I have been tagged with “the dreaded Christmas meme” by Mark a/k/a Zenpundit.
Mark says the rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Since I have plenary authority on my own blog and my own posts, I am amending the rules by tagging all other ChicagoBoyz and –Grrrlz who may feel free to answer as few or as many of these as they want in the comments.
1. Wrapping or gift bags?
Wrapping. I do a sloppy job, but I do it. My mother and sister wrap presents so they look like works of art.
2. Real or artificial tree?
Real tree. My Dad grew up seriously poor. He had one episode where as a child he managed to get a tree some store was throwing out on Christmas Eve. My mother hated the needles. My Dad, who did not assert himself at all on domestic décor, would just announce that we were going to get a tree every year. So, I have carried on this tradition.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Within a few weeks of Christmas. Some weekend night I am not working.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Some time after New Years, usually. The cascade of needles then provides hours of family clean-up fun.
5. Do you like egg nog?
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
The sets of army guys the old Sears catalog used to have. I got the Civil War battle one year, with trees, walls, cannons, horses for the cavalry, little accessories like piles of cannon balls and barrels and other stuff for the blue guys and the grey guys to hide behind for shooting. I would wage the battles on the worn-down part of the living room rug, because the guys stood up better on there.. Also, way, way back: A G.I. Joe jeep celebrexhome with a spring-loaded recoilless rifle that actually shot projectiles across the room. No one would ever make a toy like that these days.
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Absolutely. And Advent candles. We are Catholics. We do the religious part of it hardcore. That’s the point, actually. Jesus is the reason for the season.
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
When I was a child I hated getting clothes. Other than that, I have nothing that comes to mind.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Both. It depends on how reliable the paper address is, or if it is someone whom I primarily deal with via the Net.
10. Favorite Christmas Movie?
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Depends. My Dad, I know what kind of books to get him so I have my eyes open all year for good candidates. Other people, less so. However, if I see something that will make a good gift for birthday or Christmas, I have a list I keep on my computer. Actually shopping usually consists of a marathon session on the Internet, where the list is then executed, usually sometime around Thanksgiving. I try to never set foot in a retail establishment anyway, least of all at Christmas.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
What my mother always made: Roast beef, cheese potatoes, several vegetables, cherry tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, cheesecake and Baby Jesus’ birthday cake for dessert. I have replicated this feast on my own, but as we all know it cannot be as good as Mom makes.
13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
14. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Home. With our little kids, it is easier for others to come to us.
15. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
Christmas day. We go to Mass the night before. Then we open the presents in the morning.
16. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The fact that family demands ramp way up but the tempo at work does not really ramp down any.