Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A (post-) Christmas meme

A Christmas meme (via my LJ friend gillo)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper. Not always specifically Christmassy but I like finding nice designs.

2. Real tree or Artificial?

Artificial, but green so it can be decorated properly. Can't be bothered with pine needles, and when the kids were young it was easier to hoist up out of collision range.

3. When do you put up the tree?

Depends. For many years now our children have hung the tree decorations, so these days it's planned around their availability. A week or so before Christmas, generally.

4. When do you take the tree down?

January 6th.

5. Do you like egg nog?

Ew. No. More of a mulled wine person.

6. Favourite gift received as a child?

Not sure, but likely to have been a book of some kind, or maybe a record (in my teens).

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes: little faceless figures like plasticine ones but in clay, made by one of Hilary's cousins. It occasioned one of my favourite moments from Vanessa's (small) childhood: one of her friends was admiring it, and V said (while standing right next to both her parents) "Yes, it's very pretty. I'm not allowed to touch it, so I only play with it when Mummy's not in the room."

8. Hardest person to buy for?

My wife.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

My son.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Mail. Email cards are OK but a bugger to hang in your living room.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

I couldn't possibly comment.... I once got what was a very well-intentioned but totally off-target present: an elaborate plastic kit of a hot rod in great detail. If I'd ever had the slightest interest in making plastic models it would have been great. The box was pretty.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?

Ooh, The Snowman? Muppet Christmas Carol? It's A Wonderful Life? Am I allowed the Nativity scene from Life Of Brian?

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

When inspiration strikes.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

No.

15. Favorite thing to eat/drink at Christmas?

Lebkuchen to eat; whisky & Glayva (together) to drink. Chestnuts are good too.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Coloured, though all the same colour is best.

17. Favourite Christmas song?

Carol to sing: O Little Town Of Bethlehem (runner-up: It Came Upon The Midnight Clear)
Carol to listen to: Es ist ein Ros'entsprungen (runner-up: Bethlehem Down)
Pop song: Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (runner-up: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Stay home. Usually we stay with friends at New Year, though this year we just went up to the Ballater flat. Hilary's mother was with us, but Vanessa had to work so stayed behind. She went to the Hogmanay street party with friends though.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

No.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning of Christmas?

Oh, Christmas morning, definitely. The children have pillowcases full of little "from Father Christmas" things that get opened before breakfast. The main present opening is later on, after we've been for a walk. Small "tree" presents are usually opened at New Year (this year, because Vanessa wasn't with the rest of us at New Year, we're doing them on Saturday)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

The way shops put up their Christmas decorations in November, and in some cases take them down on Boxing Day.

23. Favourite ornament theme or colour?

Don't have one. We like German tree ornaments, and not too much glitter..

24. Favourite for Christmas dinner?

Over the years the proportion of the food which is home-made rather than bought in has gradually reduced until it's only the things where it really makes a difference that are done from scratch: bread sauce, sprouts and Christmas pudding mainly. As to the menu, we start with mulled wine and nibbles, then for the meal proper it's turkey (Quorn roast for our veggie daughter) , two kinds of stuffing (veggie/non-veggie), sausages in bacon, sprouts, chestnuts, spiced red cabbage, potato croquettes, roast potatoes, gravy, bread sauce, cranberry sauce. Red wine. Christmas pudding, cream with Armagnac, brandy butter. Dessert wine.

Mince pies come later.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Well, it's past now, but in general I like surprises best.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?

Well, it's getting towards the end of the season, so maybe nobody. Lisa maybe? Or Joe?

27. Who is least likely to respond to this?

Elvis. At least I really hope so.

28. Shopping...Mall or on-line?

Depends what I'm buying. It's more likely to be a specialist non-mall shop than either, though DVDs, computer games etc. usually come from Amazon.

29. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?)

A small string of (non-flashing) lights festooning the little shrub outside our front door; otherwise just inside.

It's interesting to see how people's Christmases vary - if you haven't done this, why not have a go?

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