Christmas Hostess in Peace, not Pieces

The Christmas Hostess

This has been my busiest Christmas season yet!  Each year I think it’s busy and I make plans to change my ways the following year to make it less hectic.  I implement a new and improved holiday plan and the season speeds by faster than the year beforimg_2323e it.  #Fail

I asked myself:  What are the BEST Christmas times?  For me it’s baking, having fun with friends and family and slowing down to enjoy the wonder of Christmas.  That last one can be elusive!  My daughter’s dog, Mia has it figured out though…If I had complete control over everything I would slow down to have fun instead of speed up.   It’s a novel concept, but one I plan to explore.

How might I accomplish this?  Well, first I need to see the frenzy for what it is.  In retail, we have projections of sales based on the previous year and then we are supposed to exceed the previous year by a certain percentage.  In essence, making every year, “The best year ever!”  We have a tendency to do this around Christmas.

The Bible has the word,” Selah”, in it a lot.  It means to “pause, to lift up, to praise”.  So, if I am going to add “Selah” to my Christmas schedule it means that I will pause, worship God, and thank Him for His blessings.  That requires room in the schedule…  One cannot “Selah” catnap style.  But where to find the room?img_2206

It occurs to me that in adding quantity to my Christmas schedule I am loosing quality.  This happens a lot when something is good and the desire is to increase quantity so that there is more…good…and that’s better right?  Or is it?

We all will be making lots of decisions.  Some things are not in our control, that’s true, but they are in God’s control.  The things that are in our control CAN be managed.  The things that God is in control of, we should let Him manage.  Then absolutely nothing is out of control…no matter what it looks like.img_2312

If nothing is truly out of control then we can give ourselves permission to relax.  The Bible says that you can’t add anything to your life by worrying. (Lea Freitas paraphrase) If that’s true, then we can’t add wonder to Christmas by fretting over the details of this project or that party.

In the history of the human existence, what does it matter?  I have a thought, and this will be my challenge for Christmases to come.  My new holiday plan is to focus on the things that matter and allow them to take precedence.  img_2313Watching Christmas movies while decorating, walking in the snow, baking with my daughter.  If those are the truly important things then I will put them on the top of my priority list and other things may not find a space on the schedule, instead of the other way around.

In this spirit, I wish to share some good old fashioned fun.  Games are how people used to have fun.  Laughter around the living room or dining table is indicative of quality time.  Games cost money, I know.  However, I am including two games in this post that will cost you nothing as my Christmas gift.   First, a Christmas jeopardy game-or trivia-however you would like to play it.  Then, dinner entertainment.img_2316

We’ll address the latter first…  When extended family is coming over for dinner and there are differing views on politics, religion or other touchy topics, it can be a stressful dinner.  Some families make rules about what can be discussed at the table and even that doesn’t work.  Whether this is an issue or not, here’s an idea.

Put place cards at each plate with the person’s name on one side and a character on the back.  Choose appropriate characters for each person, i.e., someone they are very familiar with.  A young girl might be Elsa, a young boy one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Chewbacca if they are not the type to want to enter into discussion.img_2261

Grandpa could be John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, maybe Dad can be Jeff Foxworthy. I would want to be Queen Elizabeth…you get the idea.  Then any discussion that takes place must be done in character.   Lord willing, laughter and not tension will be the result!

Ok, now for trivia…  If you want to have some fun at dinner you can write a few of the questions and answers down on a paper (or back of place card) at each plate.  Then everyone has a few questions to ask the table and everyone can ponder and/or discuss them.

The other way to play this one is to get a board and make categories and then assign boxes with point amounts in them for each question.  When the questions are answered I cross them off and when all the questions have been exhausted the person with the most points wins.  The winning prize can be anything from first dibs at dessert to a gift card to a favorite family store.

Until next time; may your cider be crisp, your biscuits fluffy, and your gravy be lump free!

img_2315Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 

Christmas Jeopardy

*no copyright or infringement as I researched these myself. 

Christ Child

  1. Who was the first ancestor or father recorded in the family lineage of Jesus?

*Father Abraham

  1. Who actually named baby Jesus?

*The Angel

  1. What does Emmanuel mean?

*God with us

  1. What was the name of the Angel that appeared to Mary?

*Gabriel

  1. In what country was Jesus born?

*Judea

  1. According to “the law” parents had to offer something in the temple if the first born was a boy.

What was it?

*2 turtle doves or 2 young pigeons

  1. According to the book of Mark, how many angels appeared to the shepherds?

*A heavenly host

  1. What is the definition of a heavenly host?

*Angelic army

  1.    What song did the Angels sing to the Shepherds?

*Glory to God in the Highest

  1. Joseph’s family was from:

*Bethlehem

  1. How many wise men or magi came?

*The Bible says what they brought but never mentioned how many there were.

  1. Who directed Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?

*Ceasar

 

Candy    *Example:  A confectionary walking brace=Candy caneimg_2318

  1. Another word for giggle

*Snicker

  1. Also a white rapper

*M&M

  1. Famous swashbuckling trio

*3 musketeers

  1. Favorite Day for working folks

*Payday

  1.      Something ships always have on board in case someone falls over

*Lifesaver

  1.     Exploding suns

*Starburst

  1.     A thingamabob or a

*Whatchamacallit

  1.      Klutz who drops things

*Butterfinger

  1.      Explosive gravel

*Pop Rocks

  1.       Cheerful cattle farmer

*Jolly Rancher

  1.     Misfiring moo juice

*Mild Dud

  1. Know it alls

*Smarties

 

Winter Trivia

  1. Can it snow from clear skies?

*Yes, ice crystimg_2278als can form when temps are in the single digits or colder from moisture in the air.

  1. On Average, one inch of rain is equivalent to how many inches f snow?

*10 inches

  1. How many times a year does the sun rise and set in the arctic?

*Once

  1. What is “hoar” frost

*Frost that looks like hair, as it is the word for hair from old English.

  1. What side of a building will have the most and best icecicles?

*South Side

  1. What is a toque?

*Word Canadians use for winter hat

  1. What percentage of fresh snow is composed of air?

*80%

  1. The world record for snowfall in a 24 hr period that we know of happened last spring in Caprocotta, Italy.  Was it under or over 100 inches?

*It was 100.8 inches

  1. What country can claim the honor of inventing the snowmobile?

*Canada

  1. Curling is one of 4 winter Olympic sports contested indoors.  What are the other 3?

*Hockey, Figure skating, speed skating

  1. Only 2 countries south of the equator have won medals in the winter Olympics.  Australia and?

*New Zealand

  1. Can it ever be too cold to snow?

*No, Antarctica often gets snow when it’s well below zero.  And frosty double for who answers correctly!  Coldest temperature ever recorded was -128, where was it?  Antarctic

 

Christmas movies and plays

  1. In Frosty the snowman, who brought Frosty back to life?

*Santa

  1. In “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” what biological shortcoming made the Grinch so mean?

*His heart was 2 sizes too small

  1. Who lost $8,000 in “It’s a Wonderful Life”?

*Uncle Billy

  1. Who said, “God bless us, everyone”?

*Tiny Tim

  1. In what city did “Miracle on 34th St.” take place?

*New York

  1. In “A Charlie Brown Christmas” who plays the innkeeper in their play?

*Pigpen

  1. What is the name of the little girl in most versions of the Nutcracker?

*Clara

  1. What did the Grinch use to pull his sled?

*his dog

  1. Frosty double:  In “It’s a Wonderful Life” who starred as George Bailey?

*Jimmy Stewart

  1. What’s Frosty’s nose made out of?

*Button

  1. How does Scrooge improve Cratchit’s life the day after Christmas?

*He gives him a raise

  1. In the classic Claymation, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, what was Rudolph’s father’s name?

*Donner

 

Christmas Songs and Poems

  1. What is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time?

*White Christmas

  1. Where was I when I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus?

*On the stairs

  1. What carol contains the line, “O Tidings of comfort and Joy?”

*God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

  1. What gift did “my true love” give to me on the 6th day of Christmas?

*Six geese a laying

  1. What Reindeer is never mentioned in “Twas the Night Before Christmas”?

*Rudolph

  1. In the chipmunk Christmas song-what does Alvin want for Christmas?

*Hula hoop

  1. In what Christmas carol is figgy pudding demanded?

*We wish you a Merry Christmas

  1. What song was originally titled, “One horse open sleigh?”

*Jingle Bells

  1. Visions of what dance in children’s heads?

*Sugarplums

  1. What song does a caroler sing outside of scrooge’s office?

*God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

  1. Frozen Double!  Who wrote:  “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

                *Clement C. Moore

  1. On every street corner you hear what?

*Silver bells

 

Random Christmas Trivia

  1. Name the reindeer whose names begin with “D”

*Dasher, Donner, Dancer

  1. What holiday drink has milk, sugar and eggs?

*Egg nog

  1. What type of canned pie filling is a big seller at Christmas?

*Pumpkin

  1. Traditionally, does the oldest or youngest family member open the first present?

*youngest

  1. What Holiday film annually appears on television more than 300 times?

*It’s a Wonderful Life.

  1. Frozen double!  What country started the tradition of exchanging gifts for Christmas?

                *Rome, Italy

  1. What is the most popular tree topper?

*Angel

  1. What did the little Drummer Boy give to the Christ Child?

*A song on his drum

  1. What are elves touted to wear on the tips of their shoes?

*Bells

  1. What are small, inexpensive gifts usually called at Christmas?

*Stocking stuffers

  1. What men’s grooming appliance became a sled for Santa in commercials of the 60s?

*Norelco shaver

  1.     A classic, ancient Christmas cake from the 1400s

*fruitcake.

 

Christmas Hymns

  1. …Stay by my side til morning is nigh.

*Away in a manger

  1. …holy infant, so tender and mild…

*Hark the Herald Angels Sing

  1. ….ransom captive Israel…

*O come, O come, Emanuel

  1. …shepherds why this jubilee…

*Angels we have heard on high

  1. …follow me in merry measure…

*Deck the Halls

  1. …over the hills and everywhere…

*Go tell it on the mountain

  1. …to save us all from satan’s power when we were gone astray…

*God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

  1. …from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold…

*It came upon a midnight clear

  1. …whom shepherds guard and angels sing…

*What child is this

  1. …guide us to thy perfect light…

*We three kings

  1. …was certain poor shepherds…

*First Noel

  1. …Come and behold him…

*O come all ye faithful

 

Christmas Food

  1. What would you be drinking if you had Gludwein?

*Mulled wine

  1. What is a Buche de Noel?  Commonly eaten in France at Christmas?

*Yule log

  1. Stollen is the traditional cake of what country?

*Germany

  1. What name is given small sausages wrapped in bacon, a staple at a British Christmas dinner?

*Pigs in blankets

  1. Who is responsible for the red and white costume of Santa?

*Coca Cola

  1. What is the name of the skin that hangs from a turkey’s neck?

*Wattle

  1. Which spirit is traditionally added to butter and served with Christmas pudding?

*Brandy

  1. Bread sauce is traditionally flavored with:

* Cloves

  1. Peppermint sticks have been popular for centuries, but which century did the candy cane appear in?

*1640 Germany

  1. How did the Puritans celebrate Christmas with food?

*They fasted

  1. What pudding do Americans often substitute for figgy pudding?

*persimmon pudding

  1. What traditional cake includes in the recipe to be wrapped in spirit soaked cloth and aged for a month at least?

*fruit cake