Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Questionnaire

I've seen these around, and I've loved reading about other's traditions, so I thought you might enjoy it too.
But there were only 22 questions, and my Christmas OCD required that there be 25, so I added a few extra -all things that I personally wanted to talk about.... so. About me:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate, and the cheaper the better. For some reason the really crappy 2% real cocoa stuff just warms my soul. 
Especially with marshmallows. Not whipped cream, marshmallows. 

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Well... Santa doesn't give "presents" really. Santa fills your stocking (with unwrapped gifts) and maybe gives ONE (unwrapped) present. The rest of the presents are from your parents.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored. Always colored. I don't understand those fancy color-coordinated trees, unless they're in stores or displays. Our tree is mismatched, and filled with homemade ornaments, colored lights, and random bits of ribbon, as it should be.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not this year, but maybe I'll buy some! I forgot about it somehow...

5. When do you put your decorations up? The sooner the better. This year, we set everything up the day after Thanksgiving, but I'm not opposed to putting it up the day after Halloween. Usually I do, but this year we had to wait to get our tree.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Tie, between my dad's homemade clam chowder (which I think of as a Holiday dish) and my dad's Christmas breakfast pudding which is like fancy rice pudding.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? My parents always had a Christmas Eve party, and invited neighbors, church members, friends without family nearby. My dad would serve homemade Clam Chowder and the kids would play. Then sometime during the evening the kids would all dress up (in sheets, and towels) and someone would read the Christmas story from the Bible, and we'd act it out. My sister Mary always got to be the Virgin Mary, and I was always jealous. But I usually managed to be an angel with speaking parts, or the narrator. Plus, I usually took it upon myself to "direct" the play. (You know, I quite like to be in charge... and to hear my voice, apparently.)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember, but here's the honest truth. I believe in Santa. 100%. I am not kidding you, and I will explain: If Santa didn't exist, Millions upon millions of children would not get gifts signed "love Santa" on the same night, every year, all around the world.
Sure, maybe parents put those presents there, but why would they bother if Santa wasn't real? Santa may not be a "fact," but he is certainly "true." 
Santa may not be a person, but he is millions of people, and they all work together to bring children beautiful Christmases.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Always, and they were always pajamas that we would wear to bed, and on Christmas morning.  Now that we have kids, we're starting that tradition in our home, too.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Every year since I was born, my Grandma Marcie has given me a ornament. They all say my name and the date on the back. Most of them are homemade, but some aren't. Those twenty-two ornaments, a handful of ornaments from my Great-grandmother's tree, and a few I've made over the years cover the tree.  This year I didn't get my ornament, but Grey and Micah each got one. I love it.

It's a good tradition to start. 

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Lovelovelovelove. LOVE! I wish there was snow NOW. WHERE IS IT?!
My freshman year of college I told someone that I loved the snow. She scoffed and said, "If you grew up in it, and had to learn to drive in it, you wouldn't feel that way!"
Um... I grew up in Minnesota. What do you think the weather there is like? 

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, sir! (or ma'am) I grew up with a lake in my backyard, or occasionally -depending on our house- a pond. And you know how neighborhoods here all have parks hidden in them? Neighborhoods in Minnesota all have little outdoor ice rinks in them. 

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? When I was 15 my grandpa gave me a movie iPod.  That was a much bigger deal then than an iPod is now. I may or may not have chewed off the plastic wrap in excitement. (To be fair, that plastic is hard to get off without scissors, or car keys, or... um... teeth. And I couldn't wait for scissors or keys, I had my teeth right there!)

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. I love spending time with my family, and it's really hard to be away from all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents the last two years. 

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Molasses Sugar Cookies. (You can see the recipe to make them {here})

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Honestly, I love making snowflakes with the family. My brother and sisters and I would always sit around making these elaborate snowflakes to hang up all around the house and in all the windows. Last year Travis and his little brother Tate and I made snowflakes together and it's so much fun.
I make AWESOME snowflakes. I'm very good. (It's just one more of my completely useless skills.)

17. What tops your tree? Right now it's a gold ribbon that I tied in a big bow, but only because I keep forgetting to make an angel or star to top it. 

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Can I be honest? I know you're supposed to say giving. But it depends on the gift. For example, last year for Christmas we gave my parents little homemade onesies that said "I love my Grandma Polly" and "I love my Grandpa Chris" and giving those gifts was SO fun. I love giving homemade gifts, or things that are special. But I also love receiving special or homemade gifts. It really makes me feel like the gift-giver knows me well and loves me.

19. Candy canes: yuck or yum? Yum. I have eaten two boxes entirely by myself so far this year. They're crumbly crunchy on the inside and slightly chewy on the outside. You can suck on them or chew them up. They are DELICIOUS. Amazing. The perfect candy. 

20. Favorite Christmas show? It's a Wonderful Life. In fact, that is my favorite movie. We're talking EVER and in all seasons. But I also really love A Charlie Brown Christmas and the black and white Miracle on 34th Street.

If you haven't seen (or worse, don't love) those three movies, we may not be able to continue our friendship.
I have them all, if you feel like you need to borrow them.

21. Saddest Christmas song? Are there sad Christmas songs? If so, I do not listen to them. I have a very specific and lengthy Christmas playlist and it only includes songs which are wonderful and happy.
But not annoying, I refuse to be annoyed by Christmas music.

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night is my favorite to listen to and to sing in church, but I love love love The Friendly Beasts to sing myself, and I have taken to singing it almost constantly in our home and at nap time. 

23. Do you use an Advent calendar? Why yes, I do. It is adorable, and homemade. I'm pretty sure that my Grandma (or Great-grandma?) made it. It is a little felt Christmas tree, and in pockets underneath it there are 25 little ornaments, and you get to hang one up on the felt tree every day.

24. Do you go to church on Christmas? Nope. Unless it's Sunday, and there's regular church. But to be honest, we didn't always even go to that. Usually we'd get up in the morning and open presents and have a big breakfast (Pudding, pancakes, waffles, monkey bread, etc) and then we'd all get dressed and just as church would be starting, we'd get in the car to drive to Grandma's house for the rest of the day.
I have always wished that Mormons held some sort of Christmas service, and I think when Travis and I live in a town with a few more Catholics (are there even Catholics in Provo?) we'll go to their midnight mass with the boys. I think that remembering the reason for Christmas is really important, and it would be a really fun and beautiful tradition. 

25. What were your Christmas morning rules as a kid? We weren't allowed to wake our parents up before 7am, and we weren't allowed to unwrap any presents. BUT we were allowed to look at the presents in our stockings, and any unwrapped gifts (but we couldn't take things out of packages.) So usually Mary and I would sneak downstairs to the tree and carefully sort through all the presents in our stockings, comparing our gifts and eating the candy until we were allowed to get our parents, and then we'd show them all the things Santa brought us, and make them come downstairs so we could get into our real gifts. 

If you have any interesting answers to questions, leave them in the comments! or link up if you do the questionnaire on your blog!

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Unknown said...

This will be on my blog tomorrow! Check it out (you are credited a couple of times)!

Polly said...

That was a great post and with sick babies too! Your amazing. I loved reading all your happy memories. Sorry the advent calendar is not home made but Grandpa Patch gave it to me when you were a baby. So it's pretty old haha. I loved that Christmas Eve tradition too, I can't wait to start it back up again. I love breakfast pudding, now I'm hungry!

Anonymous said...

I put your "Santa" explanation on my Facebook and I swear I quoted you. Also, we don't know each other and I'm just a childless follower of your awesome blog. Aaaaand, creepy.

Allyssa said...

Linked up!

saddest song: christmas shoes

fake or real tree Becky? How can you make a real tree last from the beginning of November to the end of December? We do fake for now but when we have little ones that can understand we'll probably do real.

Allyssa said...

It's not weird Becky and it's not inappropriate. I'm a christian and I believe that too. I've read Heaven is for Real and it was amazing. But it still doesn't make it much easier knowing that anyways because right now is when it hurts and I know until I have my own, I'm going to keep counting the months.

Angela said...

I did this survey, but it was back in November! Mine is located here!


MARCIE said...

Oh wow, I got a mention on your blog! So glad you love all those little ornaments over the years. They were made with love and lots of fun. I remember buying some for your first Christmas and what fun that was. Sending love and stockings!