I had a whole thing working here about the war between the decorating themes in our house, but it was boring and going nowhere. So I copied this list from Lora instead.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Oh wrapping paper. I love to wrap presents. When I was in college I had a stupid job at a department store in a suburban mall. It was great because they would hire me back every time I was home from break. They also had a gift wrap department. Between shopping on my lunch breaks and the gift wrap department, I probably gave half my paycheck back to the store. My gifts were the prettiest ones on Christmas morning though. I do appreciate a gift bag for things are too weird and awkward to wrap properly. There is plenty of tissue paper and charmy, dangly things to add to the beauty of the bag.
2. Real tree or Artificial? We always a real tree growing up and ideally that's what I like to have. Our first Christmas together (before we were married), Frank came home from work one morning with a surprise real tree for my tiny apartment. It was probably about 4ft tall and even at that height it brushed the ceiling. The past few years we've had a fake tree or none at all. This year our tree is fake and I have to admit, it's much easier and practical. We're leaving for our big vacation on Christmas day this year anyway. I want Bo to remember having a real tree though. Maybe next year we'll leave the fake tree in the shed and get a real one.
3. When do you put up the tree? The tradition I grew up with was we put the tree up on Christmas Eve. It evolved from my parents at first not being able to really afford a tree until the last minute when the tree guys were practically giving them away to not being organized enough to get a tree sooner than a few days before until it just became a tradition. My mom would make snacks and appetizers. We'd listen to Christmas music and act dumb while my dad fought with the tree. Every year with the hammer and the platform and the yelling. Every year hitting himself with the hammer at least once. Once the tree was up my mom and older sister would string the lights. Then we would all hang ornaments, my mom supervising to make sure they didn't end up all bunched up in one spot. It was such fun to unwrap all the ornaments that we'd made or collected as we grew up. That we'd forgotten about over the course of the year. Our tree is already up. My goal is to put it up by December 1st one year evenntually.
4. When do you take the tree down? This is the tricky part. And another reason why a fake tree is probably best for us. I'm not so good at taking the tree down. In past years I've left that dry ass fire hazard up until February or March. It's such a pain in the ass to take all the ornaments down and wrap them up and put them away. I hate that part. I'm really aiming for New Year's day this year. January 2 at the latest.
5. Do you like eggnog? Eggnog is one of those things that I try every year in the hopes that I will like it. It seems like something I would like. It never works though. I always hate it. We got some lactose free eggnog for the tree decorating and I actually liked it. First time ever.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Gosh. It's hard to pick my favorite. One year there was a Brook Shields head, the neck of which was set in a plastic star shaped tray. The tray had a makeup palette in it and we could put makeup on Brooke's face or style her hair. They were called Glamour Heads. That was a good present. Then there was the year I got a CD Walkman. I think I was in high school That was awesome. I wonder if they even make those anymore. Every year my dad would get a new board game and we would all sit around the dining room table after all the gifts were opened and play the game. That was the best thing I got every year.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have a porcelain ornament on the tree that has just Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Frank's mom probably gave it to us. There's a house a few neighborhoods over that has a life sized nativity scene on the front lawn and a leg lamp in the front window. Makes me laugh every time I drive by.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My boss. I have to get him a present because he gets me lots of big deal presents every year and we have a close relationship that warrants gift giving. He's a millionaire though. What do you get the person who already literally has everything and if he doesn't, buys 10 of whatever it is? I always end up getting him a book or something equally lame. I think I have a good idea this year though.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Frank. He loves presents. Although I suppose Bo is even easier. Tonight I gave him a paper bag to play with and it was seriously BEST TOY EVER!
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? I can't think of any terrible gifts I've received. I'm so easy. I love presents of any kind. Everything makes me happy.
11. Mail or e-mail Christmas card? I think I managed to send out cards one year, the first year we were married. Since then not so much. This year I've got photo cards ordered and will send them out. Hopefully by New Year my boy's smiling face will be wishing you joy and happy holidays.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I'm a sucker for the old movies. White Christmas might be my most favorite. Holiday Inn isn't technically a Christmas movie but I love that one too. The old A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sims (Simm?) is fantastic and so is the newish one with Patrick Stewart. Captain Picard makes a great Scrooge. I also love the Grinch - cartoon, not Jim Carrey. That guy is just creepy. And all the old nostalgia ones like Rudolf and Frosty. I tried to watch the Miser Brothers' Christmas the other day. Have you seen it? That one is just weird. Frank woke up from a nap on the couch in the middle of it and was totally confused. I was watching George Bailey go through life as if he hadn't been born the other night and then had a dream that I'd killed myself. No more Frank Capra for me for a while.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I start shopping on behalf of my boss ( for his kids and friends and girlfriend and her kids and friends) in early November. No matter how much I try to have him all done and sorted and ready, I'm inevitably putting the finishing touches on things right around the 24th. I fit my own shopping in here and there.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Of course! But not anything I've ever given you. I pick all of your presents out special.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Everything! My mom makes traditional Spanish cookies called rosquillos de huevo (help me out with the spelling here Belen. i know you're reading). They're sort of like little doughnuts and they're glazed with a honey citrus stuff. Mom only makes them at Christmastime because that's the tradition and because they're a ton of work. I don't know how to make them. I should probably learn. They are my favorite thing to eat at Christmas.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I like little white lights that do not blink. Frank likes colored lights that blink, the more seizure inducing the better. He also likes tinsel garland and all manners of junk on the tree. I like a tree that would look good in a department store. He wins this year. It seems more kid friendly anyway. Maybe one year we'll get two trees; a family tree covered in junk and a beautiful, perfectly matched and styled tree for me.
17. Favorite Christmas song? It's so silly but I like all the ridiculous ones like, "I Wanna Hippopotomous for Christmas", and "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas", and "Mele Kanikimaka". I also love the standards. Who doesn't love Nat King Cole singing about roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Have you ever had roasted chestnuts? Add those to the list of things I love to eat at Christmastime. My all time favorite might be "We Need a Little Christmas". Bo loves to hear me sing that one.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I went to California one year around Christmas but not specifically for Christmas. I've been in Miami with my boss on Christmas day and New Year's eve and New Year's day. This year we're going on a big family trip, the three of us and Frank's mom. I'm excited. It should be interesting.
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Did you know that Donner is Rudolf's dad? I never noticed that in the show until this year. Rudolf's family is the Donners and Donner is his dad. Santa even calls him Donner. Watch it again. You'll see.
20. Do you have an Angel on top or a star? We have a really great, old fashioned star on top. The silvery kind with lights in it? Yeah. Clark Griswold is jealous of my star.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Definitley Christmas morning. Frank has a hard time waiting to give presents and sometimes has to give me at least one.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? My crazy ass boss who I think believes I'm actually Santa. Also traffic. And the fact that it's dark at 4:30. That has nothing to do with the holidays I know, but it's this time of year. I just barely win my cage match against seasonal depression every year. The holidays actually help keep me sane. Well, the holidays combined with a vacation somewhere warm at some point between December and March.
23. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? Inflatable lawn crap. My neighbors have an inflatable nativity scene right next to an inflatable Santa roasting marshmallows with a couple reindeer. Weird.
25. Which looks best theme trees or homey trees? My personal aesthetic is theme tree but I'm really looking forward to a tree covered with ornaments of popsicle sticks and cotton balls and popcorn strings we make ourselves.
26. Gingerbread or sugar cookies? I love love love gingerbread. In man form or big hunks of the bread version. Delicious. Add that to my list of favorite Christmas foods too.
27. Do you like Fruitcake? I really do. I think it's delicious. When someone asks you, who eats this stuff? Now you know. I can't be alone. They make thousands and thousands a year. What? It's really good with coffee.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
He looks like a Who in Whoville, right? Would be such a better picture if you couldn't see the charger for the dustbuster. A dustbuster which I no longer have because I put it in the utility sink and then forgot about it and then ran the washer, which drains into the utility sink. But I still have the charger. I'm a few years away from my very own epidsode of Hoarders I think.