Twenty Questions about Christmas?

My Teacherly Internal Alarm clock woke me at 5:30 this morning and refused to let me go back to sleep (funny, really, because on a normal school day I’d have ZERO TROUBLE falling back asleep) and I’ve got a ticked-off stomach to boot,  so instead of sleeping in on this, my first day of Christmas break, I’m burning CDs and trying to clear out my backlog on Google Reader. That, and writing really long sentences to start blog entries.

I saw this holiday meme on Mrs. Chili’s blog about a week ago and decided it seemed like a good idea, so here goes…

1. Hot chocolate or apple cider? Usually cider – and this time of year, more often than not, it’s cider mixed with Theraflu. But I like cocoa, too.

2. Turkey or Ham? I love a good piece of ham, but don’t get it very often because Ryan has some sort of personal ham embargo going on (mysterious to me, because he’ll eat pork and bacon – just not ham). If we’re talking “what I have for Christmas dinner,” I grew up with a Christmas roast encircled by Yorkshire pudding.

3. Do you get a fake or a real, you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree? Like Mrs. Chili, my family has always gone hunting for trees – and up until this year, when my parents moved to a house without vaulted ceilings, ended up with some pretty goliath evergreens. These last few years, Ryan and I have gone the artificial tree route just for the convenience factor. When we have kids I’d like to revert to a free-range tree.

4. Decorations on the outside of your house? I love Christmas lights, but most years we don’t get around to it.

5. Snowball fights or sledding? I like to watch (and egg on) snowball fights. I don’t like getting snow on me, though. Snowflakes, sure – but not masses of snow.

6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping? Of course – especially if you’ve got a quaint little “old town” part of downtown, which my city doesn’t, really. I’m actually going downtown shopping today if my belly will cooperate.

7. Favorite Christmas song? The answer to this used to be “O Holy Night,” but this year I’m feeling strongly about “Adeste Fidelis.” If you count secular songs as a separate category, I’d say “Sleigh Ride” is way up there. I’m a big TSO fan, and “The Wisdom of Snow” is a definite “obscure” favorite.

8. How do you feel about Christmas movies? They’re sort of a must-have, don’t you think? We always watch “The Christmas Gift” because we used to live near the town where it takes place. I’m a big fan of the Peanuts one, and Rudolph, of course. Not a fan of “A Christmas Story” except on stage.

9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music? Our local drippy-music station changes to an all-Christmas format on the day after Thanksgiving (or maybe it’s Thanksgiving, and I just don’t listen to the radio that day?) and that seems about right for me. We tend to start the Christmas season that day; it’s usually the day we reserve for tree-hunting. It really bothers me to see Christmas decorations or hear Christmas music in stores before Halloween… to everything a season, right?

10. Stockings before or after presents? After. It’s kind of the dessert.

11. Carolers, do you or do you watch and listen to them? I’ve been caroling a few times, and was invited to go caroling with two different groups this year; I guess I was too chicken to admit how uncomfortable it makes me, so I just blew them both off. 😦 I don’t feel like a strong enough singer to be in a small ensemble with easily recognizable songs. If a caroler comes to my house, of course I’ll listen to them – but again, it’s kind of an awkward feeling, isn’t it? Doesn’t come up too often around my neighborhood, though.

12. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you? Most years, Ryan and I don’t even see our house from early on the 24th until late on the 25th – and our parents don’t even live out of town! I figure that once we have our own family we’ll start rearranging things.

13. Do you read the Christmas Story? For having a very literate family, we do very little story-reading of any kind at Christmas. It’s probably because there are no children in the family. We do go to Christmas Eve service, though, and they read the Christmas Story, if that counts.

14. What do you do after presents and dinner? There isn’t really an “after” anymore. We don’t really have a downtime on Christmas because we go to two different houses on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Not complaining.

15. What is your favorite holiday smell? I love the smell of fresh Christmas trees, the smell of fireplaces… The smell of coffee cooking on Christmas morning reminds me of all my childhood Christmases.

16. Ice skating or walking around the mall? Oh my goodness. I mean, the mall is a necessary evil this time of year, I guess, but we’re talking Festive Hell on Earth here. It’s been a while since I’ve been ice skating, but I always liked it.

17. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?  Growing up, we often opened one on Christmas Eve.

18. Favorite Christmas memory? Grammy would always come over on Christmas Eve and spend the night. Meredith and I would wake up early on Christmas morning, and sometimes Grammy would already be awake, and sometimes we’d steal into her room and wait for her to wake up. We’d go into the living room, the whole house still dark. I can hear her walker in the hallway. We’d turn on the Christmas tree lights and reverently admire the gifts that had mysteriously appeared under the tree, around the tree, up on the piano bench. I’d go start a pot of coffee (see question #15) and then we’d all three sit on the couch in front of the tree, drinking coffee (Grammy and myself), dozing off, trying to will Mom and Dad awake, talking quietly about – I don’t even know what. Then, after forever and ever, we’d hear the sounds of Mom and Dad getting up, and they’d come in and get coffee. Meredith and I would have waited for them, wanting them to have the chance to see the Christmas tableau, and then Mom would encourage us to check out the unwrapped Santa presents (a stuffed animal or doll), and then we’d all be in the room, in our pajamas and blankets, and Christmas morning would begin.

19. Favorite Part about winter? Scarves and gloves.

20. Ever been kissed under mistletoe? Yes.

Happy Monday!

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