OK, here we go . . .
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, package tie-ons! I really enjoy wrapping and love to create a beautifully wrapped gift!
2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real for many years – up until the youngest went off to college. After that we bought an artificial tree and I love the fact that I can now put it up early without worrying that it will be a needle-less stick by Christmas.
3. When do you put up the tree?
See #2. Actually, right after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually by Jan 1st. I love having it up for a month or so, but there’s nothing as “over” as Christmas, so I’m usually pretty anxious to put it away by the first of the year.
5. Do you like eggnog?
No, not really. I’ve just never developed a taste for it.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Without question – a Shirley Temple doll when I was about 6 yrs old. I remember running into the room of my sleeping parents at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning and breathlessly exclaiming to two very sleepy adults: “Santa brought the doll I wanted!” They didn’t seem all that surprised.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
My Mum & Dad. They have 6 kids buying them gifts, so it’s a real challenge to come up with original ideas for Christmas, birthdays, and mother’s and father’s day presents.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
My daughters – for everything except clothes, that is.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, a few of them. One from when we were first married, another one made of plastic that the kids loved to play with when they were young (They’d spend hours arranging and rearranging all the figures!), and finally a beautiful one that my parents gave to us a few years ago. We alternate among them from year to year.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
We mail them. It’s becoming quite expensive to send cards – between the cards and the postage – but I don’t think I will ever email them. There’s just something special about sending a paper greeting.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Hmmm . . . Can we say “most disappointing”?
When I was in my late teens, my girlfriends and I were all expecting friendship rings from the guys we were dating. On Christmas Eve, we 3 couples were all together to exchange gifts. Both of my girlfriends received sweet little rings and I got a wool hat with matching scarf. It was very pretty, but not quite what a teenage girl was dreaming of.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I love “A Christmas Carol”, the version with George C. Scott as Scrooge. For years, we watched it every Christmas Eve. I also love “The House Without A Christmas Tree” which is a 1972 made-for-TV movie. It’s such a heart-warming story and the actors are perfectly cast. I never get tired of watching it.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I try to be on the lookout all year, but don’t usually get really serious until November.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I don’t think I have ever given a gift that I received to another person on my gift list. But I have donated unneeded gifts to charity.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
When I was a kid it was that hard Christmas Candy. Each year, the pastor of our church used to give a little box of it to every school child. These days, I would have to say Christmas cookies.
16. Lights on the tree?
Yes – colored lights! Our outdoor lights have been white/clear for several years now, but we hold fast to the tradition of color on the Christmas tree.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Oh, I don’t think I can choose just one! Even though the radio stations and all the stores overdo it with Christmas music, I still love several Christmas songs. As a kid, it was “The Little Drummer Boy”. Hmm, lets see, for a hymn, it’s “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” which we sang in Latin years ago. But I also love “O Holy Night” and White Christmas and Winter Wonderland and . . . well, you get the idea!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually travel, but by car as most of the family is in New England.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Why, yes I can – thanks to another favorite Christmas song!
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
We open one on Christmas Eve, and usually it’s a small one so that the best is yet to come on Christmas morning.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
No parking spaces and long lines at the malls. Each year we promise ourselves that “next” year we’ll be all finished with our shopping in September!! Hasn’t happened yet, though.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I love Christmas in all themes and colors and have experimented with different ones over the years! For example, some years our tree is decorated only with handmade ornaments (Most of them were made by my daughters and me). Other years we’ve used just glass ornaments. Then there are years when we use only the Hallmark ornaments that we’ve been collecting since the kids were babies. We do have a tradition that maybe could be thought of as a “theme”. We call it “The Scene”. It’s a little Christmas village that we put together piece by piece, year by year. There are tiny houses and figures and cute Christmas miniatures. Nothing is from a set – it’s all just a collection of individual little pieces that we’ve had great fun searching for and adding to every year.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A new stove. Mine is over 25 years old and it’s just about to croak!
24. Angel on the treetop or a star?
25. Favorite Christmas dinner?
I’m flexible. I do like to have shrimp on Christmas Eve though!