have an abundance here; wish I could share some with you! I do not care for it, myself, but my hubby guzzles it down. ;))

It's snowing today; we're expecting a white Christmas here. :D

I especially love going into stores now: it is not infrequently one hears songs of Christ's birth ... for every single person in the store to hear. Wonderful!

Christmas shopping is finished here at our home, yay! We keep it quite simple, so it's a joy, rather than a burden. Along with giving to our family and a few friends, we feel compelled to keep an eye open for those who might not have loved ones around them—someone who is lonely and/or grieving—and try to either have them over, or gift them with something memorable and special, spending a bit of time with them.

As I mentioned above, we are having our full family Christmas near the end of December, but we will definitely be celebrating on the 25th, as well. That day, we are having a young lady (our daughter's friend) over whose family has ostracized her and would be alone otherwise. What a privilege to give her hope and share God's love with her.

A-a-and, we're heading out to cut down our Christmas tree this Sunday afternoon!
:D
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby daughter of the King » Dec 06, 2018 12:48 pm

Family traditions have actually changed a lot as my siblings and I have grown up/moved out/moved back in/had kids/etc. etc. etc. The past few years we've done a Star Wars day with whoever comes for Christmas, but since the Star Wars movie was in May this year we're doing the new Spiderman movie instead. They may not be Christmas movies, but it is a fun family gathering.

My favorite Christmas song is Carol of the Bells. My grandpa was in a male chorus for several years and their Christmas concerts usually opened with this, and then they would do it again faster. I'm also rather fond of this one by a sister band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSCo5dZ42v8 I also may or may not have every single Pentatonix Christmas album. Speaking of Pentatonix, they released a music video of their version of Where Are You, Christmas? today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emXbfEzXn6A&t=0s

Christmas cookies is one of the family traditions that hasn't changed much over the years. We had the Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook and there were quite a few Christmas staples in it. The niece and nephew will be over this weekend and Mom is planning on making at least candy cane cookies with them and maybe ginger snaps.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby SnowAngel » Dec 06, 2018 8:23 pm

I love everything about Christmas. I might have started Christmas music in September, but I mixed it with non-Christmas music until the start of December. :) My favorite Christmas album is still Christmas Offerings by Third Day and my favorite songs are O Holy Night and What Child Is This?. We added couple more instrumental Christmas albums to our collection this year, Celtic Christmas and Christmas Spirit both by David Arkenstone. I've enjoyed alternating between listening to the new albums and my favorite Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums.

We decorated the house and tree the day after Thanksgiving: Christmas tree by the window and greenery/white lights/silver and red balls on the fireplace mantle in the living room, and our Christmas village spread across the bookcases in the family room. Colored lights on the Christmas tree this year, I personally think it could use another hundred lights. :D We have a several mini trees (12-18 inches tall) that are scattered around the house, they all have colored lights too.

I am so close to having my Christmas shopping complete, still have to get gifts for my mom, Scarlet, and big brother...the three hardest to buy for. If I don't come up with something amazing soon, they're all going to be getting dark chocolate bars.

We've watched a bunch of the new Hallmark Christmas movies...favorite so far A Shoe Addict's Christmas. Haven't watched any of our Christmas movie collection yet, I'm looking forward to watching Stalag 17, We're No Angels, and Miracle On 34th Street.

I really want to make sugar cookies, baking and decorating sugar cookies is one of my favorite Christmas time traditions. But my sister made gingersnaps yesterday, so maybe this weekend or next week it will be my turn to bake. :) I'm trying to figure out a way to decorate the cookie that doesn't involve tons of frosting, I love frosting, but I try really hard not eat much of it anymore since refined sugar gives me earaches. Maybe I'll try drizzles the cookies with chocolate (mixed with a little coconut oil to keep it from getting to hard) this year.

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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby SummerSnow » Dec 09, 2018 2:50 pm

16 days left till Christmas! We haven't decorated yet which is quite sad! We normally do it the day after Thanksgiving, but sadly, it didn't happen this year. We're hoping to get it up this Saturday, as I'll have finished the school semester by then.

As far as traditions go, we have a variety of on-and-off ones. One of my favorite traditions was to lie underneath the tree and stare up at the lights. It felt really magical (even if pokey bits of the tree would fall down).

I'm not involved very much with the making *cough* but Valia and her friend usually makes tamales. They're quite delicious. :)
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