Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Christmas Traditions

I saw this MEME last year and didn't get a chance to tag anyone or post anything. Here goes.....

My Christmas Traditions

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Mostly paper but I save bags and try to pass them along (especially the wine bags). I hate to wrap so I am always looking for easy ways to wrap up presents – bags, boxes, etc.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real…….LET ME SAY IT AGAIN, REAL! I love the smell of a Christmas Tree. I grew up on Noble Firs so I carry that tradition on. The last few years we’ve been driving a short distance from our house and picking out a pre-cut tree (rural farm land out in west Beaverton). I’ve never been into the tradition of cutting down my own. Too messy and usually too wet and cold!

3. When do you put up the tree/house decorations?
Usually it’s the second weekend after Thanksgiving. Since we have two trees in our house (Sandra’s in the family room and mine in the living room) we spent one Sunday afternoon decorating both trees and the entire house. I typically make turkey enchiladas (leftover Thanksgiving turkey) for the decorating party!

4. When do you take the tree/house decorations down?
Sometime between the 1st and 5th (Sandra likes a Christmas-free house for her January 5th B-day). It depends on when New Year's Eve falls as we typically like the trees up on NYE. I enjoy the outside lights as long as possible. Some people in our neighborhood leave them up until mid-January. I think it helps with every ones spirit after the holidays are gone.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes, and I really like fruitcake too.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I'm drawing a blank. All my Christmas memories are about Christmas Eve at my Grandma Virginia’s house in Eugene. I remember getting this electric “whirly bird” helicopter one year (age 7 or 8) and a doll head that you put make-up on and you could extend her hair and paint/cut it – it was a beauty parlor doll.

7. Easiest person to buy for?
It depends….some years I have great ideas and other years I struggle. Brian is usually the easiest.

8. Do you have a nativity scene?
No, Brian and I have a Christmas village (see above). We started collecting a “Dickens Christmas” about three years ago. Every year I buy one little thing to add to the scene.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail! For a few years we did a Christmas letter, then last year I did no letter and no card. I just ran out of time.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I can't think of anything that was that bad. All gifts are wonderful.

11. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Carol (1938) starring Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart, Leo G. Carroll, and Terry Kilburn. I watch it every Christmas Eve before Santa comes.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
October – this way I have three paydays to get everything I want. I usually start collecting ideas during the year and keep a log.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I don't think so. Re-gifting is kinda tacky. I can see passing off a gift card, but anything else is WRONG!

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Cookies! Sandra makes the peanut butter blossoms with the Hershey kisses. They are my favorite. The last two years, I've made Ina Garten's jam thumbprints.

15. Lights on the tree?
I like colored lights (I call my tree a “jeweled” tree). It usually has 700-800 lights, no joke!

16. Favorite Christmas song?
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland from the 1944 movie "Meet me in St. Louis"

17. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
Since I met Brian – I have been traveling to Seattle a few days before Christmas to spend about 5-6 days.

18. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Neither….well, I guess it is a star come to think of it, but not traditional looking. It’s bright red with gold glitter. It's got a huge crack in it and needs to be replaced. I've not been able to find anything I like.

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
As a child it was always Christmas Eve, but when my Dad married Rosemary – she converted us to Christmas morning. Now….I couldn't imagine opening anything on Christmas Eve (my Mom still does). I really enjoy cooking a nice dinner Christmas Eve so that you can eat left-overs on Christmas Day.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Lack of time……or the fact that it goes by so fast. Trying to savor every little moment. Christmas is ONE DAY A YEAR. My heart is usually "annoyed free".

21. Favorite ornament theme or color?
We call her the Christmas Bitch. She’s approximately 45 years old and has sat atop everyone of our Christmas trees. Last year was her last year (she's showing her age). I think this year we will have her as a table ornament and continue that as long as she stays together.

22. Favorite Christmas dinner?
Growing up, our Christmas Eve tradition was always Clam Chowder, but I haven't had this in years. When I met Brian, we started having Vegetarian Lasagna on Christmas Eve.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I always hope for more time with Brian. I pray for my family to be healthy.

24. Favorite Christmas Show or TV event?
It's a toss up between Charlie Brown and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Last year I watched Charlie Brown twice!

25. Favorite "new" Christmas Tradition (something you've experienced as an adult)?
Brian and I enjoy watching the Polar Express and drinking Bailey's Irish Cream on Christmas Eve.