This one comes courtesy of The Other Andrew... I do have the strongest impression that I've done it before... but maybe I'm thinking of a combination of The Holiday Ten from Year One, and the Christmas Meme from Year Two... but we'll go with it anyway... it wouldn't be Christmas without some sort of Christmas Meme...
Or an almost naked hottie in a Santa hat either apparently... *grin*
Real tree or artificial?
Artificial all the way baby! I can't think of anything worse than watching a real tree turn brown and die, especially in the Summer heat (plus having all those pine needles drop off all over the floor and the presents and whathaveyou). Having said that I don't actually have a tree in my house... I leave that to Ma's house... but as I've said previously that tree is actually MY tree...
When do you put up the tree?
That would be the first weekend in December...
When do you take the tree down?
Ma has this "thing" about making sure that it's down before January 6... because that's when the Three Kings (actually I must remember to start calling them "The Magi", it sounds so much cooler) did the polka naked... or some equally vague and esoteric Christmas tradition and/or superstition...
Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star. We used to have this "dancing" Santa (he didn't move or anything, he was just in a weird position, with one arm up over his head) for the longest time (then a brief spell with an overly complicated star), but after we got the new tree I just wanted something simple... a simple, plain silver star... no glitter, no beading, no tassels or widgets... just a silver star.
Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear... it's hard enough making sure that you don't get two of the same colour bauble next to each other, let alone having to worry about whether there are two lights of the same hue side by side... or worse yet that there are too many baubles and lights of the same colour in the same area.
Favorite ornament theme or color?
Plain colours... that's a theme, right? They have to be plain, round, solid coloured baubles... no tangerine or lime or magenta or cyan... but red and green and gold and silver and blue and purple. And do you think you can find any of those in glass at the moment. The short answer would be "no".
Do you have a nativity scene?
Again, here at my house where I live... no. But Ma has one. For the longest time we had one that her father (my grandfather, obviously) had painted by hand at some point... actually I'm not sure how old they were... I know they were plastic, but I'm guessing it was sometime in either the 50's or early 60's. Anyway, come the 00's they were a little the worse for wear... the camel had serious mange (most of the "camel" colour had come off, showing the white base coat), the angel had lost a wing sometime in, I think, the 80's, and it was all looking a bit messy... but Ma couldn't find one that she liked to replace it for the longest time... until, that is, she saw the one made by Willow Tree... the only problem now is that it's so expensive to get the whole set... so we don't have the Magi... although we do, for some reason, have their camel (why the hell the camel didn't come WITH the Magi instead of with the other animals and a shepherd I have no idea). It's also my "job" to set up the Nativity every year... I think possibly it started as a way for me to stay out of the way while all the boxes and stuff were being set up and organised, and now it's passed into "tradition"... Plus Ma likes the way I stage manage the scene each year.
When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Oh, around January... seriously, Ma has been known to buy things at the Christmas sales to put away for Christmas the following year... and I know that she put away one of the Lil Geisha that we got in April this year for my cousin. But usually the Abyss known as Away For Christmas (or AFK for short) starts about September... maybe August...
Wrapping paper or gift bags?
A little from Column A and a little from Column B actually. Granted if it was just me alone wrapping stuff it would all be bags and boxes (and it always is when it's an oddly shaped item), I never really 100% got the hang of doing the whole "folding corner" thing when it comes to wrapping... but I love doing all the extra stuff when I'm wrapping things with Ma... ribbon, contrasting paper stripes, little ornaments, the whole nine yards. Actually it all seems to get more ornate and complicated each year... so who the hell knows where we're going to end up if we keep this up.
Favorite gift received as a child?
I've answered this differently on a previous occasion (The Holiday Ten), but thinking about it as though I was in the mindset of "the child that was", I'd probably have to say that the two bikes I got would probably have to be favourites, particularly the black mountain bike I got when I was about 12 ... if we don't count the fact that I fell off that one and broke my arm... but that wasn't until New Years Day...
Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Possibly the set of Martini glasses I got a couple of years ago. Martini glasses... me... who doesn't really drink, has never had a Martini and who doesn't entertain... yeah, that's going to end well.
Hardest person to buy for?
Possibly J... if only because he's currently based in another country, so I'm not having the kind of conversations with him that will give me ideas... plus there's that whole "shipping things to a whole other country" drama.
Easiest person to buy for?
Me, obviously... followed by Ma, especially since I realised I could exploit the whole "seahorse" theme.
Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Oh hell yes. The Martini glasses mentioned above... and some random "toiletry" set from the same person a couple of years later (it was soap, which I don't use, and bubble bath, when I don't have a bathtub... I mean really). Oh, and there was an overly complicated corkscrew that somebody gave me (again, don't drink, and certainly don't drink wine) that got reassigned.
Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
I never understood the concept of opening presents and celebrating on Christmas Eve... Christmas Day is the day that is the day, so why would you do stuff the day/night before?
Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Pretty much anything that comes under the heading of "things I don't get to eat any other time of the year".
Do you like eggnog?
Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Turkey, veg, sausage meat... the traditional type of thing. Although after reading Andrew's answer for this one I might have to try and talk Ma into making Yorkshire Puddings this year too.
Mail or email Christmas cards?
Neither actually. I haven't bothered with Christmas cards for a number of years... partly because I don't really have anybody to send them to, and I kinda think they're a bit of a waste of time. Yeah, I know... Bah Humbug and all that...
Favorite Christmas Movie?
Probably The Nightmare Before Christmas...
Favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells, which I only really discovered two years ago.
Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Well... "travel"... but not as in "holidays in far flung locations" or even other States... but I do spend the day up at Ma's, so technically I have to travel.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes... and without consulting Google either... Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen... plus Rudolph.
Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Crowds who just seem to be more pushy and obnoxious than at other times of the year... oh, and the fact that the whole Christmas thing is this massive build up and then it's over in a few short hours.
What do you want for Christmas this year?
Lord, what DON'T I want... but most of the things I REALLY want aren't the kind of things you can wrap up and put under a tree.