I seemed to have lost my motivation for finishing the O Tannebaum II story and so I am picking up the open tag from Dr Whitcoat to do this Christmas meme and hopefully this will inspire me to finish. I just want to add that I think it hilarious that his brother got up earlier and switched their presents and then from that point on it became a battle each Christmas to see who could get to the presents first. :)
1. Wrapping or gift bags? Both! For the first 5 years of our marriage (until we had our first child) I used to wrap beautifully and then set them up just right and take pictures of them under the tree. People would comment that they were too pretty to open because I would do things with ribbons and decorations, etc. and it was fun. The bags are great because they are so easy but i still find myself adding things. I like Whitecoats observation of kids tearing into the wrapped packages.
2. Real or artificial tree? R-E-A-L! When I was little and living with my grandparents we only had a little fresh tabletop tree. After they died my mother got one of those silver trees with the light that shined on it turning it colors. I thought it was neat then...now ugh! Later I went to live with my aunt and uncle and they had an artificial tree. When I found out my husband's family had real Christmas trees...I just thought that was wonderful. We always only have real trees and my preferred tree is a frasier because they hold up well, the branches are firm and the needles don't prick you.
3. When do you put up the tree? In my perfect world around between December 5th and 10th and preferably around the 10th. The big trees seem to get purchased earlier which has forced us to go earlier too.
4. When do you take the tree down? Both of our families always take it down on New year's Day but then I heard of a Catholic tradition of leaving it up for Little Christmas which I think is another 6 days and I embraced that custom because it gives me an excuse to leave it up longer. Any longer than that and it is bittersweet because I have to face that Christmas is over and it is so much work and not fun to put the stuff away.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yum! We had this organic brand this year that was excellent! I like it with a little shot of whiskey and some nutmeg. I am the only one in our house that likes it though. It was a tradition in my family to have that with rum or whiskey.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Chatty Kathy and Thumbelina dolls. I also REALLY loved these cardboard bricks that I could build with. Oh and a Flyer wooden sled with red runners and bicycle. (Hard to choose)
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes but Mary is chipped and so is the manger so we just angle them so it can't be seen. Someday I would like to have a quality nativity scene for outside...low key but nice.
8.***Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hahaha! This is easy. I am sure my husband ran into the closest store last minute on Christmas eve to get this. An electric vegetable peeler! Oh he scored big with THAT one! NOT! Actually I was very gracious about it but I really was disappointed. I mean come on! I tried to use the dang thing but it took so frickin long to peel the carrot which was probably because it was hacking at it instead. It just chopped at the vegetables and I hated it and it very quickly was banished to the attic and I should have just thrown it out.
***And really...if you have to move your hand up and down the carrot anyway...how much harder is it to add a tiny amount of pressure instead of HACKING away at it??? * (I am so easy to buy a gift for...the more sentimental the better. (jewelery, book with something inscribed in the front, music, longaberger, turquoise Bajingoland glitter...there is so much...but an electric vegetable peeler?")
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Definitely mail the cards. I love getting them too and I hang then up in the doorways in the kitchen. I love to display the Christmas letters and pics too.
10. Favorite Christmas movie? Its A Wonderful Life! I have yet to see Miracle on 34th Street...someday though.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I try to buy things on sale or if I see something during the year that I think someone will like but I still end up doing the bulk of it in December.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turnip and squash mashed together with butter salt and pepper, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. I agree with Erma Bombeck that gravy is a beverage.
13. Clear lights or colored? Clear lights inside and out. Clear lites on the front bushes, around the door lighting up the wreaths on the door and the little pine tree. Lights shine through the glass surrounding one door. Inside-clear lites on the Christmas tree, beam in family room, in garland on two kitchen doorways and three windows have Christmas trees with clear lights and clear light single candles in the windows. Also poinsettia in between 2 candles in one window.
14. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Canon. then a lot of traditional ones and another favorite-baby it's Cold outside because I like the banter between them.
15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Home but since I had to alternate working Christmases at the hospital...my m-i-l does Christmas on those years.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Only Rudolph, Donder and Vixen and maybe Dasher oh and Prancer??
17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? Angel
18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? When the kids were younger they could pick one small present on Christmas eve and then we'd all open them Christmas morning. Then open more when the families got together later. I like the way my family did it best but I was a teenager then. We didn't open any presents until after the Christmas dinner and then only 1 at a time and so we got to savor the moment and see what everyone else got. But my husband and every one else just tear into their presents. I get it...it's just exciting. I guess I am someone who loves the excitement and the anticipation. I love those feelings actually and it all seems so magical instead of hurrying through everything.
Once I was doing the Christmas dinner AND had to go to work at hospital. Someone must've called out because I would never put on the dinner and work the same day. It was C-R-A-Z-Y! I didn't have time to open any Christmas gifts and so after I came home from work about 11:30 or so, I opened all my gifts by myself. It wasn't fun and next time I would wait. :)
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? When strings of lites don't work. Right now half the lites are out on one bush and I am wrestling with whether or not to try to replace them. My husband not being enthusiastic about Christmas and sometimes even grouchy.
20. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing...we didn't do the Santa tradition.
21. Least favorite holiday song? Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer or some techno or too modern very busy sounding song.
22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? Our tree is eclectic. Kids ornaments, Hallmark collectible dated glass ornaments, ornaments given by friends and family. The ornaments are traditional and every year I talk about where they came from. hundreds of ornaments and clear lights.
23. Favorite ornament? I cherish the kids picture ornaments, the Hall mark ornaments, It's A Wonderful Life ornament. But I think what has been neat is that people have stopped by to give me an ornament. A friend up the road gave me 3 handmade ornaments from when 1st son was a baby and I still put them on the tree every year. One day the husband of a client I used to sell makeup to dropped by to give me a handmade ceramic ornament which had a hearth with stockings on it and he had 3 of our names on the stockings and left a smaller 4th one blank. Years later when I had Chris I added his name although not as well as he did it. Another time, on a cold blustery night a friend stopped by to give me a small brass horn with a red string on it. I love that because it reminds me of the book Tom and Jerry's Merry Christmas and I always give it a prominent spot on the tree. I love that she thought of me and the tree and took time out during such a busy time of year to come out on such a cold night to bring it over. It was so sweet of her.
24. Family tradition? Someone wearing the Santa Claus hat and handing out the presents. This year 6 year old Devan was adamant that she wanted to be the Santa Clause and she was until she got too hot in the Santa hat. She did a good job though reading all the names. Funny thing - we told her she gave my husband the wrong present which she did and she said "No I didn't his name was on it.??" We all started laughing because I had erroneously put the wrong tag on it when wrapping and so he opened up a May Birthstone Barbie and puzzled he quizzically exclaimed..."You're giving me a BARBIE???!" What can I say...on Christmas Eve I was wrapping presents while my eyes were burning from the smoke that went throughout the house after burning the pecan pie but still trying to cook it to get the center done. (post worthy)
25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Eve services? No but they must be beautiful. My girlfriend was an Episcopalian and her mother was German. So on Christmas eve they set their tree up, went to midnight mass and came home to their Christmas dinner and then opened their presents. I always thought that was neat.
***I am not tagging anyone since it is after Christmas but if anyone wants to do it then feel free to pick up the tag. Let me know because I would like to read it. :)