04 December, 2008

Christmas meme!

Mija posted this meme on her blog, and I thought it would be a handy way of getting some kind of post up here while in the middle of the utter chaos of moving. Enjoy!






1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Gift bags--fabric ones I make myself. Partly, it's environmental, partly, it's easier to wrap things, and partly, it gives me an easy way to use those great holiday themed fabrics at the fabric store. I just need to make enough of them that I'm willing to let people keep them!

2. Real tree or artificial?
I broke down and got an artificial tree last year, when the cost for a real tree was higher than for a decent artificial one. The down side is, it's all the less likely that the tree will be taken down within a reasonable time frame!

3. When do you put up the tree?
It depends somewhat on when Chanukah falls, because when possible, we wait until afterwards. Otherwise, the tree generally goes up around the Winter Solstice (21st December).

4. When do you take the tree down?
It's supposed to get taken *down*? I do my best to have it down by Valentine's Day. Barring that, it's *definitely* down by Passover!

5. Do you like eggnog?
Mmmmmmmmm. Eggnog. I love eggnog, and I've even had homemade eggnog that was delicious.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
This is a hard call. I think I got the Holly Hobbie Bake Oven for Christmas, and that was a great present. My all-time favorite gift, trumping the trip to Disneyland I'd gotten that same year, was a large paper grocery bag filled to overflowing with used books. I was in heaven. Yes, I am *that* much of a bibliophile.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
I think this varies from year to year. We generally do what we call a "sweatshop craft," where we choose one thing and make a whole bunch of it, which definitely makes it a little easier to decide what to give people (they get some combination of the things we've made that year). With my family, I traditionally give them a combination of the sweatshop craft and home baked cookies. So I guess that brings it down to W, for whom I need to get real presents for both Christmas and Chanukah. Then again, she's happy with pretty much everything, so it's pretty fun to shop for her.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
When I have money and time, pretty much everyone on my list is easy to buy for. The people who are picky about things either won't like anything I get, or have specific wish lists up and I can just choose something from that.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
More or less. I have a Playmobil nativity, but I'm not sure if all of the pieces are going to survive the move. And the nativity has gotten mixed in with my other Playmobil toys, so I tend to just kind of mix and match if we decide to put up a nativity scene (last year's nativity included several pirates, and three Santas as the wise men!)

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Mail, all the way. Mail is more special, and while I don't often get letters sent off, I like to give people the thrill of real mail when I can.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
The year I was 14, it wasn't so much the gifts I received (which did kind of suck) but the contrast between what I was getting and what my siblings were getting. We'd had a lot of money trouble that year, and so my mother didn't get too many presents. But people outside the family gave a TON of gifts. And somehow (I'm sure it wasn't personal), they got things that were perfect for all of my siblings, and then things that were just the opposite for me (watching each sibling in turn open up their heart's desire, and then getting a spring green, unadorned sweatshirt.... I am not making this up.)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Probably A Christmas Story, although several others are on the list.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Depends on the year. I start when I have time and money, somewhere in late November or December. The latest I have ever bought a present was Christmas Day (although that *was* a Chanukah present, and was added on as kind of a joke).

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Probably, although I can't precisely remember. Well, and if it's a magazine subscription, eventually the magazine gets recycled. ;)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Probably cookies, in the sense that I make a ton of them, and they are yummy. In terms of real food, finger foods are the best! I'm always busy, and it somehow feels like less of an interruption if the food is already in bite-sized pieces. But I also like to make Ethiopian food around the winter holidays, so that's another thing entirely.

16. Lights on the tree; colored or white?
Colored, definitely. White lights outside, colored inside on the tree.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I like pretty much any Christmas song, so long as it's a nice version. But I was realizing recently that Carol of the Bells and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day are both songs that I can listen to in pretty much any version.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home, definitely (although we'll travel across town to have dinner with my mother in law, depending on our preferences for the day).

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Well, I don't know about *all* of them. I can name Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, Rudolph, and Olive the Other Reindeer. And there's a song that refers to "Randolph," but I'm not sure whether or not he's a reindeer.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
It's either a star or a snowflake. It's been a while since I saw the Christmas ornaments.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
One present Christmas Eve, and the rest Christmas morning. Although this gets complicated with extended family and then you add on Chanukah, so there are eight nights of presents as well. And a friend of mine and I had a long tradition of exchanging our gifts on the winter solstice.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I like the decorations taken as a whole--our tree is *covered* with lights and ornaments, and there are decorations throughout the apartment. When it comes down to it, probably the *lights* are my favorite theme, because that's what ties together all of the holidays this time of year, the celebration of light.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Are you supposed to eat *food* on Christmas? When you've got all those *cookies*? Seriously, lately it's been Chinese buffet (traditional Jewish Christmas dinner) but every so often we get inspired to make a more involved meal. For a few years we were doing things like duck and goose, which were fun.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
For my fibromyalgia to let up enough that I can accomplish the move without collapsing either during it or after. And for the move to go smoothly enough that we are able to do a real Christmas this year. And to find time to do presents and cookies and all the traditional stuff.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?
I doubt anyone will, but I'd be glad if they did!

4 comments:

Mija said...

I'm glad you answered them JA -- your answers are great.

Growing up in Los Angeles, I love the combining of the different winter holidays. For me it's all about just a big glittering celebration of friends and family.

I hope you have a great time and a feeling fabulous. :)

kate said...

I enjoyed your frank and humorous answersheet. Would you share a cookie recipe?

Jigsaw Analogy said...

I don't have time to dig through the cookbooks, but here's a link to what looks like my favorite roll-out cookie: Pennsylvania Dutch Light Ginger Cookies. The dough is really easy to work with, and the cookies taste delicious at a range of done-ness, so you don't have to be perfect when rolling them out. Plus, they are yummy.

And Mija, I agree with you on the big glittering celebration. Fortunately, W and I can trade off between Christmas/Chanukah and Easter/Passover, since she is more into Passover than Chanukah and I am more into Christmas than Easter, so there isn't a tension about where the main focus is around the holidays.

kate said...

That looks like a good recipe, thank you very much and Happy Christmas!