I am so excited to be guest posting over here today! I am like everyone else - anxiously awaiting my copy of HOLIDAY and looking forward to seeing my family in a magazine!! I love everything about Christmas and I was happy when Linda asked me to answer some fun questions about some of the traditions my family has and what goes on behind the scenes of a very Nielson Christmas...
Read on for the *SCOOP*
LM: You have four young children; but as Claire turns nine, how will you handle the first time she (or one of your other children)asks if Santa is real (after some little "stinker" tries to spoil the magic ;)?
Nie: Well, I would try really hard not to say that those children telling them that Santa isn't real are getting a lump of coal! But mostly, I just ask my children (when they question it) if they believe in him and if they say yes, then I say "Then he is real," and if they say no, then I say "Then he isn't,"...but I also tell my kids that it is so much more fun to believe and to do it forever. Because even now, I still believe in him. It's all part of the magic.
LM: Do you put a certain limit on the number of gifts you give to the children?
Nie: we try to give them about 5 gifts each. That includes a nice big gift that they asked for. I tell them to list what they want on their 'Santa list' - from most wanted on down. It seems to work, because, obviously, we can't give them everything they want.
This year, Jane wants a horse and Land.
Ummmmm, not so much...
LM: Do you wrap your Santa gifts?
Nie: No. My children each pick a spot in the living room for their personal gifts. They choose a chair or couch in the living room and write their name on a card for Santa to let him know to "unload" there for them. It is cute, and they each put out their own little plate of cookies and soy milk. ;)
LM: Speaking of gift-giving, you and Christian are known for being a very romantic couple. What is the most romantic Christmas gift you have ever received or been given?
Nie: Well, I have to say, I gave Christian a pretty romantic gift once and I still love the idea. On January 1st, 2006, I made Christian a journal titled, "What I love about you". Then, everyday I would jot down something he did for me or something I adore about him. The following Christmas night (when we have our own private Christmas exchange...a little more romantic than in the bustle of those crazy Christmas morning moments), I presented it to him. He was very touched, and I saw a tear in his eye - seriously.
LM: Have you ever re-gifted…or been the recipient of a re-gift? If so, what was it?
Nie: No, I have never re-gifted. I just can't bring myself to do it, although it is a really fine way to do things. I am sure I have been given a re-gifted gift; but I don't care, obviously, because I can't think of what it was!
Nie: Yes; I love sending out cards because I love receiving them!! But the past few years, we have given out Valentine's Day Love cards instead of Christmas ones. I am re-thinking it this year, however, because I have a fabulous idea. So yes, this year we will probably send them out. I usually like to think of an idea that we can base the card around. Something whimsical and magical and reverent, too, for the holiday.
LM: You have such wonderful design sense and always inject something unexpected into your decorating. What color scheme are you going for this holiday season?
Nie: This year I am thinking pinks, golds, and silvers...and of course the traditional colors, too. But I am decorating my tree and home with those three colors.
Nie: Always the Saturday after Thanksgiving. My Mother always had a Thanksgiving tree that she decorated the day the local Christmas tree farm opened for the season - which was usually about a week before Thanksgiving. Then, she changed the decorations to Christmas once Thanksgiving was over. I really like that idea, and am thinking about doing that this year.
LM: You share a very special food memory in the pages of HOLIDAY. You love to cook, but who cleans up after Christmas dinner?
Nie: Probably me. Christian helps, too, but he would be fine living in the mess for a few days. Me, I gotta clean it up! I love Christmas night. I love when the presents are gone, and the house is still, and everyone is tired from the day. It is also so nice to think that we still have another week of lounging around and vegging!
LM: You have a very large extended family. While we are on the topic of clean-up (and just for fun), which relative is most likely to try to avoid helping?
Nie: Oooh, I would get in so much trouble if I said! But let's just say that there are a few who try to get out of everything...we had better just leave it at that! :)
Now, as I get the children into their costumes this weekend, I can't help but be excited for moving on to thoughts of Christmas. And if you want a tip for preparing for the holidays with young kids, try this: We have about 30 DVD Christmas classics we always watch to help welcome and keep the Christmas spirit around. Once school is out, watching these movies turn out to be a lifesaver. I can sneak into my office to write cards and wrap gifts while I know they are enjoying a classic on TV.
**Thanks to Matthew for inviting me over. Be sure to pre-order your copy of HOLIDAY with Matthew Mead. If you want to be included in the first mailing, you only have a few days left to do so! Copies sold after Monday will be sent out at a later date.
So.. hurry, hurry!
Thanks to Stephanie Nielson/NieNie for being our guest poster today!!
We can't wait to share in her holiday this year!
Holiday with Matthew Mead is sold only via this website.
Have you ordered your copy yet?