Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Tag

I don't know if I'm the Julie that Courtney tagged, but I thought this one was fun so I'm doing it.

1. Do you like Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? I like both, but I can drink much more hot chocolate. Egg Nog tastes like bubblegum to me.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree? Santa is a whole fat subject for me. Santa never came to my house as a kid. Now don't go feeling sad...I don't feel that my Christmases were any less magical. My dad hated the commercialization of religious holidays (there was no Easter Bunny either) so there was no effort to have us believe in Santa. We got stockings and tons of gifts, but we knew it was from our parents. In fact, I think it was more magical knowing the gifts were from my parents - with all the thought, effort, and expense they went to. I looked on Santa believers with an amused tolerance/contempt. Most Christmas movies were just silly.

This became an issue when Jadyn arrived and I realized Scott grew up the exact opposite. Now no one can say that I've never compromised in this marriage! Here's the agreement we reached. Santa fills the stockings and leaves one unwrapped present. I have dutifully filled my obligation - though I am admittedly not very good at it. I have a tendency to forget and put homemade things in the stockings, or the memorable year when I thought the kids too young to realize that Santa left the stuffed dinosaurs that Mommy sewed. Funny thing: they knew I made them but still had no trouble with the fact that Santa delivered them. Go figure.

I have friends who will die on the Santa hill and argue that he's just the spirit of Christmas and not a lie. Bull Crap!!! (I say that as politely and respectfully as possible (: ) People. We are all lying our butts off. I'll be relieved when I don't have to keep up this charade. And I'm worried about when Jadyn figures it out. I never went through that and don't know what to expect or how to empathize. I can't imagine the disillusionment and betrayal to know your parents have been lying to you your whole life.

Conversely, I enjoy messing with their heads. For example, I tell them Santa has dwarves, not elves. I mean come on - they are short, have beards, and like to make things. Classic dwarves. So it has all been slightly entertaining. We'll just have to see how it all turns out.

3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? White lights all the way. There is something so pure and beautiful to me about white lights. I remember the enchantment I felt when I first saw white icicle lights on a home when I was a kid. I've never wanted anything but white lights on my tree (that twinkle!) and white icicles on my house (one the rare year we actually put any up).

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I have and I will whenever I run across kids selling it. That doesn't happen every year. I do grow weary of it by the end of December because my husband never lets up! (Maybe I should just put it somewhere with less traffic...)

5. When do you put up your decorations? Usually right after Thanksgiving. I love fall and Thanksgiving, and even though I love Christmas too, I don't like to rush through anything. Occasionally things happen later. It depends some on how pregnant I am in any given year. But ideally, right after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I love turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing all covered in gravy. But I usually make ham and scalloped potatoes for Christmas. I also like to mix things up, so we'll see. But it wouldn't be the holidays without rolls, apple yam yummies (a traditional dish from my dad's side), and pie, and crab dip.

7. What is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood? Just being together. We often had "visitors" of the older children and it was often the only time we saw them. I also loved digging in our stockings, slowly to make it last, first thing while the house was still mostly dark and we were all in our pajamas. When I think of Christmas from my childhood I feel peace. (Which is interesting considering that I have 8 brothers and sisters!)

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve? Yes. Like everyone else (apparently) we open new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Scott and I started this though neither of us did it as children. Growing up we would open the presents from visiting relatives while they were there, so that often meant Christmas Eve opening. That's not been an issue here with us so far from family.

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? One tradition we have is that everyone gets a new ornament each year, hopefully one that represents a major event or a certain stage/age. Scott and I even do this for each other. So our tree is covered with meaningful memory filled ornaments. I label each one with the year and we put them up one at a time and remember the year and what we were doing. I have a special Kim Anderson kissing couple that I found for our first Christmas as a married couple, and that is always put up first. One reason I've done this is so that when my kids leave home they will already have 18 or so ornaments of their own to take, along with all the memories. We often just sit and admire our tree and talk about the ornaments and how long we've had some of them. I love our Christmas tree.

10. Snow! Love it or dread it? I like the first few storms. I like watching it and reveling in the fact that I'm inside and warm. If I have to go out my attitude changes. As the winter progresses my attitude stays fixed in the angry/sulking mode. I hate when the snow sticks around for weeks and gets all dirty and crispy. I hate shoveling it. I hate dressing the kids up (which takes hours) only to have them freeze themselves and cry to come in 15 minutes later. By February or March all I can think when it snows again is that some large bird pooped all over the town and we have to clean it up.

11. Do you remember your favorite gift? Some of my favorites from childhood: a huge stuffed snow tiger carrying a baby in her mouth, a dollhouse my parents put together from a kit and my mom painted every piece with her left hand because she had just shattered her wrist, a box of furniture and people for said dollhouse from my grandma, my cabbage patch when I was 5, strawberry shortcake and angelfood cake baby dolls that breathed out scented air when you squeezed them, my toolbox and eastwing hammer when I was older and made it clear to my father that he shouldn't be getting tools for just his sons.

As an adult: the gravy boat that my husband shopped years for to find the right one that would go with my dishes set, the hand carved gnomes my husband made (and sliced himself up good for), oh I could keep going...I have a very thoughtful husband.

12. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. Especially things like time off work so we are all together. Christmas music. But I must admit I love giving gifts. Love it. Wish I was a millionaire and could buy gifts for everyone all time.

13. What is your favorite hoilday dessert? Pumpkin pie is essential. After that, chocolate.

14. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Probably the ornament thing. But I also love Christmas morning and watching the kids open one present at a time. (We don't allow the mayhem of greed.) I also love reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve by candlelight.

15. What tops your tree? A star made from shells that I found for our first year together. I still love it and would die inside if it ever broke.

16. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I much prefer giving. I love giving. I think there is only one person I'm really comfortable getting things from and that is Scott. Maybe my Mom too.

17. What is your favorite Christmas song? I like/tolerate the secular Christmas songs. I LOVE religious Christmas songs. My favorites, the ones I sing non-stop are: What Child is This, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Away in the manager (both melodies), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Oh Come Let Us Adore Him, and so on

18. Candy canes? No thankyou. They are pretty and I put them on the tree sometimes. If I have to eat one it better some flavor other than peppermint.

19. Do you feel Christmas is too commercialized? Yes. The focus needs to more on the Savior and less on Santa. More on gratitude and less on getting.

20. Favorite Christmas movie? I remember Frosty and Rudolph and Home Alone fondly from childhood. I appreciate It's a Wonderful Life. Christmas movies aren't so much a part of our celebrating. Probably cuz they weren't for me as a kid. We got a holiday pack from Costco this year so maybe I'll watch some of the classics for the first time.

21. Can you ice skate? Not really. I've enjoyed the few times I went, but it was scary. I also always seem to be pregnant and unable to participate. Oh well.

I would love it if any of my lazy friends would do this tag. I'm interested in different traditions and opinions!


  1. Yes, you are the Julie I tagged! Thanks for doing it, I love reading about other's memories and traditions!

  2. I have thought about the "Lie" thing but I never felt betrayed by may parents as a kid and never felt it was a "Lie" I dont ever worry that my kids may not believe in Jesus just because I filled their heads with Santa. (as some say) I think at a certain point growing up I knew there was no Santa but I always "WANTED TO BELIEVE" and so finally when I was like 11 years old and I didnt get what I wanted for Christmas and my parents said there is not Santa yeah I felt a bit gutted but was ok to accept it and to tell you the truth I really like the "Yes there is a Santa Claus Virginia" because Santa does exist in all of us and it would be a sad world with out it. I guess I am a huge kid because I love the Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street I just love the "Magic" and yes I still "Believe" :0)

    This was a great I will do it when I get a moment THanks Julie! You are GREAT!