Christmas Travels | The TENTH Day of Blogmas!

On the tenth day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me... a Christmas travel story Christmas Travels | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Some years we stay at home for Christmas and some years we travel to my grandparents' in West Virginia. Traveling at a time of year where snow is always possible and crowded highways inevitable always brings adventures. We've had our fair share of traffic jams and snowy slow-downs.

But it was Christmas of 2011 when my family found ourselves in a hotel room come Christmas morning. Hotel stays typically happened well in advance of the holiday. We would be dreaming of sugar plums in a white farmhouse while Santa comes to visit instead of resting in rough hotel sheets without a fireplace in sight.

My high school football team had made it big that year--we went to the state finals! An event that hadn't happened in years, so no one would miss the game , including my freshman sister and senior me. The game that just so happened to fall on the Friday after Thanksgiving, a Thanksgiving we were supposed to spend in West Virginia with my mom's side of the family.

So we stayed in town for Thanksgiving; not a problem since we could celebrate with my dad's family. But it did mean we had to stay for Christmas Eve in Indy and somehow make it to West Virginia for Christmas Day.

My parents are smart when it comes to travel plans. Thanks to my dad's willingness to drive in the middle of the night and my mom's ability to keep him awake, the plan was concocted to celebrate Christmas Eve with Dad's side, leave straight from the party, and then head straight for West Virginia, driving until we were only about three hours away from the farm.

So with Christmas (seafood) chowder warming our bellies and Eloise at Christmastime playing on the portable DVD player positioned between my sister and I, we headed east on the night of Christmas Eve.

That's how I ended up in a double bed in a hotel by the highway with my sister early Christmas morning. Our stockings, at my insistence, hung from the TV cabinet at the end of the bed. I hurried my sister out of bed and the two of us dumped out the cross-stitched, faux socks to see what Santa brought us.

As we sorted through the nail polish, candy, toothbrushes, and Chapstick, my parents worked on packing up the room behind us. We ate a breakfast of cinnamon and pecan rolls carried all the way from Indiana and dressed in our Christmas clothes before straightening up the room. Our Christmas goodies were shoved into plastic bags, the stockings carefully packed away, and anything unpacked overnight tossed back into black and purple suitcases before we rushed back into the car to take on those last three hours to the farm.


On the tenth day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me:

A Christmas travel story, six final to-readsdecked halls a-twinkling, a Christmas tag of sorts, two Christmas book reads, FIVEEEE FESTIVE MOVIES! Memories filled with snow, one blog tag, the best study tipsand 10 Christmas songs to sing!

A Christmas Tag of Sorts | The SEVENTH Day of Blogmas!

On the seventh day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me... a Christmas tag of sorts! When I saw this Christmas tag, I didn't care that technically no one had tagged me; I wanted to answer the questions anyway (#rebel). So I took the questions Cait asked on Paper Fury (yeah, I read it a lot) and decided to answer them here for Blogmas Day 7!

Here are the "rules" (they're more like guidelines...):

  • Post the picture on your blog.
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag up to 12 bloggers
  • Make up 10 questions for the other bloggers

1. What does your Christmas Tree look like?

Like magic:

A Christmas Tag of Sorts

2. What are you reading in December? (Anything festive?)

Posted about this yesterday, but my answers are still Holidays on Ice and A Christmas Story.

3. Are you an organised little elf or are you still shopping/preparing on Christmas Eve?

I'm fairly organized. I have everything to go by the day of, but sometimes I'm still running around the day before.

4. How early do you start to get into the Christmas spirit?

As soon as I can! Typically this means the week before Thanksgiving when school starts to get tough and I need a little holiday cheer. But I don't like to go all out until Thanksgiving it over--it's an important holiday too.

5. Do you make any Christmas crafts? Decorations? Send physical Christmas cards?

I used to be all about the Christmas crafts, but going to college means having no time. Our tree is decked out with some Leeann-original decorations, though! I did send physical Christmas cards this year, to help cheer myself. I even went to the post office for some Christmas stamps, which, needless to say, was a highlight of the week.

6. What’s the menu for Christmas Day?!

Whatever my uncle makes! But typically it's turkey, ham, country ham, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet tea and lots of PIE! I'm sure I'm missing something, but I love whatever we have :)

7. What makes it FEEL like Christmas for you? (Weather, specific tradition, food, smell, person, etc.?)

Nothing feels quite like Christmas than watching Christmas movies on the couch under the thickest hand-knit blanket, our Christmas tree all lit up, and snow gently falling outside. Also, whenever I see the outside of my Indianapolis house all decorated for Christmas. Mom does a great job every year :)

8. Do you have relatives coming? Excited? Nervous?

We always see our relatives! I'm definitely excited, as always.

9. What famous Christmas character do you most identify with? (Scrooge, Elf, Tiny Tim, the Grinch, Santa, etc.)

I think I'd have to go with... Susan Walker from Miracle on 34th Street. A realistic kid who has big hopes but will also always believe in Santa Claus.

10. If you were to start a new Christmas tradition, what would it be?

One night where my family drinks hot chocolate/cider/tea/hot drink of choice, eats popcorn, and plays games (like Holiday Charades!) before watching Holiday Inn. It's kind of like our New Years Eve, but at Christmastime :)

If you would like to answer these questions feel free! To follow along with the rebel theme, I won't be tagging anyone, but invite you to answer your favorite questions in the comments (what makes it feel like Christmas for you?)

I look forward to reading them!


On the seventh day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me:

A Christmas tag of sorts, two Christmas book reads, FIVEEEE FESTIVE MOVIES! Memories filled with snow, one blog tag, the best study tipsand 10 Christmas songs to sing!

Top Five Christmas Movies | FIFTH Day of Blogmas!

On the fifth day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me... FIVEEEE FESTIVE MOVIES For the fifth day of Blogmas, I thought I'd go big. No, no golden rings here; just the five Christmas movies I have to see every holiday season. Films that fill me with that "holiday glow" finals insisted on dulling down the past week or so.

(Side note: finals are over and I couldn't feel more relieved. I celebrated with a three-hour nap this afternoon.

It was delightful.)

But now, for the main event: my top five Christmas movies!

Top Five Christmas Movies | Scribbling in the Margins blog

  1. Miracle on 34th Street. I've loved this movie since I was a kid. My grandma had a VHS copy I would watch no matter when I was at her house. Whether the air was filled with humidity or snow, I sat in front of the screen in love with Santa Claus working at Macy's. "Christmas isn't just a's a frame of mind." Genius.
  2. The Polar Express. The book always meant a lot to my sister and me as kids. We had our own bells that would hang on the tree every year. The movie means just as much, and I love the soundtrack. The Polar Express is that movie, the one that makes me smile and tear up every time. I love it.
  3. Eloise at Christmastime. I loved the original Eloise books and movie, and the Christmas one is just as cute! Eloise is such a fun character to watch, and the love story certainly doesn't hurt anything.
  4. The Santa Clause. Maybe now is a good time to point out that I really like children's movies... especially at Christmas! I'm actually watching this right now (thanks ABC Family!) and it's just so cute. I love Charlie. However, I've never understood why it's so bad at the beginning that Charlie wholeheartedly believes in Santa. He's 6! Let the kid believe!
  5. Elf. Cliché, I know, but it's Elf! Cute, funny, heartwarming--what's not to love?

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

nameOn the fifth day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me:

FIVEEEE FESTIVE MOVIES! Memories filled with snow, one blog tag, the best study tipsand 10 Christmas songs to sing!

Hillbrook Farm | The FOURTH Day of Blogmas!

Hillbrook Farm | FOURTH Day of Blogmas! | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Even though we were just in the farmhouse parlor, the room felt the same as all the Christmas Eve services before it. Grandma’s vintage tree flushed behind me with its faux-candle lights encircling the branches, casting a shadow of light around our circle. Specks of birthday candle light flickered from person to person. Even the farm participated in our circle, glowing from the reflection of the moonlight on the snow. Dainty icicles like thin drips of candle wax skimmed the bushes and bare tree branches.

A thin skin of slush glazed Turner Road running by outside. Not nearly as treacherous as forecasted, but not likely to be cleared until a dedicated man with a tractor got out to plow. I had to smile, thinking about the powdering of snow that kept us at the farm for Christmas Eve. I couldn't help but thank it.


On the fourth day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me:

memories filled with snow, one blog tag, the best study tipsand 10 Christmas songs to sing!