Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Twenty Questions

Since I'm clearly not writing a novel anytime soon, and the screenplay is going nowhere fast, and the Simplicity comic is still just a bunch of sketches showing no sign whatsoever of developing into actual drawings... I have time for a survey! This one is courtesy of Bill Cameron, who got it from some other fine folks, and so on, and so on...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
You know it's interesting, but I bought some egg nog recently, on my way home from gift-shopping, thinking that I'd have some nog while setting up the tree, and... it's just not all that great. I mean, I like the taste fine, but it's awfully thick and awfully sweet and in the end I'm wondering... wouldn't I rather have a beer?

That said, egg nog with Mount Gay is the way to go. Alternately, bittersweet hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps and a dash of whipped cream. I guess the answer to this first question is, therefore: Both, and I'm clearly a drunk.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa doesn't exist, hello, but when the gift is for the whole household (including myself), it's a useful "from" name to use on the tag.

Presents are always wrapped. Even if you have to cover them with a Mexican blanket, there has to be some "unwrapping" going on, or there's almost no point!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Both on the tree! I like the white lights because they look like little twinkling stars, but I like the colors because they're so festive.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, it already grows on all the trees around here without my help or anything. Fancy that, eh? Mistletoe growing, like, for real and everything!

I get a lot of kisses. *wink*

5. When do you put up your decorations?
When the last of the homework is done, and especially when I'm itching to put some presents out. Have to have somewhere to put them! I put up the little plastic tree this year (just this past weekend), when normally I insist upon a real tree, because we're going to be in California for Christmas and the poor cat will be all alone in the house, and I figured a plastic tree with only the plastic ornaments was the way to go under such tempting circumstances. She's already been under it once, but to be honest I think she was more interested in the presents. I do love the little plastic ornaments...

We do have exterior lights, but man oh man are they a pain, so for the past few years they have just sat in the closet...

6 What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Fruit cake and Wensleydale cheese with port around the fire with Mom and Paul. And whatever they're serving for breakfast the next morning! YUM!

7. Favorite childhood Holiday memory?
This has to be when I bored everybody (Mom especially, I am sure) with a year-long campaign for an electric train set I was sure I could never actually have, and then Christmas came and the entire family got together to give me an N-scale train set. People just kept pulling little packages out of their pockets, and each one was an engine, or a car, or some plastic cows or something, and I got more and more and more excited, and then Dad and Paul went outside together and came back with a huge piece of plywood with a track nailed down to it, all ready to go! And then when we ran the train, a light came on inside the Pennsylvania line passenger car that my sister had given me, and you could see the tiny, tiny people inside, and it was almost like I was on a train trip with them.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
There has never been a Santa. "Santa" is a fun game that we play at Christmas. There are some movies and stuff that go along with the game. Miracle on 34th street was a particularly good little fantasy story.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
More and more often, yes, but I don't really like it. I miss the whole getting up early, all excited Christmas morning thing, and starting with the stockings, everybody in pajamas, and the sun just coming up, and the frost on the windows, and the shiny paper everywhere, and then breakfast and old movies on the television. But it gets harder and harder to find the old movies, and the presents are less and less likely to be toys that one plays with for the rest of the day, and one of us actually has to make the breakfast now, and I've gone and gotten mixed up with someone with a whole different set of traditions, to boot. So... the presents happen whenever, but usually early.

This year will be interesting because we'll be with Luther's brother and family. Sadly, Luther's Mom will be in Greece and not in California, because her father passed away last week. I don't know what Mike and Robin's traditions are, other than the upside-down tree. And what about our presents to each other? Do we open before leaving for California, or do we hold them until New Year's?

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
First, the annoying untangling of lights. I wrap them up perfectly nicely when I put them away, but somehow they never come out of the box like that. Then the ornaments one by one. I try to make an event out of it. I like to think about where we got each ornament and what it represents. But this year, like I said, most of the ornaments stayed in the box for safe-keeping and anti-cat-ness. I did hang our souvenir from Greece, though, in Mom-Vicky's honor and in memory of meeting her Dad in Athens a few years ago. It is a simple little brass cut-out of a pomegranate.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it. Of course this is easier to do, now that I never get to see any. I miss shoveling, but I think I would probably die of a heart attack if I actually had to do any.

12. Can you ice skate?
Bill wrote, "Not really. I mean, I can scoot around on skates a bit, but I have a hard time stopping and usually crash into the side of the ice rink. But I think it's very fun, actually." And this is a pretty good description of my relationship with skating, too. I used to be able to get up to a good speed, but that only works if there aren't too many other people skating, because my direction control is a little sketchy...

13. Do you remember your favorite gift for Christmas?
My absolute favorites are two gifts I gave to others:

The first was a tree that my sister and I got for Mom and Paul, when they were in Australia for the holidays but then unexpectedly were coming home in time for Christmas. We found an enormous blue spruce, absolutely gorgeous, and took it to Mom and Paul's house and set it up with lights, and the box of ornaments sitting next to it, ready to be put on the tree, and some champagne and cookies, and a little gift tag with a cartoon of my sister and me hanging on the tree. We got out of there just in time! Mom and Paul got home within a half hour of my leaving, and saw the twinkly lights when they were just getting the door unlocked.

The second was by own Ikea stuffed bear, which I put in a box and sent to Luther, his first Christmas after his marriage broke up, alone in the new little apartment without his kids. Apparently it arrived Christmas Day, and the postman decided to go out and deliver a few last packages so people could have their presents, and so Luther had his bear to hug, and it makes me cry all over again to think of.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Getting a chance to remember what an amazing life I've led, with such an amazing family and wonderful adventures.

Also, the sappy movies.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
I do like pie, yes.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
The ornaments on the tree, I think.

17. What tops your tree?
Two stars, when the tree is big enough. One is from my life in Toronto, and the other is from Luther and the aformentioned "new little apartment" and the tree he decorated for his children. But if you read the "love tree" post already, you know all this.

One time, someone (it may have been Luther) asked me about the star on the tree. If I don't believe in God and the whole Christmas story, why the star? I said, "I believe in stars."

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Yeah, the giving! I love to go all out, I love love love to come up with creative ideas for "just the perfect present." Sadly, this is not always possible, and then I admit to getting a little down. It's just not... as much fun, if I couldn't make them go WOW!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
White Christmas. And lots and lots and lots of Frank.

20. Do you like Candy Canes?
Not really. I'm not a hard candy person. But they sure can be pretty!

Thanks, Bill. :)


Luther said...

Beautiful story Becky. Yea, you say it's a survey, but should a survey be shorter? [grin]

And by the way, its always interesting to read an entire "survey" with tear blurred eyes, you constantly tug at my heart with your head. ily


Bill Cameron said...

Glad to see I'm not the only directionally-challenged skater.

And "I believe in stars." Lovely.