My friend Sarah just posted this Q&A. I like to read about how other people handle the holidays so here goes:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper.. I don't like storing the gift bags over the rest of the year.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial.. we have limited space and the artificial tree is more narrow at the bottom. I also always forget to water a real tree and then I worry about the giant dry fire hazard of a dead pine tree...
3. When do you put up the tree? Late in the month. I do all the other decorating first and then we have a special night with the kids and do the tree.
4. When do you take the tree down? First week of January.
(The perils of cutting and pasting.. #5 was missing!)
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm... I always got great gifts as a child.... We had a funny tradition of new socks and underwear, and my mom used to give me various kinds of gourmet chocolate... yum!
7. Do you have a Nativity scene? YES! I have dozens... they are handcrafted from all over the world, but they are a pain to set up. All our books have to be stored away so the bookcases are clear for them. We really play up Advent with our children.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Anyone who says they want gift cards... I hate exchanging gift cards and refuse to do it anymore. My policy is that I really don't care if someone wants to return my gift for the money, but we are going to go through the ritual of picking something out and wrapping it up.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Our own kids.
10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? All my Christmas gifts have been perfect! ;)
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, but I give myself a pass and this is the last thing I do for Christmas. My cards usually are Happy New Year cards. Just to get the word out: I love those photocopied newsletters about what you were up to this year! Please send those along! When we just get a photo, I always wonder what my out-of-town friends have been up to.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I cannot list one favorite movie in any category. I like A Christmas Story, Meet Me In St Louis, It's A Wonderful Life, Elf, The Nativity Story...(Actually, I can name one favorite movie in one particular category: My favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger movie is Conan the Barbarian...)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I get serious after Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Hmmm... maybe...;)
15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Treats! Endless treats! And the cheese fondue our friend John serves at his annual tree trimming party.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear, because our tree is pre-lit, but I like the colored lights best.
17. Favorite Christmas song or album? We have a Billboard Christmas album that is our favorite.. it's actually a cassette tape
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We stay HOME. Hooray!
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve and then the rest in a marathon on Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Everything happens all at once.
23. What is the “silliest” family tradition you do, or miss doing? When I was a kid, we had small family Christmases, so my mom made up some little traditions. The silliest was that we always baked an angel food cake and put our number 1 birthday candle on it and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? They are all great! I have to say that I think it is really boring in some upper class communities when they only put up tasteful white lights and green garland outside... I like color and some silly inflatable lawn ornaments!
25. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees? Homey all the way!
26. Gingerbread or sugar cookies? Gingerbread with lemon icing
I'm not in this photo. My spot is the empty place on the sofa. Happy Holidays!