The New Blak

The Christmas Meme

I'm suffering the aftermath of too much inspiration last night, so (courtesy of Jim, Bev, and a whole host of other folks) it's time for:

The Christmas Meme

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Egg nog, unless I've just come in from the cold, then hot chocolate. Don't forget the whipped cream!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Our Santa wraps presents. When I was a kid, though, the "big present" was left unwrapped, for instant gratification, I think.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Colored.  Always.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  No.  But I've been known to hold it up over the head of a willing victim.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Um... this coming weekend. Maybe. Actually, the wreath is on the front door, but we have yet to get the tree. Joe wants a full-size tree this year, so that's what we'll do.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? The turkey itself! I love turkey. My sisters and I used to sneak into the kitchen and peel the crispy skin off the bird and eat it first. When I was little, my folks always hosted a big breakfast for all the relatives and friends after Midnight Mass, and my Mom would make crescent rolls from scratch. They melted in your mouth. And my Gramma made stuffed dates -- she'd split a date lengthwise, remove the pit, put in a half walnut, and roll it in powdered sugar. Yummy!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? One Christmas when I was about eight, my younger sister got a "life-size" doll that stood about three feet tall. It really was as tall as a toddler! My Aunt Lil had a little too much eggnog this particular Christmas afternoon and spent several minutes having a conversation with the doll. I remember watching her, completely fascinated, wondering when she would realize that she was talking to a doll. She finally did when the doll fell over on its nose. Oh, those funny drunks!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?  I don't remember a definite moment; it was more of a gradual understanding, I think. I do remember one Christmas Eve when I was about seven. I was awakened just past midnight by the grownups carrying all the presents downstairs, which pretty confirmed my suspicions.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No.  We always wait until Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights first, then ornaments, then garlands, then the angel on top. We used to have a gold star on top, but eventually the thing that enabled you to attach it to the tree broke off, so we substituted the angel instead.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love, love, love a White Christmas, as long as I'm snug at home.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes! We all took lessons when SonnyeBoy was six, and I got so I could actually step out on the ice and skate without wobbling for the first few minutes. I haven't been skating in years, though, so I've probably lost that ability.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I remember two from my sordid youth. I got a Revlon doll (a fashion model doll that predated Barbie) when I was nine or so, and I got an Infant Jesus of Prague statue -- complete with a full wardrobe of robes and removable crown! -- when I was in eighth grade (my big religious year). Since then, I've had many favorite gifts, mostly those that Joe gives me as a complete surprise. He'll wait until all the presents are open and we're relaxing, then he'll pull the piece de resistance out and give it to me. And I love it!

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?  Being with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?  Pumpkin pie, that I make from my Gramma's recipe. It's the best pumpkin pie in the whole entire world, and it's insanely easy to make. Hmm. Perhaps that's another entry!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Joe always gets up first. He always has, even when SonnyeBoy was little. Joe would be so impatient that he'd go wake SonnyeBoy up to come down and open presents! I also love our Christmas Eve family dinners, which have morphed over the years from huge, present-laden affairs to quieter gatherings of just Mom and the first level down.

17. What tops your tree? A very stylish angel.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving, absolutely. I love seeing the looks on people's faces when they open a gift! (That said, I'll admit that I like the receiving part too!)

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?  Adeste Fideles, sung in Latin.

20. Candy canes?  Love them!

21. Favorite Christmas movie?  A Christmas Story. "You'll shoot your eye out!"

22. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing -- when SonnyeBoy was little, we left out cookies and milk, but now we just eat 'em.