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 Paige Shelton to share the beauty of the season with us.
Favorite holiday tradition?
When my husband and I first got married we were really poor. Our Christmas tree was a plant and we decorated it with ornaments from McDonald’s Happy Meals. Though we are by no means wealthy, over the years we have acquired a tree and ornaments from places other than McDonald’s. But we still put those Happy Meal ornaments on the tree – it’s become our favorite tradition.
Favorite childhood toy?
Victoria – a baby doll that looked so real that when I dropped her out of a shopping cart once, a lady screamed and thought she was a live baby.
Favorite childhood game?
Kick the Can, for sure.
Snow ball fight or making snow families?
Sleigh rides, sledding or skiing?
Sledding. I used to ski, but a bad knee took me off those slopes.
Favorite holiday song?
From Meet Me in St. Louis. Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Favorite holiday movie?
Meet Me in St. Louis
Favorite holiday story to read?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Snow on holiday eve or just a chill in the air?
Snow, but it’s great when it’s gone the day after Christmas.
Most memorable holiday memory?
The last Christmas before my grandmother died. I was only eight, but I told myself to keep hold of those memories, and that’s what I think of most when I look back.
Did you eat popcorn balls as a kid? If you did, do you still?
I did and I still do, but I have to cut them up before I eat them now.
Real tree or artificial? Green or white?
Green artificial. The real ones make me sneeze.
What do you do holiday eve?
Dinner with family and sometimes a movie.
What are your holiday plans this year?
Very mellow. Not much family will be in town and my son will have a basketball tournament over the break.
What’s the one holiday dish your family can’t go without?
Please share a holiday recipe.
Microwave peanut butter fudge. It’s addictive and delicious. We could eat it year around, but we only allow it in December. Here’s the recipe:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce jar chunky peanut butter
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
Combine sugar, margarine and evaporated milk in a 3-quart glass dish. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 5 1/2 to 6 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring only if necessary to prevent boiling over. Stir in remaining ingredients until everything melts together and is combined. Pour into a buttered 9 X 13 dish. Chill for at least two hours. Cut into squares. I keep it refrigerated.
Be careful. The final mixture is hot, hot, hot.
Holiday party tip:
My big tip is: eat a little something before you go. I know, I know, I’m terribly boring, but it helps keep you from eating too much at the party.
Favorite holiday decoration?
Lighted artificial wreath for the front door.
Please share some magical holiday memories?
That’s easy. When I was little, my grandpa and I would always look out the window before I went to bed on Christmas Eve. Somehow, he could always spot the lights on Santa’s sleigh blinking in the distance. There was never one moment’s doubt in my mind that we’d found Santa, and I’d better get myself to sleep before he got to the house. I *knew* Grandpa was magical.
Wrap, gift bag or bow & go?
Gifts or gift cards?
Gift cards, or cash for the kid.
Do you eat fruitcake?
Do you head to the movies on the 25th?
Sometimes. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Mission Impossible movie. We’ve talked about seeing that one on Christmas Day or Eve.
What’s in your stocking? *wink*
Hmm. Not very wink-able, but chocolate oranges. Yum.
What do you want in your stocking? *saucy wink aka swink*
Hmm, again, not very wink-able, but it’d be great to find a couple tickets to San Francisco or Vegas for a getaway with husband.
Do you head out on the 26th into the madness to exchange or shop for anything?
Heavens, no. I’m not a crowd person.
Thank you so much.
Happy Holidays from my house to yours!
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