Friday, December 1, 2006

Getting to Know you Christmas Style

Getting to Know You Christmas Style

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Two words, dude - Hot Chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Just sitting them under the tree is an option? In whose world? I buy 1,000's of feet of one style of non-tacky paper and wrap everything hours before they are to be unwrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Lots of colored lights. Multi colors. Not just red, blue, green and yellow. Until they all burnt out, I had turquoise, amber, and hot pink too. Hundreds and hundreds of them on the tree inside. Since I've been on my own, I only put lights on the trees in my front yard. I'm not good with ladders and am wary of heights, so my house is barren aykid.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. I'd hate for someone to feel obligated...

5. When do you put your decorations up? Uhhhhh. No set date. Last year it was Dec 20. This year I'm aiming for Dec 15 ... Just can't get into this anymore.

6. Favorite Holiday Dish? Leftovers the next day.

7. Favorite Holiday memory? When we were teenagers, we (as a family) would go see a movie on Christmas Day night, after having spent the day with our grandparents. (There was a shortage of aunts, uncles and cousins to share the day with. It was often just us, Grandpa, Granny and Omi.) Seems to me, and I could be wrong ... but one year we saw the Clint Eastwood flick, "Every Which Way You Can" and another year it was "Close Encounters of a Third Kind." When we were first married and living in the barn (OH, that reminds me... I just found out that both of the barns on my parent's property are slated to be burnt to the ground. That is so weird. That barn in the lower field holds many significant memories for me. I have to be there for the destruction of it. To take pictures. And say goodbye. Out of the ashes a phoenix will rise?) Where was I - oh yeah, when we were first married, and living in the barn, we would pull the mattress off the bed and put it into the family room in front of the wood burning fireplace on Christmas Eve. That was a good memory. Then, years later, a favorite memory was the kids' excitement at doing the treasure hunt for their stockings that I stayed up all night preparing. Clint is 19 and still expects that I will have a treasure hunt set up for them. And now - my favorite memory is waking up the day after we celebrate Christmas at the cabin to the smell of bacon being fried by my bro-in-law.

BUT MY ALL TIME MOST FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MEMORY was the Christmas when I was about 13 or 14 … we spent the day with Ome, my dad’s mom. She had no other family in BC, so as was usual, it was just us. We got over there in the morning, in time for me to sneak into her spare bedroom to watch the Christmas episode of The Young and Restless. It was heartbreakingly sad as I recall and I cried some very satisfying tears the entire hour. Someone must have died and someone else must have declared undying love. After that we would have had turkey and/or verenika for lunch. As the rest of the family slept or played Memory, (doesn’t everyone play Memory with their cheating grandma’s?) I found a soft spot in the front bedroom to curl up and read the latest Danielle Steel novel. I cried my way through 250 pages of totally predictable and completely sappy writing.
Christmas just doesn’t get better than that.

Oh, wait. I just remembered another good one. Twas the winter of ’02 and I was homeless. I’d sold my house that fall and hadn’t found this perfect princess castle yet so my parents opened their door to me and my kids. Again.
Christmas Day was the first 24 hour period in 62 days that I had the house to myself. My kids were with their dad and my folks were already at the cabin. There were three of us on the property that night. Kevin, down in the barn; Daryl up in the suite and me in the house. Not sure what Kev was doing, but Daryl was listening to the Dixie Chicks full blast. By midnight I was starting to revel in my solitude, so I turned on December by Collective Soul and danced. And then danced some more. I bopped and jived for hours, going through my playlist twice.
The next day, at the cabin, my mom gave me the book, “I Hope You Dance”. I went up to my room and cried. It was the perfect gift. Y-e-a-h- - that’s what I’m talking about. GREAT Christmas.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I read about it.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes. Every other year the kids spend Christmas Eve night til Boxing Day noon with their dad, so on those years we open our gifts to each other on Christmas eve afternoon. Uh, huh - it doesn't feel right at all. I keep trying to think up a fun tradition for those awkward years. Haven't figgered one out yet.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? As previously mentioned, I put on as many mutli-coloured lights as possible. Then the kids put on the ornaments. They always put on the tacky things they made in school. And the ugly ornaments they refer to as their favorites from when they were kids. I finish it off with red and blue glass balls. Our tree will not win any awards for style or beauty.

11. Snow, Love it or Dread it? I love the idea of it. But somehow, when it's here, I don't seem as enamored of it as much as I think Ishould be.

12. Can you ice skate? No.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Sadly, no. I hope I’m not offending anyone with that answer. If you’re reading this and have given me some awesome gifts over the years, I’ve sure I loved and appreciated each and every one of them.

14. What's the most important thing?
Getting lots of presents.
No? Wrong answer?
Plenty of rest and lots of water?
Eating the red ones last?
Saying please and thank you?
Washing your hands after you use the toilet?
Doing you best?
Doing unto others?

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Eis Gipfel. Which reminds me. My recipe book has been misplaced. I cannot find it anywhere. No where. It is unfindable. And, lest you brush this loss off as insignificant, let me tell you it is not. My mom wrote, in her beautiful penmanship, all our favorite family recipes into a journal-styled cook book and gave it to me at one of my bridal showers. After twenty years the binding started to give way, so I bought a binder and a whack of clear page protectors and took the original book apart. Each page was placed into a protective covering. As well, all the clippings and hand written recipe cards from friends were put into that binder as well. Gone. All gone. Gone since the summer. My Eis Gipfel recipe was in there.
Oh yeah, sure, my mom and sister still have it in their cook books, but do you know how long it’s going to take me to track down and rewrite all the old recipes?
Oh. Sorry. It’s December. A new month. I wasn’t going to whine anymore.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Hunting down the perfect tree with the boys. Sleeping overnight with my whole family at the cabin.

17. What tops your tree? Nothing. Which drives Drew NUTS. So sometimes I'll throw a Santa's hat up there.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving is the right answer, right? No, actually I do love to give.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Oh Holy Night

20. Candy Canes, Yuck or yum? Blechhh.

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