This past week I’ve been off work (yay!) and trying to get ready for the holiday. Here’s what I’ve been doing:
1) Reading the new Phillipa Gregory book
2) Working on the “Muses” WIP (122 pages so far!)
3) Researching two future projects. This is confusing the heck out of me, because one is set at the court of Henry VIII and one in eighteenth century France! So, I’ve been switching back and forth from Regency England, 1528 England, and 1780s France.
4) Making Christmas candy. I’m not much of a cook, but there are a couple of things I like to make at this time of year. Maybe it’s that winter “hibernate and pack on pounds” instinct. Maybe childhood memories–I also like to read Eloise at Christmastime, because I remember my mother reading it to me when I was a kid (see the photo!). Boy, was my mom sorry when I took Eloise as my role model. One of my favorite holiday treats are my grandmother’s Christmas bonbons. They’re super-easy to make and very yummy. See the recipe at the end of this post.
5) And, on evenings when no one is having a party, I’ve made popcorn, put on my flannel pajamas, and watched some favorite non-Christmas, romantic movies. Like these:
Amelie–if Eloise grew up French, she might turn out to be a bit like Amelie. I love her schemes, her self-made rocky road to love, the characters she works with at the cafe, and the silly touches like talking photos! Tres French.
Strictly Ballroom–lots of dancing, a hunky hero who (eventually) falls for the plain but spunky heroine, Australian accents, outrageous costumes. This, along with Dancing With the Stars, has inspired me to sign up for a samba class after the holidays. Hopefully I can dance away those bonbons!
The Cutting Edge–one of my top guilty-pleasure movies since high school! Shrewish prima donna ice skater and oafish ex-hockey player forced to team up (as if that would happen!). Arguments (“Toe pick!”), kisses, and Olympic medals. This makes a great double bill with Strictly Ballroom!
Cold Comfort Farm–the romance in this is minimal (it does feature Rufus Sewell, but not as the love interest), but it’s an adorable movie. Kate Beckinsale (before she decided to morph into Posh Spice) sets a passle of grimy relatives to rights. Great costumes, stellar cast, hilarious!
Shakespeare in Love–admittedly, I’ve seen this one so many times I speak the dialogue along with the actors, but I love it every time. Perfect holiday escape. It also makes a great Valentine’s Day film, along with Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.
Tomorrow, I’m off to my parents’ house for presents (yippee!) and my dad’s “famous” margaritas (double yippee!). However you spend the holiday, I hope it’s great, and that you have a “Risky” New Year! Let us know your best holiday “escapes”…
1 stick butter
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 can Angel Flake coconut
Tsp vanilla Chopped pecans
Chopped maraschino cherries
Mix these up, refrigerate until chilled. Then form into little balls.
1/4 pound paraffin
Large package chocolate chips (I use dark!)
Melt in double broiler, and dip coconut balls in. Let them harden, and you’re done! (The pecans and cherries are optional–you can really use anything that sounds yummy to you)
Ah, Amanda, you were such a cutie.
Your research makes my head spin. I might have Henry VIII speaking French while dancing at Almack’s!
I have been eating and eating and eating but I’m “getting ready” to diet again. My husband bought his mother a digital picture frame and I’m a lot skinnier in the photos. Inspiration.
Have fun at your parents’ house! And Merry Christmas to all!
What a great picture! I love your idea of holiday festivities, too. Happy Holidays!
Love that pic, Amanda!
Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Hanukkah, or a Rolicking Winter Solstice, or whatever you celebrate! (And if you don’t celebrate anything, have a great end of December!)
Well, when it came to romantic movies for Christmas, I did pull out 1995P&P, but it was actually for my birthday on Friday. LOL But boy, am I hungry already! 🙂 And agree, great picture!!! 🙂
Merry Christmas, Amanda! And I love your movie list–I’ve seen and really liked every movie on it (except The Cutting Edge, which I somehow missed).
Personally, I like reading about lots of different things at once, which is why I carry a stack of books with me wherever I go. But I’m not required to write coherently about it afterwards…
And BTW, Happy Birthday, Lois!!