This meme came to me by way of my friend, Holly. The picture is a snapshot of my favorite Christmas ornament on my Christmas tree.
What greeting of the season do you use?
It all depends on who I’m greeting. Usually Merry Christmas prior to Dec. 25, then Happy New Year after Dec. 25. But I’m also known to tailor my greeting based on individuals and their holiday of choice.
Did you leave out milk and cookies for Santa?
Absolutely! Home made cookies, a glass of milk, an orange, and a couple of tiny candy canes. Santa always nibbled the cookies, drank most of the milk, and ate all of the orange. This year, Santa got homemade banana bread and egg nog.
What's one Christmas Eve tradition your family had?
When I was a kid, we’d get a new pair of pajamas that my Mom made. One year, I wanted a jogging suit, so she made me mint green terry cloth PJs with a pink stripe down the side. Another year, she made all of us nightgowns and stocking caps a la The Night Before Christmas. We also choose names out of a hat and give that person a gift that they open that evening. I have my sister this year and she’s getting this.
What's your favorite Christmas song?
My absolute favorite Christmas song is Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht in its original language: German. I also like Liese Reiselt der Schnee. O Holy Night and Do You Hear What I Hear? (the version sung by Johnny Mathis) both come in a close second. I enjoy some of the more contemporary pieces, too, like John Lennon's Happy X-mas (War Is Over) and Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven. And I get a kick out of the absurdity of Elmo & Patsy's Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer and Brad Paisley's new one this year, Penguin, James Penguin.
What's your least favorite Christmas song?
That would be a dead heat tie between The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy, and anything rendered by The Chipmunks. Horrible little beasts. They do unconscionable things to Christmas songs. They should be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay.
What's your favorite Christmas movie?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas with Boris Karloff. The Jim Carey/Ron Howard version is dismal and was just one big piece of stock footage for Visa to use in their ads that year.
What about A Christmas Story?
I still don’t understand why this is such a cult “classic.” It’s a stupid movie and I don't care for it. I think the first--and only--time I ever watched it, I didn't finish it.
What's your favorite Christmas tv special?
I think it’s all those Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer ones. They use to freak me out as a kid, but they’re kind of nostalgic now. Besides, what's not to love about Burl Ives?
What's the best present you ever received?
The best present I ever got? The best present I ever got… Hm. Can I pick more than one?
Age 5: Hand made kitchen cabinet and stove/oven play set my Dad built for me. I’d give anything for a picture of that right now, or for the piece itself. I wonder if my parents still have it? It was yellow with blue accents and had lots of cupboard and counter space.
Age 12: A hi-fi, Technics turntable.
Age 14: A CD player.
Age 15: A really cool red ski sweater. (And I don't ski.)
Age 16: My very first Opus the Penguin. I still have him. And several others.
Age 27: A Panasonic microwave for my apartment.
Age 33: A Kitchen Aid.
Age 37: A set of nice Henckel gourmet knives.
What's the worst present you ever received?
Is there such a thing as a bad present? Isn’t that why gift receipts were invented? Actually, I know I’ve had a few over the years that I didn’t much care for, but I can’t remember what they were (I’m sure my siblings will be able to name a few for me with total recall.)
What's the best present you ever gave?
I think it’s going to be this year’s gift to my mom. My siblings and I put together a montage of photos and music about my grandparents and my mom and her sisters on DVD. (See yesterday's blog, "Homemade" for all the details.)
What's the worst present you ever gave?
I don’t give bad presents. All my presents are good.
What do you want for Christmas this year?
Peace on earth. A job. Freedom from want.
Is Christmas still a religiously significant holiday for you--in other words, do you celebrate it as the birth of the savior of humanity?