Wylie tagged me for a Christmas meme – do you know this would have been good on June 25th – exactly six months between the two Christmases. I’m no where near ready to think of buying presents right now. Although I’ve already been thinking about it as I’ve been going through the stores.
What is your favorite Christmas gift? Anything that I can tell someone put some thought into, but I’m with Wylie – my favourite gift is finding someone ELSE that perfect gift, especially the kids when their eyes open wide and they're speechless.
What is your best memory of Christmas? Any Christmas with the kids is special but the first Christmas I was married is one I'll never forget. Not the Christmas itself but this tremendous gesture/tradition Gizmo Guy performed that year. We’d moved four days before Christmas and we’d agreed that we wouldn’t get a tree because it would just be too much hassle to put one up only to take it down and then try to find it amongst all the boxes. It bothered me a bit, but I knew it was the sensible and mature approach - and being just turned 19 that Christmas, I really wanted to be 'mature' about it. Anyway, on with the story. On the 23rd of December Gizmo Guy and I were walking up the four flights of stairs to the apartment. (It was a brand new building and the elevators weren’t working yet.) I noticed there were pine needles on the stairs; it really got to me that someone had a tree while we wouldn't on our first Christmas together. Then GG opened the door to the apartment and there leaning against a corner in the dining room was a beautiful six foot pine tree, while a huge poinsettia sat in the middle of the table. Apparently a nursery he’d driven by had a sign saying if you bought a poinsettia you got a free Christmas tree. So we dragged out the single box of Christmas decorations we had at that point and set up the tree. And every year since, GG has bought me a poinsettia.
Depending upon where you live, do you have a hot or cold Christmas? Cold, with snow. It's been a tradition to go out tobogganing in the afternoon and have a fire going Christmas Eve and Christmas night. I really don’t like green Christmases but that seems to be all we’ve been getting lately.
Would you prefer to try the opposite weather at least just once? Um, no. New Year’s sure, but Christmas needs snow. Well, maybe a Christmas in England might be acceptable. Or Rome - midnight mass in St. Peter's Square.
What do you prefer in a tree? Fake or real? I prefer real – not only real but ‘cut-your-own’. Another tradition GG and I started the very first Christmas I knew him – we went out and cut a tree because my parents didn’t believe in Christmas and refused to put up a tree, so I took matters in my own hands. It became a tradition with the kids too – the kids always picked the perfect tree every year. However, when we got the dog, she decided she liked to sleep underneath it - between the tree and the wall. After she had knocked the real one down three nights in a row spreading gallons of water over the living room rug, we switched to fake the next year. And now we have to drive really far to get a cut-your-own, and the pre-cut ones just aren’t the same. We’ll see what we do this year - but with the kids grown up, it's just not the same any more.
What is your favorite carol? O Holy Night – especially sung by a choir.
What is your favorite Christmas dinner? Traditional roast turkey, lots of stuffing, roast potatoes – we always make triple amounts as everyone loves them, sweet potatoes, corn fried in lots of butter (GG’s specialty), home made biscuits, gravy, cranberry, and a home made trifle for dessert is also demanded by all and sundry. We waddle away from the table and groan about how we ate too much for the rest of the night. Oh, and I mustn't forget the gingerbread houses I usually make. Except for the past couple years when the kids decided they'd just prefer the candies without the house. (One day I'll tell you how one of my houses was a hero during a house fire.)
Do you wear a Santa hat at Christmas? We got the hat for my eldest son's grade one play when he played Santa. And now we have the tradition that whoever passes out the presents wears the hat - so who wears it changes each year – depending on who gets up first and snags it. And yes, battles for it have been known.
Have you ever seen Santa delivering gifts? No, I’m always a good girl who is asleep when he arrives. But I have, um, made sure my kids had proof of reindeer tracks in the backyard.