My sweet friend, Mandy, emailed me the latest "get-to-know-your-friends" survey and she had the cutest answers. I figured rather than emailing my own answers out to everyone--since I know some SCROOGES out there hate reading that kind of stuff--I figured I'd post mine on my blog.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I like the convenience of gift bags, but they can be expensive. The majority of our presents are wrapped--besides, they're more fun to open...more mess, more noise!
2. Real tree or artificial?
I always swore I'd never have a fake tree. I loved the smell of a real one too much! But that was before I grew up and it was MY home and the problems that came with a tree became MY problems. We had a real tree for a couple years, but if the tree wasn't dying early, it was tipping over in the stand or leaking water on the carpet. In 2003 we switched to a fake tree accompanied by a pine-smelling candle and never looked back.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Christmas decorations are beautiful, but a lot of work. I put them up as early after Thanksgiving as possible so I can enjoy them for a long time.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Some time around New Years, although a couple years ago I had a lot going on emotionally and just wasn't "up" to all the work of taking down the Christmas decor and it was up an embarrassingly lengthy amount of time "post-holidays"
5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes! But we had some last night and it didn't sit well with me. How sad.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Hm...this is a tough one. I don't remember my gifts as much as all the wonderful traditions and feelings my parents created in my home. The gifts that stand out are my black-haired "My Child" doll, my party kitchen, my Barbie tent, and Phantom of the Opera tickets. These are all from different years, of course.
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, two. My mom gave us a perfect plastic AVON one that the kids play with every single day and my generous in-laws have been giving us the gorgeous Fontanini set piece by piece. It's become a tradition we truly look forward to each year. My mother-in-law writes a letter explaining why she picked that piece that year and it has become a treasured part of our Christmas Eve.
8. Hardest person to buy for?
9. Easiest person to buy for?
This year Brett was the easiest because I've been planning his gift for almost a year now. I can't wait---super excited for this one to be opened!!!
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
An ex-boyfriend stopped by my apartment (obviously in the single days) one night unexpectedly to give me a bar of soap that had a plastic duck inside of it (my bathroom was yellow rubber duckies at the time). Anyway, he said "I saw this and thought of you". It was really awkward because we hadn't been together for months and hadn't really even spoken and yet here he was on my doorstep. Wasn't quite sure what he wanted me to say...Thanks for the soap?
11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail--but for some reason I'm having a hard time finding the time to do them this year! I may end up sending out Happy New Year cards! What a loser...
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Watching The Polar Express with the kids
Watching Christmas Vacation with Brett
Watching The Christmas Movie with my parents
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I start looking for ideas and deals in October, but usually don't start buying until November. By the way, I'm a huge Black Friday fan!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes! But the best was my sister-in-law who accidentally gave the plate of cookies she'd just received BACK to the giver--it had a new tag and bow on it. She just forgot to tell my brother those people had given it to them, so when she sent him out to take treats to the neighbors, he unwittingly gave those neighbors their same plate to them. Funny!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
(OK...I had to edit this. The first time I answered it I misread it and thought it said "Favorite thing to SEE at Christmas" and I wrote "My kids". Ha ha!) Alrighty, back to business...My favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I'm a sucker for appetizers and on Christmas Eve I put a bunch out...you know, shrimp and cocktail sauce, crackers and dip, that kind of stuff.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
I'm a clear fan, although my friend Marlo got these adorable vintage-looking colored lights that were HUGE bulbs. It looked liked something from fifty years ago and I thought it was really neat.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
"Still, Still, Still" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
But I also love "Mary, Did You Know?" and "Breath of Heaven"
Being pregnant at Christmastime last year gave me the opportunity to really ponder the feelings Mary and Joseph must have felt about giving birth to the Savior of the world under those circumstances.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
I'm a major home-body at Christmas. I want to be able to do my own traditions.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?
Sure: Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Doc, Bashful, & my personal favorite, Dopey!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I have a big red bow with tails that cascade down the tree.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
One is opened on Christmas Eve (new PJ's) and the rest Christmas morning, usually early because I am too excited to sleep in!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
That Paul McCartney "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" song--I *HATE* that!
23. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme?
About 6 years ago I decided I wanted my tree to look very old-fashioned--something the pioneers would have done. So I bought unfinished wooden ornaments at Arn's in Vernal (I so wish we had something like that out here) and painted them all. They looked very folk-art. There were stars, hearts, snowflakes, and snowmen. I also made ribbons out of torn fabric pieces and bought red wooden bead garland. We also did popcorn garland, but just that one year because man, that is WORK! I had this cute rusty tin star I put on top that broke a year later. Anyway, I still have those ornaments, but now I also have a bunch my mom gave me from my childhood as well as ones the kids have made and my favorites are the ones we've collected from our travelling (some people collect spoons or thimbles...we collect ornaments. It makes it fun to hang them on our tree and recall the memories we've made on our vacations.)
This is such a great time of year! I hope everyone is enjoying the feelings of brotherhood and magic that the season brings!
P.S. I still want to learn how to make my blog cutesy! Please help anyone! (In English, please!)