I'm having a wonderful time in Michigan visiting family and friends! When I get back to Carolina I'll be sure to share details of my trip, my first experience in a USO airport lounge, pictures from the Christmas wedding I went to last night, and my new (much shorter!) hair!
In the meantime I would like to share a "Home for the Holidays story" from the lovely Kendra Thornton. Her story especially tugs at my heart strings this year.
You can find Kendra on Twitter @KendraThornton or at her website www.thorntonpr.com
Nothing Beats Home for Holiday Celebrations
As the holiday season arrives once again, music is evoking special sentiments in all of us, and many people are feeling energized as they buy gifts and prepare for celebrations with loved ones. In Chicago, this time of year practically guarantees snow along with the pleasure of spending time with friends and family. Like all families, mine has a few of our own special Christmas traditions. Half of my family is from Norway, which brings some unique touches to the holidays. We never fail to enjoy food and drinks that celebrate Norwegian heritage.
Our family always makes Norwegian favorites kringla and lefse, and every year on Christmas Eve, we gather around to swallow whole, raw oysters in unison. This is always guaranteed to be hilarious. Next, we all have a hot serving of savory stew made with oysters. Finally, our family holds a toast before downing shots of Akvavit, a potent spirit of Scandinavian origin that is guaranteed to warm you up. We all yell, "skol," which basically means "cheers" in Norwegian.
Ice-skating is always an important event for my kids during the holidays. Other seasonal activities they love include tree decorating in front of our home's bay window, cooking a huge Norwegian feast with my help, drinking hot chocolate and making special cookies to leave for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. However, one of our best traditions is to make and sprinkle reindeer dust around the outside of the windows in my children's rooms for Christmas Eve. According to legend, this dust will help guide reindeer to your home. It's no wonder that my children enjoy this so much.
My last job required worldwide travels all of the time, but I've found that nothing compares to spending the holidays at home with loved ones. I would never want to spend Christmas away from my family and the beautiful snow that Chicago gets each year. On Gogobot, I once read an article that compared holidays spent in the snow with those spent in warmer places. Personally, I've visited plenty of warmer climates, but I feel that those places just don't make Christmas shine the way it does in snowy areas. There's just no comparison between ice-skating amongst snow-covered pine trees and rollerblading under palm trees. How would you describe your own area during the holidays?
The truth is that I've only ever known Christmas as being cold and snowy. For us Thornton’s, it's the only way to celebrate. Fortunately, we're able to stay in town for Christmas again this year and celebrate with family members who joined us for so much fun at Thanksgiving recently. I truly hope that your holiday season is amazing this year and has plenty of wonderful food, time with loved ones and hilarity. The Thornton family wishes you Happy Holidays.