Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yuletide Greetings

We here at La Casa van Voorhees are scurrying busily through our Christmas preparations.  The stockings are hung by the artificial gas fireplace with care, the electric glow of festive lights dots our tree (that we bring down each year and take out of a box), visits to High Street (okay. are made...

It's a mildly un-Neels Christmas.  But here's where the Great Betty's and my VENN diagram overlaps:
  • Church services on Christmas morning.  Thank heavens our congregation meets at 9am.
  •  Home-fashioned Christmas gifts.  Several of them.  Check.
  • Homemade: Babies don't inspect seams...
  •  Christmas music played from the radio.  (Granted, my set is not a post-war relic and the DJ rotation is rather classic-light and Mariah Carey-heavy...) 
  • Ice-skating.  (The Mevrouw van Voorhees is undecided about whether she loves or loathes this family tradition. Suffice it to say, she does not glide effortlessly over the ice, supported in the strong, well-chiseled arms of a trained medical practitioner.  I wait in gloomy anticipation for the day when a nasty spill necessitates a visit to the ER on Christmas Eve. But the children love it, and certainly La Neels would approve of that.)
What Neels-y and Un-Neels-y things are you up to this season?


  1. Neelsy:
    There will be a real Christmas tree (which will be decorated on Christmas Eve) with real candles. (There has never been a fire while I was responsible for decorating the tree. But once when I was abroad...Luckily the fire was put out immediately and I understand there was hardly any damage at all.)

    Sorry, no paper-chains.

    Betty Anonymous

  2. Ohhh, I love that whale and baby blanket. That's so creative!

  3. Let's see, following Betty Anonymous's example... (I bet your trees look absolutely beautiful with the candles!)

    A visit (by plane, though sadly not first-class) to a large, close-knit family waiting to welcome me into the fray, complete with younger siblings and many uncles with odd names (seriously, a few of them are actually Betty-approved). Homemade meals, gift giving, midnight Mass (if I can talk my parents out of their morning Mass - I like the candles and choir better in the evening!), and chatting around a cozy fire in the living room (er, sitting room, I suppose!) with fizzy apple cider and cookies on Christmas Eve.

    Well, it's my family and not my boyfriend's family - does that still earn points for a holiday-with-huge-family in Neelsdom? I can't recall a time when the hero visited the heroine's huge family for the holidays rather than vice-versa... My brave boyfriend!

    Also, there will be camping out in the desert, and while I know Mrs. Neels did approve of bicycle trips through Holland and rousing hikes across pretty much everywhere, I somehow don't think there was much desert scenery!

    -Betty Beth

  4. Betty van den BetsyDecember 19, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I made a cheese souffle last night - not Neels Christmasy, but very Neelsy.

    For Christmas, I'm probably too American to be Neelsy. I did make my own wreath, and I hung the stockings by the fireplace, and I'll do some baking and cooking - but mostly cookies and refried beans, which neither Olivia nor Araminta goes in for much. Maybe I'll try a watercress soup, just in hopes a RDD gets stranded by a blizzard in front of our house.

    And I will be at Christmas Eve service, as that's what I drew for Altar Guild.

    One place where I always try to be as un-Betty as possible is in selecting gifts carefully considered so as to be personally meaningful for the recipient. No gloves, scarves or chocolates unless they're near-perfect for the specific individual receiving them.

  5. Betty van den BetsyDecember 21, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Somewhat off-topic: several Christmases ago I gave a friend a Moxy Fruvous CD, solely because it has this song on it. For folks who suffer from their spousal units' commitment to a heavy reading habit, "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" offers incisive lyrics and a bouncy tune. Sample lyric: "I like to go out dancing/my baby loves a bunch of authors/my heart's so broke and bleeding/baby's just sitting there/doing some reading."

    The video quality is lousy, but the song is fun.