Tuesday, December 07, 2010

How do YOU do Christmas?

My blog friend Mrs. Chili over at The Blue Door posted a meme on Monday about the holidays. And as I read her responses, I couldn't help but reflect on traditions around the holidays. We all have so many. And so many of us have the SAME traditions. And yet, we each tweak them just a bit to fit our own personal likes and the needs of our families. Comparing and contrasting seemed like fun. So you can check our her thoughts on the holidays and then see what I had to say on the same topics...

1. Real tree or Artificial?  Believe it or not, we have one of each. The real tree is in the family room and covered with all our favorite old ornaments and kid crafts, etc. And all our colored lights. And that is the tree the presents go underneath. But some years we also put up an artificial tree in the living room with white lights and more formal ornaments. This year...just the real one.
2. Do you like decorating the tree? Parts of it. I always have to put the tree in the stand and get the lights on ahead of time. I don’t love that part. But the ornaments are all done with the whole family and that part is fun.
3. When do you put up the tree? It varies...usually around the second weekend of December. This year, I put the tree in the stand and put on the lights tonight. We'll all put on the ornaments tomorrow evening.
4. When do you take the tree down?  Usually about a week after New Year’s.
5. Do you like eggnog? Oh I do! Most of the folks in my family do not, so when we buy it, I know I’m only sharing with Son1, so that means a lot for me.
6. Ever broken a present right after opening it? I don’t think so.
7 . Hardest person to buy for? My wife. And it is my fault. I put too much pressure on myself to get the perfect gift every time.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Our daughter. She always provides us with a color-coded list with appropriate hyperlinks to web sites, reviews, etc.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? We do.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. But we have been narrowing our list of who gets them every year. What a chore to do that whole process.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Underwear. From my mom. And not when I was a kid.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s A Wonderful Life. I know...how predictable.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As soon as possible after Black Friday is over and those folks go home.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Honestly, not that I can remember.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Thing. Singular. Then I would have to pick my wife’s rouladen. We have that for our Christmas dinner every year. I love it.
16. Have you ever actually eaten fruit cake? Sure. Often as a kid. Not so often as an adult. See, I really do learn as I grow!
17. Favorite Christmas song? Again with the singular! I’m pretty sure I can’t narrow it down to one song so I won’t even try. I’ll just say that I love Christmas music. I love the traditional songs such as Oh Holy Night and White Christmas. Plus I love some of the new stuff by The Roaches, Sara McLaughlin, and others. And I’m warning you, I love to sing along...which isn’t always a pretty thing.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We’ve been at home for the holidays for a long time now.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?  Absolutely.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel on the real tree. When we use the artificial tree, a big red bow.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both. It works like this. When our kids were very young (in fact, when there was only “kid” without the “s”) we started letting them open one small give on Christmas Eve. We were trying to take the edge off cause he/they would be so excited about the whole thing we were afraid they were going to explode. So one gift the night before.....that we selected cause we wanted to make sure it was a small one....and then all the rest Christmas morning. That tradition is still continued today. And even though two of them are in their 20’s, they would get quite pouty if there was no Christmas Eve gift opening.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?  People who just like to complain about things related to the holidays. Yes, there is more traffic and stores are busy. Relax. We’ll all get home for Christmas.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Oh that’s a tough one. If you were there as we decorated the tree, you would think about half of them are my favorites. I grab one to hang up and suddenly start reminiscing about when we bought it or what I remember about it. But if I have to choose a theme or color...I would have to say I love our more crafty/country style ornaments. The colored balls are fun...but I like the wooden ornaments best.
24. Favorite Christmas dinner? That rouladen I mentioned earlier with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, a good veggie. And a nice piece of pie for dessert.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Easy question! I’m am totally wanting to upgrade to an iPhone.


Cocotte said...

This was so good! I love to hear about others' traditions. I just made an eggnog fruitcake quick bread yesterday, but it was not eggnoggy enough for me. Is a roulade a beef tenderloin rolled up with some sort of stuffing?

Mrs. Chili said...

I'm so glad you did this; I love finding out how other people celebrate.

We have two trees, too! I forgot about that until I read what you do. We have the real tree in the great room and the girls have a 4-foot artificial tree in their bedroom (which is why I forgot about it).

I have a recipe for eggnog poppyseed bread that is GORGEOUS. If you're interested, go to stupideasyinthekitchen.wordpress and look up "eggnog" in the search bar. Yummy!

Star said...

Nice post. Happy holidays to you and yours. And I hope Santa brings you that iPhone.

Em said...

Cocotte - yep, rouladen is a German dish. My wife doesn't make it in the most traditional way. It is cube steak pressed thin and then rolled with onions and bacon on the inside. It gets browned in the pan..then some water added and it slow cooks til it is the most tender thing you've ever had. And you can make a fabulous gravy from the drippings.

And it might be yummy with Mrs Chili's delicious bread!

Star...I think Santa is gonna be easy to convince on this one. :)

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

"Oh Holy Night" is one of my favorites too. We also do the one-gift-on-Christmas-Eve thing, and the kids always remind me if I forget!

secret agent woman said...

I did this meme a year or so ago. I guess memes never really die, they just cycle back around.

Eggnog. My kids love it, I find it undrinkable.