Allison with one of her Christmas gifts at my grandparents' house. Me in the walker and holding Mom's hand.
Harlan and Allison in front of the Christmas tree in Mableton. Harlan checking out Santa.
1. Favorite Christmas Decorations...
Mom made our Christmas stockings as children. When Dad got elected, Mom decided to purchase new stockings because she felt ours were too casual for the Governor's Mansion. We all complained so much that she returned them! Here is our Christmas card picture from the 8th grade, and you can see the stockings in the background. The other picture is of my grandmother at the Mansion (with the stockings hung on the mantel).
6. Our Church Service:
We go to the candlelight service (starts at 11 and ends at midnight). It is such a lovely way to "begin" the special holiday.
7. Christmas Pet Peeve:
Traffic...I overcome this by shopping early and enjoying down time during the holidays.
8. Favorite Christmas CD:
Mortified to admit this, but if you know me...you know it! Kenny and Dolly's Christmas (which I start listening to in October), and it is all my parents' fault for playing it in the car when I was a child.
9. Real or Fake...
Fake this year. I grew up with a real tree, but I just can't handle the cost and everlasting needles for months following Christmas.
10. I spend Christmas Eve...
Christmas Eve is a special time in my family (more to come on that in another post). When we were kids, Dad got us out of Mom's hair on Christmas Eve by taking us to deliver fruit baskets. We'd purchase about 10 baskets from the local grocery store and deliver them to people who couldn't get out for the holidays or didn't have a family to celebrate the season. We've visited Dad's life-long mentor, multiple former teachers, and life-long Mabletonians (our home town). We grew up HATING this part of the holiday, but it is now my favorite. I've learned so much about Mableton, Dad, my extended family, life, and the importance of character. What I've taken from this one tradition is something I can never explain.
Anyway, after the fruit baskets, we head home and prepare for the annual Christmas Eve party. Santa comes to my parents' home and brings gifts for all the kiddies (cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, etc.). When Dad was in office, we invited kids in state custody to share in this tradition with us. It was so neat to see others enjoy the experience too. Here are some pictures from the Christmas Eve party. I wish I could find more that were electronic. Several years ago we put together a scrapbook of pics and everyone's most memorable moment of the parties. Mom cried when she read it!
Mom helping Santa pass out all the Christmas gifts. Will, a second generation, to the party.
After cleaning up and a quick nap, we all head to the midnight service at church...a phenomenal way to spend such a fabulous day.