Okay, sorry for the bad pun, Pepper, BUT I couldn't resist! Lol....
So let's jump to the chase, people. I've got Pepper Basham here with me today. She's nervous about following Ruthy, so let's make her feel really welcome!! Let's get right to the interview:
H: Thank you so much for stopping by today! So Pepper, what is your favorite part(s) of the Christmas season?
P: Did you intentionally start with a tough question? ;-) Three words: family, food, faith. Getting together with my extended family and sharing the food, oh my heavens, what a good time. Plus, I didn’t have to cook it all. Love that.
And I love attending our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service. There’s something so beautiful about participating in it as a reminder of the purpose of that holy child’s birth. And by candlelight? Very moving.
H: Well, you know I try my hardest ; ) Ahhh I like the Christmas Eve service too! If you hang on, that will come up again later on during the blogfest! Are you a big celebrator of Christmas?
P: Oh yeah. In both the secular and spiritual way. Big time decorations, Christmas music 24/7, a Rudolph nose and antler headband. My kids at school LOVE it – and so do I, so it’s a good match.
This time of year is both an exciting and sobering time- because the meaning is so poignant. It’s a beautiful time of celebrating God’s gift to the world, the love of family, the beauty (and somewhat chaos) of gift-giving, but it also reminds us of the ones who have already gone on to Heaven and the forward-look to the Easter-cross.
H: Very well put, Pepper. It's a great reminder that we can have the best of both worlds - secular and spiritual. What are some of your traditions? (i.e. food, gift giving, family traditions, etc)?
P: Decorating the Christmas tree together and playing loud Christmas music. My youngest daughter puts about 5 ornaments per tree limb. It’s hilarious to see them sort through the ornaments year after year. I love it.
H: That is so cute!! I'm sure it must be fun for parents to see their kids grow and take on more responsibilites with the decorations year after year : ) Do you have a favorite Christmas themed book/recommendation? Movie?
P: Okay, how can you go wrong with It’s A Wonderful Life. I love watching that movie. And A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge.
For the kids, it’s watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Does favorite mean one?
H: No, it doesn't! And I was waiting for someone to say How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Thank you : ) How have your Christmas traditions changed since you were a kid now that you have a _________ (family, at college, etc)?
P: When I was a little girl, we’d have a big family celebration on Christmas Eve. All the kids would climb to the top of the stairs, out of sight of the tree and adults, so one of my aunts could read Twas the Night Before Christmas to us.
Since growing up and having a family, we can’t travel for Christmas Eve anymore, so we try to modify our family get-togethers to see as many family members as we can in one ‘hit’.
We’ve created our own traditions, though. Every Chrstmas Eve, I make Christmas Eve dinner and we invite one family from the church to our house. Then after that family leaves, we read Twas the Night Jesus Came and go to bed (notice I said, got to bed – not sleep. What kid sleeps on Christmas Eve? ;-)
H: Actually, Pepper, I feel like Christmas Eve is the one night that I didn't fight Mom to go to bed! It was always difficult to get to sleep, but you just did it, lol!! I love how well you've been able to integrate your traditions. If you had to pick one “symbol” of Christmas (i.e. ornaments, the tree, the lights, the nativity set, etc.), what would you pick as your favorite?
P: Okay, Hannah, we have a really odd one at our house. It’s an ornament of a huge nail that we hang behind all of the other ornaments on our Christmas tree. It’s huge, and it’s to remind of us the ‘heart’ of Christmas. Beyond the lowly stable and Silent Night. Beyond the Beautiful Star of Bethlehem and the Hark of the Herald Angels – it reminds us of the reason for this Joy to the World. The Savior, who would take on our sins in this very dark world. That reminder, that symbol, places gravity and meaning to the rest of what we do this time of year (or at least I hope it does). Whether Santa Claus is Coming to Town or not, we know Jesus already has come – and He’s given the biggest gift of all. Himself.
The ultimate reason for this Holy Night in the Little Town of Bethlehem. Jesus and his extravagant love.
H: Wow, Pep, I don't think that's odd at all. That's beautiful, I know a lot of people reading this are going to love hearing about this symbol. Thanks for sharing with us! What did you ask Santa for this year? *wink*
P: Money for ACFW for next year. Seriously. It’s either funds to support my writing habit, or funds to support another trip to England. I know, I’m thinking big, but hey…I’ve been a really good girl this year. Mostly. If we’re grading on a curve.
H: *snickers* "If we're grading on a curve..." Lol! Well I wouldn't mind that trip to England! We want to get back to London for Wicked with Rachel Tucker!! What was one gift that you always wanted, but never got?
P: A treehouse. I’ve always wanted a treehouse, still do. It’d have to be a bit bigger at this point, but oh what fun!
H: We never had a treehouse either, lol!
These are some bests. Just fill them in with your favorite/the best.
Christmas present as a child? Barbie Dream House or a My Child Doll. Here are pictures of both – because I’m pretty sure you’re too young to know about them, Hannah.
(I just will have you know that I DO know what a Barbie Dream House is, Pepper!! We had one, not this one, but we had one!! LOL!)
Christmas song? Another hard question: I’ve always loved Joy to the World and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, but I have a new one I like this year. It’s a worship chorus entitled Joy Has Dawned. The words are fabulous. You can hear part of it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=562069
Place to spend Christmas day? My grandmother’s house with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And the character ideas for stories? All over the place!! Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has nothing on us.
Christmas food? How on EARTH can you pick a favorite there? I love most food that I don’t have to cook or clean up after, add chocolate to it – and it’s perfect for me : )
Pepper, thank you so much for helping us celebrate this Christmas season!! It's been a pleasure talking Christmas with you : )
And now onto our Mystery Song of the Day!! Hint: This song is THE song for this holiday. Sometimes the first word is misplaced with Chipmunks : / Anyway, this specific version I stumbled onto and absolutely adore it!! Just wait until you hear it and see who it is. Their harmony is so tight, it's marvelous!
Have a happy Thursday! It's almost Friday and my last day of classes before Christmas Break!!!!