Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Christmas Meme

I got tagged for the Christmas Meme by Frank Murphy....

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to Know Your Friends."

1. Wrapping or gift bags?
A little of both. However, if it's a choice between the two, it's a gift bag all the way. I hate wrapping, and am not very good at it...

2. Real or artificial tree?
We used to have a real tree but it just got to be too big of a pain to get in the house (and expensive) so we got one several years ago that's (ta daa!!) pre-lit! But of course, since the lights built in don't blink we still string a couple of strands of blinking lights. Just to accent things :)

3. When do you put up the tree?
Well, this year we actually put up the tree a couple weeks ago, but it say with only its built-in lights until this past weekend when we finally found time to decorate it...

4. When do you take the tree down?
It's been known to still be standing until several days into the New Year... again, it just depends on when we have a spare moment to take it down.

5. Do you like egg nog?
Gag. Can't stand it. Way, way, too sweet and cloying. It's like liquid Brenda Lee.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Has to be this baby. As a matter of fact, it's still up in my mom and dad's attic - last time I checked, I'd reassembled it for my son to play with...

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, we have a really nice ceramic set that sits on a shelf over the TV (no symbolism intended). What's nice is there's a lamp just above the set that shines down on it... We also have a stuffed one the kids made long ago that still sits down on the hearth. Well, if we unpacked it the cats would drag away all the pieces but at least the stable is there...

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I really can't think of a bad Christmas gift I ever got. Certainly nothing my *parents or *wife ever got me!

(* readers of my blog)

9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
We mail our cards. I don't know if I've ever sent a serious Christmas eCard. Maybe something as joke, but not intended to be real. There's something special about paper, in the mail Christmas cards. Our sessions putting our own together every year, finding just the right picture and just the right message, is always a highlight of our Christmas.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie?
"A Christmas Story" is obviously the best Christmas movie ever (why do people like "Christmas Vacation" so much??? you got me...). But a close second is the ever-popular Rankin-Bass, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
If I do much actual shopping, it's online so that's done...whenever. If I ever actually go physically shopping somewhere, it's never until a few days before. Laura does a lot of her shopping on Black Friday and in the week or so after that. We're usually done with all our major shopping pretty early.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
One thing is Laura's aunt's cheesy potato au gratin they serve every year....mmmmmmmmmmm. :) Plus all the good ham you can always get around Christmas. But my favorite food is always my mom's sausage balls - we had them all the time when I was a kid, and lately she's made an extra batch just for me ;) Thanks mom!

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Well. I love colored lights and Laura loves clear lights.

Guess what's on our tree :(

14. Favorite Christmas song(s)?
"O Holy Night" and "Do You Hear What I Hear" are my favorite carols, "Sleigh Ride" is my favorite secular standard song, and probably "Snow Miser/Heat Miser" is my favorite "novelty" song. Does that count? Oh, and I do have a warm place for Amy Grant's, "Tender Tennessee Christmas".

Of course, I also just have a warm place for Amy Grant, but that's another story.... (don't tell my wife)

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Late Christmas morning every year, after the kids have opened their presents, we drive to Jackson, TN to spend a few days with Laura's extended family. It's a great tradition, especially since there are so many kids these days. When everyone's there, there are about 10 kids with BrainyBoy being the oldest.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen. And Rudolph. And Bruce...and Marvin...a-a-a-a-a-aaand Clyde! (hee haw!!!)

17. Angel on the tree top or a star?
A star - I think an angel just looks odd on a tree. Call me a traditionalist.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
My parents let us open one present Christmas Eve, and I've extended that tradition to my own family. But everything else is on Christmas morning. Otherwise, what exactly do you do Christmas morning?

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Unfortunately there are a number of things in recent years that have become quite annoying: The everpresent start of the Christmas "hype" sometime around mid-October (if we're lucky). But some things are annoying, not in and of themselves but in people's reactions to them. Some folks get all bent out of shape over not being "allowed" to say Merry Christmas, or recognize Christmas in a religious manner - I haven't seen anyone yet that did more than gently request a more ecumenical recognition of the holidays. It's not like Winter Nazis are marching the streets, forcing everyone to say "Happy Holidays". Relax, say what you like, and don't worry about offending the offended...

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color?
Laura loves to collect Santa ornaments, so almost every ornament on the tree has some sort of Santa on it.

21. What do you leave for Santa?
Homemade cookies or fudge, and a glass of milk.

22. Least favorite holiday song?
I really get tired of "Deck the Halls" for some reason. It's just something about the way it's structured musically got old to me many years ago....

23. Favorite ornament?
One of the ornaments that the kids really like (and I do too) is Santa flying a red biplane. It's pretty cool.

24. Family tradition?
For a long time we left "reindeer food" out on the front porch. I also always make sure to open the glass doors on the fireplace a crack so Santa can get in easier. Hey, always trying to do my part...

25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Even services?
Our church always has a 5pm and an 11pm Christmas Eve service. We always go to the 5pm, since the kids need to get in bed. I'm not sure if I've ever been the 11pm before the kids were born...

I'm not sure who to tag, but glancing around at various blogs I visit that haven't played yet, I'll tag the usual suspects: Michael, Tish, LissaKay, Will, Julie, Becky, and Logtar.

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