to be jolly

It’s been a hectic week, what with doctors’ visits for checkups, work, school visits, etc. I finished Aidan’s sweater and put the buttons last night, and he’s proudly wearing it today (though part of it is covered with an enormous “I had a checkup!” sticker he received from the dentist today). Pictures to come as soon as I wrangle them out of my camera.

But to keep the healthy habit of blogging going, here’s a little meme for the day, thanks to Amelia at My Fashionable Life.

Egg nog or hot chocolate? That’s a difficult choice. Either is fantastic, as long as they’re homemade.

Does Father Christmas wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Here the tradition is changing. When I was a kid, Santa put the unwrapped presents under the tree. But there weren’t any other little kids in the house, so it was clear that every unwrapped present was mine. Now that Santa visits my two boys, he wraps and labels the presents so they know whose is whose!

Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Mostly white. We—meaning I—broke down and bought some lighted reindeer for the front yard. I haven’t giggled that much in ages as when I saw them lit up for the first time. Who says Christmas is just for kids?

Do you hang mistletoe? No. Too many years of seeing it grow like the parasitic weed that it is in the trees in my Texas backyard.

When do you put up your decorations? It’s an ongoing thing. It all starts to come out after Thanksgiving, but the tree will go up this weekend.

What’s your favourite Christmas dish? Do cookies count? I love the cookies my mom makes—Dutch speculaasjes. Just the best ever!!

Favourite Christmas memory as a child? I remember the sense of wonder and awe the year I was five, when I came into the living room and saw that Santa had really been there. I’d thought I’d heard him up on the roof on Christmas Eve, and how happy I was when I saw he’d brought me the Little Kiddles dolls and dollhouse that I really really wanted.

But I also had a very special Christmas the year I lived in Austria as an exchange student. Though I was sad to be away from my own family at Christmas—the first time I’d been away—it was wonderful to experience the holiday with a loving family with traditions of their own, some familiar, some not.

When and how did you learn the truth about Father Christmas? I don’t remember when I actually stopped believing, but I remember when I started to question. I asked my mother if there really was a Santa, and she told me that he would continue to come visit me as long as I truly believed. And he continued to fill my stocking until I had kids of my own…

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I did when I was a kid, but no more. Why spoil the fun?

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Complete mishmash of ornaments I’ve collected over the years. And this year, we’ll add my mishmash of ornaments to my husband’s for a truly spectacular tree.

Snow! Love it or dread it? Depends on the time of year. The early snows are the best, simply magical, but by April, I’m getting r-e-a-l-l-y tired of it all.

Can you ice skate? Only under duress.

Do you remember your favourite gift? Actually, my favorite gift wasn’t one I received, but one that I gave. Way back in the 1980s, I was a member of my high-school yearbook staff. We had a big clear-out of one of the storage closets and came across some yearbooks from the late 1960s and early 1970s, all in brand-new condition. They wanted to throw them out to make room, but I saved a few of them from oblivion. And I gave them to my sister, who had never gotten the yearbooks while she was in school but really regretted it years later. I gave her back a piece of her childhood, and that was simply the best.

What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? The joy of children.

What’s your favourite Christmas tradition? Making Christmas cookies. And this year, I can get the boys involved in the floury, frostinged mess!

What tops your tree? Um, not sure yet. We’re combining ornaments for the first time this year, so we’ll see what my husband has for the top of the tree. I’d made an angel for the top of mine years ago, but she looks a little demented. I wouldn’t mind it if she were replaced…

Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving, by far. I just find it so much easier thinking of ideas for other people.

What’s your favourite Christmas song? Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime. It’s just so cheery!

Candy canes? Thanks, but no thanks…

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