Friday, November 24, 2006

Succumbing to Pressure

While I do maintain that it is still too early to put up a tree, I do acknowledge that the Christmas season is starting. So I stole this little meme from another NaBloPoMo blog.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate. Egg nog is one of those things that I think I like - every year, I visit home in December, and, when I see the carton of egg nog in the fridge, I pour myself a glass, eagerly anticipating the spicy, rich sweetness that means Christmas. Then? I take a sip and remember that I don't so much like the egg nog.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
I'm pretty bad at wrapping gifts. In order to make the presents look as if they weren't wrapped by a toddler as likely to eat the paste as glue on the glitter, I've taken to using gift bags and ribbons in recent years. But, no matter what - gifts must be wrapped. All the bettter to be unwrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
For the house, it depends on the style of the house. White lights can look nicer on colder, fancier houses, but a home-y, warm house needs the chaos of the coloured lights. I think the same goes for the tree. I want not only the shiny, new metallic balls on my tree, but also the little clay ornaments and the construction paper stars that I've been given.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. No poisonous ceiling decor for me.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
The first weekend in December. It used to be the second, but there comes a time when it's just not worth fighting the malls.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
The stuffing. Mmm. With mushrooms.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
I don't really have a specific, one-time favourite memory. It's more a jumble of Christmas mornings and stockings and dinners. Every Christmas morning, we'd both wake up unreasonably, ridiculously early, and rush to the living room to see what was there that hadn't been there when we went to sleep. (And it had taken a long time to fall asleep, too, I tell ya) The house rules were that we could only wake the parents after 7 am, and to keep us from dying of pent-up excitment and frustration, we were allowed to open our stockings in the meantime. Our stockings were actually pretty complex affairs - a ginormous stocking, full to the brim with socks and candy and, of course, an apple and a clementine stuffed into the toe. There was always a bag of chocolate coins, a tube of smarties, and, most years, a Lifesavers sweet story book. And a loonie at the very bottom. (The best, though, was the year my mum didn't have a loonie, so I got four quarters. That made me laugh. And gently mock my mother. In a Christmassy fashion.)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. One gift. And it took me lots of years to finally realise that that one gift was always a new set of pyjamas. I'm not always so swift.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Now? Kind of sadly. But back home, putting up the tree was always the worst part of Christmas. Yes, that's right - the worst. There was something about my dad, my brother and I trying to work together to assemble the plastic tree, unfolding the stiffy and scratchy branches and trying to find all the little leafy pieces in the bottom of the box; deciding how to wrap the lights around the tree and how to make the tree stand up straight - that incited impatience and yelling and near-violence. Several years ago, my mother banned the lot of us from having anything to do with tree decoration. Christmas is a lot more peaceful now.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it - at first. Love the first snowfall, and that heavy, feathery, comforting silence overlaid with the gentle hiss of falling snow. Soon, though, hate the slush and the cold and the ice.

12. Can you ice skate?
I used to be able to skate. I actually used to take skating lessons. I remember my parents dropping me off at the rink one morning. I lined up with my best friend, Moe, on one side of the rink. It wasn't until my parents came into the arena half way through the lesson that it was discovered that I was in the wrong lesson - I was supposed to be on the other side of the rink, learning figure eights and how to use the toe pick. Instead, I'd quite naturally joined in with the boys, learning the proper way to fall and how to do the hockey stop.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I tend to remember the gifts I give more than the ones I get. Favourites include an autographed book for my mum, some very geeky t-shirts for my brother, and wireless headphones for my dad. Not all were gifts I gave on my own, but it makes me really happy to know that I'm giving someone I love something they really want.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Spending time with family and friends - even if we don't always get along all of the time, it's nice to have that time to catch up and touch base with loved ones.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Cheesecake. Always cheesecake. But it wouldn't be Christmas without my mum's trifle, even if it isn't my first choice.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Opening gifts with my family, all around the tree, together.

17. What tops your tree?
A little angel. Christmas makes me all traditional-like.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Giving. I love my presents, and appreciate them, but I like giving the perfect gift even more.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
O Holy Night. By far.

20. Candy Canes.

And for a break from the untimely holiday merriment, you have to go here and click on the margarita.

You're welcome.

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