My sister posted this list of Christmas-related questions on her blog. For fun, I thought I'd answer them, too. There is, of course, some overlap. Like our shared Salley Grin, some parts of the gene pool are pretty deep.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I prefer to get the paper, but generally give the bags.
2. Real tree or artificial? Real. Hands-down. Usually a frasier fir, but years ago we used to go to a tree farm and cut down our own pine.
3. When do you put up the tree? The Saturday after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the week after Christmas.
5. Do you like eggnog? Like my sister, NO!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Lots of good stuff (I was spoiled), but none stands out. I did have pretty much all of the original "Star Wars" toys.
7. Have a nativity scene? Yes
8. Hardest person to buy for? Ann does the shopping. I hate buying for grown-ups in my family--it's hard to find something they want and don't have that I can afford. Same with buying for me. If there's something I really want, and it's not over $100 bucks, I probably already have it.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My step-Grandfather. I think we have given him a blue shirt for almost every major holiday of the past 15 years.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I've gotten some pretty lame dollar store coffee mugs from students. But any gift is cool!
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? This year we're sending a real card with a link to the blogs.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life. It's my favorite movie ever. George Bailey is the greatest hero in the history of film.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Again, Ann shops. But we don't get really geared up, budget-wise, until October.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so. That would be tacky.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I'll copy what Lori said--Used to be Grandmama's stuffing...now it's Aunt Linda's stuffing...someone probably needs to teach Ann how to make it eventually.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.
17. Favorite Christmas song? I'm not sure. I like the Manaheim Steamroller version of "Deck the Halls.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? OF COURSE. Can't everybody?
20. Angel on top of the tree or star? A crocheted Angel that Ann won at a church party when we were first married. She had the final pick in the gift exchange and picked it out of every gift available. And only I get to put it on the tree. There's also an elf with pipe-cleaner arms and legs that goes around the trunk just below the angel. Besides that, anybody can hang the ornaments.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? In our house, we'll have some kind of Christmas with in-laws, out-laws, divorced parents, family, friends, co-workers, or total strangers every day for at least a week. But we do our immediate family Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? It's OK now, but I hate Christmas songs on the radio before Thanksgiving (my FAVORITE holiday).
23. What I love most about Christmas? Two weeks off with my family. In some ways, it's even more welcome a break than summer vacation. Sorry, all you non-teachers!
24. Best Christmas dessert? Same as the best dessert at every family gathering--my Grandmama's "Yummy Chocolate Cake." It's been my favorite for my whole life.