Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Questionnaire

I know some people don't like these, but I think they're fun, so I'm doing it!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot Chocolate, but DH LOVES eggnog (bleh... I don't like rum flavoring!)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

When I was growing up, my parents set out our presents unwrapped. In the past, I've carried on the tradition, (Out of laziness! It's great NOT to have to wrap everything!) even though we don't really "do" Santa. Our kids get presents marked from Santa, but they all know where they really come from.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

White lights on evergreen garlands outside around the door and big window, white mini-lights on the house and tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

YES!!! We hang a big, artificial bunch over the arch between our kitchen and living room-- just like my mom always did! My 11yo son is TERRIFIED of being caught underneath it! And DH and I find ourselves under it quite often...

5. When do you put up your decorations?

Thanksgiving Day, or the day after! Dh is really not wanting to put up the outside lights this year, so we'll see if that happens this year.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?

Snacky-type foods like mixed nuts, Chex mix (a tradition in DH's family), crackers and cheeseballs, etc.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

When I was growing up, we lived less than a mile from my maternal grandparents. My mom was one of eight children, and everyone who could come (which was most of them!) would gather at Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. Grandma and Grandpa would pass out presents to the adults, and then to all the grandkids. Each family would perform some kind of talent (my favorite was the year my mom, siblings and I sang and signed "Silent Night") and then Grandpa would read the Nativity story while the grandkids acted out the parts. My grandma had costumes ready-made for each part, and whoever was the newest baby born (boy or girl) played baby Jesus. I still miss the noise, the chaos, the closeness, and the love of those Christmas eves!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Just after my 8th birthday, I caught a peek at my parents setting out the presents. My mom pulled me aside later and told me the truth. I felt so all-important and grownup, that I told my cousin who was 9 months younger than me and got in BIG trouble!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Yes! My mom, an excellent seamstress, usually makes PJ's for everybody, and we wear them to bed on Christmas eve. My Dh's family opens their presents to each other (the kids) on that night, too, so we also incorporate that tradition.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

As a girl, I used to have dreams of decorating a huge, elegant, glorious tree when I became a grownup, but I've discovered that the construction paper nativity and popsicle-stick ornaments my kids make are much more precious to me than anything really fancy. My mother also still carries on the tradition of giving each one of her children a new ornament each Christmas, so I have lots from my childhood, as well as from recent years.

11. Snow: Love it or Hate it?

I grew up in the wintry north, and have NEVER liked it! I don't miss it one bit!

12. Can you ice skate?

When I was a teenager, I had fun going ice skating with friends. I wouldn't dare attempt it now! (And I can't ski worth a darn! See why snow has no appeal?!)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

One year, my Aunt Linda's family had our family for our gift exchange, and she had made me a beautiful cloth baby doll (plastic head and hands), complete with the most beautiful dresses and layette. (She was an amazing seamstress, too!) I still remember what that doll smelled like. I was sure that no real baby could smell sweeter!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

The euphoric feeling in the air, the way people smile at each other more, the bell-ringers and how every person hands them SOMETHING, the heaping donation boxes, the songs and how everyone knows every word and melody of them all. To me, every part together adds up to the Spirit of Christ, and I think it permeates the entire season. I LOVE CHRISTMASTIME!!!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Divinity-- my grandmother's is, well, DIVINE! Unfortunately, I've never been able to get mine to work right!  

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

The first year we were married, my Grandma gave us a Christmas devotional booklet she had put together in RS. It begins on December first, and each date has a song to sing, a scripture to read, and then is followed by the story of the day. We use it every night, every year, and we never get tired of hearing the stories! It includes things like "The Gift of the Magi," and other great tales from sources like "Especially for Mormons" and "Out of the Best Books." My Dh also reads aloud "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" to all the kids, and I read aloud "A Christmas Carol." (Not all in the same night, obviously!) We love stories at our house!

17. What tops your tree?

Used to be an angel, but now we have a golden star that is lit with tiny lights.

18. Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving?

When I was a kid, it was receiving, of course. But now, I love to find the absolute perfect gift for someone, and know that they adore it! Seeing my children open their gifts Christmas morning is my favorite gift!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

"Candlelight Carol" is gorgeous. I love singing it in a women's quartet. "Lo, How A Rose 'Ere Blooming" is beautiful when a full choir performs it. (The Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Renee Fleming is the BEST!) And I believe every Christmas program should end with "Silent Night." Someday, I'd love to sing it with a guitar accompaniment, just as they did the first Christmas it was used. Oh, and Christmas just isn't right without "The Messiah!"

20. Do you like candy canes?

Yes, especially if they're a variety of flavors. Cinnamon is my favorite! But mint ones are best for stirring into hot cocoa. Yum!

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