Our Christmas faves

Published 2:12 pm Saturday, December 22, 2018

by Susan and Biff Andrews

Call us traditionalists. After more than a few Christmases, we have a few faves we think others might enjoy as well. Some of the following are classics; some you will never have heard of. They are all in the spirit of Christmas with an accent on the outdoors; peace, love, joy and baby Jesus. Here we go:

Christmas Readings

The original version of the Nativity: Luke 2:1-20 from the King James Version

Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”

“A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore

“Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus,” by Francis P. Church

“A Christmas Memory,” by Truman Capote. A reading by the fire, requested by Susan as an annual Christmas gift from Biff, makes us cry in our hot toddy every year.

“Song of the Rabbits Outside the Tavern,” by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Christmas Music

“To Wish You a Merry Christmas,” by Harry Belafonte

“A Christmas Together, by John Denver and the Muppets

“My Christmas CD” by Andrea Boccelli

“The Dean Martin Christmas Album”

“Profound Joy” by Tim Seamans (local artist from Williamsburg)

Vivaldi’s “Winter” section from “The Four Seasons” every time it snows

Christmas Films

“A Christmas Memory” 1966

“Miracle on 34th Street,” Original version

“Holiday Inn,” with Bing

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

“Home Alone”

Christmas Sights

A male cardinal in snow

Snow on water, any water, bare branches, or evergreens

Any walk through the woods in snow, or sleet

Kids sledding on a hill anywhere, but, especially between our yard and our neighbor’s

Christmas Objects

Hand-crafted stockings

Heirloom ornaments, ornaments from memorable trips, ornaments made from nature

Kid-made ornaments from school — the cotton ball, popsicle stick and glitter kind


The younger the better, especially the ones on Christmas morning with wild, wide eyes and bedhead;sticky candy cane fingers are optional

Kids in or at a live nativity watching baby Jesus and the animals, especially if there is a real camel

The Food and Drinks

Try a striper. Give the bird a break

Sausage and apple stuffing or oyster stuffing

Grandma’s recipe for fruit cake

Irma Rombauer’s, “Joy of Cooking” Eggnog in quantity (don’t drive or operate heavy equipment)

Susan’s Striper recipe:

1 large striper cleaned and scaled (whole or filleted)


fresh cracked pepper

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 strips of bacon

white potatoes cut in wedges


Line a large roasting pan with foil. Place the fish in the pan, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread the onions on the fish. Place strips of bacon on the fish. Fill the remaining space around the fish with potato wedges. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and dots of butter. Fold foil around the fish and potatoes. Place in 400-degree oven for 1 hour or until fish is firm. Open the foil the last 10 minutes if you’d like the bacon crispy

Whatever your Christmas traditions, we hope you enjoy them in the warmth and love of family and friends.

SUSAN and BRADFORD “BIFF” ANDREWS are retired teachers and master naturalists who have been outdoor people all their lives, exploring and enjoying the woods, swamps, rivers and beaches throughout the region for many years. Email them at b.andrews22@live.com.