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Holiday Snobbery!

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I confess. I am a Stuffing Snob.

I usually have Christmas dinner at my brother's house ... ham, turkey, etc. SIL fixes the basic things; we fill in with everything else. But, my SIL makes StoveTop stuffing. There's nothing wrong with StoveTop stuffing. Just, not for a holiday meal.

I had the good fortune to have a mother who was an excellent cook -- not fancy food, but solid home cooking. She used no recipe for stuffing, so it ranged from excellent to good to just okay. She made sage stuffing. And she made me a Stuffing Snob. (It's always mom's fault, y'know.)

Each year that I go to my brother's house for Christmas dinner, I take stuffing. And my SIL fixes StoveTop stuffing. There's no conflict; we're both good with this arrangement. Her boys love her stuffing. My sisters and I prefer sage stuffing. My brother ... well, he tries everything.

For holiday dinners, I have this one little quirk. Just one. Oh, yeah, then there's also the ... uh, never mind.

So, what Holiday Snobberies do YOU have? You know, the things that you fix because it just wouldn't be right otherwise.
 

canadianjem

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
ooooooohhh...sweet potato casserole with pecans on top and a brown sugar glaze.

I am also a stuffing snob ;) we make it with savoury instead of sage, finely chopped red onion, smidge of butter, salt and pepper and use stale( not mouldy of course) sourdough bread finely chopped in the blender.

We stuff our cleaned turkey cavity with the stuffing. I noticed that some people make it on the side.

Oh...we also call it dressing and not stuffing
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I can't stand colored lights. They must be simple and white. Our neighborhood goes nuts with inflated Santas and snowmen, giant candy canes, colored lights that flash in patterns, giant snow domes, the whole nine yards. Drives me nuts. I like to think of Christmas as soft and serene. I'm not religious at all, so it's not like I have any good reason to feel like it all seems so disrespectful. I just do. At the same time, some neighbors a few years ago looked at me with pity when I mentioned my plan of just getting simple electric candles and putting one in each window. "Oh - I just figure those are for older people who can't get up onto the house to string up real lights." !!!
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
I just read somewhere that it was called stuffing if you cooked it in the bird and dressing if you cooked it on the side.
 

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
Always interesting to read these holiday tradition stories. I don’t have any family beyond DH & DS (who is here for now - yay!). My parents are long gone, I have no siblings, and my in-laws kicked us to the curb decades ago. (Nice, eh?)

Our tradition is >>> go skiing. Has been for years. We eat whatever/whenever.

My snobbery, perhaps, comes in my belief that all this holiday lighting stuff is hugely energy-wasting. Sorry. Lived through the 1973 Arab oil embargo (it was bad), and this country urged people to NOT light up homes that xmas – too much waste (and most did not). Guess it kind of stuck with me....
 

abc

Banned
My family don't celebrate Christmas at all. My Dad was very anti-tradition. So we never celebrate any special day. Not even New Year. It's just another day off.

After my parents split, I started doing a bit of holiday stuff because I thought my Mom might like it. Turns out she doesn't care either. The week between Christmas and New Year is the biggest annual bridge tournamet in the New York City Metro area so she's busy on every day except the actual Christmas and New Year's eve/day itself. And she's usually too busy in the tournament to bother with any cooking, never mind decorating! So I'm the only one in the family that still notice it's well, a "holiday"! I guess if I had children, it might be different...

Anyway, I don't mind any of the holiday things people do and don't have too much of a preference one way or the other. Well, except the Chistmas songs they keep on playing endlessly on the radio and in the malls! Not that the songs themself bothers me, it's this business to playing them as sloooooowly as any song can possibly be play and still hear the faint musical notes! Yuke!!! :(

It's so refreshing when the classical music station started to play these traditional Christmas music the last couple days, the way they should be played, as music!!! Not some dragged out, drug induced dreamy collection of random notes (designed to make people want to buy more merchandise?) !

So there you have it, I'm a Christmas music snob. :smile:
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I guess I'm a Christmas tree snob. I only like real trees--not artificial. If I couldn't have a real tree, I probably wouldn't have one at all.

Other than that, I like pretty much everything. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year; I love giving (and getting) presents. I love wrapping gifts and decorating the house. Candles, holiday lights, greenery! Christmas music etc.
 

vanhoskier

Angel Diva
I had to laugh at the "stuffing snob" thing because I sort of am a stuffing snob, too! My mom was a great cook and made this awesome stuffing, and my grandmother made the same stuffing. Growing up, I loved taste-testing it as we made it...very flavorful, and it smelled wonderful. Well, my sister-in-law, whom we visit at Christmas, makes a very bland stuffing (as did my mother-in-law). Not much taste, and kind of gooey. I've volunteered to bring the stuffing but she always says no. So, I've learned to just deal with it, and I make my mom's stuffing for our family's Thanksgiving dinner.

I used to go crazy decorating my house; now I just put a few simple things up. Since we live in a log house it is, in itself, sort of "Christmasy" . I like wrapping presents to give to loved ones and planning a Christmas eve dinner. The most important thing to me though, is spending quality time with DH.

Like abc, I cannot STAND the Christmas music played in stores. It feels sort of tacky, especially since they start playing it around Thanksgiving!
 

Christy

Angel Diva
Oh, you've hit a sore spot with me. I'm like you are about stuffing about all the food for Christmas dinner. My family and my in laws are all about convenience foods. They never met a dish made from canned cream-of- something soup that they didn't like. And it KILLS me that on Christmas day they still can't make the effort to make real food. Seriously, one day a year you can't make the effort? Or if you really can't, then get good quality prepared foods. They aren't hard to find. Or leave the hosting to those of us that like to cook!

I am hosting this year and my mom offered to bring pie for desset. Pie, for her, means frozen pie crust and a can of cherry pie filling dumped in. Alternately, she might buy one from Safeway. They very idea pisses me off. We have great bakeries here--if you're going to go to a great bakery and get a pie, fine. But canned filling or Safeway? Kill me now. She also always asks if I'm going to make green bean casserole--the kind with canned soup. Hello, have we met?

The worst part is, I'm happy to host and to make a good meal, but my mom also loves to host. What I've described above is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her and food. Last Xmas she brought out a few bottles of soda from the garage fridge...all of them were open, and had been opened during their 4th of July party. Serving guests soda that had been opened 6 months ago tells you all you need to know about what you're in for when you go to my parents.

I only like real trees--not artificial. If I couldn't have a real tree, I probably wouldn't have one at all.

+1
 

2ski2moro

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I love hearing about your family's holiday traditions. I like a real tree and decorate my house quite a lot. I always decorate the front of my house with wreaths and a single candle in every window. My over-the-top decoration is that I have every piece of the Department 56 Alpine Village with a waterfall, 2 trains and 2 ski lifts that takes over my dining room.

No matter the style, I Love Christmas, BUT I confess. I am a Shopping/Gifting Snob. I buy everything before Thanksgiving (3rd Thursday in November for the international divas). I buy it before it sells out. I avoid the amateur shoppers at the malls like the plague. They stand in the middle of the aisles, making it impossible for people to pass. They bring screaming children, who run around, climbing on displays and generally make my life more difficult.

And to watch people shopping? Do you think they will really like that hideous sweater? The cheap, boxed bath salts? I am amazed at the money these people are wasting just to have something to wrap. I would rather have a bag of Lindor Truffles or a single Reese's Cup than that stuff. Give me something I can use, please. Give me some popcorn and an iTunes card for movie night. Or make it funny - a Chia pet collection or a Chippendales calendar. Or donate to my favorite cause. If your gift says that you didn't take any time to think of me, it's an insult, not a gift.

Or make something for me. One friend made me an iPad case. It has been all around the US and to Europe with me. I use the fleece blanket she made every day. I know she took the time to think about my favorite colors. I think of her throughout the year. To me, that's a REAL gift.

Rant over.

When I absolutely cannot avoid mall traffic and I am trapped in my car, inching forward, it helps me to remember that this traffic jam was caused by the birth of a baby over 2000 years ago. Embrace the miracle.
 

abc

Banned
If your gift says that you didn't take any time to think of me, it's an insult, not a gift.
+1

Or make something for me. One friend made me an iPad case. It has been all around the US and to Europe with me. I use the fleece blanket she made every day. I know she took the time to think about my favorite colors. I think of her throughout the year. To me, that's a REAL gift.
+100!
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I was going to ask for a photo, too. That sounds awesome and if at all possible, Iwant to copy you.
 

pinto

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
We do real trees, too, even though I'm allergic. I do a mixture of fake and real garland ... Most of the real goes outside, partly because of allergies but mostly because it's just more needles to pick up.

Stuffing is funny ... we do "dressing," and since my ancestors are Southern, it's cornbread. I like sage and oyster stuffing just fine, but I have to have traditional cornbread dressing. We bake the biscuits and cornbread ahead of time, let them get a bit dry, and mix in butter, celery, apple, butter, pecans, butter, chicken stock, onions, butter, salt, pepper, and a little more butter. I think I could eat a pan by myself.

I do prefer white lights, but I did colored on the outside this season -- but just a few, over the door, around a dwarf spruce. I like the white better, but wanted to change things up.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
Oh my gosh I just looked up what the Dept 56 Alpine Village is. You have every piece? That's serious business!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
It's so refreshing when the classical music station started to play these traditional Christmas music the last couple days, the way they should be played, as music!!! Not some dragged out, drug induced dreamy collection of random notes (designed to make people want to buy more merchandise?) !

I'm with you on that one abc. Do them like they are supposed to be, not some wailing, trilling mess. Kudo's to Majic 100 in Ottawa. All Christmas music since the first of the month. It's been great on our trips to Tremblant.

Stuffing - yup snobby here too. Sage, poultry seasoning, butter, onions and bread, salt and pepper. In the bird! and on the side if I make too much. Old family recipe. Just like shortbread - the original Scot recipe brought over by the ancestors.

Lights - coloured!! But not that new blue, hurts the eyes! Tree - artificial. Door wreath is actually wooden skis with greenery!

Shopping - usually done by December 1 as I want to enjoy and ski! As of now its just groceries tomorrow!

I want to see this village too. I know that for years Lizzy has been working on one too! What's department 56?
 

Lilywhite

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Christy your entire post about food could have been me writing, my Aunt is cooking this year, by cooking I mean she will buy a roast in a bag, overdo it still in the bag in the oven, use packet stuffing or frozen stuffing, frozen veg all the way, frozen spuds, packet gravy, ugh! The whole family will coo over the spread when it first gets put on the table because it will look good! (she is good with presentation and has beautiful xmas ornaments, place settings etc)
It will be awful as always, about halfway through my Aunt will start congratulating herself on how good it is, how little time she has spent in the kitchen, just goes to show.......etc
Luckily this year I won't have to be polite because I have the perfect excuse to not do the family dinner. I will be having smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on seeded toast with salted butter. Might not sound very exciting, but I am so looking forward to it! My OH has to avoid eggs and butter, hates smoked salmon and won't eat bread with "bits in" because they get stuck in his teeth, he is away with his kids this christmas so I can please myself!
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
I'm a stuffing snob too, and my recipes are ever evolving and tend to include whatever caught my eye in the produce aisle this year as I was shopping. I prefer cornbread stuffing but the rest of the ingredients vary every time I make it. But generally I saute baby portabellas in wine, carmelize onions and include some sort of sausage. This Thanksgiving was apples and cinnamon, which turned out delicious. Sometimes I use nuts, it all just depends on what I feel like at the time.

And I prefer white lights too, but my husband hates white lights. So I've caved completely at this point because I was so sick of hearing the complaints. I did multicolored lights inside as well as on the tree. Turns out my love of white lights didn't approach my love of the peace and quiet of not constantly hearing how boring my white lights are.

And I generally dislike the whole obligatory gift giving nonsense. Decades ago my family started just asking for a list of things you would want, and then they got even more lame and would start just giving you the money for something on your list because some things were hard to find/size/whatever and eventually I called BS on the whole thing. There is no point whatsoever in everyone mailing each other $50. Just keep your money, buy yourself what you want and no gifts for anyone except children. I just do a donation to Heifer International every year now and they get a donation card, buy some things for my niece and my husband and I exchange gifts and that's about it. I think random, unexpected gifts are so much nicer and heartfelt anyway.

I'm totally a fake Christmas tree person though. The smell of a real tree would be nice, but I think since we never did it when I was a kid, the idea of cutting a tree down so I can look at it inside my living room for a few weeks and then throw it out seems really bizarre. Probably as bizarre as a fake tree seems to people who grew up with real Christmas trees. ;)
 

Christy

Angel Diva
But not that new blue, hurts the eyes!
I agree, those LED ones aren't good.

I just do a donation to Heifer International every year now and they get a donation card

Funny, that's exactly what my siblings and I do. I have tried to get my parents to contribute to dog rescues for us but I always hear, "I need something I can wrap." My parents send us a list of what they want in November. *rolling eyes*

So I just got a text from my sister saying that her partner's mom will be bringing cheese and crackers over. I already told everyone that we don't need anything, and I in fact already got some very good cheeses and crackers I will be putting out. *sigh* She's a very nice lady, but who brings food to someone's house with checking first?
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oooh, I looked online and your Dept 56 Alpine Village is lovely, 2ski. I have a collection of Fontanini Heirloom Nativity figurines (the 5 1/2" size) that my mother started for me years ago. I stopped at about 60 (if you count all the sheep!) and look forward to putting it up each Christmas. With so much going on this year, DH had to remind me tho! It took up the whole bay window in one house, the wet bar in Michigan and a sideboard here in Big Sky.

I am a stuffing/dressing snob too and was scandalized when DS1 and DIL said they weren't going to stuff the Thanksgiving turkey. They did, in my honor, but got it so wet it never made it to the table! Besides that, a Christmas tree must be "real", carols must be "right", and gifts take thought! Our wonderful son, (put out because I reminded him that he had bought us an expensive book months ago (yet unopened) and that "was" Christmas and he was not to buy more) called today to tell us he was having Christmas Eve dinner delivered from a very nice local restaurant. How sweet was that?! Now that is a thoughtful gift! (AND a sneaky way around my prohibition.)

I must tell you, though, about my dear (very obese and very "foody") friend with whom I have continued to correspond since my heart attack. We have covered in detail and repeatedly what the limitations will be to my diet. She didn't have any trouble with the no salt part, I guess, and some other things weren't a problem, but she argued mightily when I asked her not include to send cookies, cakes or candy in her Christmas package. "Not even chocolates?!" "How about a few little cookies: like my special . . .?", she asked. I was polite, but very clear, and explained just how important it was that I pare down and leave off the sweets, sugars and salty foods. So her box arrived today: two huge chocolate bars, a bag of chocolate filled chocolates, some candy canes, a bag of pistachios and the aforementioned "little" cookies. What's a body to do? I can't yell at her: she wouldn't get it anyway.
 

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