My friend Liz over at Ramblings of a Sailor's Lady sent me this holiday survey which she found on Skinny Meg. Looks like fun - leave a comment if you want to join us so I can pop over and read all about you!
Have you started your Christmas shopping? Yes, it's all done and wrapped and under the tree.
When do you put up your tree? As soon as the turkey platter hits the dishwasher on Thanksgiving Day! I love to have the tree and decorations up for as long as possible. This year was a bit of a challenge as I am working full-time and Vic will be leaving on deployment soon so we only put up one tree (instead of four) and just a few decorations. I don't want to spend the whole time we have left together putting everything away. It looks very festive, though, because the tree is large and even with about one third of our decorations on it, it's still very bright and colorful.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Not really. I enjoy going out after all the craziness is over to look at the decorations in the stores and pick up a few Christmas items like chocolate and a DVD, a few bits and pieces that always seem to make their way into my shopping cart. I don't do my main shopping on Black Friday although I will go out if there's a really great bargain in the ads that come out on Thursday. You'll usually find us at Target, Barnes and Noble, and Michael's on Black Friday.
Do you travel at Christmas or stay home? We've traveled a couple of times - our whole family traveled across the Atlantic in 2001 for Christmas in Kettlewell and we traveled from Rhode Island to Oregon for Christmas at my sister's in 2009 but I really prefer to be at home.
What is your funniest Christmas memory? That would have to be 2009's trip to my sister's in Oregon and the adventure into the wilderness to find the perfect tree. We must have passed at least twenty perfectly serviceable trees but no, my brother-in-law was searching for the equivalent of the Griswold Family Christmas Tree and we hiked so far and so high that when we found the blasted thing and started to drag it to the truck, Vic hyperventilated from the altitude and I fell down in the snow and was laughing so hard (at my fall, not at Vic's dilemma) that I couldn't get up. Meanwhile, Dad, who couldn't handle the exertion, sat comfortably in the heated truck cab sipping hot chocolate, no doubt wondering what all the bloody fuss was about!
What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time? White Christmas without a doubt.
Do you do your own Christmas baking, what's your favorite treat? I used to bake at Christmas - cookies, pumpkin bread, date and walnut bread, gingerbread men, spritz, but this year, not a chance...not with Sluy's Bakery so close. My favorite treat is fruitcake, real English fruitcake. I was buying it from one of the online British food stores but my co-worker makes a fruitcake that would rival the best fruitcake I've ever had - must be the weeks of soaking it with brandy.
Fake or Real Tree? Love real trees in the wilderness, hate the mess so fake it is.
What day (as a mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done? I don't panic - I make lists. It gets done and I've been using the lists year after year.
Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? No, I like to have them wrapped and piled under the Christmas tree so I'm busy wrapping on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas? I love to go out for a holiday tea - cups of tea and tiered servers piled high with tea sandwiches and little cakes. I'm always on the lookout for a tearoom that has a holiday event.
What Christmas craft do you like the best? Does writing the family newsletter count? Come on, it's a paper craft, surely? I haven't done much crafting in the last few years - I have the greatest intentions but it just never seems to happen.
Christmas music? Yes, love it all from "All I Want for Christmas is You" to cathedral choirs singing carols, bring it on.
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I enjoy egg nog but I love hot chocolate with lashings of whipped cream.
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? When Sophia was little, the big things sat under the tree. Have you ever tried to wrap a Little Tikes kitchen?
Colored lights on the tree/house or white? White, colored lights are just too busy and don't get me started on twinklers.
Do you hang mistletoe? No, have never really thought about it.
What is your favorite holiday dish? Stollen.
Favorite holiday memory as a child? My parents used to lock the living room door (could have something to do with the year that the babysitter and I unwrapped all the presents to peek and weren't very successful in rewrapping them!) so every Christmas morning, we'd have this big production of Dad searching for the misplaced key. Turns out it was a stall tactic while Mum rummaged around for the flashbulbs (remember those?) for the camera.
Preplanning 0 Children Stretched to the Limit of their Patience 1
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We did as children and we do when the whole family was together but if it's just the three of us, only Sophia opens one...and it's always Christmas pajamas although this year, there will be a slight twist (tune in after Christmas for details).
How to you decorate your Christmas tree? Slowly, very slowly. We have over 700 ornaments (now you see why we need four trees!) and each one has some sort of memory attached - a gift from someone, a memory of a special event or location, a memento of our travels, a preschool craft or Baby's First memory, there's something about every one that makes me stop and remember. The best gift anyone can give me is something to hang on my tree and I'll remember you forever.
Snow? Love it? Dread it? Love it, but love it best when it starts falling on Christmas Eve after everyone is off the road. Not such a fan of shoveling it but that's why there are snow blowers.
Can you ice skate? I did once and wasn't really interested.
Do you remember your favorite gift? As a teenager, I received a set of bright red American Tourister luggage - can't remember if I was going on a trip, must have been to get a set of luggage but I just loved it.
What's the most important thing about the holidays to you? Having my family at home. Vic's missed a few Christmases because of deployments but those days are coming to an end. Sophia is growing up but I hope she'll always come home for Christmas.
Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving. I love to shop for the perfect gift for a family member or a friend. I'd give gifts to everyone of my friends if I had the means - I love to think about things they like and the look on their faces when they opened the package.