Vicki and her grand-daughter
Today's guest blogger is Vicki author of being Grammy. I have not met Vicki, but she visits my blog nearly every day, and she always leaves such sweet comments. I just had to ask her to do the Holiday Interview. And her blog generates the absolute most hits to my blog . . .so Thank You Vicki!! I'm sure if you check out her blog you will enjoy reading about her grand-daughter and her whole family too.
Let's get started with the interview:
MC: I'm so glad you agreed to do the Holiday Interview, Vicki, but we all want to know why is your blog called "being Grammy"?
VICKI: I had wanted to start a blog for years, but I let fear hold me back. In October 2009 I was listening to KLOVE and they were asking the question “what would you do if you weren’t afraid”? I immediately thought “I’d start a blog”! Our first granddaughter was born in June 2009 and I was still in the process of becoming a Grammy. So the original title of my blog was “Becoming Grammy”. I changed it to “Being Grammy” in June 2010 when I celebrated the one year birthday of my granddaughter. For me, becoming Grammy was more than just being called by a new name. It was really a transition to a phase of my life, which I’m absolutely enjoying.
MC: So what is your specialty to cook/make/bake at Christmas?
VICKI: My favorite thing to make at Christmas in Microwave Peanut Clusters. I got the recipe 24 years ago and I have made it every Christmas (and sometimes in-between) since then. It is so easy, doesn’t take long, and is virtually impossible to mess up.
Combine 1 1/3 c. chocolate morsels and 12 oz. peanut butter morsels in microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until melted. Times may vary depending on your microwave.
Stir in 2 2/3 c. Spanish peanuts.
Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper.
Let stand until firm.
Store in airtight container.
MC: What is your absolute favorite Holiday food to eat (even if you can't make it)?
VICKI: Divinity. I made it once years ago, but now I buy a little container of it at Sprouts every year. It is so good!
MC: Divinity has always been too sweet for me. It looks like a fluffy white cloud, but after one bite, I'm done. For do you have ham or turkey, (or something totally
VICKI: We do not have a Christmas dinner tradition yet. I’d like to, but we just haven’t come up with anything that we’d like to have year after year. I’ve tried steak, lasagna, meat trays for sandwiches. We’ve grilled a turkey a couple of times… This year I’m having ham and roast beef for Christmas dinner, doesn’t really sound like a tradition-in-the-making to me.
MC: What is your absolute favorite Christmas tradition . . . the one where if you
could only have / do this one tradition it would be enough for you to have a
VICKI: Ooh, it’s hard to pick just one. This will probably sound strange, but I guess I’d pick having my shopping done and wrapped by Thanksgiving. I make it a goal each year to be done by Thanksgiving so that I can enjoy all of the fun stuff during December. I really enjoy not having to fight the hustle/bustle of the crowds at the mall. Starting early enables me to buy gifts that my family really want, not impulse buys. I’m available then for whatever comes up in December. Like I said, I know it sounds strange, but I always have a wonderful Christmas because I’m not stressed out in December. We also take time to tune in to “” on TBS on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.
MC: "A Christmas Story" is a favorite at our house too! Do you send ? Why or why not?
VICKI: Yes, I do! And I also include the obligatory Christmas letter in my cards. I love to receive Christmas cards from others, read their letters, see how their families have grown and changed, and I hope they enjoy receiving them from me. I commented on my blog a few days ago that if any of my blog friends want to be included on my Christmas list to email me their addresses and I’ll add them… the more the merrier! The week after Christmas I always sit down with the cards I received and read through them one more time. Then I take the fronts off of the cards and mail them to St Jude’s Ranch for Children in Nevada. They take the used card fronts (any greeting card, not just Christmas) and turn them into another generation of greeting cards.
MC: I hope you read my North Pole Newsletter already. What is the typical holiday routine at your house?
VICKI: Typical used to be Christmas Eve at my parents or brother’s house and Christmas Day at our house with just our little family. But, typical is evolving now. All four kids have families of their own, so they’re learning to incorporate time with both sides into their Christmases. I’ve told them all, that I’ll just take them when I can get them! This year we’ll have Christmas with our youngest son and his girlfriend on 12/23. Christmas Eve we’ll attend church with our oldest daughter and son-in-law. Christmas morning we’ll be opening gifts at our house with both daughters’ families and my folks, followed by Christmas Dinner. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law won’t be with us this year. Who knows what next year will bring?!
MC: Our Christmas traditions are evolving too. Isn't it exciting? What is one Christmas tradition that you used to do (maybe when you were a child) that you don't do now?
VICKI: When I was a child, we opened one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning. We don’t carry on that tradition. Also when I was a child, there was always an orange or apple in the toe of my stocking. I tried that with my kids, but they were not impressed! I guess that was a Midwest thing…
MC: What are you doing this year that you haven't done for past Christmases (if
there is something new or different)?
VICKI: We took nine angels off of the Salvation Army Angel Tree at our local Cracker Barrel restaurant. I took four boys and five girls to match our kids/in-law kids/granddaughter. We went shopping for them yesterday. When I was bagging the gifts up this morning, I took a photo of each angel tag along with the gifts for that child. I’m emailing the photos to our kids so they can see which child we picked for them and the gifts they got. I loved doing it and I’m hoping this will become a new tradition for my husband and I.
MC: That is a wonderful new tradition. I love it!! I love to give gifts more than receive gifts. I love to watch people's faces light up when they open a gift.
MC: What is the most sentimental gift you have either received or given?
VICKI: My husband lost his wedding ring the second year we were married. Five years ago he asked me to buy him one. I bought him a plain band and put it in his stocking. He was thrilled. We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this spring. We agreed to buy each other new wedding rings for our anniversary. He doesn’t know it yet, but I already purchased his and I’m giving it to him for Christmas. It is a beautiful ring that we picked out together. I can’t wait to see his reaction!
MC: LOL! I'm guessing that he's not going to read this blog post before then. That would ruin the surprise for sure. What was the biggest dud gift you have ever given someone? You know that one gift that just didn't go over like you thought it would.
VICKI: I cross-stitched for some relatives a couple of years ago. Yeah, I don’t think they liked them much. Oh well, live and learn. I have received some dud gifts a few times. When I get a gift that just doesn’t fit me, I sit down and write the giver a thank you card and then I put it in my goodwill box. I really do appreciate the fact that they thought enough of me to give a gift, but if it’s something I won’t use, I figure I should pass it on instead of having it become clutter in my home.
MC: That's a good idea. I re-gift some things that just aren't going to work for me. But the goodwill would be a wonderful way to re-gift.
What is the best toy or gift you received as a child (that you remember most fondly)?
What is the best toy or gift you received as a child (that you remember most fondly)?
VICKI: Every year when I was little my grandma presented me with a box of clothes she had sewn for my Barbie dolls. I loved the clothes, and now that I’m an adult I marvel that she was able to sew such small items with her arthritic hands.
MC: What is the best surprise you EVER received on Christmas?
VICKI: I am a cross-stitcher. I make lots of projects for others and some for myself. My mother-in-law was a cross-stitcher too. One year she totally surprised me by cross-stitching a Christmas stocking for me. It was a perfect design for me, and is hands-down one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received!
MC: Would you rather be the surprisER or the surprisEE on Christmas morning and why?
VICKI: I would rather be the surprisER. I love to watch others open their gifts. I really feel like I’ve accomplished something when I give a gift that pleases the receiver.
MC: Where you live is winter the season when Christmas comes?
VICKI: Winter is officially the season when Christmas comes, but it’s rarely cold. A typical Christmas Day here is temps in the 70s. If it’s in the 60s, we have a fire going in the fireplace (although sometimes the doors and windows are open). Here we are, two weeks before Christmas and we’re in the 80s right now. That’s why I moved here and I LOVE it!
MC: Do you want snow at Christmas? Why or why not?
VICKI: No, I don’t want snow at Christmas. The last time we had snow in Phoenix was in 1998. It was fun to see floating down, the kids all ran outside and we took pictures, but it didn’t stick at all. The last time we had snow that stuck was in December of 1985. We got about one inch and you would have thought we had three feet! If I want to see snow, I’ll drive to Flagstaff.
MC: Do you play Santa for your children? Why or why not?
VICKI: We did play Santa when our kids were little. Of course, in our family we believe that Jesus is the focus of Christmas. But we always told our kids that Santa believes in Jesus. My mom used to write the kids letters as if she were Santa, and she always closed them by having “Santa” talk to the kids about Jesus being the reason for Christmas. I know it’s gotten a little controversial among the younger couples as to whether they do Santa or not, but I felt that we did Santa without compromising our belief in Jesus. Being married to Santa, I’m sure you can confirm that he believes in Jesus!
MC: Absolutely! Santa does believe in Jesus and just the other day he told me that he has a secure feeling knowing where he will be when he dies, even though none of really know or could possibly imagine what it will be like. To be secure in the unknown . . .that's FAITH!
MC: If you do play Santa, what is the closest you ever came to being "found out" by
VICKI: Never. Our kids never came close to finding out. We specifically told them about Santa’s identity when they were old enough that they really already knew, but they kept it quiet because of the younger brother or sister. Plus, I always told them, that I STILL believe in Santa. And it’s true, I do.
MC: How long have you been blogging and why do you do it?
VICKI: I’ve been blogging since October 2009. I do if for several reasons. First, I love to write. I used to write dramas when I was on staff at our church. I miss the chance to be creative and the blog provides that. I also do it as a way to be more “real” to my kids. I’m very honest in my blog. Lastly, I do it to brag about my granddaughter. I also have a recipe blog and a political blog. I haven’t done as well at keeping them up, but plan to improve in 2011. Now that I’ve been at it for a while, I see it as a great outlet for sharing my faith. I have been inspired by the blogs I read and have “met” some great women through blogs.
MC: How many posts do you typically do per week?
VICKI: Anywhere between 1-5. It depends on the week and if there’s anything going on in my life, or anything I want to comment on. I don’t try to hold myself to a certain number of posts on “Being Grammy”. I do have a commitment to post once a month in 2011 on the other two blogs.
MC: Do you advertise on your blog? Why or why not?
VICKI: No. I’m such a novice at blogging that I’m not really sure how advertising works. Plus, I don’t want to be put in the position of advertising something that does not blend with my beliefs. I don’t know if that’s a possibility or not, but figure if I don’t advertise, I don’t have to deal with it.
MC: Do you have anything special you want to share with readers?
VICKI: I so enjoy reading all of the different types of blogs. I think it’s so cool that the internet, which is sometimes associated with dangerous things, is also a place where we can come together in a shared faith, or shared interests. I had no idea when I started that it would be so fun. Thank you so much for letting me participate in your interviews!
MC: Thank you Vicki, be sure to stop by and check out Vicki's blog when you get a chance.