Friday Five

1. Salty. Chocolate. Pecan. Candy. Have there ever been four more lovely words in the English language? Carla has put them together into this quick dessert, perfect for gift giving or a simple end to a big holiday meal. I’m planning to make a batch to munch on after Christmas dinner.

Do you have any easy or no-bake desserts you like to make during the holidays? 


2. If you’ve ever been in a car with a dog who enjoys riding, you know the definition of unadulterated happiness. This video has been floating around the web. It’s a dozen dogs doing what dogs do best: living in the moment. Shot in slow motion, you can really see the dogs’ eyes and how much they’re enjoying themselves. This video makes me smile.


3. Speaking of dogs in cars, Reggie and I will be road tripping to Tennessee to spend Christmas with my mom. He is a good co-pilot, though he doesn’t enjoy it to the same extent as the dogs in that clip. Once we get underway, he spends his time either staring out the window, like this:

Or staring at me, like this:


4. Every holiday season, I watch It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve probably seen it a dozen times. I could recite entire scenes, playing every part. Maybe the film feels unsophisticated or dated; its message corny and trite, but to me, it only improves with familiarity. We’ve all had times where we feel we’ve made a mess of things and can’t see a way to put them right. But if we only had an angel to show us how many lives we’ve touched in a positive way. At a seminar with some film students in the 1970s, Frank Capra, the film’s director, was asked if there were still a way to make movies about the kinds of values and ideals found in the film. “Well, if there isn’t,” he said, “we might as well give up.”

What are some of your must-see holiday classic movies?


5. At my house, we open presents on Christmas morning, taking turns. We’ve been doing it this way for years. It allows everyone gets to see what everyone else got and there’s some appreciation for all of those gifts you spent weeks buying. But if the whole family has gathered, it can stretch the gift part of the day longer than the lines at Space Mountain in Disney World. (In fact, it’s a lot like waiting for Space Mountain, come to think of it – a lot of hanging around, looking forward to two minutes of thrill.) Then I recently learned that many households do the free-for-all opening process which leaves your living room in a tidal wave of discarded wrapping paper, but preserves your sanity.

How does your family open gifts?

Wishing you and your families a peaceful and joyful holiday!




  1. Love the photos of Reggie!! Adorable as always! And we open gifts the same way — one at a time on Christmas morning… the stockings first (even gifts in those one at a time), then breakfast, then presents. Always that way 🙂 Merry Christmas!


    1. I love that idea to open the stockings first, Julia. We usually open the stockings last. I don’t know why – tradition, I guess.
      Merry Christmas to you and MEH!


  2. That recipe sounds divine and Reggie is adorable as always.

    I watch It’s a Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife (Cary Grant version) and The Family Stone every year.

    I prefer the free-for-all on Christmas morning, but my husband’s family likes to do one at a time. I’ll get used to it some day. 🙂

    Merry Christmas, Jackie!


    1. Ah, The Bishop’s Wife! I hadn’t thought about that classic in years. And, really anything with Cary Grant is a winner in my book.
      Have a wonderful, free-for-all Christmas morning, Carole!


  3. What a cute video! I hope you and Reggie have a safe ride south and a nice visit with your Mom.
    I always enjoy watching Miracle on 34th Street – the original. Such a fan of Natalie Wood and all.
    Like your family, we go around and open presents one at a time. As a kid, I hated it. As an adult, I appreciate the relishing of the moment.
    Merry Christmas, Jackie!


    1. Miracle of 34th Street is such a natural choice for a Natalie Wood fan like yourself. I hope you get to watch it this year.
      I hope your boys enjoy opening their presents on Christmas morning.


  4. The video is sweet. Both of our dogs love to go anywhere. Will your trip to TN take you through Lexington? Have a safe trip and Merry Christmas to you and Reggie from Sara and me–and our dogs Ralph and Lucy.


    1. Unfortunately, Reggie and I don’t pass through Lexington on our way South.
      Best wishes for a peaceful and joyful holiday, Kathy. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you and Sara this year. Give Ralph and Lucy a scratch behind the ears from me and Reggie.


    1. Reggie and I have our little routine so traveling has become fun. He loves my mom’s backyard. Have a lovely Christmas, Cynthia. Here’s to another year of great writing in 2012!


  5. Thanks for the shout out, Jackie!
    Reggie is absolutely adorable.
    Present opening in my family was always a one-at-a-time affair as well. Took all day, especially as we got older and actually slept in! I agree with your Space Mountain analogy.
    Merry Christmas and safe travels! 🙂


    1. “Grandma” is already spoiling Reggie with lots of extra treats. He’s well on his way to gaining a few holiday pounds. 🙂
      Have a peaceful and joyful holiday!


  6. We only had one dog who did that and he loved it so much.
    Reggie has such soulful eyes. I don’t think one could say “no” to anything he wants.
    ‘ve watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time last Christmas. I like to watch musicals like Helly Dolly or Singing in the Rain and some Screwball Comedies too. Grumpy Old Men is a Christmas favourite.
    Merry Christmas to you!


    1. You’ve just mentioned one of my all-time favorite classics: Singing in the Rain. It never fails to put a smile on my face. I could watch it endlessly. I hope you get to watch it during this season.
      Merry Christmas, Caroline!


    1. Aww, thank you for saying that. The feeling is mutual between me and him. 🙂
      I hope you had a wonderful holiday and a fantastic new year!


  7. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is pretty tough to beat (have you ever seen the Saturday Night Live clip of it’s ‘secret/alternate ending… pretty funny). For some reason I always feel like watching ‘When Harry Met Sally’ around this time of year (must have something to do with all the New Years shots).
    A very merry Christmas to you and your family, too!


    1. I had no idea about the SNL “secret ending” to It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ll have to check it out. I’m sure it’s hysterical.
      You know, I enjoy watching When Harry Met Sally during the holidays too.
      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!


  8. I think it would be extremely difficult to concentrate on driving while that adorable face was staring at me. Is he in a seatbelt, too?

    Our family has the same Christmas morning tradition. We take turns, but the issue this year was…who was going to go first! We had to draw names out of a hat.

    I hope you and your family had a beautiful Christmas!


    1. I learned Reggie needs to be in a seatbelt in the back after two incidents:
      1. He got out at a gas station somewhere in Virginia. I found him sniffing by the display of Entemann’s they had outside.
      2. He tried to eat all of my road snacks. Don’t come between a woman and her candy bars.


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