Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Memes

I put this all together a week ago, and then forgot to come back and answer the damn questions on Christmas.
(Rehash from the past--you'll have to search for "Christmas meme" and possibly page back through the previous posts--except for the first one below which I stole from Kwizgiver last month)

1. What is guaranteed to make you smile over the holidays? Kids: their joy, their wonder, their excitement, their honesty. And singing "Silent Night" followed by "Joy to the World" on Christmas Eve brings back so many good memories.
2. What makes you weepy during the holidays? I'm glad I didn't add this above: I also tend towards weepiness during those two songs at church for the same reason. Also, I miss my mom & dad. Mom's birthday is a couple of days after Christmas and she busted her hump all month to make cookies and candy and everything for Christmas, with the hope that her birthday wouldn't disappear into the busy-ness.  
3. How will you spend Christmas Eve and Day? We usually go eat dinner at a local Chinese place on the Eve, then drive around and look at lights, then go to church, then come home and leave Santa's snacks out. OK, the last thing we don't do so much anymore.
We fill each other's stockings, and I put Jesus in the creche and we go to bed.
In the morning--no getting up before 7!--we open presents, one at a time around the room. Then we veg out.
THIS year, however, church was at 7:30 so we ate much earlier than usual and then did church and came home. We opened all our prezzies once the stockings were filled--and Jesus was in place--and then went to bed so we could sleep in on Christmas. We went to Katherine and Alan's house to have dinner and play with their two toddlers, and to act as buffers between Alan's divorced parents. It was unusual, and not at all horrible.
4. What was your most memorable Christmas and why? I have no memories whatsoever of Christmas 1994 aside from one photo of Sparky inside the box his kid potty came in, smiling up at me. That was a horrible, horrible year: 2 family deaths within 5 weeks of Christmas, lots of traveling, family staying with us, and an almost-two-year-old who had no idea why the emotional landscape was suddenly so spectacularly out of control. 
5. Christmas form letters from friends -- pro or con? I don't do them anymore. I don't mind getting them, though sometimes they are so close to being parodies that I wonder if they're meant to be. My brother-in-law's this year was particularly ... uhm: 3.5 pages of small print. He's single, no kids. In the end it was a good essay, but a weird Xmas letter.
6. In your home is Christmas more of a religious or secular observance? We strive for religious. I don't feel very religious this year, though--we've missed church since Xmas Eve and Sparky has firmly landed in agnosticism at best--so I'm looking forward to getting back to the regular worship schedule this week. 
7. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Those two mentioned above are top of the heep. "O Holy Night" on a violin will also always be special to me. There aren't a lot I don't like, but I could skip "The First Noel" for awhile if that's ok. 
8. What is your deepest prayer for the world this Christmas? Peace, love, and understanding. I join Elvis Costello in asking what's so funny about that.

1. Worst Christmas song?
Don't overreach. Just sing the song and do it well. If you can't sing it, don't. Anything that doesn't fit those parameters qualifies.
2. If you were a Christmas character, who would you be? {from last year} Anna. [Go read the first chapter or two of Luke.]
3. What type of decoration should stop being made?
Guns should not be a thing on Christmas. Period
4. Tastiest holiday treat?
I made two batches of 7-Layer Bars for parties this month. Those things, seriously, are crack. I only make them now if I'm giving most of them away.
5. Favorite pop culture/stereotypical Christmas icon?
Bad time of year to ask. I'm sick of 'em all.
6. Know how to make cookies/brownies/cake from scratch?
{Stock answer for several years} Of course! Do I? Nope, except for the aforementioned 7-Layer Bars, and sometimes fudge.
7. Ever cut your mouth on a candy cane/candy? All the time. I haven't eaten a candy cane in probably 5 years, though.
8. What other culture would you like to experience Christmas with? I'm good with my family's weird blend of "culture" and insanity.
9. What kind of pattern/pictures do you like on your wrapping paper?
This is true year round: nothing so cute or commercialized it makes my brain ache.
10. Will Did you make a Christmas picture for your blog/website/profile?
Not of family or anything. I have some Christmassy things I post on Facebook annually.
11. Three best things about Christmas?
Getting presents, giving presents, naps.

1. Candy cane or peppermint patties?
{same as last year} I prefer Ghirardelli's Peppermint Bark, thanks.
2. Sugar or gingerbread cookies?
{same again} Sugar. Of course. Really, need you EVER ask? :-)
3. Tinsel or beaded strands?
Tinsel. My parents had the beaded strands in the Christmas box but I don't remember ever using them. It was like they weren't even available--we bought tinsel/garland once in awhile to replace the old stuff, but we never used the beads.
4. Multi-colored or same-colored lights?
I prefer multi-color, but the last fake tree we bought came pre-lit with all white, so that's what we have now. At least we got ornaments on this year--last year, the tree went up with just the lights. Actually, that was ok, but weird.
5. Flashing or still lights?
Flashing makes me wobbly, so yeah.....
6. Wreaths or mistletoe/holly?
We got a wreath again for the front door. That's our nod to "outside" decoration. No holly or mistletoe.
7. Rudolph or Frosty?
{Same again} It will ALWAYS be ...: Rudolph.
8. Sledding or snowball fights?
For me, anymore, I think neither. I don't really like snowball fights in actuality or theory, and sledding seems more dangerous every year.
9. Snow or ice/icicles?
Snow, as long as I'm inside and don't have to deal with it in any way.
10. Snow hat or earmuffs?
Mostly I just sling my scarf around my head and run for shelter. I hate hat hair, and I lose earmuffs.
11. Getting or giving?
They both have merit, but I'm never going to say that I'd rather skip getting presents than shop.
12. Snow days or plow trucks?
{Same again} Snow days.
13. Stockings or presents?
I don't care. Either.
14. Cookies & milk or letter to Santa?
We used to do all of this when Sparky was (much) younger. No kids in the house nowadays. I miss that.
15. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
{same again} I love Christmas Eve service, preferably the later one. But I love sitting around in PJs and playing with my new presents on Christmas Day.
16. Log Burning Channel or real thing?
Real thing or nothing.
17. Cards or emails?
{Same again} Email. I haven't sent cards the last [several] years. Facebook FTW.
18. Shoveling or cleaning off the car?
{Same again} Cleaning off the car. That's nothing. Shoveling is a nightmare.
19. Hot cocoa or eggnog?
{Same again} There's no contest here: EGGNOG!!
20. Jack Frost or Little Drummer Boy?
I don't really have a stake in this.

Have You Ever?
1. Built a snowman?
Of course, but not for a long time. And we don't have enough snow, again, this year.
2. Heard Santa's sleigh?
Nope. Even when I'm driving.
3. Seen Santa & Rudolph in the sky?
4. Sat on Santa's lap?
5. Shoveled the driveway/sidewalk?
{Same again}vUgh! SO . MANY . TIMES .
6. Made snow angels?
OK, I'm doing this this winter. It's been too long!
7. Built a fort/igloo?
8. Written a Christmas list?
{Same again} Yes. Thank you to Amazon for making it relatively easy to do this.
9. Written a letter to Santa?
{Same again} Probably. I wrote more letters from Santa than I ever wrote to him, for sure.
10. Left cookies/milk for Santa & reindeer?
Yes, of course.
11. Caught a snowflake on your tongue?
Yes I have.
12. Gone caroling?
{same again} One of my favorite activities, and I haven't done it in a decade or more.
13. Gotten hurt during the winter season?
Nope. Some illness, and some others with injuries, but not me. So far.
14. Gone ice skating/sledding?
Both. Hated skating. Sledding was fun.
15. Kissed under a mistletoe?
16. Get everything you wanted for Christmas?
Who ever gets everything? That should be illegal! I do all right every year.
17. Cooked/baked Christmas goodies?
{same again} I stopped this about a decade ago because I realized I was eating everything that I made. Since I already pound down junk food at an appalling pace, I stopped making my own.

Holiday Yay or.. Ugh
1. Holiday shopping?
2. Icy roads?
3. Limited driving visibility?
4. Christmas carolers?
5. Mall Santas?
Yay for kids, but I'm sure it's one of the worst jobs out there.
6. Salvation Army Santas?
Yay, though around here it's usually families or regular people. I almost never give these days.
7. Blizzards?
Yay if I'm inside and don't have to go anywhere.
8. 24/7 Holiday radio?
Yay for the first few days.
9. Freezing cold?
{same again} If I'm inside, yay. Unfortunately, freezing cold often happens around the same time as falling snow, requiring shoveling time. That's a definite UGH.
10. Setting up the tree?
{same again} Thinking about it: ugh. Once I get started, it's usually yay.
11. Wrapping presents?
12. Visiting/seeing family?
Yay, unless it requires airport travel.
13. Ad-Lib on "Rudolph…" (like Monopoly!)
14. Free mint red/white candy?
15. Belief in Santa Claus?
16. Chocolate countdown calendar?
I can't improve on this one at all: [from KW: Does nobody know the word “advent” anymore? which I second BIG time!] Yay.
17. Peeking at your gifts (or by accident)?
18. Making out with Santa under the mistletoe?
{Same again} Since I know who is Santa in this house...weird beyond belief.
19. Decorated houses?
20. Extreme decorated houses?
Not near me: yay.
21. White Christmas morning?
{Same again}As long as it doesn't mean shoveling, yay.
22. Searching for ornaments in the attic?
{Same again} Ours are in our front hall closet, easily accessible, so yay. Now, the wrapping paper? It's buried in storage. Ugh.
23. Santa knowing when you’re sleeping and awake?
{Same again} A little creepy now that Elf of the Shelf has arrived.

One Or the Other
1. Tree is fake/real?
{Same again} All our inside trees are fake.
2. Tree is under/above 4′?
{Same again} One is 6.5 feet, one is about 2 feet. The others are in between those sizes. Beast & I are discussing building a wooden tree on which the geek ornaments can hang. The little one isn't working anymore...hasn't for years: too many ornaments.
3. Open presents Christmas Eve/Day?
{Same again, except this year we did everything on the Eve} We always used to open one gift after church and before putting out cookies & milk for Santa. Beast's family did all their gifts on the Eve. My family did all of ours in the morning. We compromised.  
4. House/entire yard is decorated?
{Same again} HELL no! I get the tree up and some stuff scattered around inside the house, and a wreath on the door. That's it.
5. Amount of presents under the tree?
Only Sparky had under-the-tree prezzies this year.
6. Snowman is a male/female?
7. Go for Santa/Jesus?
{Same again} BOTH. Do people know that "Santa" means "holy" or "sainted"??
8. Homemade/delivered/takeout Christmas dinner?
{Same again except this year we went to relatives for the day} Christmas Eve, Chinese (Beast's family thing again). Day, we usually don't do ANYthing and just snack on leftovers and so forth.
9. Bedtime is before/after midnight?
10. Wake-up is before/after 7am?
{same again, and this year we just slept in} The rule has ALWAYS been after 7. Al.Ways.
11. Go/don’t go to church on Christmas?
We skipped.
12. Do shopping before/after Thanksgiving?
Most of my shopping, again this year, was done either REALLY early (like June) or in the last week.
13. Low-key/over the top decorations (inside and out)?
{Same again} Nope. Nope nope nope. I like other people's stuff, but I'm far too lazy to do all that work.

First Thought That Comes To Mind When You Hear…
1. Snowflake!
We haven't had a lot of snow, but I think we're in for it this month. I like snowflakes individually.
2. North Pole!
3. Elves!
Are still kinda creepy.
4. Sleigh!
{Same again} I'd love a sleigh ride. We do get carriage rides around the Square nearby, but it's not the same.
5. Presents!
Yes please
6. Cookies!
I really shouldn't
7. Mistletoe!
{Same again} Haven't seen any in years.
8. Rudolph!
We didn't see it this year. I'm not sad.
9. Blizzard!
{Same again} If it means being stuck at home, I'm all for it.
10. School’s Canceled!
{Same again} I totally follow this maxim these days: No work for me either, then!
11. Ice Skating!
No thank you.
12. Santa’s Lap!
{Same again} Crying kids.
13. Black Friday!
I usually work, so it's just another day.
14. Melting Snow!
Hopefully, that means sunshine!
15. Carols!
I miss singing carols.
16. Lumps of Coal!
I really think everyone involved in national (and international) politics this year should have gotten nothing but this.
17. Nutcracker!
{Same again} Always confused me as a child. I mean, this is what we used to open nuts when I was a kid. It confused me that there would be a ballet about this implement.
18. Ho Ho Ho!
{Same again} I'd love if the original meaning of this came back.

How Does He Do It?
1. Get down the chimney?
How would I know?
2. Deliver presents all over the world?
Time travel.
3. Get so fat and still act so jolly?
{Same again} Xanax and pie.
4. Recruit reindeer for sleigh-pulling lessons?
I would assume this time of year, there's not a lot of other stuff going on in Lappland.
5. Provide compensation for elves making toys?
Don't elves work just for fun? I mean like slaves?
6. Stay unseen from the rest of the world?
We're all invisible to other people.

Would It Still Be Christmas Without…
7. Candy canes?
Works for me.
8. Snow?
9. Stores opening at 5am?
Even more so!
10. Winter vacation?
{Same again} No. At least around here, they've rejiggered the school schedule so the semester break happens when they break at Christmas.
11. Visiting family & friends?
12. Fake Santas?
{Same again} As long as they are appropriately merry and kind.
13. Christmas trees?
{Same again} No. I think I have to insist on a tree.
14. New holiday movies?
{Same again} Ugh, yes: please, no more!!
15. Getting holiday greeting cards/email?
They're getting sparser and sparser, so I guess so.
16. Holiday tunes?
{Same again} I've got to hear at least a few at some point.

True Or False
1. You prefer to stay inside where it’s warm?
2. You’ve given something (or $) to charity?
3. You spent more than what people spent on you?
{Same again} Actually, I think it's starting to even out a little.
4. You like to take your time opening presents?
{Same again} True. Drives people nuts.
5. The thing you want most this year costs $100+?
Not exactly. Nothing I wanted the most this year was for sale; it all requires other input than money.
6. You expect to get got more than 10 presents this year?
I think we all got about 10.
7. You’re a Scrooge/Grinch?
8. Christmas = snow?
{Same again} It's definitely more Christmas-like to me with snow, but I don't mind the occasional miss like this year.
9. You know the lyrics to more than 25 Christmas songs?
{Same again} Easily true.

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