1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly paper. If Scout was here we'd use grocery bags and duct tape.
2. Real tree or artificial? Well, I hate to call it artificial; Bea the Tree is quite real to me!
For several years we had NO tree because Mulletman felt they were too commercial and took away from the real meaning of Christmas. I paid him back by hanging ornaments all over the curtains and doorways. Finally, one year, our good friend Mammy got fed up with his stinginess and gave us $15 to buy a real tree. He was so shamed by her generosity that we promptly went out and bought a $100+ artificial tree at Ames in Augusta. I left my Visa card there and had to go back to retrieve it 3 days later.
You can see that this was a VERY memorable event!
We chose a fake tree because Funsocksgirl is miserably allergic to being in close confines with pines. Besides that, I was the janitor at our church at the time. The church always had 2 lovely REAL trees donated each year. I vacuumed up pine needles for weeks and weeks and WEEKS afterward! I really didn't want a repeat performance.
3. When do you put up the tree? Now that we actually HAVE a tree, we ALWAYS set it up the day after Thanksgiving. Except for the year that we set it up and then took it down to use on the dance school's float in the Christmas parade. Ole Bea ain't been quite the same ever since.
4. When do you take the tree down? I used to hold out until January 1. Now Bea goes back in the box whenever the heck I get sick of looking at her and want my living room back. Last year I packed everything away about 3 days after Christmas!
5. Do you like eggnog? I adore eggnog. I'd love to have some right now. But it's so darned expensive we won't be drinking it much this year.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I'm so old I can't remember my childhood. Seriously...I know I was inundated with gifts every single year, but I can't recall a single one.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have several. The main one is an older (1970's) Home Interiors version. There is a cloth one in the girls' room, a little glass one on a shelf, a snowglobe, nativity ornaments that the girlies made a few years back and some felt ones that the girls play with. My favorite is set is a goofy homemade one that we set up in the bathroom. I made them several years ago out of styrofoam balls (for the heads) and felt and scraps and bric a brac. It's adorable!
This is where I would insert some pics, but right now Safari and Blogger are involved in a feud. If Blogger so much as winks, then Safari gets all huffy and refuses to cooperate. It's a bad case of 2 incompatable updates. To even use Blogger, I have to turn off my Java, Java Script, and all my plug ins. Then I have to turn them on to go anywhere else. This has nothing to do with this Christmas survey meme thingy, but perhaps it will invoke sympathy and you will all send me chocoalte. That would then become my favorite gift of the year and I would remember it forever...
8. Hardest person to buy for? All the men: Mulletman, Scout, Grampy, J-Man, and Uncle Pickle-Nose. I never have a stinking clue what to get any of them!
9. Easiest person to buy for? The girlies. They are so easy to please! "Look, Crayons! Oh THANK YOU, MOMMY!!!!"
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Bless my Mom's heart...pedicure kits. Not one, but several - several years in a row. A. I don't do pedicures and B. I only have so many toes, ya know? (Moral of the story: Keep a log of what you give for gifts each year.)
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I gave up on the Christmas Card thing ages ago. However, three years ago I joined a card swap with my writer friends at writersweekly.com . Now I exchange cards with 12-20 people all over the world. This year I sent cards to Australia, New Zealand, Botswana, Canada, and the US of A. I also threw in one to Germany for a missionary gal on leave from North Africa and one to fellow blogger Kailani in Hawaii. I included a Christmas letter detailing all the things that didn't happen to our family this year. I will post the letter here on my blog near Christmas - assuming Safari and Blogger have mended their relationship by then.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life. I also love Muppet Christmas Carol. Rudolph and Charlie Brown and Garfield rank up there too.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever the panic sets in.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? You bet... I just want to share the love.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate covered espresso beans from Jorgenson's Café.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored. White lights have their place - On the Christmas tree is not it! In fact, I get the shivers when someone does all their outside lights in white. Scout and I used to fantasize about slipping into some of our neighbors' yards in the middle of the night and changing out their boring, disappointing white lights for reds and greens and blues and yellows. Oh, and I despise blinking or running lights. Let's just let them have their own quiet twinkle of joy, please.
Not that I feel strongly about this or anything.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Mary, Did You Know?
18. Travel for Christmas or stay home? We have the big house, so they all come here.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Who's Santa? Just kidding! Of course I can, but only because of that stupid song about Rudolph.
20. Angel on the treetop or a star? We had a beautiful angel, but it went to Funsockgirl when she got married and had her first Christmas with her forever husband. Now we have a very pretty star.
This is where Groovy would insert a photo, BUT...(grumble, grumble, grumble)
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? The plan is to open one gift on Christmas Eve. The next morning we open stockings. Then we get dressed, do our chores, and eat breakfast. Then we read the Christmas Story before we open the rest of the gifts. Our kids have NEVER gottten up early for Christmas. Most years we have to wake them up. This always drove the grandparents nuts!
Our plans don't always work out this way, though because Mulletman is a nurse. Every other year he works on Christmas Day, so we have to shift things around a bit. It will be that way this year, in fact. One year he had to work Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day. We told Scout and Funsocksgirl we'd have to wait until the 26th to celebrate, then we suprised them by having everything ready on the 23rd. They were SO surirsed and happy and excited! That's my favorite Christmas memory of those two growing up.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The whole "obligation" thing. Not just us feeling obligated, but other folks feeling like they HAVE to get us or the kids gifts. I also really hate when parents allow their kids to turn into little greed monsters for the season. UGH! I also am not thrilled with intermingling of of the celebration of Christ's birth with the whole Santa thing (Says Groovy the hypocrite who loves the Rudolph movie!)
23. What I love most about Christmas? Did I mention the chocolate covered espresso beans?
In all seriousness: I am truly thankful that God would choose to put skin on so that He could be my Savior. Unfortunately, that truth is so often obscured by the dollar signs and the tinsel and the movies and frenticism that my very favorite part of Christmas is...when it's over.
I just took a moment to put off my sewing project and I went to BooMama's blog at http://boomama.net/?p=1910 and discovered that I WON A PRIZE!!!! WOOT!
I'm getting a nifty little charm from http://www.bonboncharms.com/christmas.html . Oh Happy me!
This is made even more amazing by the fact that I also just won a Christmas Winnie The Pooh video from Damselfly at http://growingalife.blogspot.com/2007/11/its-christmas-movie-time.html#links
Thank you Damselfly! Thank you BooMama! and Thank you Erica (even if your bonbons AREN'T chocolate)! And I'd link to all of you gladly if only Blogger and Safari would settle their differences. In the meantime, everyone gets to copy and paste.
Go to it, Readers!