Fill me up, Lord

"You will seek me, & find me when you seek me w/ all your heart," God says. But that is not the whole story. I'm not just a searcher. I'm also a hider. You too. We have to come face-to-face w/ our tendency to hide, to get lost. ~John Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

God Jul!

It's Santa Lucia Day!

Holiday Version of Getting to Know Me!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I love hot chocolate, but lately I've been getting sick of it. I also love my skinny tall eggnog lattes from Caribou & Starbucks. But again, I'm getting sick of them. Regular Egg nog? Well, it's so rich & CALORIE/FAT ridden, so I just bought a little bottle of some low-fat variety. SO far, I haven't opened it yet....

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We don't "do" Santa, but yes, we wrap gifts for each other. However, some years after we have opened them, we place the unwrapped gifts under the tree for awhile, until my mom gets sick of it. :-)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? When I was little I liked what can only be termed as "a crazy mess". But now I like white lights, or trees where the bottom is green or red & spotlights on wreaths, candles in the window. THIS YEAR.... I've seen PINK Christmas lights, and I SOOO want them!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, however, we did at the Rolling Meadows house.

5. When do you put your decorations up? The day after Thanksgiving. It's a long arduous process, but thankfully Mom has "decluttered" her way through about 8 boxes worth of stuff, and now she only has 34i294i293 boxes of decos. Fortunately, I live alone now, so I can put up as few as I like! My roomie put up the tree this year (I hate decorating the tree!), and put some beautiful garland up my staircase banister. Right after Thanksgiving . . . I love the warm, fuzzy feeling of Christmas! Having my Advent wreath out is very important to me. This year I also got an Advent calendar! So fun! My mom also buys me a candle with the #s 1-25 on it, and you burn it 1 day at a time. It's fun.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I like our Swedish smorgasbord: (Ostkaka -- Swedish cheesecake -not like the American kind at all), Kroppkakor (Boiled potato-dumplings, filled with pork), bundost cheese, baked beans, Swedish meat balls, rice pudding (not a dessert in our family!), limpa, & Grandma's rye bread! NO LUTAFISK OR HERRING!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? going to Candlelight Carols as a child, singing in many Christmas concerts at church/school/community, celebrating Advent as a family despite my brother & my pyromaniac tendencies

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I remember I was about 3 years old at my grandparents' farm in Iowa, I was sleeping on the bottom trundle bed, and asked my mother to keep the door slightly closed, so that I wouldn't be frightened by Santa looking at me. I never really believed in Santa. That just wasn't our families' "thing". However, now that I think about it, I remember my cousin Brad teasing my brother about "Who do you think Santa Claus really is?", and Dan would angrily retort, "Kris Kringle!".

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open all of our Johnson Family gifts on Christmas Eve. (To me, Christmas Eve IS Christmas.) Christmas Day (or shall I say afternoon, as Dan and I are loathe to get up early) we open gifts from Carlson relatives and from each other.

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? See above, we don't do that.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love LOOKING at snow from inside the house.... It's fun for about 5 SECONDS when my students yell and run to the windows to see the new incoming snow. I dread driving when it is really icy though. Very scary.

12. Can you ice skate? I took lessons as a child, but I never got past "Alpha"! My students laugh because they all take private skating lessons and compete, and of course have passed their way through to Freestyle X!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? So many dolls, particularly my Ginny doll. I don't really remember beyond that.... My birthday & Christmas gifts run together. I remember I loved getting dried apricots in my stocking every year. OOOOH, I remember my brother, who works at a mall, FOUND $100 worth of Mario Tricocci gift cards, that someone had left on the ground, and gave it to me! SCORE!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? being with my family, taking and spending intentional time focusing on the birth of Christ and his redemption and grace for my life, (I have YET to find a good Advent devotional -so I am going through the Gospel of Luke), going to Christmas concerts, baking. And yes.... corn flake cookies that are dyed green with 2 redhots to make it look like holly leaves. Gross, but good.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Fudge brownies with peppermint ice cream, with hot fudge sauce drizzled on it, topped off with a candy cane. (DIVINE!) Also Pepparkaka -(Ginger snap *marketed by Whole Foods as "digestion cookies"!)dipped in coffee!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Making a "Happy Birthday, Jesus" coffee cake with my Dad.

17. What tops your tree? The past four years.... This obnoxiously-huge star made out of branches that I hauled back from Switzerland. (Did I mention it's obnoxious??) This year my roomie has her stuff on it.

18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Giving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But both are challenging for me. I want to get JUST the right gift for people. It's hard to receive because if I don't like it, I get overwhelmed with decisions of what to do with it. It's hard for me to get rid of stuff. (HOARDING ISSUES!) :-)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? This is embarrassing but it's all that cute little Swedish girl from the 70's: Evie singing "Come on, Ring those Bells!) and "Mary's Little Boy Child". And I just have to say that the 2 volume collection of "An Evening to Remember" by First Call makes me want to vomit. Our church did a contata based on it, and Dad & I had to play it all the time, because we were both singing in it. There were some sappy songs in it! Too funny!

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? They are okay. This year I am giving my kids Jolly Rancher-flavored ones!

21. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

22. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Christmas Story ("You'll shoot you're eye out, kid!"), Little Women, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

23. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. But, mine is a bit Mormon, because there are 2 Marys.

24. Most annoying thing about this time of year? finding parking

Ok, copy and paste this into the comments box, change all the answers so that they apply to you & post! *see a picture of our family dish! or
*where Grandpa Johnson was from! (& where we visited)


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