Okay, this is one exception to my dislike of e-mail forwards. These can be very entertaining (and sometimes very disturbing) to read, and I usually enjoy answering them. Sara sent me this one, and I thought I'd answer it here instead of forwarding it to everyone in the world. Thus, only you die-hard fans of my non-blog will get to know the TRUE me. I don't have to pretend with you guys!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Please see my post from November entitled "Going Green for Christmas". Think globally and act locally, people...
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, because all living plant life that enters my home is doomed to a slow and painful death, and I think that's wrong.
3. When do you put up the tree? Typically Thanksgiving evening or the day after. If I'm going to be out of town, I might put it up a day or two before, but not light it up until after Thanksgiving. On years like this, when Thanksgiving is the earliest it can be, I use that as a great excuse to put it off. I love getting the house all Christmased up, but I'm terribly lazy about doing things for myself. It's a struggle. I think this is turning into a "less entertaining, more disturbing" answer.
4. When do you take the tree down? One year it was after Easter, seriously. But usually I shoot for the 7th of January or so.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not enough to go out and buy some. In fact, I might really hate it. I haven't had eggnog for so long. Maybe because I've never had the boozed-up version.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My organ. ::snicker:: No, seriously, I got this little organ after I'd been taking piano lessons for a while. I knew in advance it would be my entire Christmas. I remember playing some song like "Good Bye Ol' Paint" or "So Long Ol' Paint" over and over on that thing. I could hum the tune for you, if that would help you figure out the title. Of course, I was slightly beyond child age at that time, so I might have to revise my answer to either the Peanuts board game or the haunted house board game I got that year Santa stopped by our house on Christmas Eve while we were out at Say's house. I don't know, it's hard to say, really.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? No. I was in a living nativity once. I was the inkeeper. Yeah, there's a role you want. I don't have a nativity because if you do it right, it's very difficult to keep up. I mean, do the wise men show up on the 6th of January? On the 7th? Two years later on the 7th? I ain't tryin' to go to seminary just so I can have one of them historically accurate nativity scenes... and if it's not gonna be historically accurate, can't I just take some Marvel superhero figurines and make a nativity scene out of that?
8. Hardest person to buy for? Eddie... Okay, I've picked myself up off the floor now. Wiping my eyes... and, the actual answer: Ruth, because she's so secretive. No, I kid. Um... I don't know. Dane? Heck, I'll have to think about this one.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Kids, because I am the type of old fogey teacher relative that believes they should get books.
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Books. No, I'm kidding. I just had to put that after my last answer. I don't know. I guess getting to prep that dead lady for her funeral the day after Christmas could sorta count. Thanks, Eddie.
11. Mail or e-mail Christmas Card? E-mail, of course. I do have a lot of old cards from like the 80s... and they aren't as funny as I thought they were at the time. I sometimes think about sending them out for a sort of retro holiday. But I never do it.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Saw... I kid. Um... The Nightmare Before Christmas, if that counts.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually the afternoon we get out of school for break.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Remember, I'm going green this Christmas.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey, Deana Mae's biscuits, and home-made coookies. I don't get to eat the cookies for Jordan any more, or nibble at the carrots she leaves for the reindeer... Sunrise, Sunset, baby.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored, individual blinking C7s. Eight colors: Red, Amber, Yellow, Green, Teal, Blue, Purple, and Pink.
17. Favorite Christmas song? It's a tie: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King What'sHisFace (I can't spell it, and the hour is late), and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (the good version--see last year's rant). Also a couple of Transiberian Orchestra ditties, the titles of which are not readily available to me. The one everybody knows when they hear, and the one that guy set his Christmas lights to a couple of years back.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I time-travel at Christmas, to a time where people weren't afraid to tell you Merry Christmas, no matter what your religious beliefs were... because, just like we wouldn't mind having some other religion shoved down our throat, people shouldn't mind having ours shoved down their... Wait, wrong post. Um... I always travel. Christmas at my house would be me looking at the fake gifts I have under the tree, feeling miserable. No thanks.
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? No, because they already have names. And by the way, it's Donder and Blitzen, not Donner and Blitzen. Donder and Blitzen are German for "thunder and lightening". Or for "biscuits and gravy". Or something. Or maybe not. It's been a long time since I took German. I researched this once, and think it might actually be Donner. But I prefer my first ranty stance on this unimportant issue.
20. Do you have an Angel on top of your tree, or a star? Jester hat. I made an angel for our tree at home once when I was a teen. I was very proud of how nice it looked, as I'm not much of an artist. I think the rest of the family thought it was crap, though.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? When I'm told.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? What, I have to choose? You want a list? I guess I'll go with "it's too busy" or "there's not enough time to see everyone I want to see".
23. How old were you when you added your twos about this whole Santa business and got four? I was... I don't remember. I know it was Wade that spilled the beans, and he was spilling them about the Tooth Fairy and threw the jolly old elf in just for extra measure... I think I was in second grade.
24. What is the greatest distance you have been from home on Christmas? I don't know how far it was, but when I was in Augsburg, Germany was probably a sure thing.
25. Hope, Peace, Joy, Love: Which best describes Christmas for you? Presents! I kid. That would have to be Peace, Bob.
Okay, I cheated and added the last three, because I thought it would make more sense to have 25 items on this list. Feel free to copy the list, type in your own answers, and e-mail them to everyone (don't forget to include me--again, this is one e-mail forward I enjoy)!