Saturday, December 06, 2008

Well, OK...

OK, I can take a hint. God and everybody has done this one, and I've gotten 3 forwards of it in my email. I'll do the damned thing!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper only!! And do-it-yourself, too! If the recipient isn't worth the effort to spend time to personally wrap their gift (regardless of ability), why bother? The joy of Christmas morning is unwrapping gifts! Certainly not opening up a bag! (silly story--S1 always took twice as long to unwrap gifts because she'd carefully unwrap, then fold the paper to give to my grandfather, who hadn't bought wrapping paper since 1949. Sure enough, each year, he'd use the recycled paper!)

2. Real tree or Artificial? If it's going to be a real Christmas, it's got to be a real tree. And not one bought at a lot. One that you spend the day out hunting for, killing, and bringing back home. The way our forefathers did. That being said, I went almost two decades without a tree. I really got the spirit back two Christmases ago. But I was as busy then as I am now, so I confiscated my parent's big fake tree, since they've since opted for a tabletop one these days. Baby steps, people... Oh--a pink tree? Excuse me...who came up with that, and why???

3. When do you put up the tree? Normally, this weekend. But I'm way too busy this year to do it, so no tree this year (and that's OK).

4. When do you take the tree down? No later than the weekend after New Year's, generally before.

5. Do you like eggnog? Absolutely! Both the dairy and alcoholic versions! Even the dairy with a bit of rum! Eggnog shakes! Does DQ have an eggnog Blizzard??

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don't remember anything like an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, but I'm sure I got some pretty cool stuff. Ooh! I did get a saddle from my grandfather when I was about 8 (?) in a hope that I'd get interested in riding his horses. I loved riding, but didn't get the chance as much as I would have liked.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My parents. They're long past the neckties or homemade pot holders. At least from me...

8. Easiest person to buy for? The sisters. We decided years ago to draw names among the 4 of us (though, a simple rotation would probably work just as well), and last year decided that, instead of gifts, we'd donate a specific amount of money to a non-profit in the name of the sibling. Only difficulty now is choosing which one (though we specifically decided to go with local organizations, where the money would do more direct good).

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I do! Had it since college, I believe.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Ooh! A trick question! My intent is always to mail Christmas cards. Whether that gets done or not is a different thing altogether. I might email some greetings, but only to a very select few, if at all.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? There is no such thing as a "worst" Christmas gift. However, my mother has tried throughout my life to support my music. I come from a totally non-musical family. God bless her. One year she bought me a portable keyboard. With a big smile on her face. It was the toughest thing for me to do to tell her later to take it back for a refund because it was nothing more than a toy. Looking back, I sort of wish I kept it...

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Tough one... "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is fun. "White Christmas" has always been a favorite (Vera-Ellen...mmmmmm!). One that you never see anymore is "The Lemon Drop Kid", which isn't so much a Christmas movie as it is a movie that takes place during Christmas. Starring Bob Hope, and introduced the song "Silver Bells"!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? No specific time. I've actually shopped on Christmas Day (no lines...)! Though, this year, I did buy a Christmas ornament in mid-October for somebody special!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I'm aware of...

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I'm with M on this. It's all about the cookies. Ooh! Povitica! It's an eastern European pastry (Dad's heritage is 100% Czech). It is popular in the United States in areas with large Eastern European settlements, such as the Iron Range of Minnesota and Butte, Montana (where it is known by the Slovenian name potica and Croatian/regional Slovenian name povitica).

16. Lights on the tree? What kind of stupid question is that?? Why bother hunting/killing a tree if you're not going to do lights?? And ornaments?? And tinsel?? No popcorn, garland or candy canes, though.

17. Favorite Christmas songs: I love Christmas music. Very few songs that I dislike. Probably my favorite..."Carol of the Bells" (never heard a bad version of that one). Or "Sleigh Ride", but only by the Boston Pops. Or the Ronettes. I also love the parody songs of Bob River's "Twisted Christmas" series. You're missing out on some great stuff if you've never heard any of them. I also have a love for the South Park Christmas album.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? In 50 previous Christmases, I've only been away from home once. Almost all of the family is here--no reason to go anywhere else. I've never lived more than 4 hours away, so even when living elsewhere, I've gone home for Christmas (which, I guess, would be traveling, wouldn't it?).

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? This is like one of those moron quiz questions, right? Though I just learned the name of the 10th reindeer tonight! You know--Olive. As in "Olive, the other reindeer..." (if that's something that you already knew, I'm sorry--I'm not around any 8 year old kids much).

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? When I was growing up, it was a star. But I received a Christmas angel from a student many, many years ago, and still use it.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Same answer as M. Christmas morning. When we went to the grandparent's on Christmas Eve, we could open one that night.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Probably me. I ooze Christmas spirit (sometimes fake) among those that don't have it. I'm sure they all want to shoot me. Sometimes I have to force it out of me, but it seems to get easier as the month progresses. Biscuit--take note of that!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Never really bothered thinking about either. People actually buy different ornaments every year?? I suppose I have a few musical-themed ornaments (including a special trombone one that I love), but I don't think in terms of a theme or colors. You mean I could do a Three Stooges theme one year, and a white trash one the next, and a Led Zeppelin one after that...?

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We usually go with an encore of the Thanksgiving dinner, though in recent years Dad has thrown almost a side of beef on the BBQ (not grill, as a certain blogger is sure to correct me...). Oh, there's a place in the valley that ships its glazed hams all over the world. You have to reserve one by the middle of October, or you're out of luck. We generally get one of those too.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace on Earth and good will towards men? You know...if I want something, I just get it. Sure, I'd like all the fancy material things, but it's not going to happen, so I don't "want" it. Though a couple of front row tickets to see Elton John/Billy Joel sometime next year would be way cool!

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