From Johnny B.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I admit it; I have issues with wrapping paper. Specifically, when I was a child, I thought it would be a good idea, instead of wasting money on wrapping paper, to wrap my presents in the comic section of my local newspaper. Now I’d be seen as environmentally sensitive, but then I was mocked. I’ll get over it. Eventually. Maybe.
2. Real tree or artificial?
We’ve actually gone without; we feared a toddler would pull it down on herself. Last year and this, a real one.
3. When do you put up the tree?
It varies widely. It’s been two weeks before, Christmas Eve and everything in between.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Often on New Year’s Day, or a day or two after, though, when it went up on Christmas Eve, it stayed up until Epiphany.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Especially with amaretto. Pour it correctly and it gets all swirly.
6. Favorite gifts received as a child?
My Johnny Seven OMA – one-man army. It was so cool, it’s a surprise I became a pacifist. I was watching the Tonight show and Tom Hanks was talking about having one when HE was a kid.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
My mother. She has no hobbies, has everything she needs, and if she doesn’t have something, she can go out and buy it for herself. It’s an ordeal every year to come up with something…but hey, it’s my Ma! I try hard every year.
That’s about right.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
My daughter. She’s not that greedy, either.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
A couple of them. They don’t always actually get displayed, more out of time crunch than anything.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Last year, probably neither. We HOPE to mail this year.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Some work exchange present of a redneck daily calendar.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I resisted it for SO long, I’ll have to give props to It’s a Wonderful Life. Much darker than I would have imagined.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I buy when the spirit strikes. I’ve bought in July and after Christmas for distant relatives who don’t care as long as the present arrives by Epiphany.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Probably, but I don’t have a specific recollection.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
16. Lights on the tree?
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Coventry Carol, though I have a great fondness for a song by Julie Andrews called The Bells of Christmas.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually visit the in-laws in Oneonta, an hour away, but this year, it’s at our house.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Listening to boring debates about how “they” have taken the Christ out of Christmas. My Jehovah’s Witness acquaintance notes that they don’t celebrate Christmas at all because it’s rooted in pagan winter solstice traditions. He wouldn’t put it this way, but one could make the case, by his definition, that most people have taken the Christ, who probably wasn’t a Capricorn, out of Christmas.
Oh, yeah, and the lower headline:
My friend Lynne recommends that people go to visit the Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I like red things.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Traditional turkey/mashed potatoes.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I don’t know. I mean besides the traditional Hess truck and World Almanac. Oh and the new Macca album.
26. Who is most likely to respond to this?
I’m guessing the near-twin Gordon.
For those of you not in the Albany-Schenectady area, you can only imagine how utterly furious I am about this story: Ex-Schenectady Police Chief Gregory T. Kaczmarek and his wife, Lisa, are expected to admit their roles in a drug ring that supplied Schenectady streets with cocaine and heroin. I lived in Schenectady only a year and a half, but the idea of the top cop undermining his own law enforcement for personal gain turned me a Christmas shade of crimson.