Saturday, December 15, 2007
TAGGED BY THE CHRISTMAS QUESTIONS
(is this the right list?? I hope so...)
1. What is your favorite Christmas romance to re-read each year?
Honestly, I don't think I read Christmas romances much. I listen to A Christmas Carol, read by Jim Dale, every year while zipping from one errand to another. I've attempted to snuggle into my cozy chair and read just about anything, but each time I realize I'm neglecting another task. That wiggle of doubt builds to a whoosh and before I've read a chapter I'm ejected from said cozy chair into another pressing activity... like baking or wrapping or sewing or shopping on the internet for that "last present."
Wouldn't a lovely quiet read mellow my holiday? YES! I'm up for suggestions, since no favorite, besides The Grinch, seems to be popping into my head.
2. What is your favorite Christmas movie/show?
When my son was younger, we always watched A Christmas Story while we decked the tree. I suppose that's still number one on the hit parade. But I love movies, so if you were to walk into my house at any time during the holidays (the last two weeks for sure) you'd find either a background movie playing or music. We do not have t.v. (thank the gods).
My favs (in no order): Love Actually, The Santa Claus (only the first one); A Christmas Carol (w/George C. Scott, although I do love Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol); Elf; Home Alone (1 and 2); The Holiday; Little Women; Serendipity; Mame; One Magic Christmas; While You Were Sleeping; and I often have the Harry Potter Film Festival (since Christmas is featured in just about every Harry book).
I'm in seriously mulling over doing a digital download of White Christmas since I don't have the DVD and I really don't wanna get out of my jammies to drive into town and buy it. Decisions! Decisions!
3. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
Just plain ol' sugar cookies, decorated of course.
And I love fruitcake -- the one I make with LOTS of pecans and dried fruit (especially red cherries) (oh yeah, they make green cherries, but tell me... what is the point?) generously soaked in brandy. The recipe is in one of the Silver Pallette cookbooks -- the batter being light and less in volume than the fruit/nut mix -- so as to only connect the goodies. YUM! I think I'll have to make some (although all that dried fruit and nuts is $$).
And... I'm thinking Roast Beef (Yorksire pudding, mashed potatoes, green beans) for Christmas dinner? whatcha think? A bit much? Haven't done beef for ages....
4. When do you start Christmas shopping?
I shop mostly online (we have nearly NO "popular" stores in VT!). But sometimes, along about August, when I'm roaming through TJMaxx or local village boutiques, I will see something and whisper "Ah! Ha!" and know it is the perfect gift for so-and-so. I am nuts about the gift "fitting" the person -- it's a thing with me. And, if I do say so myself, I'm reallllllly good at gift-giving. Really. But I'm totally inconsistent. Ever since we grew up and don't "have to" give gifts, I've been a bit odd. One year I'll find something for person X (even if I haven't seen person X for years... I think of him or her and vi-ola!) I buy the gift, find the address, and send it. I may never hear from the person (usually I do?). But the next year I don't necessarily find anything for that person. I skip around on my list. I don't sweat it. I shop on whims. Except for my younger nieces and nephews -- I still send them books. Maybe until high school? Or until I'm dottery and forget altogether? I do miss that family Christmas morning opening gifts time. Yep.
5. Do you re-gift? I'd say "abso-F-ing-loot-ly not" but I think I did it once or twice with stuff given to us by my husband's former wife. Oops! So, sue me.
And long ago, my sister and I had one of those re-gift contests -- keep giving the same thing back and forth. It was a "used" hairbrush, complete with bits of hair. For the life of me, I have no idea why we did this. But at the time, I think we thought we were hilarious.
6. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Oy! Pick ONE? Okay, I love the Andy Williams Christmas Album, (red cover) so whenever I hear that first song, It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... I get all... Yipppppeeee, It's Christmas! I guess that would do it, huh? I'm also a sucker for White Christmas, by Bing; and Chestnuts Roasting etc, by Nat King Cole. And for pop favs, I like the Beach Boys Little St. Nick (gets me dancing every time) and the Ronettes, but I can't find the song. I have two playlists on my iPod dedicated to holiday music -- one for singing along and one for background, no lyrics, mostly classical or soundtrack. Writing music.
7. When do you get your Christmas tree?
I used to wait until about two weeks before Christmas, say the 12-15th. Since I've taught or attended school my entire life, those dates would coincide with the end of the semester and that would mean I'd be on vacation -- a lovely feeling of freedom. I'd be in the mood for decorating and Christmas in general.
But these days, living in VT, we've started a little earlier. This year we noticed that our neighbors decked their houses even before Thanksgiving. We wondered why, until we began to put up the lights about Dec 8th and the temperature had dropped to a balmy 20 degrees. Smart pants neighbors put up their lights when it was still 50 degrees. Trust me, your fingers know the difference. So, we've been getting our tree earlier, too. Even though the lovely tramping-through-the-snow-to-cut-the-tree pictures look great, it's hard on the hands and feet to be out in the deep freeze. I think by Dec 1st, we've cut the tree, but we may wait a few days to decorate. Depends on the number of really bad freshman end-of-term essays I'm reading.
8. Wrapping presents: Love it or hate it?
Love it! Any activity that involves paper, ribbon, and tape... I'm UP for it! It's ART! And I adore making the tags.
9. Who is the hardest person to buy for?
Me, of course. I have no idea how people do it. I think it would be easy. They could watch what I give and follow suit, but do they? No. I give books by the oodles, but do I ever get books? Or even $ cards for Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Audible.com ???? Nope. I get the most silly things from people who have no clue what I like or who I am. My guess is.... I'm a total enigma, especially to my family. I cannot remember too many gifts that really ever meant anything to me or connected with me in a way I think perhaps a gift should, or at least should have the potential to connect -- even if for a joke or a lark. I suppose this is one way of saying nobody much knows me. Is that a bit sad, or what?
10. Christmas tree: Real or artificial?
Hellllllloooooooo..... REAL! I always have to laugh. And you can take this or leave it. But... really... bringing a tree into your house and putting lights on it. How pagan can you get? And yet we have all these rah, rah Christians running around getting all huffy and puffy about Merry Christmas. Read my lips: it's a PAGAN holiday. Winter solstice, evergreen trees, elves, old men with beards, festival of lights, gift exchange. Can you say Druids? Celts? Pagans? I truly love the whole idea. Real, green, lovely aroma tree!!!! Here we go a wassailing!