The Christmas Meme
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
A few years ago, I was on this "I will make my own wrapping paper" kick that resulted in me spending about $100 on brown craft paper, rubber stamps, and stamp pads. Then, I spent a few years carefully coordinating wrapping papers--colors, patterns, themes, etc. I still wrap, but the stamp pads have long since dried out and the paper is so mis-matched, it's funny. I use gift bags for hard-to-wrap items, like wine. Or gin. For some reason, I give a lot of gin. Go figure.
2. Real or artificial tree?
Last year, we had a real tree for the first time in ages and it was WONDERFUL. It was also much more gigantic than we'd anticipated. Note for future reference: saving the dried up tree to use as firewood? Not the most brilliant idea.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, or the following weekend.
4. When do you take it down?
I try to have to down by the Feast of the Epiphany if only to keep the neighbors from talking smack on me. I have, however, left the tree up as late as February (if by February, I mean early March. That was a bad year all-around, though).
5. Do you like eggnog?
No. No matter the amount of rum or brandy used.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Gosh. I can't remember just one. I have fond memories of the rocking horse, the stuffed poodle that my Uncle Jon had "wrapped" in a garbabe bag, and loads of Barbie stuff.
7. (I'm adding this) Favorite gift received as an adult?
A piano. And not so much the piano (I do love it), but the way I had to "unwrap" it... Mike sent me on a scavenger hunt that started somewhere under out Christmas tree and ended 2 or so miles away at my parents' house. He'd hidden clues behind stop signs, in the tree, all over the apartment, and at my mom's.
8. Do you have a nativity scene?
I think we had one when I was growing up, though I might be thinking of one that my grandmother has.
9. Hardest person to buy for?
It varies from year to year. Some years, I have no idea what to get my dad. Other years, I'm at a loss as to what to get my husband. I always come up with some ideas, though--even if it is with only days to spare.
10. Easiest person to buy for?
ME!!! Actually, that's not true. I'm the worst to shop for because I'm so dang picky. My mom is usually the easiest to shop for, and usually the first on my done list.
11. Worst Christmas present you ever got?
A monogrammed tote from Lillian Vernon. It was garish. And hardly a tote seeing as it barely fit a book in it. Somewhere, someone else is sporting that bag...
12. Mail or email Christmas cards?
We have a core of about 25 or so family members that send us cards, so we reciprocate. Every other year, I get motivated enough to find the addresses of friends and send them cards. This year, though, Mike's doing the Christmas card thing. I am equally relieved and fearful.
13. Favorite Christmas movie?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.
14. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I've actually bought Christmas presents as early as June and July, though invariably, I end up giving the recipient the gift early *and* still giving another gift at Christmas.
15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
YES--and not that long ago, either.
15. Favorite thing to eat on Christmas?
Growing up, we would go to my grandmother's for breakfast and eat red gravy and biscuits. I like that memory, or at least my version of it. I think I'd enjoy having a Christmas breakfast in bed at home--we haven't spent a Christmas at home in years.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
For the longest time, I was a clear-light purist, but in the last couple of years, the twinkly colored lights have spoken to me. I don't know what they're saying, I just know they are speaking. To me.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
"I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". And I didn't even know I LOVED it until I heard it while my Mom and I were shopping a few weekends ago.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We've got a traditional routine where we drive south and spend Christmas Eve with his family and then drive over to my parents to spend Christmas Day. It's not far from home, and yet... it is.
19. Can you name all of Santa's Reindeer?
Without singing their names, maybe not.
20. Angel or star on top of tree?
Since we're not decorating this year, I don't honestly know WHAT we've got. We've had both at some point, though not at the same time.
21. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning.
Well, we open gifts with his family on Christmas Eve--does that count? We usually don't exchange gifts ourselves until late Christmas Day, though this year will be a leeetle different.
22. Most annoying thing this time of year?
People thinking that buying more equals giving more. Or, that getting more means you were "a good girl".
23. Do you decorate your tree in any theme or color?
God, all this stuff I used to do.... We've had plenty o' themed Christmasses: there was the year of the hay on the tree (it actually looked great), the candied fruit year, the dried fruit year (different fruit), the green-on-green year, the Hallmark year, the blue balls year, the we-need-more-white-lights year, and so on.
24. What do you leave for Santa?
If Santa's lucky, I give him a nice little going away present on December 23, if you know what I mean.
25. What's your Christmas wish this year?
A snow day on December 26th would be nice.