Well, I was a successful NaBloPoMo participant and have shamefully slid back into my slacker ways. Maybe I should make a public declaration of how much I'll be blogging EVERY month. The hope of winning a prize is always helpful, along with public/cyber humiliation at not having met one's goal. Is this the principle behind Weight Watchers?
We had a snow day yesterday- I was like a kid on Christmas morning-up before dawn checking the computer to see the list of cancellations and giving a resounding "WooHoo!" when I saw our district listed . Actually, it was more of an ice day- all the trees look pretty, but we need a thaw or we are going to be in some serious trouble. My heart goes out to the people of Oklahoma.
Just for fun, here's a holiday meme. Feel free to steal, as I don't want to unwittingly put pressure on anyone to use this - especially if it's just not your bag.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely the wrapping paper, although I always have a stash of gift bags. I'm kind of a paper freak, too- only choosing cute designs and I try to coordinate. I also buy separate wrap and hide it for the Santa presents. I am too cheap/semi "green" to throw away gift bags, so I save them and reuse them. I have family members who do the same and damn if I don't keep getting the ugly ones back!
2. Real tree or artificial? Real, real, real. I love the smell and my cat likes to eat it and then barfs chunks of it up for the first few days we have it up. (maybe that should be a reason NOT to have one, huh?) I have an artificial one, too that someone gave me. I put it in the dining room- I love the lights.
3. When do you put up the tree? We always buy it Thanksgiving weekend, put it up the following. I hate to have it up before December- just like air conditioning before June and the furnace before October.
4. When do you take the tree down? Once I tried to go all old-school and leave it up until Jan. 6, but by then, it was just depressing and the tree was downright crunchy. Can you say "fire hazard"? Right around New Years is when I usually take it all down. To get me through January, I do have "winter" decorations-snowmen and snowflakes and lights for the mantel. Otherwise, it's just too dreary.
5. Do you like eggnog? It's one of my favorite things. Spiked (with bourbon, not rum), unspiked, eggnog shakes from Whitey's Ice Cream, latte's, as coffee creamer. Yu-um. I also like eggnog candies and fudge.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hard to say. I think the year I got my own record player was a good one. I played the heck out of that thing.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have several. Lydia's got the Fisher Price one- very interesting, since baby Jesus was last seen riding in the back of a mini van-not in a child-restraint, I might add, with some woman (his nanny?), Santa was in the driver's seat, with an angel riding shotgun. I also have a tiny one that we had when I was a kid and a sparkly one I bought in Mexico and a more traditional one that the girls play with despite the fact that they have the Fisher Price one. It's all very Mr. Bean around here.
8. Hardest person to buy for?Mr. T, hands down. Every few years I do it right. The in between years he gets a sweater.
9. Easiest person to buy for? It's a toss-up between Lydia and my mother in law. Lydia loves everything and my mother in law needs so many things and is always so gracious about whatever she gets- it's fun to buy for her.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got? Pilsbury dough-boy utensil holder and spoon rest. Um..? It went straight to the white-elephant at my work Christmas party the next year.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I am all about the Christmas cards- I do a letter, too.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? hard to say. I love Elf and A Christmas Story, but White Christmas is a good one, too. I know It's a Wonderful Life has been played to death, but it's so sweet. Every snowstorm, I run out into the street at night and yell "Bedford Falls"! Yep, been doin it since college, when I was living up on the Tundra otherwise known as Northern Iowa. Brrrrr.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I don't think I ever STOP Christmas shopping. I'm always finding little things to put in my stash. I go full- on in about November.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Oh hell yes. See #10
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Almond-bark covered pretzels and the Ritz cracker peanut butter patties dipped in almond bark. I also like a candy cane- sucked to a dangerous pointy-point.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? big colored ones- the old fashioned kind that get hot and are probably a fire hazard.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Traditional:Silent Night always brings me to tears; also O holy night. Modern: All I Want for Christmas Is You (anyone seen Love Actually?)Least favorite? That damn Christmas Shoes song. Ugh.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, thank goodness. The holidays are stressful enough. We did go to Denver by train one Christmas- that was fun.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? of course! And Rudolph is not really one of them, no matter how sweet the show is. And on that note, I can't really watch that without thinking how much Rudolph looks like Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid ever since my college roomate pointed it out to me. Pretty much ruined the whole show for me.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have a sparkly, gaudy star.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? On Christmas Eve they are allowed to open one present, otherwise it's Christmas morning after breakfast. Santa and stocking stuff can be opened before breakfast, though.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The frenzy of doing doing doing and people not respecting others' wishes to cut back on social commitments.
23. What I love most about Christmas? The traditions, and the idea that during this season of darkness, people are still celebrating with song and presents and food and parties and genuine good cheer.