Since it's already nearly 9pm and I haven't blogged today, how about a quick Christmassy survey? (And nevermind that I just woke up from a 5 hour nap and would probably be up long enough to write a "real" blog entry anyway)
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper, although I should consider gift bags. I don't wrap well. And gift bags would be the "greener" choice.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Despite many warm, happy (sarcasm) memories of choosing and cutting real trees in my childhood, we go the artificial route. No, really, real tree hunting wasn't so bad, and I sure am glad I got to have that experience, it was just freezing and sometimes took too long. But they had delicious apple cider at the end, and delicious apple cider makes anything worthwhile!
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we were a little slow.
4. When do you take the tree down? Jan. 6 (Epiphany)--but I complain the whole time that my grandma leaves her tree up until my birthday. This year we may be taking it down a little early, if they ever let us leave. Or should I say, if the island ever lets us leave. I'm a LOST character now, remember?
5. Do you like eggnog? I wait all year for egg nog. I've already single-handedly finished my first carton. It's probably the only reason I've remembered to take my vitamins almost every day this month.
6. Favourite gift received as a child? (This survey came from an American in England's blog. I wonder if I, too, will add the extra "o" in words like colour and neighbourhood...(again, if the island ever lets me go) or maybe she got this from an English person and left it. At any rate, I will leave it because I like the fancy look of it. And now I will answer the question.) It's very hard to pick a favorite. I will pick 2--and maybe I did not know they were my favorite at the time. My doll, Lauren. I didn't go many places without her and (don't tell anybody) but I still like to hug and kiss her when I go home and see her on my bed. I truly believe she is The Best Loved Doll. My other one is also from loooong ago. My toy kitchen! I got a lot of play time out of that thing! I was kind of sad when my mom gave it to her friend who watches kids (even though I was probably in college and didn't play with it anymore) and even more sad when I heard that it had "baked" its last imaginary cupcake.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not yet. I always loved rearranging (or maybe playing with) the one at my Grandma A.'s house.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad. And David, but for different reasons. David has very little impulse control and tends to buy himself the things he wants.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Myself. ;) I like to make sure I have plenty of unwrapping to do. And I rarely buy myself something during this time of the year without wrapping it up and putting it under the tree.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I mail Christmas cards--a "flat" photo greeting and an "update" letter, which was mostly started as a small rebellion against Christmas update letters, but which I have come to really enjoy writing. I think that in the (near) future, in an attempt to "go green" and "save green", I will move a portion of my card recipients to an e-mail only list.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Oh my goodness, I cried and cried when I got a purple bike for Christmas. Purple was my favorite color, but the bike was too big. I came to love that too, though.
12. Favourite Christmas Movie? Every Christmas movie is my favorite. I already mentioned that I LOVE Fa-la-la-la Lifetime and ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. I'm still waiting for Snowglobe to come on! OF COURSE I love A Christmas Story. I miss TBS and their 24 hour marathon. It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street (old or new), a Muppet Christmas Carol, Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas and the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, even though now that I'm a grown-up and have a concept of time, I realize that those might not actually count as "movies". They always seemed so much longer...
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I see something that I want to get someone. Often (as is the case this year) Christmas presents are really "just because" presents that I picked up much earlier in the year and just never made it to the post office.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? When I was student teaching (i.e. working 40+ hours a week for no pay) I recycled many of the gifts my little students gave me. I don't recycle gifts very often, because I am too sentimental. Please stop giving me pretty or fancy or homemade soap. I can't bring myself to use it because I think "Oh, so-and-so gave me that and if I use it, it will get used up". The logic that the person's feelings won't be hurt because they gave me a gift that was meant to be used up completely fails me.
15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? (There's that fancy spelling again!) My favorite thing is to eat at Christmas. Tamales...there is a restaurant here that makes them on Fridays, maybe I will pick some up and save for Christmas! Cookies of all shapes, sizes and flavors...my mom's cranberry white chocolate shortbread, Aunt Margie's nut cups, Grandma's recipe for candy cane cookies. Christmas Pasta, which has become our tradition...I'll talk more about it later. My grandma's banana candles, which people make fun of but I think are delicious...so the rule is if you make fun, I get to eat yours too. Pierogi... I used to help my friend Ami & her grandma make these and eat all the potato filling before it got into the pierogi (they say they mention that every year). Now I get a box of frozen ones.
16. Clear lights or coloured on the tree? I love the way a tree with colored lights looks like it's covered with gumdrops. But our tree is pre-lit and has clear lights, and I like that too.
17. Favourite Christmas song? I LOVE Christmas songs! My favorites are: O Holy Night, Little Drummer Boy, Breath of Heaven, O Come All Ye Faithful, White Christmas, I'll Be Home for Christmas, and basically all the rest. Also, on the more "commercial" side, I love: Santa Baby, All I Want for Christmas is You, Run Run Rudolph, Please Come Home for Christmas, and all the rest of those too.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Christmas has always been a traveling day for me--going from house to house, but all within the same county. But since we've been here we stay in one place. This year, I'm staying here...but next year, wherever I'm coming from, I'll be home for Christmas!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Most certainly! Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. And of course, Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. We have a Santa hat on our tree. I like angels and stars though. And the big ribbons. We need more trees!
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open on Christmas Eve (this is a carryover from my childhood traditions). We used to open on Christmas Eve because we started running around on Christmas Eve and didn't come back home until late on Christmas Day and that would probably just be mean to make a kid wait until 9pm to open any presents! David was a little unsure at first, but now he's always more anxious to open presents on Christmas Eve than I am. Christmas morning is still excited, because we have to check and see what Santa has brought!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crowds at the BX. Things slowing down at the post office.
23. Favourite ornament theme or colour? I love seeing trees all decorated in red, white & silver. And I've almost got enough moose ornaments to do a mini-moose tree. But I do love looking at our little-bit-of-everything tree!
24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? Christmas Pasta, Tamales. We don't do a "traditional" Christmas dinner, and we always forewarn our guests not to expect "Thanksgiving" for Christmas.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Orders! And to know that my deployed neighbor (whose daughter will turn 2 on Christmas day) is staying safe. And some of the items on my Christmas list from a few posts back...
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I don't know. Someone who's got a lot of Christmas spirit!
I swear, Santa...it's the economy that's been naughty!