2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Both, though I don't usually get egg nog unless I'm at someone else's house. I'm the only one who likes it here. And I just realized, damn it, I forgot to have some at my writers chapter party today.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Wraps, to the detriment of my back. Or the delight of the UCP people who wrap at the mall for a donation.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I like both. We have a computerized set of mini colored lights my husband bought when he was a junior in college. Those go on the tree. The ones outside are red, blue, white, and green, but in groups. Like, a string of all blue. My husband likes symmetry.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No. I like the idea of it, but more for a party where there'd be lots of singles, and then that opportunity for the person who likes the other person but never had the nerve to say it to kiss that person and blame it on the mistletoe.
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Usually the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, outside. The first or second weekend in December inside, when we get the tree.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
I don't really have one, though my husband (we're getting a lot of our traditions from him, I realize) has this recipe (politically incorrectly and even impossibly named Jewish Pizzas) that we always make on New Year's Eve, like his family did growing up. They are on the party rye (I prefer the pumpernickel) and it's a sausage-cheese mixture on top.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
My aunt (mother's sister) always had an open house on Christmas Eve. It was mostly my uncle's family, who I rarely saw the rest of the year, but it made up for my mother's family being so scattered (and we usually still saw them at some point in December, making the holidays stretch). We ate great food (my aunt's chicken wings! that's my favorite holiday dish!) and laughed at the stupid adults and hovered around the Christmas tree with the bubbler lights until we could pass out the presents, which was almost more fun than actually opening them.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was about nine, and just gave in to all the pressure (from my peers insisting he wasn't real) and asked.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No, unless we're doing an event at someone else's house. My husband (there he is again!) never had Christmas Day at home growing up. Every year on Christmas Eve his father would forget his wallet after they were all in the car to go to church, then he'd go in and get it. They'd come home from church and Santa would have been there already, 'cause he knew they had to go to Toledo the next day for the family visits. So he's ADAMANT that we have a regular, at-home Christmas on actual Christmas Day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Lights and ornaments only. It's stuff we both made as kids and collected as adults mixed with stuff our kids have made and other people have made for us. My favorite ornament is a ball my mother had wen I was a baby in England. Her mother gave it to her 36 years ago.
I used to like tinsel, but then I got my own place and had to clean up after it. You know, until JUNE.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it, almost without exception. In central PA, there's never been a snow that I could not drive in. Probably SHOULD not, but I grew up in Western Massachusetts, where we got Snow. Here, they close schools the night before, even if there's a slim chance we'll actually get the forecasted white stuff. Drives me nuts. Anyway...I don't like shoveling it in February, but I still love to see it falling. I am ready for spring when it arrives, but I never, ever lament the winter.
12. Can you ice skate?
Some. I can rollerskate/blade very well, but haven't ice skated since I was little. I lived on a lake until I was seven, and skated then, but not after that very much until my senior year of high school. I was on my senior trip at Smuggler's Notch in Vermont, and coming out of the pool through the revolving doors, some asshole shoved the door and it ran over the ball joint of my foot. Turned purple IMMEDIATELY and was all bloody. So trying to skate in the resorts hard plastic rentals was painful.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
As a kid, it was my bike when I was 8, my stereo when I was 15. Jim gives me great stuff every year, and I can't pinpoint a favorite. He's gotten me printers for my birthday twice, which almost counts because that's 12/23.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Peace. Which is kinda weird, because with the struggle to decorate and shop and wrap and cook and run from one house to another and clean up AFTER unwrapping and worrying about missing someone important on the gift list and (ocassionally) sending cards and battling crowds...well, the holidays are about anything BUT peace.
But when I drive down a street in the dark and it's lined with carefully lit houses, I'm at peace. When my kids are playing with their new presents and I'm talking to my family in Ohio or Texas on the phone, I'm at peace. When I sit in the living room by myself and watch the lights go through their programmed blinking, I'm more at peace than anywhere, any time.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Don't have one! Though I do like peppermint ice cream that's only available now. :)
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My kids don't follow the typical wake-Mom-and-Dad-screaming-Santa-was-here! scenario. They let us sleep until nine, or whenever they're done decorating the living room. This event has grown every year. This year they've already spent hours and hours preparing their decorations, which Number One has declared are SO much better than last year's lame snowflakes and giant cut-out Merry Christmas on the living room wall.
17. What tops your tree?
A santa hat we bought the first year we had an apartment together. On Christmas morning, whoever passes out the presents wears it.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
I like them both equally. I love giving IF I know exactly what to give and can be excited about it. I like getting so I can make the person giving very happy by loving my gift.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Funny: The Twelve Pains of Christmas ("fine, you're so smart, YOU rig up the lights!")
Not Funny: Christmas Eve/Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I missed their concert for the first time in seven years and that makes me sick to my stomach. Their music ROCKS. Literally.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
I tag: Anyone who wants to do it...no pressure. :)