So we're in the home stretch now. Shopping is done, wrapping is on the list to be done today, I believe Serdic is planning to do some baking today as well. Sadly, the Christmas concert I was supposed to sing in this afternoon, which I have been looking forward to for ages and which was going to be extremely awesome, especially when we sang the Hallelujah Chorus with the brass ensemble, has been cancelled due to weather (we are currently under a Severe Weather Warning and it is pretty nasty out there).
So instead I bring you the Christmas survey I just received by email. Feel free to play along in the comments or on your own blogs.
Wrapping paper or gift bags? For Christmas, I prefer wrapped gifts. I'm usually a gift bag girl, and I haaaaaate wrapping, but the gifts under the tree need to be wrapped.
Real or Artificial tree? I prefer a real tree, but I currently have an artificial one. Living in an apartment on my own (up until this year!) there was no way I was going to be able to maneuver a real tree in and out and artificial ones have a lot of pluses, but I still prefer the look, feel and smell of a real one. We always had real ones growing up and if/when I have kids I'd like to go back to having a real tree.
When do you put up the tree? Usually the first weekend of Advent. This year it went up the weekend before that.
When do you take the tree down? Sometime in early January.
Do you like eggnog? Yes.
Favorite gift you received as a child? I don't think I could come up with just one. Probably Joey, the doll my mom made for me when I was very young (2 or 3, maybe?) and who I still have, and who has moved with me to every new place I've lived (yes, he is here in the new apartment, although I think he might still be in a suitcase somewhere)
Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. It is from Willow Tree and I love it
Hardest person to buy for? Probably my Grandma and Grandpa. They are just at a stage in their lives (they're both in their 90s and still live in their own home!) where they don't need anything (everytime I visit them they are trying to give stuff away). I love them dearly but I find them very hard to shop for!
What was the worst Christmas gift ever received? I don't really have an answer for this one, either -- my family and friends are generally really really good about gifts. Maybe the year I received a pen with a calculator in the end of it from a distant relative -- the idea was sound, but the calculator was too small to be any good. The funny part of the story was that my sister received a similar box, but hers was empty (we believe that to be the fault of the store, not the relative who gave us the gifts!). After she saw what was in my box she just tucked hers away and thanked the relative for thinking of her.
Christmas Cards? Love them. Love sending, love receiving.
Favorite Christmas movie? Probably the original Grinch (the cartoon). Or Charlie Brown Christmas -- it chokes me up every time. More recently I love Love, Actually or The Polar Express.
When do you start shopping for Christmas? Early November, generally.
Have you ever 'recycled' a Christmas present? I don't think so.
Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My maternal grandmother's turkey dinner.
Clear lights or colored on the tree? Coloured.
Favorite Christmas Song? Too many to list. I can't pick just one. I prefer the triumphant carols, like O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Quieter ones I love include Do You Hear What I Hear? and I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day. O Holy Night and Silent Night have special significance as well.
Travel at Christmas or Stay Home? Fortunately don't have to travel too far, just about 90 minutes down the road. Will be going to my parents'. When we were kids my parents had a very strict rule that we woke up Christmas morning in our own beds in our own home, and any travelling could be done after that. I intend to institute the same rule for my own children, but for now I go home to my parents.
Can you name Santa's Reindeer? Of course. Can't everyone?
Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree? An angel.
Open the Presents Christmas Eve or Morning? Christmas morning. Stockings right away when we get up, then breakfast and clean up, then tree gifts. Tradition dictates this very firmly.
Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The commercialism and the fact that Christmas has become very "in your face." Why do stores need to start decorating the day after Hallowe'en? Also the fact that the weather can play havoc with your plans.
Shopping...Mall or online? I love the convenience of online shopping, but there's nothing like wandering a mall with your hands full of bags. A lot of my shopping is impulse, too, especially for stockings, so the mall is better for wandering and being struck with the right idea.
Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside? Just inside right now, as we're in an apartment building. When I have a house there will be lights outside as well.
Favorite Christmas cookie? my grandmother's marshmallow squares. Not that I ever get to eat any, as they're also my mother's favourite.
Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry? A few red sweaters and a Santa hat.
Do you believe in Santa? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.