THE SYRACUSE CITY COUNCIL DIVULGES THEIR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIES, HOLIDAY TREATS, FAMILY TRADITIONS, AND MOVIE SNACKS.
BY HAILEY MINTON
Holiday films certainly have a place in our culture. When I went to Facebook to ask for your favorite Christmas movie quotes, I got more responses than I knew what to do with! I’ll say that Christmas Vacation, Elf, the Grinch, and Home Alone were certainly the most popular. It’s funny how lines from these holiday movies jump into our heads, whether or not it’s the Christmas season. A few months ago when I put my four-month- old daughter in her pink fuzzy bear suit, we couldn’t help but laugh at how cute and bulky she looked. Her appetite for her fists was as strong as ever, even though she no longer had access to her hands. It reminded us of Ralphie’s brother from A Christmas Story after he was all bundled up to go outside. “I can’t put my arms down!” Other times when I am trying on clothes, I find myself reenacting Jim Carey’s Grinch. “Ooh…. Ahh… Hmmm….That’s it, I’m not going.” Our mayor and city council members have shared a little about themselves and divulged their favorite Christmas movies, holiday treats, movie snacks, and a few family traditions. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new this year!
Mike Gailey’s family-favorite movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” His favorite Christmas treat are date-filled cookies. “My Grandmother Gailey was an excellent baker. She began baking for Christmas about Easter time each year. She made various sweet breads and fruit cakes and then felt that the flavor “went through them” by wrapping them in foil and putting them in the freezer to save for Christmas. My favorite was her date-filled cookies, and she knew it. Her freezer was in the basement of her home, which also served as a root cellar. Around Halloween or Thanksgiving time, she would tell me to go check the mouse traps in the basement and “steal” a date-filled cookie if I would like. (I was never disobedient to my grandmother).
A Christmas Story is the first Christmas movie that comes to mind for Dave Maughan. “I think it is just a very fun look at the holidays through the eyes of Ralphie. It always makes me laugh.” He is also is a big fan of Buddy the Elf in the movie Elf. “Who doesn’t like the rigid innocence of an overgrown Christmas Elf?”
He loves a Christmas morning cup of hot chocolate. “I don’t get into the holiday treat making, but I am a sucker for Marcia Hamblin’s dipped chocolates that Stan shares with me at the North Davis Sewer Board meeting in December each year. I can’t get enough of that wonderful treat!”
One of his favorite memories of a holiday tradition was his daughter’s annual letter to Santa. The letter, along with a pencil, was left with some cookies and milk for when Santa visited on Christmas Eve. She spent so much time trying to come up with the most complicated question that only Santa would know the answer to. “Santa wrote her an answer every year and she saved those scraps of paper for many years. It was fun to hear her tell her mom and siblings the inside facts that ONLY SANTA could know he shared with her.”
Dave said, “I must admit at the time it was a little annoying, because she worked hard to pose questions that no one else would know, particularly her parents.” She wanted to get inside information from the jolly man himself. That made it tough for Santa, on his short visit, to give a good answer to such detailed, obscure questions. “Now we look back on the enthusiasm of knowing something few others would be aware of, and keeping that a family secret. She kept the secrets of the reindeer, north pole life, and the annual Christmas mission that can’t be found in any book, song, or poem.”
Lisa Bingham’s two favorite holiday movies are It’s a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas. “For the last three decades, our family has watched these movies so many times that we can recite them verbatim.” She loves the lessons of focusing on heavenly purposes, and blessing other peoples’ lives even through adversity. “Plus, the costumes in White Christmas are beyond divine!”
As for snacks, it would be easier to choose something Lisa doesn’t enjoy during Christmas! “For a girl who was raised with grandparents who owned a candy store, I pride myself on making sure there is no food group or candy that goes without my personal attention. My gut is in a constant state of assault, and I regularly apologize to it as I climb into bed. Maybe next year I’ll only eat celery…But don’t count on it.”
Jordan Savage grew up watching Muppet Christmas Carol when the holidays rolled around. “Charles Dickens has a way of capturing the holiday spirit in this story.” He loves the lesson that people can change. Scrooge was set in his ways but, with some help, he forsook his greed for charity and it brought joy into his life by caring more about others. Jordan loves the good, clean fun in the Muppet’s rendition of this classic story, and Rizzo is his favorite character. This movie is Corinne Buldoc’s family’s favorite Christmas movie as well, and they love to eat their Rocky Road Roll for a treat (see recipe on page 18).
Jordan is the only fan of peanut brittle in his home, so it makes it hard to come by. “I have to find a store to buy it if I want any,” he admitted. He also enjoys some hot chocolate after wandering around Ogden’s Christmas Village with his family.
Seth Teague is all about the classic movie snack of popcorn with butter and salt, but his favorite Christmas treat is homemade Nutter Butters. His favorite Christmas movie is “My Brother the Time Traveler”, also known as “Christmas Time”. His friend, Jake Van Wagoner, who is a writer for impractical jokers, directed and starred in Christmas Time. Seth described it as a movie with “very Utah humor.”
Seth has his own smaller, but I’m sure no less impressive, production every year. His family competes in a Lip Sync Battle every Christmas. They perform and film them ahead of time and gather to watch and judge the ten or so entries from various families. Only the winner walks away with their homemade Joseph Gordon-Levitt Trophy. The actor has some ridiculous (but very impressive) lip sync battle dances under his belt, on the musical reality competition television series Lip Sync Battle. Seth’s family found it appropriate to dedicate the trophy to him. Seth has won their family lip-sync battle three out of the last six years, with the help of Brittney Spears’ song Oops I Did It Again. He admitted, “It’s very theatrical and embarrassing.” They post their performances on YouTube, but the videos are private. We can only hope someday he will share his talent with the world.
Click the links below for Council Christmas Favorite Recipes!