Above is my SIL and the table she decorated and hosted
This is the table where I was assigned
Now - on to the meme:
- Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate hands down. I love it with whipped cream instead of marshmallows. I like egg nog flavored taffy, but that's about it.
- Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Everything has to be wrapped. When the kids were little, they would count packages every day and compare. One year I numbered the packages and kept a list, so they didn't know which was whose. It was so much fun to watch them discover what I had done. One year we had a scavenger hunt all over the house.
- Colored lights or white?
Colored. I like the white ones on others' trees, but I like color myself.
- Do you hang mistletoe?
Ever since I discovered the mistletoe growing at the tops of the trees in Oklahoma and that it was a parasite, it lost any romantic appeal it might have had.
- When do you decorate for Christmas?
I used to do it the day after Thanksgiving, but am not as structured any more - or I don't have kids around keeping me going. I do it in bits and pieces the last few years. I have a real mess in my family room right now. DC says he's never seen it this bad in all these years! I hope to have it done soon.
- What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert?
That is a tough one. We don't have set in stone traditions on food, as we do for Thanksgiving. We often have had Swedish potato sausage, which the kids didn't like, but Grandpa made it, so we had to have it. I still like turkey and the trimmings, or ham. But there are so many yummy things.
- Favorite holiday memory as a child?
How in the world do I narrow this down? We had cousins in Africa as missionaries, so seeing them every four years at Grandma's house was so special. We traveled long distances to be in Minnesota through horrid storms, and those memories are unforgettable. I have many wonderful memories, but probably my most memorable Christmas was 9th grade, when I was in bed for a month with mono. I was down flat two weeks before Christmas and two weeks after. I was so sick that I still can't eat some of the things my mom baked that year. I was supposed to play the piano for the 9th grade choir concert at school that year and didn't get to. That was a huge disappointment. It took me a year to get my strength back. Another definite memory - my sis and I are less than a year apart in age. We always go the same things for birthdays and Christmas, maybe a different color. We got to where we'd sit with our backs to each other and open them at the same time so we wouldn't know what we were getting if the other one opened first.
- When and how, did you learn the truth about Santa?
Santa was never a part of our lives as kids, and we passed that along to our kids. I am going through this with Kristen's kids right now - I think Anakin is at the point of realizing that it's a huge myth, but he doesn't want to give it up yet. He keeps asking me why I don't believe in Santa. I decided I don't want to get into it with him!
- Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Both DC and I were raised with Christmas Eve gift opening. That made it easy to mesh our customs. But some years we have several different gift opening occasions, so the fun goes on and on.
- How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
I actually have two trees. I sometimes wanted to put the tree in the window in the living room. The kids always wanted it in the family room so they could snuggle on the couch and watch the lights. It was always a real tree. So when they left, I bought an artificial tree and it became my designer project. It has blue and white lights, blue and gold balls and bows, and gold poinsettias. It's a lot of work, but I love the end result. The one in the family room is full of memories. Our first Christmas was 3 days before our first anniversary. We had 6 dozen blue satin balls on our white flocked Christmas trees (instead of flowers) for our wedding. That was all we had on our first tree together. I began giving away a box each year to friends and loved ones, and replacing it with a new box of balls. We also had one really special ball each year, usually dated. One year we came home from a band concert and found our tree had tipped over, shattering many of our balls, including our very first "special" ball. That was sad.
- Snow. Love it or hate it?
Growing up in Minnesota, it was always a part of winter that we didn't even think about. I love it to look at, especially at Christmas time. I don't like driving in a storm, or the ice mess it leaves on the streets. But I love a beautiful, soft, falling snow. I don't like it when it is blowing parallel to the ground!
- Can you ice skate?
When we lived in International Falls, Minnesota, it was something every kid did after supper at night. Everyone threw their skates over their shoulders and headed for the neighborhood rink. I hate cold feet, but to be in the crowd, I had to play the game. I spent most of my time in the warming house. I wouldn't call what I do skating, but I did manage to stay on my feet most of the time. But I LOVE watching good ice skating.
- Do you remember your favorite gift?
The year I had mono was probably the most difficult Christmas my folks had experienced in years, financially. The next year was so much better that my sister and I each got large blue suitcases filled with clothes. That was a really special gift.
- What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?
Celebrating Jesus' birthday; celebrating with family and friends; remembering the Reason for the Season.
- What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Aanything chocolate, I suppose.
- What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I have thought about this a lot today and I think I have to say it is singing in the cantata every year. I absolutely love singing with a group of people and putting together a series of music - starting from scratch and having it turn out beautifully.
- What tops your tree?
My family room tree doesn't have anything on top - it's too tall. I've never had a traditional tree topper for some reason. The one upstairs has a big gold bow, which tops it off perfectly.
- Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
I really enjoy getting something special for someone and watching their reaction. I love getting gifts, of course, but I have a hard time telling people what I want. I wish I were more creative and patient to make special things for people as I used to.
- What is your favorite Christmas song?
That is a hard one. I love so many - Carol of the Bells, Little Drummer Boy, Do You Hear What I Hear, all the traditional carols, but I think Josh Groban's and Sandy Patti's versions of O Holy Night top them all. I wish I could hear them do it as a duet! We could do a whole discussion of horrible songs that pass as Christmas songs.
- Candy canes. Yuck or yum?
I'm not fond of candy canes. I love the legend of how they came to be, though.