Merry Christmas Questionnaire

From my friend Sarah Kim:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Ideally, wrapped in the Sunday funnies, though I have capitulated to wrapping paper.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real for my entire life until this year. Haven’t warmed up to the new artificial tree.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Varies widely. Last year it was December 21; ideally, it would have been earlier. This year, it was December 18.

4. When do you take the tree down?
I would take it down on Twelfth Night, January 6. However, others thought otherwise and it came down New Year’s Eve.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yep, with amaretto.

6. Favoriite gift received as a child?
The Beatles white album, 1968. What I remember, though is that the intro to Birthday skipped and I had to get a replacement copy. This problem, I understand, was not mine alone.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My mom, and has been for years.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My daughter, who verbalizes what she wants.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, in fact we have a couple; I married into these.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail, or not at all, it seems.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Actually, I have no idea. Well, unless you want to count clothes my wife gets me.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I’m leaning toward the Christmas Carol with George C. Scott.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Sometimes early if I have a bright idea, and this year’s going surprisingly well. Or the very last minute when I don’t.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Real mashed potatoes, not the stuff in a box.

16. Lights on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Anything with a descant.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually at home or my parents-in-law’s, a little over an hour away.

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?
The stockings Christmas Eve, presents Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about the season?
The “war on Christmas” drivel.

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
It’s weird, but most of my favorite ornaments – mostly red – have gone MIA. I am fond of an Adirondack chair ornament from May 2003, just before Carol got pregnant.

24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Other than the usual (Hess truck, World Almanac,) some music on my Amazon list.
Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol, one of my childhood favorites.
Bowie and Bing redux.
I read this to my daughter this month:

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Picture from Freefoto. Ref Number: 90-15-57; Photographer: Ian Britton; Camera: SONY , DSLR-A100; Date: Dec 1, 2006

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