(Note to Lori: I hope you don’t mind me borrowing these from you — I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately, and these are fun and have actually gotten me writing again . . . )
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? This is tough! I love chocolate with a passion, but egg nog is a once a year treat. But don’t mess it up by adding whisky (or whatever the heck kind of firewater it is people insist on putting in it) . . . it’s supposed to be creamy and sweet and smooth, like a dessert in a cup, with a dash o’ nutmeg.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?Gifts from Mom and Dad were wrapped, gifts from Santa were sitting under the tree.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?I’ve had both, but I prefer white lights outside and on the tree. They make me think of stars in the winter sky, or maybe little ice crystals.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?Helloooooo? Of course!
5. When do you put your decorations up?Usually not until the second week of December. My husband’s birthday is the 4th, and we usually don’t do anything until after celebrating his birthday. We’ve always had fresh-cut trees until this year. Tree prices have gone up (due, like everything else, to increasing fuel costs) and so we decided to get one of the pre-lit artificial ones. I have mixed feelings in that it’s a lot more convenient to decorate, but I do like the whole “hunt for the perfect tree” thing.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?How can I exclude dessert???? Stupid question. Honestly, this kind of question relates more to Thanksgiving in my mind. We don’t always have the same things on Christmas, so there’s nothing I look for EVERY year. For Thanksgiving, the answer would be Indian Corn Casserole. For Christmas, it has to be a dessert because there’s nothing else to think of: fudge and/or divinity.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?As much as I love cold weather, I loved the two Christmases I spent in St. Croix (we lived there for 14 months). I was not quite fifteen the first Christmas, and I remember going in all these little gift shops with the coolest Christmas ornaments with tropical themes. We have handpainted ceramic fish and palm trees, tiny little wooden angels hardly bigger than pencil erasers, round balls covered with seashells . . . the weather was beautiful, in the breezy 70’s (too funny to see down islanders wearing sweaters because it was “cool” that time of year). I remember going snorkeling on Christmas Day, not because we were on vacation, but because it was something to do (like playing tag football in the front yard on Thanksgiving stateside). I loved it. I miss it.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?Honestly, I don’t think I ever remember “believing” in Santa Claus. I think I’ve always known that it was just something fun that we pretended. I’ve taken the same attitude with my own daughter from the beginning and for this reason: Telling a child that a fat man in a red suit comes down the chimney only to tell the child later that this is all “pretend” (a) sets the child up to doubt your word and (b) causes confusion when you try to teach the child that there is an almighty powerful God who created everything and cares about us, but we can’t see Him. “So Mom – what’s the difference between Santa and God? Why should I believe there’s a God, when you told me there was a Santa, but now you say there’s not???? Hmmmm????”
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?Not traditionally, but my husband has started this weird little tradition of his own – he takes one of my gifts from him to each place we visit and gives it to me there to open. So I open one gift at his mom’s, one at his dad’s, one at my mom’s, one at our friend’s, and whatever is left I open on Christmas morning. So opening my gifts takes three or four days, rather than a couple of hours.
10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?Usually a random assortment, depending on what mood strikes that year. Santa (AJ) is not picky about his sugar fix, as long as a big glass of milk comes with it.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?Love snow. Last Christmas was the most awesome Christmas “gift” we’ve ever had. Seriously, I’m 41 years old and that’s the third time it’s snowed here and the first time on Christmas. While I like to be properly dressed for the weather, I love the cold and either a soft, fluffy grey cloud sky or crystal blue sky. There’s something incredibly invigorating about the iciness in the air that makes me feel so alive. Everything seems clean and new – I do so hope that there are seasons and beautiful winter days in Heaven.
12. Can you ice skate?Can I walk across a room without running into something? Nooooooo!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?When AJ and I first got married, he bought me a globe and gave me the world. I’ve always thought that was a pretty darned romantic thing to do. A couple of years ago, he remembered how much I liked a certain Lamp Berger in a gift shop in Lake Jackson – I was so surprised when he gave it to me for Christmas. A very lovely and extravagant gift, for sure!
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?Being with my husband and my daughter. All the rest is secondary.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?Well, I mentioned fudge/divinity up above. But those are more like candy, so as far as dessert goes – I make an awesome “yule log”: chocolate cake made from scratch rolled around a filling of sweetened condensed milk, chopped pecans, and coconut. Pretty incredible edible stuff.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?Waking up each Christmas morning in our own home. We made a rule that once we had a child, we would always be home for Christmas morning. And so far we’ve not broken our commitment to that.
17. What tops your tree?A beautiful angel made out of paper doilies, construction paper, and sequins – Jami made it when she was in kindergarten.
18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving?Do I have to choose? They both are so much fun!
19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol?“What Child Is This?”
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?I like “Bob’s” brand traditional peppermint candy canes. Although, I have to say, they are getting more and more difficult to find. What’s with all the weird flavored junk?????? I don’t want blueberry flavored candy canes. That’s just not natural.