Christmas at Ramblingmoms

Lifted from all the augustmoms that celebrate Christmas.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I prefer gift bags (reduce, reuse, recycle). I’ll wrap things that won’t easily fit in gift bags. For a few people I’m “wrapping” shoe boxes — but wrapping them so they can be opened and reused. But when SANTA arrives at the minivan lane he always wraps things in the official “Santa paper.”

While I do buy into the “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept pretty much, if I’m at a store and they offer free gift wrapping I do often take advantage. Just so you know the majority of presents under the tree that don’t have the Santa wrap have wrapping from my favorite local indy bookseller. I mean I may be trying to reduce my carbon footprint but if someone is going to do my work for free who am I to refuse :}. (Plus, I figure over the course of a year I spend enough money at Anderson’s Bookshop).

2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial. There was a debate as to which is more ecologically friendly, but I believe since I already owned an artificial tree at that time, to continue using it is the most ecologically friendly option. Spouse much prefers artificial and it’s not a fight worth having really.

3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime before Christmas — put on the ornaments last night,

4. When do you take the tree down? Epiphany (Jan. 6) or later. Since I get it up so late I like to leave it up.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yeah — about 4 ounces or so a year.

6. Favorite gift you received as a child?

Cuddly Dudley which you could only get with a subscription to the Chicago Tribune. We got a subscription to the Trib so I knew that I would never get the Cuddly Dudley. After Christmas that year, my grandmother (who lived with us) started getting her own copy of the Trib.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Previous Moments AND Playskool AND a light up one for the lawn.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Princess, she wants EVERYTHING. It’s hard to figure out her priorities as she seems to want EVERYTHING equally. Did I mention that she wants EVERYTHING. I’m ready to unplug the cable (though Spouse would go through serious O’Reilly withdrawal — and this would be a problem??)

9. Easiest person to buy for? Chip.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? A jacket that looked like it should belong to Punky Brewster. It seemed like something great for a teenage girl (I was in my 30s at the time).

11. Christmas cards – snail mail or email? snail mail — every other year like clockwork.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When I see the right gift — I could start in the middle of summer if I see the right thing for the right person.

14. Have you ever “recycled” a Christmas gift? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But only if it makes sense.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I LOVE turkey but that’s too much of a pain so we usually have ham.

16. Clear or colored lights on the tree? Clear, non-blinking.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Different every year, this year is Nicholas Jonas, A Christmas Prayer

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? There’s no place like home for the holidays. Especially when you consider there is NO travel involved. Sure we go to Gma’s house one day, and we go to my brother’s on Christmas Eve, but nothing over an hour in the car.

19. Can you name Santa’s reindeer? All nine.

20. Angel or star on top of the tree. Angel, I like the “hang a shining star upon the highest bough” concept — but I haven’t bought a star I like, and I like my angel so …

21. Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas Eve with MY side at SILs and Christmas day for the immediate family. I’m not the most organized or the richest person and it’s enough for me to make sure that each of us (and that includes me as Spouse doesn’t shop) has one gift from Santa in our stocking, one gift from Santa under the tree, one gift from mom & dad under the tree, I’m not about to add on the one gift to open Christmas Eve.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Personally I find it hard finding the balance between the Santa Christmas the the Christ Christmas (See number 30). Also even though I’m fully Christmas and fully celebrate Christmas, sometimes I think it’s rather shoved at people, there are the most outlandish and tacky lawn ornaments, and sometimes Christmas songs are overdone in the mauls and stores.

23. Mall or online? I try to avoid the “maul” as much as possibly during the rest of the year. I’m downright allergic in December.

24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside? I like to decorate outside — but this year it didn’t happen. Outside is a nativity set and plain white lights.

25. Favorite Christmas cookie?

Joe Joe’s Candy Cane (think peppermint Oreos).

26. Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry? Not enough — I wish I had more Cat Christmas sweatshirts.

27. Do you believe in Santa? In the infamous words of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, “Fact is there’s nothing out there you can’t do, yeah even Santa Claus believes in you”, and if Santa believes in me I’ll return the favor.

28. Favorite ornament? Well, I HAD a favorite ornament. It was a unicorn in a glass ball. Manage to survive cats and little kids and yesterday Chip and Princess were putting ornaments on and Chip got butterfingers.

29. Do you leave milk and cookies for Santa? Do you leave anything for the reindeer? Yeah — Santa gets milk and cookies. Reindeers get carrots.

30. Do you go to church on Christmas Eve? I was talking to Crem about this earlier. There’s two Christmases — the “Christ” Christmas and the “Santa” Christmas, and there are a few people that celebrate the Christ Christmas, and a few people that celebrate the Santa Christmas and a few people that have a good balance of both, and a WHOLE HECKUVA lot of people that have no clue what they’re doing the entire month of December. (I really think the majority of people fall into that last category). I try to maintain a balance (the “Christ” Christmas for myself and the “Santa” Christmas because it’s the social norm) and I would completely lose all sight of that balance if I didn’t go to church during Advent and most especially Christmas Eve. Sometimes if time and energy permit I hit the 5 p.m. (family) service with the family and then hit the 11 p.m. service by myself – but sometimes after leaving the 5pm service, going to my brother’s and doing the “Santa” Christmas with “my” side of the family and then getting home and getting the kids settled down — well I don’t have the energy to get back to the 11pm service.

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