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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Meme

Because I'm fried I need some mindless activity. Memes are perfect because I don't have to consult any notes or books or theological references in order to come up with the answers. I got this one from Angela Messenger. :-)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. I like to wrap gifts in things that don't betray what they are. Sometimes that's impossible so I am forced to use a gift bag. Or it's just more convenient. Although last year I used some things from around the house to hide the shape of the actual gift, which was already oddly shaped but the packaging would have given it away. So I was deceptive in my wrapping and fully mystified my brother. We have a Christmas tradition of wrapping things oddly.

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I had a real tree only twice in my first Christmas in my own apartment (and then I found out we weren't supposed to have them and I wasn't able to sneak it out until March!) And I was given a real tree my first year in my townhome. It's a pain in the butt and my dog kept drinking the water and eating the branches. And I'm still finding needles. Now I have a little 10" artificial tree and I love it!

3. When do you put up the tree? I put mine up Thanksgiving weekend because I had time. It has lights but no decoration...I'll decorate it closer to Christmas, likely the last Sunday of Advent. I'm working on developing a new tradition. Then I'll market it and sell it on e-bay and make lots of money on this new intellectual property in the field of "Christmas Traditions."

4. When do you take the tree down? After the Epiphany.

5. Do you like eggnog? I'll usually have a glass or so on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but's just too thick and rich to have more than a glass.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I really wanted Western Barbie and her horse, Dallas. And I never got what I wanted for Christmas, and my parents were divorced that year. (Although they were both present for Christmas Eve). And sure enough, on Christmas Eve, I opened Western Barbie...from my Dad! And the next morning, the last gift I opened was a box. It said "Santa" but when I opened it and saw a picture of Dallas on it, I actually figured that it was just a box being re-used and probably had some ugly sweater in it. (I still believed in Santa but kids aren't dumb...they get used to recycled boxes that picture better things than what they contain.) Well, Mom and Dad were both looking really happy, so I opened the box, ready for the sweater or weird sox. But for once, the box contained EXACTLY what it seemed....Dallas! So I got the best COMBINED gift ever.... Dallas and Western Barbie! And played with them for years. I still have them both somewhere, likely with missing and broken parts.

And on a more serious Dad passed away on January 3, 1995. And last weekend, I thought we were going to have Christmas without Mom. So now, I'm grateful for the best gift I've ever received....Mom.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? No, I don't have anywhere to put it. I do have an olive wood carving of the Holy Family and it has special significance during Christmas, but it is important for me all year long.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Mom. She doesn't need anything and doesn't "want" anything. And is allergic to everything. Or frightened of candles. Etc.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Clothing that doesn't fit or in a style/color I would never wear. Especially since it doesn't fit.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Email Christmas Cards? Seriously? Can we say TACKY? I would MAIL Christmas cards, but I never do. I buy them with good intentions, even go so far as to write them up and stuff them in envelopes, then write the person's name on it. And then I never get around to finding or looking up the address, or I don't have stamps, etc...and I never send the cards out. So this year I conceeded defeat and I'm not sending out any cards at all. I don't have the time or money to buy cards I'm not going to send. And don't worry...I don't get a lot of cards, either. Probably because I don't send them. And no, I don't feel snubbed. But I DO treasure the cards I get and they are placed in a location of honor!

11. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Well, I love "The Nativity" that came out last year, and I watched it last Sunday night. But otherwise...guilty confession..."National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Um....well...I haven't had time this year. Usually sometime during Advent, on weekends that I'm not studying. Which this year will only give me the weekend just before Christmas. Can we say "nightmare"?

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't know, let me check my credit card It's all accounted for and still garnering interest!

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? We don't really eat anything different at Christmas than at any other time of the year. Sad but true. We have all the same elements at almost every feast. IS the time of year I can find Divinity. I just LOVE Divinity. Mom says she can't make it, but usually does a decent job, and has made it SPECIALLY for me, God bless her. This year, there will be no baking from Mom, so I must go on the prowl at the grocery store for this delectable delight.... (If anyone is considering a gift for me....divinity...mmmmm)

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both. Lately I'm loving the combinatin of clear/white/blue

16. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I usually travel to my brother's or Mom's house.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Donner, Dancer, Blitzen....Rudolph. Nope. What's your point?

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. They don't work on a 10" tree. But I have both and have used both.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up it was Christmas Eve, with Santa's gifts on Christmas morning. Then it was Christmas Eve, reserving gifts for Christmas morning. Now it's a couple essential (as in applying to our wine and cheese party) Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas Day. This year...dunno. Depends on whether Mom is in a nursing home recovering or is able to actually be somewhere, if only for a few days.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The focus on stuff and wishy-washy "Christmas Spirit" while ignoring the fact we're celebrating the birth of our Savior.


Maddy said...

In the spirit of delurking I always find these memes are such great introductions.

A few years ago I read a book called 'unplug on the Christmas machine' [or something like that, rapidly going senile] but I'm sure it applies equally well to all faiths.

[I'm not really plugging a book but bear with me] Anyway, the reason that I liked it was because it helped me to focus on what was important and what was just so much 'hype and pressure.'

Also it pointed out that it tends to be the women / mums who call the shots [nice use of colloquial Americanism there!] and that the Dad/men's traditions tend to be trampled. [by me at least - I always prefer Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, but not everyone is so inclined around here]

Hence, when you whittle it down I learned to chuck out the unimportant stuff and focus on what really matters. I think it should work for everyone.

There you go, after that summary you don't even need to buy the book.
BEst wishes

Adoro te Devote said...

Wow, maddy, you are QUICK! LOL!

I hear you. Back in high school I was very involved with music in my parish, and I found that as Christmas approached, I cared a LOT more for what was going on at church, and not so much about what was happening with all the gifts. Not that I was a real holy kid, mind you, but all my exposure to the true presence of Christ was apparently making a difference to me.

That, and being with Jesus versus being at home was a much more pleasant experience.

Christina said...

Try mixing milk with the eggnog. Drinking it that way I manage three cups a year ;)

Kelly said...


I have to tell you that I have been enjoying reading your blog for the last month or so and have found both food for thought and a good laugh.

The eggnog comment made me want to tell you that I have a friend at church that makes the absoulte best homemade eggnog with half and half and ice cream (and eggs of course). It is not too thick and everyone loves it. In fact, two years ago at their annual New Years/Anniversary party there were not too many guests because of the bad weather and my then 12 year old son had about 6 cups. As we were leaving he got quite sick and it all came back up. He does not, however, regret it. He said it was SO worth it.

There has since been a two-cup limit imposed on the egg-nog and the story is now the stuff of church legend. At the mention of eggnog people look at each other and laugh. We don't even have to tell the story anymore.....we all know why we are laughing.

It also mixes well with Kalua. Anyway, have a Merry Christmas with your family.

btw...I like National Lamppon's Christmas Vacation, too.

Sarah said...

Western Barbie and Dallas!!!!
*pause for fond nostalgic murmuring as I nurse a future Barbie fan*
Thanks for that moment. :)

And...Christmas Vacation is my ULTIMATE FAVORITE too. Even though some people in my house have taste and rave for White Christmas (which I do like, but not in the same guilty pleasure laugh-til-I-pee way that I like Christmas Vacation...)

I think we're neighbors, Adoro. It just happens that MN is a few (hundred) miles away from OH. Ah, well, someday I'm a-comin to your neighborhood so we can drink red wine with our steaks as we watch Christmas Vacation (I'm good for watching it any time of the year, how pathetic is that?!) and play with Western Barbie and Dallas (though mine was butched out of necessity and a shortage of Ken dolls...)

Adoro te Devote said...

My dear sister/neighbor/friend/etc Sara....LOL! wine and steak.... 'bout red wine and spaghetti, garlic bread, etc?


I'm cookin' up spaghetti tonight.

We are indeed neighbors. And I think I still have Dalla's boyfriend, Midnight, and their little palomino filly...Dixie. And I have a Skipper somewhere, if she's not gone or given away. I did get a Ken at some point, too, also from my Dad. And some kind of glamorous Barbie I renamed "Barbara" because I can't handle everyone having the same name! LOL!

Tell you what...if I find my dolls and they're in good shape, maybe I should send them your way. It's not like I need them anymore. Or at least as far as any of YOU know....


Sarah said...

You know, come to think of it, I did get Western Ken too. He had a white shiny shirt that no self-respecting man in my life would wear, but I thought he was pretty cool (and so did Barbie, all that winking - remember the winking and the bright blue eyeshadow?). So we could have QUITE a time when I come over, huh? Well, I mean the KIDS would have a blast playing with the dolls (as far as anyone reading this knows...)

Adoro said...