I recently received another set of questions from my friend and fellow blogger at the stunningly beautiful Almond Valley! This time, the questions are Yule themed, as befits the season... So, here goes! All sorts of musings about the holidays. :)
1. Are you going to give any presents you made by yourself?
I’m thinking... chocolate! Yes, perhaps; if I can find the time. It's not looking very good at the moment...
2. What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was made by the person who gave it to you?
This one’s easy! Woollen socks knitted by my mother-in-law. My feet are always cold. Always. My mother-in-law knits awesome socks; they’re pretty and soft and warm. They’re a gift that I use every day (yes, even in summer) and particularly special since she makes them herself – I could never knit a sock!
3. Have you ever made your own advent calendar?
I used to make them as a child. Now I no longer actually make them, but we have one which is basically 24 boxes that have to be filled... with chocolate! :) And little notes for my daughter that tell her to go treasure hunting to find tiny surprise presents.
4. What puts me in the mood for Yule is...
Candles. Music (I particularly love Loreena McKennitt’s Midwinter music). Scents – gingerbread, cinnamon... The first mug of mulled wine (or glögi).
5. What’s your best Christmas recipe?
A date cake laced generously with rum. My DH actually bakes them, but since I developed the recipe, I think I can claim some credit. ;) This cake is extremely moist and sort of caramelly because of the dates... it’s almost as good as chocolate cake!
6. Have you ever spent the holidays abroad? Where and what was it like?
I’ve spent the holidays in Canada, first in 1995 with my mother, father and sister, and then in 2004 with my husband. The first one was lovely, some traditions, some new things, and the second one was actually our first holiday without our families, just the two of us. We had some decorations, lots of candles, and a friend even gave us a tiny tree! We had smoked salmon and rye bread that I’d baked... and I cooked a turkey breast with plenty of pesto! Not very traditional, but we thought it was delicious. We had eggnog and chocolate... I missed sauna, but we took a bubble bath in candle light, and it was lovely. I had an elf costume that my DH found very... shall we say, entertaining. ;) There was much reading and relaxing and no obligations to do anything. Definitely one of the best holidays ever!
7. The prettiest flower arrangement for Christmas is made how?
Are you asking me? I have no idea! As for typical flowers of the season, the amaryllis is gorgeous, but the one flower I always want to have is the hyacinth! Their scent is one of the scents I associate with the season, so I usually get some just because of that.
8. Your most beautiful DIY Christmas decoration?
Hmm... I’m going to say the gingerbread wolf wood! This is a bit of a private joke... our family name, Susimetsä, means wolf forest, so, last year we decided to make this - three wolves and a forest:
9. Do you have any new ideas for wrapping gifts?
I’m afraid not...
10. What’s your Christmas tree like?
It’s an old (almost 15 years!) plastic tree. The ornaments are mostly red and gold... we have some very nice ones we brought back from Canada and ornaments that my mother collected... but we haven’t even taken them out of their boxes for years, not since our daughter was born. Accidents happen, and it’s better to keep those precious ornaments wrapped up and waiting. We have enough ornaments to cover the entire tree even without them.
11. Holidays aren’t the holidays without...
My husband and daughter. As long as I’m with them, we could spend the holidays anywhere. If I have to mention something else... well, you guessed it: books and chocolate!