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Louise's Christmas Favorites

Christmas Tradition : My favorite Christmas tradition is baking a birthday cake for the baby Jesus. I hope He likes chocolate!!

Christmas Songs : "Little Drummer Boy" because the gift to Jesus was music. The second is "O Holy Night" because it was the first song to ever be broadcast & was played on the violin, and lastly "Joy to the World" because the Christ child was born and we have reason to be joyful!

Christmas Song to perform in a Christmas show : "The Little Drummer Boy" & "O Holy Night"

Christmas Book : "Stories Behind the Best Love Songs of Christmas" by Ace Collins

Christmas Movies : Santa Claus 1, Santa Claus 2, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Christmas Recipe : Louise's Holiday Greeter [from the Mandrell Family Cookbook]

4 cups boiling water
4 bags orange-mango tea
1 quart apple juice
1 quart cranberry juice
1 cup sugar
2 oranges
1/4 cup whole cloves
6 sticks cinnamon

Pour boiling water over tea bags and steep for ten minutes. Combine tea, juices, and sugar in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. While punch is heating, stud oranges with cloves (you may need to poke holes in the oranges). Place oranges and cinnamon sticks into punch at the boiling point and remove from heat. Serve hot with a lemon or lime slice and half a stick of cinnamon. [Servings 12]

Christmas Treat : Godiva dark chocolate covered cherries

Christmas Present Given: The year after I left my theater in east TN I wanted to do something special for my close friends, so I flew around the country and sang Christmas music for their churches.

Christmas Present Received : My mom always gives the best presents because even though she's practical she always remembers who the gift is for. For instance, one year I opened up a bronze baby shoe. I asked my mom if that was mine from when I was little, and she said no it was given to her when she made a donation in my name so that a young girl could afford to carry her baby full term. It was at that moment that I realized how well my mom knew my heart.

Christmas Show Guest Star : My niece, Christy Sutherland. She's an amazing Christian artist who has written some beautiful Christmas songs.
Christmas Memory as an Adult : My husband, John, gave me a 40 foot cross and every Christmas we go to the cross for a prayer of thanks, remembering that we're celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas Memory as a Child: My favorite Christmas story is about my Daddy. My fondest childhood memory of my Dad was when I was four years old shopping with my family when I overheard my dad whisper to my mom, "I want to get these red velvet dresses for the girls". I was so excited! I knew I would look like a princess. Then I heard Mom saying in a low voice, thinking no one could hear, "Irby, we can't afford them". I didn't see much of Daddy for the next several weeks, he was working three jobs, but he was home Christmas morning when we opened, from Santa, the red velvet dresses. When I saw my Daddy's smile I knew that my Dad would do whatever it took to not only meet my needs but my heart's desire. Every Christmas when my daughter, Nicole, was growing up I would dress her in a red velvet dress to impress my Dad. Everyone who knew Irby Mandrell described him as a hardworking man with integrity who took great joy in helping others. Like most girls I saw Daddy as my hero, but this little girl never grew up. My hero is greatly missed.