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Winter Holiday Fireside Moments: An Interview with Miranda James

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It’s that time of year when the chill in the frosty air brings us indoors to hunker down with thick comforters and mugs of steaming hot chocolate overflowing with fluffy marshmallows.  When holiday music and movies become the soundtrack to our everyday home lives. When we gather ‘round the fire for company, drink, food and love.  When we are celebrating and remembering those we treasure and hold near and dear.  When the real meaning of the season is family – by our DNA or by our heart.  When we reflect and give thanks for all we have. In a nutshell, unconditional love.

I’d like to welcome Dean James, aka Miranda James, to share the beauty of the season with us.

Favorite Holiday tradition?

Watching my favorite Christmas movie, The Bishop’s Wife.

Favorite childhood toy?

My teddy bear, Rosey (short for Roosevelt)

Favorite childhood game?

Hide and seek

Snow ball fight or making snow families?

I grew up in Mississippi, and we didn’t have snow very often. My favorite thing to do with snow was have my mother make ice cream with it.

Sleigh rides, sledding or skiing?

None of these; rarely enough snow for them.

Favorite Holiday song?

Silent Night

Favorite holiday movie?

The Bishop’s Wife

Favorite holiday story to read?

None in particular, but the season often makes me nostalgic, and I reread old favorites, like Nancy Drew, for example, or Georgette Heyer or Elizabeth Peters

Snow on holiday eve or just a chill in the air?

Would love to have a dusting of snow, but in Houston we’re lucky if there’s even a chill in the air

Most memorable holiday memory?

Finding the red pedal car my parents had hidden at my grandparents’ house and driving it through the house, when I was about four

Did you eat popcorn balls as a kid? If you did, do you still?

No, and no, but I love popcorn

Real tree or artificial? Green or white?

If I had one, I’d prefer a real one

What do you holiday eve?

Settle in snugly at home with my cat and either read or watch a movie (or both)

What are your holiday plans this year?

To have a quiet holiday season with a minimum of fuss

What’s the one holiday dish your family can’t go without?

For me, it’s cornbread dressing with the chicken (we were not a turkey family); the other I love is deviled eggs

Please share a Holiday recipe.

I’m not much of a cook, but I do bake a rather tasty ham. Put your ham in a foil-lined pan that’s at least 1-1/2 inches deep, pour about 2 cans worth of Coke over it, seal it with aluminum foil, and put in the oven to cook (18 minutes per pound, roughly) at 350 degrees. Baste every half hour or so with the mingled drippings and Coke. Hint: if you overbake slightly, it’s okay — but not too long. It should come out tender, juicy, and tasty. I don’t put pineapple or anything else on mine.

Holiday party tip?

Drink responsibly (if you drink).

Favorite holiday decoration?

A wonderful Santa Claus made for me by a dear friend

Please share some magical holiday memories?

Any that include my late parents and my grandparents. Christmas isn’t quite the same without them. My paternal grandparents loved having as many of the family as possible on hand for the holidays, and I remember the wonderful meals we had, with the adults at one table, and we younger ones at another. Also going to a late church service on Christmas eve, then coming home to climb into bed, hoping that Santa Claus would visit sometime during the night.

Wrap, gift bag or bow & go?

Both wrap and gift bag, depending on what’s to hand

Gifts or gift cards?

Either, depending on the recipient.

Do you eat fruitcake?

No.

Do you head to the movies on the 25th?

No, I’d rather watch my favorites at home

About Diane Morasco