Saturday, December 29, 2007

Want a plane that loops the loop - Me, I want a hula hoop

Since I've been tagged by our fearless leader, I certainly don't want to be a party pooper, so here is my take on the Christmas Survey:

1. Wrapping or gift bags?
Mainly wrapping, but gift bags are tempting due to their "lazy factor" of just tossing a present inside one and covering with that colored tissue stuff.
2. Real or artificial tree?
Haven't had a real tree since the first year my wife and I were married like 20 years ago. But our artificial tree is realistic enough, complete with artificial pine needles that can be sprinkled around it and artificial sap that gets on your clothes. After Christmas, it has brown, dried out fake branches that can be attached to its base so it can be dragged out to the street and fool the neighbors into thinking we actually splurged for a real one. Just have to remember to run out and pull it back in before the trash man comes.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Right after Thanksgiving, though I sometimes think my wife would like to see the Christmas decorations go up after Memorial Day. Kind of like they do in the stores.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Maybe this year I'll just take off the lights and ornaments and leave the tree up and pretend it's just an overgrown houseplant.
5. Do you like egg nog?
Haven't had it in years, so I don't recall the taste. I remember liking it as a child until one Christmas all us kids caught the flu and it hit us the evening after we all had egg nogs at the kitchen table. After that, it just wasn't quite the same "treat".
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Probably was the Christmas we all got Huffy 10 speed bikes. Of course, I wasn't smart enough to understand the concept of why it had all the different speeds, so I just rode it on the same setting all the time. But it was a step up from my little purple bike with the rocket handle grips.
Oh, and another year that I got the Major Matt Mason Space Station (a late 60's toy).
Along with the various bendable characters and aliens, also got his Space Crawler.
I could never figure this one out as a mode of transportation. The way it bumped and banged as it "crawled", a real-life astronaut would lose his cookies in no time flat.
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, we have two of them up (three if you count one that is a part of an ornament on the tree). After all, it IS Jesus' birthday.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Can't think of anything that I "hated", but like Sailor, when I was younger I only got so many gifts to open and I viewed each present that turned out to be clothes as one less toy I was going to get.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mailed photo cards and did a few e-mails.
10. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I always enjoy the Grinch. The original Charlie Brown special is good, too. If it's on I'll watch the Rudolph one, mainly because I remember how cool it was watching it as a kid (and actually being scared of the Abominable Snowman). Remember the days before videos and cable when the only time we could see those things was at it's allotted time in the holidays? If you missed it, you had to wait another year. Rudolph was like that. Though I could never understand why Santa was so mean in it. Him getting mad at Rudolph's parents when his nose got uncovered. Was it their fault their son was born that way? Did he think it was a result of them doing drugs while his mom was pregnant? Would he have been equally pissed if Rudolph was autistic or crippled? (See? I take my Christmas specials seriously)
As for my favorite movie, I agree with Steve... any version of A Christmas Carol. I have on video one with Patrick Stewart and one with George C Scott. Also an old one from the 40's. My dad always loved the Mr. Magoo version. I don't know why, but no matter how many times I see them, I never get tired of them.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually last minute, but for once this year I started right after Thanksgiving and got it pretty much done, though I did sneak to Target at 7 in the morning of Christmas Eve to get a couple last minute things.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Can't name just one thing. Like Thanksgiving, I just love the variety of so many different yummy treats to munch upon.
13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Currently we have the clear lights on, but we've also done the colored. Depends on our mood at the time we are putting the tree up.
14. Favorite Christmas song(s)?
I like most of them, I suppose. Carol of the Bells comes to mind at the moment.
15. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Lately it's been stay home. My family over on Christmas Eve, my wife's on Christmas Day. Though in the past we've traveled on Christmas Day.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Let's see if I can do it by getting Gene Autry's voice in my head from the intro to Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer without cheating and doing a google search... there was Dasher and Dancer and Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and Cheney and Stupid. Something like that.
17. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Used to be a star, but it's been an angel for several years now. I shove a ball of lights up under her dress so she glows. Sounds pretty nasty though, don't it?
18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
In the morning. The boys know they can't go out into the living room without us, so after they are both up and feel that they've let us sleep in long enough (like 5 or 6 in the morning) they come in and wake us up.
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The few times I've done it, going to the mall on a weekend and trying to find parking.
20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color?
No. We like just using all the ornaments that we've accumulated through the years from different places and people, each one with it's own memory attached to it.
21. What do you leave for Santa?
A bear trap, but he then just turns around and puts my presents within it's jaws with a "F.U." note attached.
22. Least favorite holiday song?
Probably the ones that are most overused, like Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
23. Favorite ornament?
Got lots of them. As mentioned above, they all have some kind of story or memory attached. I have some baseball ones and a yellow submarine. Ones the boys made in school, too.
24. Family tradition?
I think my family coming over to our house for Christmas Eve is pretty much the only "tradition" that has held firm for quite some time.
25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Eve services?
Yes, I've done Midnight Mass several times before. But I'm not really a night person, so I prefer either going in the evening of Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, though the former is what we usually do.

Okay, there is my take on the Christmas survey, and you can take it with a grain of piggy pudding if you like. ;)