1) Favorite Color?
The shoes I got married in. Followed by light blue glitter toms.
Teal!!! Well, I say teal, but I also love raspberry, royal purple, gold, sky blue, lime green, marigold…. When we were deciding colors for our wedding, we ultimately decided on sky blue and champagne accented by pops of purple, raspberry, and bright yellow. When I was choosing these colors, I realized that I was most inspired by flowers, and especially the flowers that I grew up with. Even more specifically, native Georgia Azaleas. I was incredibly blessed to grow up in Atlanta and in one of the most spectacular yards of anyone I know. Our yard was spectacular not because it was manicured and had roses everywhere (although I LOVE French Baroque parterres). Our yard was beautiful because it represented what was (to me) the best of native foliage (the only thing we were missing was a Bradford Pear and Cherry Tree. Examples of why I love Georgia (I hope that I will find pictures of our actual yard, and better ones to boot, but these will have to suffice.
So, a sub-category Favorite Five: Susie’s Favorite 5 Flowers/Plants:
1B) Dogwoods (white or pink)
1C) Cherry Blossom Trees
1D) Bradford Pear
1E) Magnolias and Maples
I love flowers, trees, foliage. I love the way the colors play and interact. I don’t like having to choose single favorite colors because I am really big on the way colors work off of and accent one another. I’ll do a post about my wedding later, and you’ll really get a sense of this.
2) Favorite Beverage (another sub-category-er)
Once a season, I will allow myself a night to drink a little (Crohn’s and drinking don’t really mix).
2A) Red Wine–Particularly Montalpulciano d’Abruzzo, Aglianico, Negroamaro
But I do love the Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Villages we enjoyed with Christmas Eve Dinner.
2B) Crabbies Ginger Brew
2C) Hum/Humdinger (from Farmhouse)
2E) Coca-Cola Products in General
In the state of Georgia, there is no such thing as a “soda.” Whether you are drinking Sprite, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coke Light (if only!), Caffeine Free Diet Coke, or, god forbid, pepsi, you are “getting a Coke.”
K, so I should probably get on with it, right?
3) Favorite Holiday Songs
3a) Greensleaves/What Child is This?
3b) Canticle of Carols
3c) Carol of the Bells
3d) Mannheim Steamroller/Trans-Siberian Orchestra (any and all)
3e) Handel’s Messiah
4) Favorite Traditions that I Miss
4a) Coming out to “presents from Santa” ie unwrapped gifts to keep my brother and I occupied until we were allowed to wake up my parents. We were permitted to play with anything not wrapped, so we would tear into our stockings and I would often get something to play with (like a model horse barn, or a horse show trunk) that would often also “hint” at some of the wrapped goodies to come.
4b) A later tradition–me picking out our annual Christmas Eve restaurant. I like food, I know food, and I am good at what I do. This year became me cooking dinner!
4c) When we would throw the annual family Christmas day dinner. My mom is a genius and one year we decided to go just appetizers and desserts. Examples of what we would do: salmon toasts, veggie platter, shrimp, cheese and crackers (the standard); then fruit tart, chocolate cake, yule log, sundae bar, peppermint ice cream!, pie…. all the favorites.
4d) Not during Christmas, but for me the true start of the holiday season–baking and decorating Christmas cookies with my brother and grandmother in her old farmhouse kitchen in Upstate New York. I might miss this more than anything else.
Perhaps this has become my new tradition where I bake for others?
4e) Picking out my annual ornament with my mom as well as decorating the tree. So special, mesmerizing, and a way to remember years past at the end of every year and the beginning of the new.
5) Favorite Current (and some new!) Traditions/Memories of Christmas
5a) Christmas Day workout–in years past, always a run, but I had run the day before so I did the bike and back this year. Alex is always down, too.
5b) ALEX AND I BOTH HAVING THE DAY OFF!!!! Who knows when this will happen again for Christmas? So we made the most of it!
5c) Christmas day movies. Often James Bond. This year, Elf and Catching Fire. My dad will definitely make us watch A Christmas Story, which for whatever reason always is just at one of the moments where the little kid “runs” down the lane (waddles, really) in his snow suit. Always.
5d) No-distractions family time. Christmas music while opening presents. Forever and always. And special meals. Special breakfasts (now before present opening!!! Susie gets hungry :D) of cinnamon rolls, pancakes, French Toast, bacon, eggs, cocoa, croissants…. And in special dinnerware and Christmas mugs. The greatest conversations fueled/accompanied by food, wine, and nibbles. The good china!!!!
5e) Leaving up our Christmas lights (but not tree) year-round.
I realize that the latter half of this post majorly skimped on the photos. And I think that fact is really telling. Colors, drinks, whatever are lovely and help us connect to the season, and I could certainly show you some stock photos, but the truth is that a) they are mostly in Atlanta b) I feel like showing you them would be inappropriate and would be cheating the emotions. Perhaps I will feel differently later, but in my history, we didn’t always bring out the camera–we were too busy ENJOYING each other and LIVING. And I don’t want to nail that down to a single photo. A whole post, sure, but a single picture? Not yet.
I hope that regardless of your celebration situation, where you stand romantically or monetarily, that you are able to find the special and true pith of this season. Take time to reflect on who you are, who you were, and how you will continue to grow.
What do you miss most about Christmas/Holiday Seasons Past, and what do you look forward to making as a new tradition moving forward?