Thursday, December 9, 2010

Zesting Up the Holidays with Pepper Basham!

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:
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!!!!


  1. Oh my gosh I had a My Child Doll! I was wondering why that name sounded so familiar then I saw your pic Pepper and realized I HAD THAT DOLL! LOL yep we have A LOT in common! :-P

    Hannah you picked a great song today! I just love that version, those are two great singers. I hope you enjoy your Christmas break.

    XOXO~ Renee

  2. What the heck, I always have to comment twice! Lol.

    Anyways, great blog, as always Hannah! I love reading other people's traditions and favorties.

  3. Hey Renee,
    Man, you are quick! I don't think I even had the background changed yet, LOL!

    That's so cool that you guys both had that doll : ) I'm sure Pepper will appreciate it.

    And why thank you! Isn't it just fabulous!? Did you get my Chipmunk comment? Lol....I don't know if anyone knows that version...

    Thanks! I'll still be seeing you though : P

  4. Mal,
    I'm sorry it hates us : (

    Thanks, I'll talk to you later!

  5. This is such a sweet interview--so nice to get to know you better, Pepper! I confess, I had no idea who Hannah was talking about with the "redhead" reference, but now I understand. :) I know I've seen you around Seekerville and (of course) The Writers Alley, but it's so nice to see you here and learn about your Christmas traditions and favorites! :D

    And oh my! "Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has nothing on us"...? Ummm...I might be a little scared to visit your family at the holidays! ;) LOVE that movie, BTW!

    I think that nail that you have as a reminder of the reason for the season is a lovely idea! :) Thank you for reminding us to focus on Him!

    Hannah, these posts are so fun! That was a cute "Mystery Song" today. :)


  6. Love the nail ornament on the tree! What a powerful image for your children, Pepper. And these pics of the kids are so cute! . . . I'm always interested in new music, so I looked up Joy Has Dawned on the site mentioned and listened to a sweet version on Youtube. (Love the Gettys and Stuart Townend!) I enjoyed today's mystery song, too, Hannah. What a classic! It made me hunt for some other similar ones and that was fun . . . Have a great day all!

  7. Pepster, glad to see I beat you over here.

    Not that it's a contest or anything....

    But I DID win, chica. I'm just sayin'!!!

    And that nail...

    Oh, yes, to remember why we celebrate.

    I love that image, and those babies!!!! Little Peppers!

    Hugs to you my friend and I promise (which I shall promptly break) to be over more often.

    To be everywhere more often.

    First to write.

    Then to mingle.

    I would love another hour or two in the day. AND....

    My Christmas gift: Jeter is resigned with the Yankees for 3 more years with an optional 4th.

    My celebrations have begun!


  8. Hidee Hannah,
    So sweet of you to start out my Christmas with an invitation to your lovely blog. Thanks a bunch.
    Oreo truffles all around. My house is FULL of them. Please, take. Eat.

    Totally cool about the My Child. Yes - we do have a lot in common :-)

    My family at Christmas?
    and hilarious all wrapped up into one.
    It's that whole "love ya to death' kind of notion. :-)

  9. Renee Ann,
    I'm a BIG Getty/Townend fan. Their music is powerful. This new song is lovely. And if you get a chance, you HAVE TO HEAR - Behold the Lamb - The Communion Song.
    It's AMAZING!!!

    And thanks - my kids are cute. I'll agree. ;-)

  10. Are those your kids? What a beautiful family! Merry Christmas. :)

  11. Hi Joy,
    Yep, those are mine. Cute, aren't they? But don't let that fool ya ;-)

  12. You guys are great!! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a fun day with Pepper : ) She is pretty cool, eh? I had fun writing this one and yes your kids are gorgeous, Pep! Okay, though, I'll take your word for it ; )

    Annd Ruthy!!! Girl, thank you so much for following! *hugs to all*

  13. Wow! I love your Christmas Eve tradition with another family! I love that! I also like your Christmas wish. ;)

  14. PEP!!! SO much fun to get a glimpse into your world, especially at Christmas -- fun interview, Hannah and Pepper!!

    And five ornaments on one limb??? So? Isn't that how everybody does it??? :)


  15. Sherrinda!
    Hidee - Alley Pal.
    We can share. I always cook for a herd. I guess it's habit :-)

  16. Jules,
    Phoebe could have decorated that blouse you had on your Seekerville post yesterday.
    She LOVES bling. Lots of it - and all in one spot.
    Lots of drama with her too.
    She takes after her dad...of course.

  17. Hi Pepper. Hi Hannah.
    Sorry to be slow stopping. I got distracted.

    It happens.

    Great blog, Hannah. Love the Christmas decor. :)

    Pepper it sounds like you have an absolutely wonderful Christmas. Thanks for the great interview both of you.