Life is too short to read a bad book.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007,12:00 AM
Kiddo and Me and Christmas
This my installment as part of Marg and Kailana's Blog Advent tour. I'm pleased to share a few Christmas traditions/memories that Kiddo and I do.

Kiddo is my niece and we've always been close, since the day I caught her when she came into this world. I've been her second parent. My sister was a single mother, and so I stepped in ~ when DS worked, kiddo and I were together. Always. This is how are Christmas traditions started.

When Kiddo was 2, we started going to the holiday parade. We started early and went to Stella's Bakery, which was always opened late for parade patrons. We'd have all you can eat spaghetti or ravioli for dinner and then found a prime spot to stand to see the parade. Sometimes the weather was good, sometimes it was nasty, but we always went. The parade lasted for hours and always ended with Santa riding in on a fire truck. I admit, the parade was more fun when kiddo was younger, because she's tall and as the years went by the people handing out candy would assume she was older than she really was and would always bypass her when they handed out the treats. After the parade, we always went to JB's for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for kiddo) and just talked. We stopped going to the parade when she was 13 because she became a participant in it and still is to this day. But we still go to JB's when the parade is over.

Another tradition of ours is looking at lights. Kiddo dresses in her warmest pj's and a fuzzy blanket, we stop by a coffee kiosk for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for kiddo) and we just drive. For hours, we drive around town and look at the Christmas light displays. Some we revisit every year, some are new displays that we stumble on just by taking a different route. I wish I had photos of the lanes we see. We visit Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Wreath Lane, Misfit Lane, Luminara Lane ~ all neighborhood displays which are breathtaking. Then, there are individual houses we have to see every year. The displays never change, but we look forward to seeing them anyway.

One final tradition I'll share is the Christmas Tree display at Moss Mansion. Moss Mansion is a historical home that kiddo and I like to tour quite often. However, at Christmas time, it's a magical place. Every room in the mansion is decorated with a different Christmas tree and a different theme to go with it. At the end of the tour we have hot cider or hot chocolate and cookies ~ it's a tradition I hope to continue at least for a few more years and then perhaps kiddo and I can introduce her little sister to our Christmas traditions that I hope continue for years to come.


....and a few recipes. Being a Norwegian, a holiday just isn't a holiday without the following two items. The first is Krumkake, the second is Lefse.

Krumkake is a Scandinavian cookie. It's a thin, crispy cookie made from an egg-based batter. What I love about them is not only that they are pretty, but when you take a bite into one, they crumble all over. We like to sprinkle powdered sugar on ours, but some families like to fill them with whipped cream, cream cheese, or lingonberry sauce.


2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
*beat for about 5 minutes (until very thick)
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp cardamon
3/4 C heavy cream

Add flour mixture alternately with cream to the sugar mixture. Heat Krumkake iron to moderately hot. Drop about 1 Tbsp of batter on iron, cook about 30 seconds on each side. Peel cookie from the iron and roll with a wooden spoon. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Lefse is a traditional soft flatbread made out of potato, cream, and flour; then cooked on a grill. My mom has a picture that I really wished right now I had ~~ when we were young, we went to North Dakota for Christmas. Grandma made the best lefse in the world. My sister and I were helping ourselves to pieces and pieces of it, but Grandpa wanted to take a picture. Instead of placing the lefse down, my sis and I hid it behind our backs. As Grandpa was adjusting his camera, my mom took a picture of us from behind standing up all straight and proper, with the lefse behind our back. It's one of my favorite pictures.


5 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Stir and mash well. Put through ricer to get rid of lumps. Cool before adding 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix well.

Cut off small amount of dough and roll very thin with lefse rolling pin on your lefse board (use a lefse sock on your rolling pin). Heat lefse grill to 450 to 500 degrees. Use lefse stick for turning and taking off grill.

......and a few songs. What's Christmas without a few songs? I'll post a few of my favorites.

Bing Crosby and David Bowie: Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

Nicholas Jonas: Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)

Bob Rivers: The Chimney Song

Gayla Peavey: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Be sure to visit the other participants in the Advent Tour:

19 December - Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December - Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December - Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)/ Susan (Reading, Raving, and Ranting by a Historical Fiction Writer)
22 December - Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December - Booklogged (A Reader's Journal)
24 December - Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)

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  • At 6:31 AM, Blogger Stephanie

    Very nice post!! I love reading about everyone's holiday traditions! BTW, that David Bowie/Bing Crosby song is probably my favorite Christmas song to listen to!!

  • At 7:04 AM, Blogger lisabea

    Dev~ What a most excellent aunt you are. And fueled by coffee, too!! I've never heard that Nicholas Jonas before. Very moving. And that David/Bing thing is the best, isn't it???

  • At 7:53 AM, Blogger Dev

    Stephanie ~ Thank you! Kiddo and I are actually going to be doing the lights on Friday this year, and then the mansion on Sunday. We're really looking forward to it. The Bing/David is my absolute favorite Christmas song for several years, ever since I saw the music video on MTV.

    Lisabea ~ Coffee is always a good thing. I can't remember when I heard the Nicholas Jonas song ~ it was either last year or the year before that but it's quickly become one of my favorites. David/Bing are definitely the best ~ it will always be my favorite.

  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger Isabel

    Nice post. The mansion looks really pretty. I like your christmas traditions. :)

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Dev

    Izzy ~ Thanks. Moss Mansion is incredible. The first time Kiddo and I took a tour, she asked the volunteer if she could live there.

  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger Marg

    Lovely post!

    Sounds like you are creating memories to last a lifetime for both you and kiddo!

  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Chris

    Beautiful lights. Great post!

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger raidergirl3

    What great traditions you hand your niece have. Thanks for sharing them. The lights look amazing; where is that house? Is it like a museum?

  • At 7:12 PM, Blogger Dev

    Marg ~ Thank you. We do look forward to it every year.

    Chris ~ Thanks :-)

    Raidergirl ~ Moss mansion is a museum of sorts, I suppose. It's located in Billings, MT. The house with the Christmas lights is in Laurel, which is about 10 miles outside of Billings.

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Wendy

    Oh those cookies sound WONDERFUL! I will have to try them! Thanks for sharing you traditions :)

  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger Melissa

    I love a parade, too, and was sad that we moved to a town that doesn't have one. :) The mansion looks lovely; if we're ever in the neighborhood, we'll have to check it out!

  • At 11:46 PM, Blogger CindyS

    I love traditions and it sounds like you and your niece have great ones! I love that she is now in the parade.

    That song with Santa in the chimney - totally freaked me out!


  • At 12:33 AM, Blogger Rosie

    Dev, this is a great addition to the blog advent calendar. We have been going out to see lights with our boys since they were babies. It's a tradition. This year each one of them took their girlfriends out and have scoped out the "best ones" to direct GG and I. Hopefully Saturday night we can all go.

    You have a wonderful relationship with kiddo and she'll remember these traditions all her life.

  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger Dev

    Wendy ~ You're welcome. Krumkake is definitely my favorite cookie. They're not hard to make, but for some reason we only ever have them at Christmas time.

    Melissa ~ I can't imagine a town without a parade. Is it a pretty small town?

    Cindy ~ Sorry the song freaked you out. It's one of my favorites (what does that say about me???).

    Rosie ~ Thank you! This year, I did print out some new addresses from the paper. I don't mind seeing the same lights over and over again, but I want to be sure kiddo stays entertained.

  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger julia

    I love your parade, lights displays and Moss Mansion traditions - they sound so wonderful! How great that your niece loved the parade so much she joined it as a participant. I've come to your advent blog post from Kailana's blog, and your addition to the Christmas tour is terrific.

  • At 9:30 PM, Blogger Dev

    Julia ~ Thank you so much! I'm glad you stopped by :-)

  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger Literary Feline

    Thank you for sharing some of your family traditions! I enjoy looking at the lights even to this day. Our city doesn't have a parade, but I remember going to one every year when I lived in northern California.

  • At 3:01 AM, Blogger Rowena

    Wow, what a great post. I love your traditions with Kiddo and that mansion is so pretty!

    Those cookies look the bomb and so does that flatbread thingy, yum! Now I'm hungry and it's the middle of the night.

    Great. =)

  • At 9:14 AM, Blogger Dev

    Literary Feline ~ You're welcome! We're doing lights tonight and are really looking forward to it.

    Wena ~ Thanks! Sorry I made you hungry. Well, maybe not really :-)

  • At 3:47 AM, Blogger Nymeth

    What a nice post! I also love that David Bowie and Bing Cosby song. I always include it on my Christmas mixed CDs.

  • At 8:08 AM, Blogger Dev

    Nymeth ~ Thank you. The David/Bing song are definitely it for me ~ I could listen to it over and over again.

  • At 2:03 PM, Blogger Carolyn Jean

    Great post. And what a lucky girl your niece is.

  • At 5:45 PM, Blogger Dev

    Carolyn Jean ~ Thank you!

  • At 1:56 AM, Blogger ReneeW

    What a wonderful post. I almost missed it. You are a fabulous aunt and your niece is such a lucky girl. I love Norwegian cookies. My mom used to make Krumkake and Rosettes. And so did my MIL. My mom passed away and my MIL is too frail to cook anymore so I sure miss all the goodies. This year a friend of my MIL made lefse and she mailed it to us. It was wonderful. I used to say my MIL made the best lefse in the world but this was pretty close. I think there is one more piece in the refrigerator. I think I'll go eat it now. :) Merry Christmas.

  • At 9:05 AM, Blogger Dev

    Renee ~ We make Rosettes, also. I would have made them this year, but my sister borrowed my rosette iron last year and hasn't returned it yet :-) I think she's trying to keep it ~ ha ha.

    I don't have any lefse :-( I will tomorrow, though.