1. Wrapping or gift bags?
For every other gift-giving occasion, I will use a gift bag whenever possible. But for some reason at Christmas I feel like I should use actual wrapping paper. I usually try to find a day and just wrap all my presents at once and get it done.
2. Real or artificial tree?
Fake. I just don't want the sap and the needles and having to water it and everything that goes along with a real tree. So even though our artificial tree is pretty ugly, at least it's low-maintenance!
3. When do you take the tree down?
Sometime in January. I'm not in a big rush to be done with all the pretty lights.
4. Do you like egg nog?
Yuck! Nasty, slimy stuff. Does that answer your question?
5. Favorite gift received as a child?
A super-duper deluxe chemistry set. I remember a lot of happy times mixing strange concoctions with all those checmicals!
6. Do you have a nativity scene?
I used to. It was a beautiful little set that I bought my Christmas away from home. But it was fragile and I could never put it out for fear that the kids or cats would knock it down and break it. So at this time last year when a call when out to help someone in the neighborhood who had lost all their belongings due to some family problems, they specifically asked for Christmas decorations along with other items that were needed. I decided to pass along the nativity set. One of these days, I will get a new one.
7. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I believe I told you about the used socks. That was a great one. Santa also left me a Chia Pet in my stocking one year. That thing never did grow...
8. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail, though I'm not very good about it. I really need to get on the ball and send them out. I have the cards. I have pictures to put in the cards. I even have addresses for most of the people that I would like to send cards to. Yet I have done nothing about actually preparing and sending cards. I should get to that...
9. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Elf. Or A Muppet Christmas Carol. Hard to choose between the two. I try to watch both of them every year.
10. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I shop all year round, really. If I see something in March that will make a good gift, I will pick it up and store it away until December. I keep a running list on my computer so that I remember what I've bought come Christmas-time! I usually aim to have all of my Christmas shopping complete no later than Thanksgiving.
11. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
A big old turkey dinner with real mashed potatoes. Yum!
12. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear? What is this crazy talk? Colored all the way.
13. Favorite Christmas song(s)?
Barenaked Ladies version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
"Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains"
14. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We stay home at Christmas. As much as we love to go visit our families, we really enjoy just being at home for Christmas.
15. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star. No real reason for that, I guess. It's just what we have.
16. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
Christmas morning! When I was a kid we opened one present on Christmas Eve - it was always a new pair of pajamas. Then we put on our new jammies and went to bed. I'm starting that tradition with my kiddos now, too. Everything else must wait for Christmas morning.
17. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
That everyone is always so focused on having a white Christmas. I don't need a white Christmas - I would be fine with no white at all! I don't like snow.
18. What do you leave for Santa?
The kids like to make cookies for Santa. I remember as a kid that we would leave a pizza out for Santa. That sounds pretty good, too!
19. Least favourite holiday song?
Every version ever recorded of "Little Drummer Boy." I HATE that song.
20. Favourite ornament?
So many to choose from! My grandmother always gave each grandkid a special ornament each Christmas. So I have almost 30 special ornaments from Grandma that are carefully placed on the tree each year. But of those, I would have to say that the Bungee-Jumping Santa is my favorite. =)
21. Family tradition?
As soon as the Christmas lights start going up each year, the kids and I take some time (sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes a half hour or so) each night after I pick them up from daycare to drive around and look at all the light displays in the neighborhood. They love to spot the most lit-up houses and direct me this way and that to see everything.
We have also continued the tradition of special Christmas ornaments. My mom now sends ornaments to her grandkids and the kids each get to put their own ornaments on the tree.