Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Traditions

One of my online behavior policies is to never forward chain e-mails. Even if they are generally harmless or even good. This year I got one from a friend asking about Christmas traditions. So, to be a good sport without forwarding e-mails to everyone, I present the questions from the chain e-mail and my answers. All without clogging your inbox.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
It depends on the gift. I've used both. Gift bags have the benefit of not making it quite as obvious that I'm completely inept with ribbon. Wrapped boxes are more fun.

2. Giving or receiving?
Both. Isn't that the idea?

3. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial. Allergies are fun, kids!

4. When do you put up the tree?
The weekend after Thanksgiving. It corresponds to a long weekend. Since I live alone and still celebrate Christmas at my parents' house, I only put up my tree every other year or so. I have a wreath on the front door, another inside, and holly on the mantelpiece, so there is always some sort of decoration.

5. When do you take down the tree?
Either the weekend after Christmas or New Years weekend. Whichever is the first to correspond to a long weekend.

6. Do you like eggnog? Spiked or not?
Yes. I've never actually had it spiked that I remember.

7. Favorite gift as a child?
Judging by longevity, it would probably have to be Lego brand building bricks.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Pretty much everyone but me.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
See the previous answer.

10. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It's a pottery scene that was made in Bolivia and given to me by friends who went there on a mission team from my church. It's got llamas instead of sheep.

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Generally, mail. I try to follow the lead of whomever I am mailing. I've noticed that married guys are more likely to send Christmas cards than unmarried ones. And they tend to be signed in their wives' handwriting...

12. What's the worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Honestly, I have never gotten anything so bad that I actually remember it for being bad.

13. What's your favorite Christmas movie?
Ghostbusters. No, wait, Casablanca. OK, it's "A Christmas Carol."

14. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
October, usually. I made the mistake of waiting until after Thanksgiving last year, and I really, really don't ever want to get into that level of retail madness again.

15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas gift?
Not that I remember.

16. What's your favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Often I make fudge. It's a dead heat between raspberry chocolate and mint chocolate.

17. Are there lights on your tree?
All year 'round. The best part about artificial trees is not having to restring the lights every year.

18. What's your favorite Christmas song.
Oh Holy Night. Still, Still, Still is right up there too, and I listen to it on Christmas Eve every year after the Christmas Eve service before going to bed.

19. Do you travel at Christmas or stay home?
We usually travel just before or just after Christmas to see family. Christmas day itself is usually held at my parents' house.

20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Sure. There's a catchy song to help you remember 'em.

21. Is there an angel on top of your tree or a star?
An angel usually. There's a descending dove on the top of the family Christmon tree.

22. Do you open Christmas gifts on Christmas eve or morning?
Morning. In days past, if there was a bunch of stuff, we could open one gift from someone not family on Christmas eve.

23. What's the most annoying thing about this time of year?
Figuring out what to get people, definitely.

24. What's your favorite ornament theme or color?
I'm not sure. They must be like art: I can't tell what's good, but I can tell what I like.

25. What's your favorite food for Christmas dinner?
Mom's cranberry apple bake.

26. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I want to see you smile.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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