1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I love wrapping in paper, but gift bags are so quick and easy and reusable. I tell myself the reusable part is the real reason I use them, but mostly it's because I'm "wrapping" things at the last minute. When I do wrap in paper, I like to use plain (recycled) paper and decorate it myself.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
I grew up with an artificial tree. One of those really fake pipe cleaner looking ones. When I had my own house, we got a real tree for years, and I loved it, but not the mess. Now we have an artificial one--pre-lit, even--and I put out real greenery on the mantle and such.
3. When do you put up the tree?
On or as close to Saint Nicholas Day (December 6) as possible. (Being Dutch, my family always celebrated St. Nicholas Day, which was awesome, because it was like having a mini Christmas before the fact. My brother and I would put out our shoes and in the morning we'd have chocolate. Mmmmm.)
4. When do you take the tree down?
Epiphany. Well, theoretically, Epiphany. Usually we take down the decorations and around about the end of January Mr. RCM gets around to putting the tree in the attic. (This was 99% of the reason I went with a fake tree. I was tired of vacuuming up pine needles on Valentine's Day.)
It does make me sad to see trees out by the curb on Dec. 26. (Once, I even saw someone put theirs out on the 25th!) I guess it's too ingrained in me that Christmas is the START of Christmas, and it goes for 12 days. But in America, Christmas starts with Thanksgiving (or Halloween, lately), and ends as soon as presents are opened. (I just deleted a freaking dissertation about how American Christmas has little or nothing to do with actually celebrating the Nativity.)
5. Do you like Egg Nog?
I love it. With and without alcohol.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I loved just about everything. Usually I got Barbie stuff, and it was hard to go wrong with that. One year I got a Barbe mobile home, which was awesome, because it made a pretty great space ship (the Battlestar Galactica or the Millennium Falcon, depending on my mood).
7. Hardest person to buy for?
8. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom. My BFFs.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
We used to, but my dog (Trini) ate Balthazar, and it was never the same after that.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. Unfortuantely, it looks like I'm going to miss the boat on those (again) this year.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Well, a gift is a gift. :)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Ironically, given my fear and loathing for the jolly old
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I'll let you know when I do.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Among family, no. But I have passed on a nice present that didn't suit me to someone I knew would love it.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
16. Lights on the tree?
Oh yes, definitely. See above re: pre-lit. Best Idea Ever.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Too hard to narrow it down. I'm always hearing one and going Oh I LOVE that song. I do thing there should be a rule that no one can sing "White Christmas" but Bing Crosby, just as no one should ever sign "Blue Christmas" but the King.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
All my family lives within an hour of me! (We used to travel up here for Christmas, and while I like being close to the folks, there's a certain excitement in travelling. Stress and excitement.)
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Yes, but I have to sing it to remember them. "You know Dasher and Dancer..." etc.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
We have a pointy tree topper thing right now, but we've had stars and angels before.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
We did big family presents at Oma's (my grandmother's house) on Christmas Eve, and mom and dad presents on Christmas Morning. Now we do our "in house" presents (from each other and.. um.. the dogs) when we come home from the late Christmas Eve service. It's after midnight, so it counts. :)
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Rampant consumerism. Greed. In other words: Santa Claus.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Red and white.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Turkey and dressing and cranberry.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
World peace. And for the hooligans across the street to move the junker that's been parked opposite my driveway for the last two weeks.