First things, first. This is a plate of cookies that exemplifies the contents of my cookie gift bags for friends and coworkers. I make platters, too for family and some friends and their families. The platters contain approximately twice as many cookies. Chocolate-white chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, my signature oatmeal cookies, chunky streusel jam squares, coconut macaroons and chocolate fudge.
So now onto my Delightful December items:
15. Chick Flicks. I love romantic comedies and other movies that fall into the category of "chick flick" as my husband calls them. I am especially fond of the movies based on Nicholas Sparks' novels. For some reason, Mr. W considers movie musicals as part of that category. Maybe because I like 'em. Anyway, I am aware that some of those movies can be quite sad at times, and I am pretty emotional. I often find myself weeping while watching the movies, even some happy parts. I think I find the crying is cleansing and therapeutic for whatever ails me. I realize that many of them would never be considered for Oscars, but that doesn't matter much to me. I also like comedies, the non-romantic type and dramas.
16. Green Lights. No, I don't mean green lampshades or light bulbs. I mean by getting into my car to drive to work (or drive home from work) and all the stop lights happen to be green. I love being able to breeze on by to get where I need to get to. There are freeways nearby but not a practical route, especially the time of day in which I am traveling to and from work.
I have not done a survey in a while, so I borrowed this one from @mrs_foodlover.
Which do you like better, egg nog or apple cider? I definitely prefer apple cider over eggnog. I am not a fan of thick creamy drinks such as eggnog or milkshakes. Do you prefer real Christmas trees or fake ones? Fake because I can take it apart after Christmas and put it away. It is a hassle to have a real one ‘cause I take forever to take down the decorations and never be able to get it out on the curb for recycling on the day the trash people have designated. What winter holiday do you celebrate? Growing up, I have never been particularly religious, but my parents did celebrate Christmas. Now, I still celebrate Christmas because my husband’s family does. What are you hoping to get as presents? I can’t say that I am really hoping to get any particular item. If I want something, and I like it and can reasonably afford it, I buy it or I save up for it. If anything, I am hoping this next year we can save up for a vacation. We haven’t been on a proper vacation in nearly 4 years. I have paid time off available from work, but we haven’t been able to save up the money for a trip. I especially like cruises. What are you giving to others? My husband and I decided to just give gifts to our closest friends and family. We’ve definitely cut down our list this year seeing that my husband has been out of work since August. And we limited the budget to about $20 to $35 per close friend. Prior to my husband’s unemployment, I had saved up money for my Annual Cookie Bakefest—all our friends and coworkers get a bag filled with home baked cookies.
Who will you be spending the holiday with this year? On 12/23, we have been invited to a holiday dinner with our friends. On Christmas Eve, it’ll be just me, my husband and his mother. On Christmas Day, I used to spend it with my family, but not since our estrangement. How old were you when you found out there was no Santa Claus? I don’t recall but I think I was pretty sure there was no Santa at a very young age. But that didn’t phase me, I still liked the holiday. Do you like snow? Does it even snow that much in your area? When was the last time you had a major blizzard? Did you ever shovel snow for money? Ever had a white Christmas? I wanted to answer all these questions, but I live in an area that does not EVER receive snow. Nor have I ever had Christmas in a place that did away from home. Sad, I know. What was the best gift you ever got for the holidays? As a kid, my parents didn’t have a lot of money, and they were practical people. So often, we just got red envelopes of money for Christmas, and we were encouraged to save it rather than spend it, but if we wanted to spend it, we could. As an adult, one year my hubby bought me a stand mixer! I have an electric hand mixer, which was good, and I still use it for certain things, but the stand mixer is amazing. It is the lowest, most basic version of the KitchenAid stand mixer, but I am saving up for an upgrade. Those things are not cheap, that’s for sure. Did you cry when you got clothes as gifts when you were little? No, a gift is a gift. But it wasn’t often. I got clothes more often for my birthday. Do you have a significant other this season? If so, what will you be getting them? If you're single, how do you feel about being single during the holidays (I'm single, don't be upset, it's not bad!)? Yes, I do have a significant other. But, we’ve decided not to give physical gifts to each other ‘cause of the money situation. I do want to get him a little something, but he’s like me in regards for getting things so it’s difficult. Does your family (or you, if you don't live with them) put up lights for the holidays? No, we don’t. I like how they look, but I’m too lazy to do that kind of decorating. I usually put up the tree, and a few small tabletop type things but that is about it. What's the one gift you want the most this season that would satisfy you for the rest of the year? I think I am already pretty blessed. I have my husband by my side. I have great friends. I have a job and a place I call home. I love to receive gifts, but giving is the best part. I think I’ve got everything I need. Despite the fact that my family and I aren’t on speaking terms, I’d have to say that I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in a while. Except maybe a premium annual pass to Disneyland. Yes, I would really like that. But, if it’s not in the books, it’s not and I’m okay with that. Do you bake cookies? What kinds do you normally make? Are those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kiss in the middle not the most amazing cookies ever? Yes, I do! My tradition is to give cookie gifts each year. The usual bag contains chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cranberry orange cookies, coconut macaroons, jam squares and tiny chocolate fudge squares. Okay, the fudge is a candy, but it goes in the cookie bag. I like adding a different cookie—this year it is a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. Last year it was butter cookie. Sometimes I add hot chocolate packets, but they weren’t in the budget this year. Where did you do most of your holiday shopping? Amazon.com, Target, the mall and Sephora and maybe another random online store for a specialized gift. We have some pretty unique friends. When is "too soon" to start talking about the winter holidays? When Halloween is still around.
Did you ever work in retail on Black Friday? How was it? I was not in retail, but I did work at McDonalds that was across the street from a shopping mall. Needless to say during December, I sold a lot of gift certificates, and later activated a lot of gift cards. And people, for some reason did not want to cook after a long day of shopping. Favorite holiday food? A brown sugar glazed ham! I like serving it was sweet potatoes and a green veggie.
If you had to choose, who would you kiss under the mistletoe? My husband, of course! Did you ever re-gift something? Did it work out? Heck, no! We normally have a gift exchange with my friends, and in past years we’d always give gifts, but if someone showed up that I did not intend a gift, I just gave them a cookie bag (I always make a couple extra) LOL. I don’t believe in regifting, I think it is tacky. However, I have received things that were regifted from another giver. Very sad situation. Would you ever buy a gift that was used (ex. something from Goodwill or a garage sale) for someone, even if it was in perfect condition? Yes, I would. On Pinterest and on blogs, many people fix up old small furniture and sell it. If I were handier, I would most definitely seek bargains and fix them up to suit the style of my friends to give to them. Who in your family is the HARDEST to buy gifts for? What about the easiest? The husband is the most difficult to shop for, especially if it is something for his hobbies. A man needs only so many new wallets, watches, cologne, etc. When the holidays are over, are you in a rush to be finished with winter already? Yes, because I love warm weather! As soon as it gets a little cloudy, I’m already thinking about the days I can pull out the sandals and sundresses. What does your winter jacket look like? Winter coat? What’s that?! I do have a pea coat from Old Navy I particularly like. What's your typical style in the winter? Jeans, a cute sweater or long sleeve top. Flats and boots are the usual shoes. What do you plan on wearing for the holidays when you see your family? Do you dress up or is it all relaxed? I’m not sure what I will wear for the holiday, but since it’s so casual, we dress how we like. For the Friends Christmas dinner, I’m not sure, probably a long sleeved dress. Do you have any holiday parties to go to? Maybe thrown by friends or a party at work? We already had our holiday party at work, it was at a fancy Asian fusion restaurant in Downtown. The food was actually pretty good, and I had two cocktails with my meal. The big star of that meal was the dessert. It was an individual ramekin of bread pudding made with croissants, laced with bits of chocolate and topped with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel. The Friends Christmas Dinner is a pot luck, I have not picked what I will bring yet but there will be cookies for everyone. Do you like to try out all those holiday recipes that are advertised all over? I love to cook, but I like my traditions for the holiday meals. But I may try something different on the weekends.
Favorite kind of cheesecake? Either the original flavor or Oreo cheesecake. Do you remember your worst holiday ever? I don’t remember if there were any holidays that I thought it was the worst ever. Surely, there were some years that the money was tight, but my parents always made sure they were able to give each of us some money and there was always a feast. What about the best? Each year that we were able to spend with our families for Christmas Eve/Day, and also celebrate with our friends. Friends, family, food and fun.
14. Warm, Cozy Bed. As you may have read in my last Delightful December post, I live in a zone that does not receive a lot of rain, and the weather stays consistently warm most of the year. Most of the time, I just need a thin blanket/quilt or a sheet to sleep with. But since I am so accustomed to warm weather, it is hard for my body to adjust to withstand cold weather. That being said, there have been some chilly mornings that I would just love to stay in bed all day and watch movies with my husband. Well, it sure beats getting up to do chores or going to work, that is for sure! It was about 58°F in my house this morning. I know, that is probably still considered "warm" for many of you, but it is cold for me! For my bed, I like a lot of pillows, a medium firmness mattress and I like the light comforters that normally come in a bed-in-a-bag. I do not like flannel, microfiber or satin bedding. I mostly use cotton or t-shirt-material type bedding, I find that most comfortable for me. As for clothes for bed, because I can't stand to sleep nude, I usually wear either pajama capris or pants, and a tank top or t-shirt depending on how warm/cold it is. I mostly do not like turning on the central heat, and especially not at night. I easily get dehydrated, especially if I am sleeping. In the daytime, I can drink water, but when you're asleep you don't think about it. Plus, if the air is dry and heated, I get frequent nosebleeds. So, the compromise is to use a space heater with a timer. We set it for 45 to 60 minutes, just long enough to fall asleep.
13. Clear blue skies. I live in an area where the climate is pretty constant, the typical high and low temperatures do not vary wildly, so I can appreciate clear skies often. But, my favorite time is after a few days of rain. The sky looks particularly blue and clear and free of nasty particles. I also like the crisp, cool air accompanied by the clear blue skies after a rain, and the occasional rainbow. I don't know why these things make me happy, maybe it's because I like that shade of blue, or I think rainbows are pretty. Sorry, no pics for this post.