I’ve been “tagged” by my friend Teresa and told that I need to share twelve Christmas facts about myself. As I’m new to the blog world, I am not entirely sure what being tagged means so if there is something technical I’m supposed to be doing, please let me know! Following are some fun Christmas facts about me and my family and since this blog is primarily about food, you can be sure that there are links to a few recipes!

1. Our pets ALWAYS get Christmas gifts.

2. When my brother and I were small and waking our parents up every hour or so to see if Santa had come yet, my parents came up with the brilliant idea of telling Santa to leave a stuffed animal by our bedroom doors so that we would know when he had been there. We were under strict instructions NOT to get up or wake up our parents until that stuffed animal was by the door. I still woke up almost every hour but now I would sneak to the bedroom door, listen carefully, and then crack open the door to see if Santa had been by yet. I was always a little afraid of catching him in the act. I was also awed that Santa had actually been RIGHT OUTSIDE my bedroom door. I think those animals appeared well into my high school/college years and a few of them are sitting in my den right now. I am amazed that my parents never got caught in the act.

3. One of my favorite Christmas memories is Christmas caroling with many of our neighbors throughout the neighborhood. Dad would organize songbooks and after caroling, we would come back to the house for hot drinks, and popcorn, and singing around the player piano.

4. Last year, I received one of the “best Christmas presents ever” from my husband…. A big kite. This is not just any kite – it is a training kite for things like kitesurfing and is shaped a lot like one of our parachutes only smaller. It is soooo much fun to fly!

5. My mom always makes lots of cookies for Christmas. My favorites vary from year to year but at or near the top of the list are always Nanny’s chocolate chip cookies. They are irresistible and last year I ate so many over the Christmas holiday that I completely blew my cholesterol test.

6. When we were kids, we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve.

7. I use real Mardi Gras beads to decorate our tree. They are beautiful with the lights glinting off of them.

8. I really detest the fact that Christmas displays come so early. Maybe I’m a grinch but I saw store displays this year go straight from Halloween to Christmas. The last time I checked, there was a wonderful holiday called Thanksgiving that fell in-between. I firmly believe that no major decorations or displays should go up until AFTER Thanksgiving. I feel so strongly about this and about wanting to enjoy Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving that I have quit shopping for everything but necessities for the entire month of November because I do not want to see Christmas stuff yet. After December 1, bring it on!

9. In college, the start of the Christmas season for me was always the Moravian Love Feast held in Wait Chapel every year. The first year or two after graduation, I drove back to Winston-Salem just for that. I still miss it.

10. I really like decorating my Christmas tree with the front door wide open while I wear a short-sleeved shirt and drink a glass of sweet tea. Living in the South rocks!

11. Christmas gifts from Santa still occasionally show up under our tree even though there are no children in the household.

12. I honestly don’t remember what we used to eat for Christmas before I became a vegetarian. A pretty traditional dish for us over the last few years though has been Mr. Drumheller’s squash. Mom will also often make her amazing vegetable soup. Kyle’s family has traditionally had fondue and so I am having fun coming up with good, vegetarian fondue ideas! This year we are going to try a cheese and onion fondue served with small potatoes and mushrooms. I’m also going to serve artichokes. If it is any good, I’ll post the recipe. On Christmas morning, we will often have an egg casserole of some sort with fruit salad and cinnamon rolls.

Merry Christmas!