CYNTHIA’S FAVORITE THINGS – The December Issue
Baking Cookies – Baking Christmas cookies is a childhood right of passage, and so is making a mess. I start with a standard easy butter sugar cookie recipe, and then make a super easy butter cream and royal icing. Then while listening to Christmas Carols after church I sit down at the kitchen table with piping bags ready to make my favorite Santa’s, Christmas Trees, and Snow Flakes. There is no wrong way to decorate a cookie. www.foodnetwork.com
Christmas Movies – Who doesn’t like a Christmas movie? There are so many to choose from, the old classics and the new comedies. Every year I await the classic “Christmas Vacation” Griswald comedy, as well as my personal favorites, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas. There are so many classics, and my list differs from Honey’s list just a bit. We are kind of a mixed bag.
Cynthia’s List Honey’s List
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Die Hard
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation It’s a Wonderful Life
A Christmas Carol Bad Santa (children don’t watch this)
The Santa Clause Elf
A Charlie Brown Christmas White Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Jingle All the Way
The Nativity Story Christmas With the Kranks
Frosty the Snowman Miracle on 34th Street
The Christmas Chronicles Ernest Saves Christmas
Holiday Decorating – Decking the halls, the home, the yard, the roof, etc. where it kind of looks like Santa has barfed all over my house sometimes gets a little tiring, but the end result is so much fun. I like to think the neighbors enjoy the lights and festivities, and NO you cannot see my house from space.
Fresh Oysters – OKAY, this is REALLY one of my favorite things - For a land locked State, finding these can be a challenge. The Alley on Main has them throughout the year, and they are a delight. If you wish to forgo the restaurant and enjoy a few at home, contact The Real Oyster Cult online. They have been supplying my at home oyster bar for years. The ROC curates from more than 70 farms and ships overnight. I have enjoyed raw oysters for decades, and theirs literally taste fresh out of the sea. This month’s special is Oysters, Caviar, Clams, Mussels, and Mignon-nips. It's your complete starter course in a box for $159. You receive 20 Savage Blondes, Siberian Supreme Caviar, Cult Classic Mignon-nips, 25 Countneck Clams to eat on the half shell, and 2.5 lbs of PEI Mussels. They even have wine pairings, recipes, and more. Look them up at www.realoystercult.com.
Visiting Family and Friends – Getting together with family and friends for quick visits, hugs and kisses really makes the holidays grand. I enjoy bringing token custom gifts with me while we visit, like home make fudge or sugar cookies, and certainly a home made bottle of The Tanked Grape custom wine that is made with love for animal rescue efforts.
Hannukah – While I do not celebrate Hannukah, I love hearing about the adventures from friends about the gatherings, worship, and customs. While different from my Christian beliefs, we are all one people loved by God.
Classic Christmas Music – I am blessed with the best husband and partner, he is truly an incredible man. Every year he puts together for me a Christmas playlist, and here are a few of the songs from 2021.
White Christmas – Bing Crosby
Jingle Bells – Frank Sinatra
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
Let it Snow – Dean Martin
Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
Winter Wonderland – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
Merry Christmas – Nat King Cole
The Little Drummer Boy – Harry Simeone Chorale
Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
There is No Place Like Home – Carpenters
Step Into Christmas – Elton John
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Please Come Home for Christmas – Eagles
Christmas – U2
Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald
The First Noel – Josh Groban
Silent Night – The Temptations
A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi
Do You Hear What I ear – Bing Crosby
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé
You’re a Mena One Mr. Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft
Frosty The Snowman – Jimmy Durante
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Bing Crosby
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – Burl Ives
Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth - David Bowie & Bing Crosby
O Holy Night - Celine Dion
Hark The Herald Angels Sing - Mannheim Steamroller
Do You Hear What I Hear - Whitney Houston
The First Noel (Above All) - Paul Baloche
Hark The Herald Angels Sing (O Come Let Us Adore Him) - Christy Nockels
Give Me Jesus -Danny Gokey
Little Drummer Boy -For King & Country
Hallelujah (Light Has Come) - BarlowGirl
Joy To The World - Casting Crowns)
Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Glory In The Highest) -Rend Collective Experiment
Angels We Have Heard on High -Chris Tomlin
Mary Did Your Know - Pentatonix
Shopping for Gifts and Helping Those in Need – I would rather enjoy being able to write here that I love shopping for gifts, but that would not be the most accurate statement. I enjoy shopping for the homeless, those in need, children, and my nephews. When it grows beyond this, it does become daunting. We have scaled down our gift giving as we have gotten older to focus on what it truly important about the holidays and how Christ would give if walking beside me today in the flesh. So, children and those in need, and our community is filled with need. Please consider giving to the following this Christmas, and make it a family event so the traditions you build today continue into the future.
Toys for Tots
Rutherford County Food Banks
Snow – Love looking at it. In the day, enjoy skiing in it. However, driving in it, not so much. However, a white Christmas where no one is injured would be nice.
Christmas – Christmas is something different for just about everyone. For children, the thrill of Santa Clause, or their parents, the stress of spending money, then Christmas at home, Christmas dinner at the inlaws, Christmas eve at the parents, the running, the buying, the cooking, the eating, it can be discouraging. It does not have to be. When we are upset, discouraged, and maybe disappointed, these are situations we have created for ourselves. The true meaning of Christmas has been forgotten for decades.
This culture we have created to make lists to “get” what we want, to take out loans to buy “stuff”, to run around all these places, buying, spending, shopping, wrapping, and going overboard is not what Christmas is all about. Have we forgotten truly what Christmas is?
I have broken down Christmas to the most simple form; Christmas is the gift of love. God gifted us with his son, the absolute greatest gift is love. Love in his gift of his son. Everything else is pagan and made up over the decades. Maybe we can all think about this a little more, and buying xboxes, iPads, computers, phones, unwanted trinkets and “stuff” a lot less.
How about this Christmas, take a few of the things you received for Christmas, and give them away to some one in need. Doing this is what Christmas is all about.
Snuggle Time with Honey and our Dogs – Is there anything better than snuggling with those you love? For us, it is being together, and we are so blessed we are so in love.
New Year’s Eve – In the day, we attended parties and parties. I would travel all over Rutherford County attending as many as I could taking phones and writing stories. I am thinking this year, a quiet evening with my family is exactly what is needed for the 2021 Holiday season.
Merry Christmas from my zoo to yours.
Thank you for reading Cynthia’s Favorite Things - The December Issue. If I was a bit preachy, I apologize. However, the need is great for change, and the need even greater for those in need. Please give what you can this Christmas and help someone.