Holiday Ramblings from Editorial Assistant Amanda Bergeron

I have to say, although there are many reasons to be nostalgic about college (short-term nostalgia for this May 2008 grad), I am certain I will never miss the end-of-semester onslaught of papers, dreaded group projects, and final exams.

So, this December, no matter how far behind I get on holiday shopping or how busy the work day becomes, I've decided to remember last year's madness and truly appreciate my non-paper writing time. Here are a few things I've found to fill that wonderful void and get in the spirit of the season...

O' Christmas Tree...
Growing up in Maine, it was practically blasphemy not to have a live Christmas tree (well, it is the Pine Tree State). Even now, nothing says Christmas to me like the smell of a balsam fir.

Last weekend, I insisted that my boyfriend (a native New Yorker) and I get a live tree of our own--even though we live in an apartment and even though we'll be going to Maine for Christmas. It was a little bit of a hassle to find the nearest tree lot and carry it home (well...he actually carried it home), but it was well worth it. Now our apartment smells blissfully like the season has truly begun. What scent, memory, or sight triggers your holiday spirit?

Old Favorites
Everyone has a line-up of "must see" December or wintertime movies, here are mine: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, LITTLE WOMEN (not really a Christmas movie, but the few holiday scenes in it are enough reason for me), SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN, and RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (Oh, Claymation!).

Exploring the city
Ahh, New York. It's my first holiday season in the Big Apple, and there is just so much to see! The best part is you don't have to go much out of your way to take it all in. Everywhere, stores are lit up, the sidewalks a bit more crowded, and there's just electricity in the air. Boston, my college town, was beautiful, but this is on a whole other level. Is it like this in most big cities or just NYC?


I have never had a knack for baking (I've been known to forget key ingredients or consume the batch of cookies before they ever make it into the oven). Lately, however, I find baking to be extremely relaxing and satisfying. Oh, I can assure you Martha Stewart's job is safe (my Thanksgiving pie below as evidence, but it's fun to create something that your friends and family can enjoy...any great recipes to share?


Blogger Dori said:

I'll bet that being in NYC is great this time of the year or anytime. Love your tree. Oh, I love Charlie Brown Christmas...especially the party scene when everyone is dancing :)Looking at everyone individually is a treat. I also love Little Women...the version with Elizabeth you mentioned, it just seems Christmasy enough. And Rudolph is just the myself some claymation. All of those claymation stories are just great. I introduced my Brit husband to them and he loves them now too. I know this is a long comment...but loved the post. The pie looks yummy too :)

4:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

My family makes these cookies that we unfortunately call "nut balls." They may have a different name, but we sure don't know it! The ingredients: butter and nuts. And some flour and powdered sugar. But really you are just eating teaspoons of butter with each cookie.

11:15 AM  

Blogger Keri Ford said:

I watched a Charlie Brown movie last night on tv. I giggled all the way through it while the hubby counted minutes until it went off. He didn't grow up on Charlie Brown.

I did some recipes on my blog in Nov. (

One of the easiest is to melt caramels. Add pecans. Pour in a graham cracker crust. Let set. Then top with Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake. Decorate the top with pecans and sprinkled drops of caramels.

11:39 AM  

Blogger Erika said:

I have to watch The Year Without a Santa Claus every year -- Heat Miser and Snow Miser are the best!

1:02 PM  

Blogger Amanda said:

Thanks for the recipe ideas!
And yes, how could I forget The Year Without a Santa good :-)

2:17 PM  

Blogger Anna Campbell said:

Hey, Amanda, your tree sounds blissful. Happy Christmas! I think my favorite Christmas movie is An Affair to Remember. Sigh.

5:37 PM  

Anonymous Stefan said:

The smell of a Christmas pine. There's nothing like it. Literally. Here in Australia you're hard pressed to find a good quality live Christmas tree, as it's the middle of summer here. The trees don't last very long, and while the smell does, you're spending more time cleaning up the dead pine needles than you are enjoying the tree itself.

1:00 AM  

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