Isabelle and our tree from last Christmas
Lovely Chelsea at The Vintage Chair has tagged me to share my favorite holiday traditions with you. So here goes!
1.Wrapping paper or gift bags?
It depends on the gift and the time alloted to wrap said gift. I love the concept of a well-wrapped package in pretty paper and ribbons, but there's no beating the time saved in using a nice gift bag—provided it doesn't look like someone just crammed a wad of paper into a bag and called it a gift (yes, I've seen this).
2. Real tree or artificial?
Definitely real, although I like to accentuate with little artificial trees too. Some day I want to put up one of those silver 1960s Christmas trees (not sure why but I like 'em), but for now I'm happy with our annual Christmas tree trip tradition. And nothing beats that piney smell!
3. When do you put up the tree?
When I get the chance, which hasn't happened yet (oops). I'd love to do it right after Thanksgiving, but that doesn't happen most years. I like to have it up few weeks before Christmas, though.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually a week or two after New Years. Again, when I have the time and energy to get to it.
5. Do you like eggnog? It's good but in small doses, methinks. I do like the latte version at Starbucks, though.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Not necessarily a gift, but a Christmas, when I was 9. I woke up to my living room full of gifts, one of them being a brand new 10-speed bike, which I had been coveting for a long time at that point. A giant stuffed bear and some other neat gear rounded out that Christmas. Oooh, I still get giddy thinking about it.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom, hands down. She won't typically ever use any gift you ever give her, or if she does, it's after lots and lots of cajoling, accusations, and moping. She means well though.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Hmm, there are lots. Pete and Matt are the two easiest ones I know of right now.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I got it from Target a few years ago when I moved in with Pete, but the angel fell off of it and seems to keep shedding the mossy stuff featured around the animals in the barn. Next year we'll get a new one, hopefully when we're in a new house and ready to start new traditions. This year we're still living in storage room hell.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. But I am very late getting to them, so if you're usually on my list and haven't gotten one, hang in there. I hope to do them tomorrow.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I can't really think of anything that horrible, besides the typical ugly sweaters or gizmos I don't need or use. I guess I'm fairly fortunate that way, eh?
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, natch.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When I get the time and the willpower, which should be happening any day now...seriously, though, I do occasionally buy stuff as I see it throughout the year, but that's not typical for me. I'm usually running around the malls in a panic with all the dads/husbands/boyfriends a few days before Christmas (or even Christmas Eve), trying desperately to find suitable (even passable) gifts for people on my list. I know, it's horrible, isn't it? I think if all those people liked shoes, though, I'd have no trouble going shopping for them. And I used to be a big online shopper in years past, but not so much lately.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
NO! And have I gotten one? Probably, not that I'd know it. Ugh, what a thought.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
How about favorite thing NOT to eat? Ha! But yeah, I do love me some good peppermint (candy, cookies, coffee, chocolates, etc.). And of course anything chocolate is always good. Oh and anything warm, since I'm always freezing for some reason.
16. Lights on the tree?
Depends on my decorating theme that year. I have done all white, white and blue, multicolored, you name it. I like to change it up every Christmas.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
I was just thinking about this last night because a version of it came on the radio: O Holy Night. I just find it to be a very, very beautiful song, one that almost always gives me chills and makes me weepy, especially Charlotte Church's version. And I love very classic songs from the likes of Bing, Frank, Dean, etc. I have always loved The Nutcracker too. But overall I'm not that picky. I think I generally hate modern Christmas music, stuff from today's pop stars, that sort of thing.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Travel, and lots and lots of it. This year we'll be heading out to Savanna for Christmas Eve, only to head out to Algonquin on Christmas morning, then home later that night.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Uh, yeah, can you?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
An angel, although one year I'd like to be crazy and do a star. Stars are so pretty, aren't they?
21. When do you open presents?
For Pete and me (and the animals), we'll probably do it on Christmas night this year. But we also open gifts on Christmas Eve and day at the parties we attend. And then we have another party in Bloomingdale the following Saturday for my side. Whew!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
All the running around, spending, stress, etc. And I hate the cold and dark, especially the dark. I think if the sun rose at 6 and set at 8, that would be awesome and make many, many people happier and not so cranky all the time (meaning me).
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I love silver and gold, and blue and white are very pretty, too. But sometimes I also like bright colorful ornaments. I guess it all depends on my decorating theme that year and what I'm into.
24. Favorite Christmas dinner?
The usual: turkey, roast beef, ham, pierogi, kuski, kolatchki (hey, I'm half Polish, okay?), mashed potatoes and gravy, Italian/Polish sausage, lots of bread, Christmas punch (my uncle Chuck was a master at making a good punch), cookies, desserts in general, I can go on and on...
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I want my health back. And I want a new job. And I want to find a new house, start a family, be financially stable, lose 15 pounds, etc. But as far as an actual gift, I suppose clothing and a jewelry armoire would be nice. And you know what? I realized the other day that no one, and I repeat NO ONE, has ever gotten me the gift of shoes OR a shoe gift card (DSW, Payless, Famous Footwear, etc.) as far as I can remember, except for my parents when I was a kid. Isn't that odd? For someone like me who adores all things footwear, you'd think SOMEONE would scrape together some money for a DSW gift card, wouldn't you? It's not like I make it a secret about how much I adore shoes, do I???...sorry, I lost it there for a minute. Ahem, yeah, anything is welcome, but not necessary, of course. I have more fun giving gifts, but more and more people want JUST gift cards, and there's not much fun in that, is there?
26. What was the first gift of Christmas?
A child, as Chelsea said. But also the gift of hope, happiness, good will, spirituality, and all things precious.