I received a Christmas "Get to Know Your Friends" quiz by email today, and thought it might be fun to post my answers here:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? While I fall back on gift bags for most occasions, I really like to use wrapping paper for Christmas as much as possible. It seems more festive, and I always enjoy my Christmas gift-wrapping sessions, with holiday music in the background. While it's a bit more physically exhausting than using bags, I find it far more mentally relaxing.
2. Real or fake tree? Nothing but the best artificial tree for this family! Real trees have so much upkeep, and finding a good size can be tricky. Plus, with 4 cats in the house, a real tree is just asking for trouble!
3. When do you put up the tree? Right after Thanksgiving, usually... Alas, this year, we're still working on it. We've got the tree with lights & garland, but no ornaments yet. *sigh!*
4. When do you take the tree down? I always aim for Epiphany (January 6th), but I've been known to leave it up until February... A few years ago, I couldn't find the boxes for the ornaments, so I left my bedroom tree up all year! I kinda liked it... I used it for a nightlight. :>)
5. Do you like eggnog? Um, yeah. As a kid, I think I was the only one who liked it, so Grandpa Don would let me help him mix in the bourbon and god knows what else... So, while I appreciate the eggnog-flavored shakes & blizzards of the season, it's just not quite right unless it's swimming with booze. And while I, like my grandfather before me, always use bottled pre-prepared eggnog, I can now mix a pretty killer nog myself. Mark doesn't even like eggnog, but he'll drink mine... Some fresh nutmeg & cinnamon, bourbon, usually some rum, maybe some of whatever else is in the liquor cabinet. Mmmm... tasty.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? That's a hard one... I always got lots of good gifts, but I can't think of any one that stood out as the best.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Several, actually.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Probably Dad. It's hard to get him to admit that he needs or wants anything specific.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Mark. I guess that's what happens when you've been with someone for 16 years...
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Oh, it's so hard to pick... Is it one of the many cases of Christmas strep throat? Or the holiday bronchitis? No, probably the shingles I came down with on Christmas Eve a few years ago. Not very festive!
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, if I get to them at all.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Well, the best Christmas special of all time is John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together, but that's not really a movie. So I guess I'd say the original Miracle on 34th Street. In the less-traditional vein, I'd pick Die Hard and Lethal Weapon - laugh if you must, but they are both set at Christmas, so they're Christmas movies.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sometime after Black Friday usually, although I often pick up a few things here or there before then. Usually, I order a lot of things online, especially this year. I don't think I even set foot in a store this year...
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Archway Christmas cookies - Bells, Stars or Trees will do, but I also like the fancier ones. Candy canes are pretty sweet, too.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear on my bedroom tree, but always colored on the main tree in the family room. It just looks more festive that way.
17. Favorite Christmas song? I really like most of them, but for the past few years I've been hooked on "Feliz Navidad".
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home. It's best for the rest of the family to come unto me... I don't travel well these days.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? On Donder, on Blitzen, on Chuy, on Tavo - come on, Berto! Oh, wait, that's Cheech & Chong... Let's see: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner/Donder and Blitzen. And Rudolph, of course.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I like a star, but our tree is too limp at the top to support one. We usually have a ribbon bow instead.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Santa always came to our house fairly early on Christmas Eve - I think he went in alphabetical order, so we were near the top of the list since our name started with a B. So we always opened our presents on christmas Eve. Then the next day we would go to Grandma Jeanne's & open presents again. These days, though, we usually open our presents whenever the Memmers can be here - this year it will be on the 22nd. We have Christmas Day with Mark's family, but we don't do presents anymore - there are too many of us, and no little kids.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? I would say traffic and crowds, but as I said before, I haven't been out to shop this year, so it hasn't been an issue. So instead I would say annoying commercials.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Just about everything... I love the lights & decorations, wrapping & unwrapping presents, spending time with family & friends. And I always dig some Christmas tunes.