December 16, 2006
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Both have their place. For egg nog, there must be brandy and nutmeg. And an expiration date clearly and prominently marked.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? As a child, we'd open gift-wrapped family presents on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas morning we'd find Santa's gifts stashed under and around the tree. Santa didn't bother wrapping. With our kids we did the same thing, except Santa delivered wrapped presents.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colors on the tree, and the picket fence is lined with white lights. A single electric "candle" is in each window.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nah, I'm a druid and I refuse to desecrate the sacred plant for a Christian holiday.
5. When do you put your decorations up? On the day after Thanksgiving I go into the attic and pull down all the holiday decorations. During the following week, my wife and the kids decorate while I'm at work and each night I haul boxes back up into the attic.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Liz makes a killer sausage stuffing, and we're collectively addicted to cranberry sauce, but the olde German in me insists that it's the mashed potatoes.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: One year Santa really outdid himself. On Christmas morning our gifts were laid out on a brand new ping-pong table. My brother got an HO-scale train set (which I fell in love with and sparked my lifelong fascination with model railroading). Even better, I scored a .22 bolt action rifle. Another is sitting down with Uncle Art and watching, back to back to back, multiple versions of A Christmas Carol. A television station where we lived did that every year, starting with the oldest available (1930's). Good times.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember but I was pretty young, maybe kindergarten or first grade. I do remember conspiring with my folks to keep my kid brother in the dark far longer than I was.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? All of 'em.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Regardless of the tree (we've had real and artificial over the years), and the lights (colored or all-white), most every ornament is special somehow. Some came from Liz's family tree, others we bought for the kid's special birthdays. We have several wooden ones we bought in a Christkindlmarkt in Perminsens, Germany, and we've made several ourselves. The only real sticky point about tree decorating is that Liz is a tinsel person and I prefer the icecikles (how the heck do you spell that?).
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it. I grew up in a climate without real weather. I relish each change of season.
12. Can you ice skate? Not anymore.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My wife got me one of those electric lightning balls several years before they became common. That was very cool and appealed to my inner mad scientist. As a kid, my Uncle Art gifted us with books. I still have a Rand-McNally World Atlas and a Moon-Flight Atlas from the mid-60's.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. Reflecting on the good things of the past year. Refreshing my soul by being cheerful to people, whether they appreciate it or not.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pecan pie (Liz makes the best I've ever had).
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? When it's time to open gifts, I sit on the floor and hand out presents one at a time to the family. Everyone gets to ooh and ahh over each other's gifts as we open them.
17. What tops your tree? An old, ratty, beat-up angel that might have come from Liz's Christmas tree when she was a kid. I love it.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving, without a doubt.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Al Jerreau's version of The Christmas Song. White Christmas. The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Anything I can sing along with.
20. Candy canes: Take it or leave it.
21. Favorite Christmas movie? The 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim. Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol. It's A Wonderful Life.
22. What do you leave for Santa? Dad, er, Santa prefers a Dewars on the rocks.
Posted by: JohnL at December 17, 2006 11:48 PM (F7yTR)
Posted by: mapgirl at December 21, 2006 12:25 AM (Uhavu)
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