This Morning I am playing along with the "Friday Five." These are five questions posted on the RevGalBlogPal ring- so here you go:
1. What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave?
Probably the best childhood gift I ever gave was the Christmas that my dad gave me an opportunity to give to someone less fortunate then me. He had a friend who worked in his office who was in desperate financial need. The friend was a single mother and had a daughter a few years younger than me. She hadn't even put up any Christmas decorations at her house. So my dad and his friends at the office swooped in and decorated their house and left presents for the little girl. I was just old enough to begin to think about giving up my Barbies- so my dad came and explained the situation and asked if I would give up my Barbies and all their accessories to this little girl for Christmas. So with only a bit of reluctance on my part the Dream House (with working shower) went out the door, and the Barbie cars, and all the Barbies, and Skippers and Kens went too. I was a little bit sad to leave that part of my childhood behind- but for the first time I got to experience the true spirit of Christmas, and also the kind of giving that feels like a sacrifice and yet is given in joy. I'm grateful for to my Dad for that opportunity.
2. What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.
My favorite recipe of late is artichoke dip- I've taken it to all the Christmas parties this year.
Take one cup of mayonnaise, one cup of Parmesan cheese, and one can of artichoke hearts (chopped up) and combine them in a bowl. Then add a dash of onion powder (or onion salt would probably work too) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir it all together and then put in the oven at 350 for about 30 mins. Serve with chips, crackers or pita (I like the scoop tortilla chips). If you are going to a party- you might even triple the recipe- people love it!
3. What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)
This is my first year of marriage so David and I are still creating traditions together. From my family of origin I just love the tradition that my dad can't sleep on Christmas Eve- he's worse than the kids. I love how he wakes up in the middle of the night and tries to wait as long as he can before waking everybody up and blaming the early rise on one of my younger siblings (who would probably rather sleep in at this point!) It's great- I love opening presents bleary-eyed.
4. Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?
I haven't gotten to participate in the tradition above in four years now since I've been an ordained minister in another state. I always stay with my congregation for Christmas Eve Service (at 11:00pm) and then fly home on Christmas Day- this year my husband's coming with me! My favorite tradition of the last four years with my church family is having the privilege of reading from the beginning of the Gospel of John on Christmas Eve- that truly makes it Christmas for me.
5. If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?
Skip the presents and bring my whole family to the beach for Christmas!