So you’re probably aware that I love winter because I keep bringing it up and I’ve even devoted a post to it. Well, here’s another and it includes a giveaway at the end! Candace of The Quirk Life, Krystal of The Krystal Diaries, and I have teamed up to answer these fifteen winter/holiday questions on each of our blogs. The best part? We are giving a $50 Walmart gift card and a holiday scented candle to one lucky winner, so make sure to enter at the end of this post!
1) What’s your go-to outfit for the winter?
Out in public? Any outfit that includes an infinity knit scarf. At home? These leggings. They’re one of my favorite Black Friday Kohl’s purchases.
2) What’s winter like in your hometown?
My heart swells with pride whenever I talk about Boulder. The Flatirons are dusted with snow, the big shining star on the mountainside lights up, everyone’s talking about when they’re heading to the ski resorts, the skating rink opens, and Downtown Pearl Street lights up with 500,000 lights. You can’t help but smile, no matter how freezing it is, as you stroll around the outdoor mall (look at how the courthouse outdoes itself every year!)
3) Special winter recipes?
‘Tis the season for crock pots and hearty food! Chili, pot roast, chicken pot pie, creamy soups, casseroles, the list never ends.
4) Winter holiday traditions?
More so than any other tradition throughout the year, my family is very set in our Christmas holiday traditions. Most of them are a collaboration of my parents’ upbringings, which is something I hope to do with my future family. Christmas morning is the exact same every year, even as my sister and I are in our twenties. She and I are not allowed in the living room until our parents give us the go (instilled from early years when they video taped our reactions to Santa’s big presents displayed on the couches). My dad, sister, and I wear a Santa hat throughout the whole morning. We open our stockings all together and after a short break of coffee, small breakfast, and picking up my grandmother, we regather in the living room next to the Christmas tree. My sister distributes gifts to their owners and creates little piles. We switch off from oldest to youngest and youngest to oldest every year, in which we individually open one present each in the year’s designated order. I cherish this tradition because it gives all family members the opportunity to see what one another gave and received. We all get to appreciate the gift and the meaning behind it, as well as maintain patience and sense of shared experience among loved ones. After we have opened all our presents, we begin prepping Christmas brunch. Often, we have one or two family friends join us for brunch and my dad always makes his famous quiches. We do not eat this dish any other day of the year because we love to keep it especially special for Christmas brunch.
5) Favorite winter activities?
SNOWBOARDING. I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now, and I guarantee I will say it again: snowboarding is my favorite thing to do. There is nothing better than the back bowls on a powder day. Oh, and I enjoy pushing my little sister’s face into the snow… does that count?
6) Winter home décor?
The first thing that comes to mind are poinsettas. My mom always gets a bunch of them from Home Depot on Black Friday and I love their decorations. My sister and I only allow our family to have a real tree, and most of the decorations are in the living room. I took responsibly for decorating the mantle this year, what do you think? (Notice how the dog and cat have equally large stockings? Yes, those get filled to the brim… spoiled babies.)
7) Beauty regimen changes for winter?
Uh, yeah… you’ll learn that this is not the blog to come to for beauty advice. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the face wash I’ve been using for the last year—I’m honestly that oblivious when it comes to this stuff. So in answer to this question, I will say I use more lotion. Because it’s dry here in Colorado. And I go through chapstick super quickly. And my toenails get no attention since I’m not wearing sandals. Moving on… I’m embarrassing myself.
8) Favorite holiday song?
I don’t think I have a specific song. I’ve quickly fallen in love with Taylor Swift’s Pandora holiday station. The Nutcracker soundtrack has a special place in my heart because that’s my family’s go-to when we decorate the Christmas tree, celebrate Christmas Eve, and open gifts on Christmas morning.
9) Favorite holiday movie?
Elf. It has the perfect balance of family-friendly fun, humor, and Christmas spirit magic. Who doesn’t love Will Ferrell dressed as an elf screaming about Santa coming? So many wonderful quotes.
10) Who hosts the family gatherings?
I have a small family and very few extended family members live in Colorado, so family gatherings are usually no more than six people–and that’s if a few family friends join as well (or, in one case, “that guy I just started dating” like when my family met Jake). Our dear family friend used to host a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner party every year until he became too ill, so we began our own small family Christmas Eve dinner and he instead joined us to celebrate.
11) What changes about you in the winter?
Aside from putting on weight from hearty food and lack of outdoor exercise? But seriously, I think the primary reason I love winter so much is because of my family’s glowing happiness around the holidays. I have no memories of argument or family disputes, and I cannot relate in the slightest to those crazy family get togethers so many Christmas movies seem to be about. I am truly blessed to be part of such a close family, and I feel like my heart actually grows in size during this time of year. I smile as I walk through the snow and admire the holiday lights, I am reminded how thankful I am to share these joyful experiences with dearly loved ones, and I find powerful strength in hope and determination even during the difficult moments.
12) Gift wrap or gift bags?
I am all about the time-efficiency of gift bags for birthdays, but Christmas is entirely different. There will be several gift bagged items, though I feel it is part of the holiday experience to figure out ways to gift wrap those oddly shaped packages (only to be laughed at for the poor outcome on Christmas morning).
13) Favorite warm drink for winter?
Hot toddies, closely followed by English Breakfast tea. But mostly hot toddies.
14) What are you excited for this season?
I admit I have to consciously remind myself to think positive thoughts this season. I won’t go into it now, but click here if you’re curious about why. I am excited for my extended family to come this weekend, despite the sad reasoning for their visit. I look forward to Christmas like I do every year; it is always a day filled with joy, love, and gratitude in my family. I’m also very excited to spend quality time with my high school friends, who are now spread across the country but we always make sure to get together like old times when everyone is in town. Oh, and I have reason to believe my boyfriend is learning to play our song on the guitar for our anniversary tomorrow, so I especially can’t wait for that.
15) Autumn vs. Winter? Which is your favorite?
As far as months go, it is a tie between August and December. However, winter wins as far as seasons go. Sure, it’s cold and driving in the snow is a pain, not to mention my dog stinks from playing in the wet snow all the time. With that said, I believe it is the season which most inspires love and family, belief and support, joy and gratitude. It is a time for laughter outside in the snow and it is a time to snuggle beside your loved one next to the fire. Winter brings happiness and warmth that no other season could manage.
Okay, now for the real fun. I am so excited to announce this giveaway partnered with Krystal of The Krystal Diaries and Candace of The Quirk Life. Thank you Candace for bringing us together to host this giveaway and for creating the questions to help our readers get to know each of us a little better!
Want to know what Candace and Krystal have to say about their holidays? Please take a moment to visit each of their blogs and get to know them—be sure to show them love by following along!
Enter to win a $50 Walmart gift card and holiday candle!
No purchase necessary. US entries ONLY. PUBLIC Instagram accounts only. Fake or ‘giveaway only’ style Instagram accounts do not qualify. By entering, you assert that you are 18 years of age or older. You must follow the Instagram accounts of each participating blogger to qualify. One winner will be selected by Rafflecopter’s system. Winner will be announced via email and on the blog. If winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected. All entries must be submitted by 12/18/15 by 11:59 PM ET. Winner will be announced via email by 12/19/15 at 2 PM EST. Prizes will be shipped to winner within 48 hours of providing mailing address. This giveaway has no connection to Walmart.