Shamelessly stolen from Old Lady Pen Pal (a really cool lady from my beloved knittyboards).
Christmas Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Can't I have both? I love egg nog, but real egg nog, not that bottled stuff from the store. Mother's gonna make a huge bowl of real egg nog on Christmas, with likker to be added in individually, since the boys certainly can't have any, and my sweetie is a big baby about liquor (HATES it. SO not the Irishman one would expect.). I also love hot chocolate, and it's even better with a hefty shot of Bailey's Irish Cream in it. Yum!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa doesn't wrap, generally speaking. Therefore, in our house, Santa provides all the weirdly-shaped shit, and MomMom & Da provide things that are relatively easy to wrap. The boys haven't caught on yet...
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Coloured lights, to be sure. Someday I'd love an all-white tree, but while the kids are little, the more colour, the better. It's part of the magic of childhood.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, primarily because I can never find/afford the real stuff, and the fake stuff just looks so plasticky and fake. I'm not a big fan of fake, if I can help it. Besides, I get tons of smooches every day, regardless of the season.
5. When do you put your decorations up?
The day after Thanksgiving!! I absolutely love the Christmas season, and can't wait for it to start. I also don't get tv (no Christmas commercials, no Christmas specials, no Christmas movies/tv shows/parades/whatever), and don't work in retail (no Christmas songs on the Muzak 24 hours a day), so the Christmas season isn't shoved down my throat like it is for other people. If I want to really get into the season, I have to manufacture it myself, and it doesn't wear me down as fast as other folks. If I start right after Thanksgiving, then by the time Dec. 27th or so rolls around, I'm happy to take down the tree & put Christmas away till next year. If I waited till closer to the 25th to start, I wind up feeling ripped off & sad when Christmas is over, like I didn't get enough. This way suits me just fine.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Excluding dessert??? Gosh, that narrows it down...I'm all about the desserts! Well, I make a Boursin cheese that really rocks (we do a cheese & cracker board for most of the day at my mom's house, and then a dinner in the evening). Mom usually gets this incredible smoked Mozzarella that's really good, too. I sometimes make a ham with a maple rum glaze that I really love, and mother's onion dill rolls are awesome. Um, but we're mostly about the desserts...pies, fudge (several different kinds, all made by me), cookies, etc. Yum.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Snuggling up on the couch after the presents were all opened, & going through the contents of the stocking. I'd pull a blanket over my lap, and carefully lay out each item one by one. There was always a box of chocolate covered cherries (made by Brachs, before the bastards quit making them. Grrr.), and you had to be careful that they wouldn't get all melty in your hand, since the fireplace was usually going. I miss having a fireplace!!
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I was about six, and my evil older sister told me. She even dragged me halfway down the stairs to spy on my parents setting stuff under the tree. It really crushed me...
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yep! Even before I had kids, I kept that tradition. It's nice for the kids, as it helps to lessen the spastic excitement about the next day, and it's also a nice incentive to help shove 'em into bed afterwards. Heh.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
It's really eclectic. It's just lights & ornaments, no garland or tinsel (tinsel's dangerous for the cat). Each ornament has a story, though, and I adore every one of them. I only hung one or two ornaments myself...the boys & their Da hung all the rest. As a result, it's not very evenly spaced, but whatever, they were proud as heck to do it. Someday, when the kids are older & out of the house, and we have a real house of our own, I hope to have one main big tree, and then lots of smaller trees throughout the house, with goofy themes. My sweetie will get a tree in his studio with all his drum ornaments, and all the music related ones, and probably all the freaky Star Wars ones too (yes, we have a crapload of Star Wars ornaments on our tree. Not really what I'd think of when I think Christmas, but then, I'm not a guy, so whatever). I'd like a tree just for all my Disney ornaments, and a little teeny tree in my knitting corner with lovely yarn garland, and tiny knitted mitties & socks, and little bitty sheeps. Yeah. That would be nice.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it, now that I live in town. Back when I lived on the farm & had to do chores in all that stuff, I HATED it. It's hard work to slog through three feet of snow & chase horses! Now, I really like to look at it out the window, though I still don't like to be in it very much.
12. Can you ice skate?
Heck no! That requires waaaay too much skill & coordination.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
My most favoritest recent gift was last Christmas...my beloved husband, who takes great pride in his shmoopie-ness, picked out the most perfect chair for my knitting corner, and a lovely bright lamp to go with it. I LOVE the chair...it's the perfect colour, and the style is so very me. More than that, though, I love the thought behind it. See, I already had a chair (a crappy little one that did the job, but wasn't terribly comfy or attractive), but he knew how much I enjoy things like knitting, so he wanted me to have a tiny little sanctuary to do my thing in. It was just about the sweetest, most thoughtful thing ever. He's pretty darn good at stuff like that. He also helped the boys make a nice pile of lovely bookmarks for me last year, too. The boys coloured all kinds of pictures on both sides of strips of construction paper, and dh laminated them. I use those bookmarks ALL the time, and I really treasure them.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
The magic of it. That general feeling of old, old magic, a special, intangible sparkle that's almost timeless, and makes you warm in the darkest days of winter. More importantly, passing that magic on to my children, with their big wide eyes and open, believing hearts. Also, it's the one time of year that it's okay to spend money on things for my loved ones (we're REALLY poor, so extra money is rarely spent on gifty things). It's so much fun to do that for my husband!
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Um, yes. All of them. Ahem. Really, I love my own Christmas cookie recipe a lot. It's not too sweet, and flavored with nutmeg, and makes the best cutouts. I made some this weekend, and they're almost all gone already. I also make several really good varieties of fudge (my peanut butter fudge is like crack...it's a wonder I'm not 400 pounds by now), and though I don't make it often, my caramel recipe is to die for.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Wow, I don't know...I like them all! I love getting up Christmas morning & watching the boys as the come into the living room. Their eyes get so huge! I love bundling up the family & taking a long, leisurely drive through town late at night & looking at all the Christmas lights. I love decorating the tree, and hanging the wreaths, and listening to Christmas carols while I clean the house (don't so much love the cleaning the house part, though). I love hauling the kids & the presents for my parents down to the farm on Christmas Day, and snuggling with my hubby in front of the fire there, and seeing my mom's face when she opens whatever weird stuff I've made for her that year. (This year it's the alpaca sweater, and ooooh, I hope she likes it!!) Yeah, I pretty much like all of our traditions.
17. What tops your tree?
A lovely porcelain angel in a burgundy dress, with golden wings & dark brown hair. The only thing I would change if I could is to give her darker skin, so she'd look more like us, but whatever. It's not a big deal, and she really is awfully pretty.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
I like both equally. I adore giving things to those I love, especially things I made by hand & worked really hard on. It's like a physical representation of my love for them. Sappy, but true. I'm also not so stupid that I don't like receiving, especially from my parents. Mom has fabulous taste, and often picks out things that she knows we'd otherwise never have because we can't afford such luxuries. I've gotten so many cool kitchen things from her! Dad has the most wonderful, if completely bizarre, taste in books, and always gets the COOLEST books ever for me. Most of the time, it's titles I've never even heard of, but really suit me. My husband, like I said, has a major gift for choosing the sweetest, most thoughtful things possible.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Carol of the Bells, if it's done by a really good a cappella choir. Gabriel's Song, by Sting, also. I tend to prefer classical tunes, rather than pop tunes, and pretty much anything made/written since the 50s annoys me after one hearing.
20. Candy Canes… Yuck or Yum?
Yum! Especially the multicoloured cherry flavoured ones! Mmmmm...