Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Meme

I got this from two friends already, so since my doing it seems almost a fait accompli, I thought I'd just as well do it here and call it a post. I tried to answer the questions before reading the responses of either person who sent it to me, but the shorter their answer, the harder that was. I'll not lay the obligation of sending this "to a whole bunch of people" on any of you though. Do with it as you will. Still, it was sort of fun, at least as much as I've done so far.
Welcome to the of Christmas Edition of getting to know your friends.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Yes.

2. Real tree or Artificial? The last artificial tree I had was in college, and Carter was the president then (that's for you Buzzard). So, Real. Some years we trekked to a tree farm and cut it ourselves, mostly when the children were smaller. The last dozen or so, we just bought them already cut at either Lowes or King Sooper. The last two or three years, the really hard part was tying it to the top of a VW Jetta in blizzard conditions. The thing about teaching is that the Christmas season, when you'd most like to spend weekends doing family things, you're swamped with papers and finals to grade.

When I was a child, we always hiked into the woods at the old home place. Those are really cool memories. Dad had quite the eye for trees. Cedar was the most plentiful and it's what I remember most often as the family tree. Cedar and those huge multicolored bulbs.

This year, good question. I don't expect to be home enough to water a real tree here, and besides, whatever decorations I came away with are in storage in Colorado. Like college, I'm about half likely to go back to artificial or, more likely, no tree at all. But don't think I'll miss out. If things work out the way I hope, I'll get to find and trim a tree after all. And even if that activity doesn't quite come together, I can still safely expect to spend a lot of time this Christmas among children and parents that love them. What sort of tree we gather around won't make nearly as much difference as the company we share around it. Long answer. Sorry.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, unless it's really early, then the next weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down? Ideally one of the first two weekends in January. But, I have been known to leave it up until the cat couldn't tiptoe through the room without inducing a shower of dead needles. And I can just hear my fire chief father cringing at the thought of that. And in case you don't understand why, here's a video demonstration:

5. Do you like eggnog? Does Scotch Pine make good kindling? From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I try to slam a shot of it before bed whether I need it or not, though in truth, I don't really know what it would feel like not to need it. There's nothing alcoholic about it. I choose the shot glass because it basically contains about 100 calories per ounce. You know about calories, right? They're the things in food that make it taste good. Eggnog taste really, really good. :-)

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably my first or second bicycle. I lived on my bicycle as a kid.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My father. He has most things he needs, and he has admirably simple tastes. Long ago I sort of gave up finding the perfect gift for him. Now I tend to get him things I think he would never think of getting for himself and hope that they'll turn out to be useful or fun. I had to have children of my own to understand that he really doesn't care. A hug, a card, and to know that we love him--that's all he really wants. Heck, even the card is optional. Once I really got a grip on that, it became a little easier, but it's still no cakewalk.

Still, it's not angst-ridden either. He may be hard to buy for, but not painful. The person who's really hardest to buy for is the one you love the most but that you think needs convincing. Whether they're really going to measure your love by how amazing a present you find for them or not, if you think they are, you may as well film a Scotch Pine conflagration at close range--you'll come away feeling better in the end.

8. Easiest person to buy for? I think this changes from year to year. Not for everyone perhaps, but at least for me.

That said, I can't help but note that "Person whom it's the most fun to buy for," should be a question all its own, so I'm going to throw this out there too. That would be the person who knows how much you love them and has no reason to doubt it. Whatever you get them, they'll love, not because of what it is or how well it suits them or how much it costs, but simply because it's from you. It's not a test. Again, perception is more important than reality here. This could be the single aspect of this particular Christmas I'm looking forward to more than any other. This year, I get to remember what this is like.

[Note: there are nineteen more questions in this meme--count 'em. For those who might want to complete the exercise and send it on, I'm including the remaining questions here. Answering them will have to wait for another day. Scrooge is tired.]

[Update 20081125, 0134: You'll find the questions below answered here.]

9. Do you have a Nativity Scene?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas Present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

16. Lights on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?

18. Do you stay home for Christmas?

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

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

23. What theme or color are you using?

24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?

27. Who is least likely to respond to this?
To be continued.