Explanation: I am catching up on missed sleep from the time in Santa Barbara and have pretty much done nothing but sleep and post photos from the week on Flickr (see link at left). So here's a Christmas meme, because I haven't done a meme in a long time, it seems.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I've never gotten the hang of gift bags. Everybody else's always seem so retty and mine seem to...blah. But I do enjoy wrapping gifts. Lately, just paper with nothing else, but if I had to I can wrap a pretty good looking package
2. Real tree or artificial?
We've always had a real tree--at one time we chopped down our own. But at this stage in my life an artificial tree sounds pretty darn good.
3. When do you put up the tree?
For the past two years, we haven't. The joy went out of it when Paul and David died and all the other kids were living away from home anyway.
4. When do you take the tree down?
In the days when we did put up a tree, we always took it down on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Love it! Don't usually buy it because it's so rich, but offered a cup, I will happily partake. I remember the first time I ever had it. My father made it from scratch. I have yet to find any egg nog as delicious as that one.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
It should come as no surprise that it was my first camera, a Brownie Box camera, which my parents gave me when I was 10 years old.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
Walt. It's a real challenge to buy him something he'll actually use. Even things I think he'd like--and which he may actually like--frequently ends up under his bed for years, unused. Though he has used the GSP that I got him last year.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
Peggy, for two reasons. First, I think I know what she likes and second, she lives 9,000 miles away so if she hides it under her bed or throws it out in the garbage the next morning, I live in blissful ignorance.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. My father made the stable when I was little and I still use it. It has an angel that attaches to the top of it. She's holding a sign that says "Gloria in excelsis." When Jeri was little, she decided that the angel's name was Gloria.
10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
I used to mail out >200 cards a year; now I design a web page Christmas letter and e-mail people a link to it.
12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Miracle ond 34th Street, the original with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood. That movie still makes me believe in the "real" Santa Claus.
13. When do you start shopping?
December 26. Seriously. I shop all year for Christmas gifts.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Very rarely, though I did it this year (now everybody will wonder if they got the recycled gift!)
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.
16. Lights on the tree?
Of course, but I hate putting them on (because my mother always insisted on putting them on herself and was very particular about how they should be placed). That's why I like the idea of a pre-lighted artificial tree.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
"Silver Bells," the Bing Crosby version.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
I'm not thrilled at traveling at Christmas. I loved it when all the family came here and we had those big Christmas dinners. But with Bri living in Santa Barbara, I can see that traveling at Christmas is going to become the new norm.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
The last few years we had a tree we had a big gold Santa Claus on top. Of stars or angels, though, I prefer angels.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Again, I liked the kids all waking up and opening gifts Christmas morning, but now we do it in the evening. This year, on Christmas eve.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The hype, the commercialism.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
My favorite ornament was an old one that had been my grandmother's. It was the face of a woman and it was my job to always put the "face ornament" on the tree. I was very sad when it broke, but preserved it in a memory box that I made for my parents one year.
24. What do you want for Christmas this year?
The same thing I want every year: world peace and a clean house.
25. Describe how you would celebrate the holidays if it was totally up to you and money was not a factor.
Pay for everybody to fly here and stay in a good hotel, if they want. Get one of those Brannigan's turkeys that The Psychiatrist used to give me each Christmas, have someone come in and clean the house for me so I don't go through Mom's Christmas Crisis, cook and serve dinner to everybody, have someone else clean up afterwards, and spend my evening watching the kids do an Egg Nog Gala again.