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That Gingerbread Feeling

Do you hear what I hear?

That's the sound of a hyped-up-on-Hallmark-movies mommy blogger asking you to join her in feeling all the holiday feels.

I am one sentimental gal, and no time of year makes me wax nostalgic quite like the holidays. I know I'm not alone in this. Just ask yourself: when you hear the opening chimes of the Home Alone theme, does something in you stir? Just the slightest flicker of a fourth-grade memory coming to the surface for thirty-one days of December?

Even now that I'm in my mid thirties, married, and a mom, I can't bring myself to part with old childhood traditions. They're so...happy. So pure. Such unobstructed doorways into a time when I thought the twinkle of a gilded ornament and dancing tree lights let me in on the secret of Christmas. True flashes of delight.

Yet given that I'm in my thirties, married, and a mom, new traditions are added and observed with each passing year, as they should be. Traditions that Mike loves, and that I love that he loves. And don't even get me started on the Norman Rockwell-Frank Capra-Bing Crosby-levels of holly jolly I intend to soak Harlow's childhood in.

So pop some popcorn, drizzle it with chocolate, and go heavy-handed with the sprinkles because we're about to take a sleigh ride down memory lane all the way to Precious Moments Boulevard. (Follow the recipe I used here -- I did omit the peppermint pieces FYI). Then please share in the comments section what special holiday things and traditions give you that special gingerbread feeling at Christmastime! That way we can share in the spirit -- or feel inspired to add a new tradition to our own lists!


Old: Playing Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song first thing every Christmas morning when we all gather around the tree to open gifts.

New: Watching Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve .


Country ham biscuits on Christmas morning

Beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner

Always something Reese's in our stockings


Hot cocoa while we decorate the tree

Spiked egg nog (see recipe here -- I prefer bourbon over rum) at parties and on Christmas Eve Cranberry percolator punch with Christmas breakfast






Home Alone (the original and sometimes 2...never ever any sequel without Macaulay Culkin); White Christmas

The Ref

Christmas Vacation

A Christmas Story (I love the marathon on TBS!)

Yay or Nay: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? I say no!


The Nutcracker

O Holy Night (my favorite Christmas song)

Nat King Cole's Christmas Album

Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt

Somewhere In My Memory

Silent Night as sung by our church congregation during the candlelight service

Worst Christmas Song: 'Wonderful Christmastime' by Paul McCartney tied with Elvis's 'Blue Christmas' and The Beach Boys' 'The Man With All The Toys.' Just a no all around.


Going to see The Nutcracker Ballet with my mom and grandmother, decked out in my Christmas dress, lace stockings, and fur coat. #EloiseStatus

Hanging my favorite ornaments on the tree: the gold Biltmore House, the crystals, the miniature Mother Goose book, and Minnie eighties in her fingerless gloves.

The tiny pair of ear muffs my grandmother puts on the wooden duck in her living room.

The fudge, peanut butter balls, and sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles my grandmother made every time we came to town for Christmas.

Santa leaving my presents in the chair on the right next to the window by the tree...every year.

When I was ten years old at my grandparents' annual Christmas party and I accidentally ate a rum ball I thought was a chocolate truffle.

The Rudolph outfit my parents dressed my new baby brother in on his first Christmas.

Christmas Eve dinner in The Blue Ridge Dining Room at the Grove Park Inn.

JOY written in lights on Sunset Mountain.


Barbie's dream house with the elevator.

My first American doll, Molly.

The real ball gowns my grandmother had tailored to fit me at eight years old...and the tiara to match.





Candles in the window, Shadows painting the ceiling, Gazing at the fire glow, Feeling that gingerbread feeling. Precious moments, Special people, Happy faces, I can see. Somewhere in my mem'ry, Christmas joys all around me, Living in my mem'ry, All of the music, All of the magic, All of the fam'ly home here with me.

Merry Christmas everybody!


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