I love that there is almost always a meme going around about Christmas each year. The one I saw this year was at Melanie‘s. She found it at Linda‘s, who found it at Cindy‘s. I don’t think any of them would mind of you wanted to join in on your blog or in the comments.
1. Do you prefer an Artificial or Real tree?
Real. Our main Christmas tree has always been a real one. I like to use lots where local people sell their own trees. Last year we couldn’t find one and ended up getting a tree at Home Depot – that turned out to be quite impersonal. Thankfully we found a local place again this year. I’ve always enjoyed going out with the family and picking out just the right tree. I don’t know if that will change when it’s just the two of us – we’ll see.
2. Do you prefer colored lights or clear lights on your tree?
I like them both, so it’s hard to decide, but our main tree has colored lights. A couple of artificial mini trees have clear lights. We have colored lights on the bushes out front and clear on a garland on the porch – I probably should have done one or they other so they would match, but oh well. 🙂
3. Would you say your Christmas dinner is traditional or not?
Yes, very: Ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes if I remember them (only my daughter-in-law and I like them), pumpkin pie, apple pie, rolls.
4. When do you begin Christmas shopping?
Usually Thanksgiving weekend, but if we see a deal on something that someone in the family would like earlier, we get it. My husband is particularly good at that. We don’t start earlier because we like to get specific things that they want, and we don’t always know what those things are until about that time. Plus the end of our “birthday season” is September, so it’s nice to have a break between birthdays and Christmas shopping.
5. What is your favorite Christmas movie to watch?
White Christmas and the George C. Scott Christmas Carol.
6. Are you a Hallmark Christmas Movie fan?
We don’t get the Hallmark channel on our main TV, but it does come through in my mother-in-law’s room. So I have only seen snatches of of their Christmas movies and…no, I am not a fan. They seem similar to each other. But I may find out differently if I ever watch one all the way through.
7. Do you travel for Christmas or stay home?
Stay home. We pretty much have to now because we have my mother-in-law with us, but that is our preference anyway. We traveled a few Christmases the first few years we were married, but travel weather was always iffy, and we wanted to start our own traditions, especially since neither of our families incorporated the spiritual side of Christmas.
8. Who is the easiest person to buy for in your family?
Right now, my little grandson, Timothy. It’s so fun to shop in the baby aisles again. 🙂 When my mom was still alive, she was the easiest to shop for – I knew her tastes, and she was one person I could shop for any time of year and save it for Christmas.
9. Do you like to wrap your gifts or prefer gift bags, if possible?
It just depends on what it is. If it is something in a box, I like to wrap it. If it’s an odd shape or I can’t find a box it will fit in, gift bags are fine.
10. What is the one stress you feel you have at Christmas?
Getting everything done has always been a stress factor, but we have simplified over the years. No one in our extended families exchanges gifts any more except that we do still give to my step-father. But not having multiple boxes to send out has helped a lot. And now that our kids are grown, we don’t have the Christmas plays, recitals, class parties, etc. to go to or make things for. I do miss all of that in some ways, but it’s nice to have freer schedules now, and the children’s Christmas program at church helps fill that niche.
Bonus question: What is one of your favorite Christmas memories with your children.
My favorite Christmas memories are when we decorate the tree. I love the exclamations when they see their favorites and all the “remember when” stories about them. I wish I had written down something about individual Christmases through the years. The only Christmas I did specifically do that, I recorded that one son said that if he could open one present early, he wouldn’t hit his brother. 🙂 It’s been fun to watch the changes as they have grown. The most memorable Christmas since we’ve had children was actually the day after when Jesse was just a baby. I was feeding him on the couch when I heard something moving with a galumph sound behind me. I called my husband, who was actually taking a bath at the time, but he threw some clothes on and indulged me and came to investigate – and discovered a huge rat, the size of a cat, in the living room. Jim had just gotten some thick gloves for Christmas, put them, and tried to corner the rat, but every time he did, the rat would stand on its hind legs and hiss at him. (Eeeeek!) The rat did take a few nips at him, so I was especially glad he had the gloves. He spent all kinds of time trying to catch him – I was afraid he was going to say, “I’m sorry, honey, but I have to get to work,” and leave me alone with it. But he didn’t. Our kids had gotten that year a big container of Legos that basically was a big box with a door that slid open. Jim dumped out the Legos, trapped the rat behind some books, set up the container, and the rat ran into while Jim shut the door. Now what to do with it. I didn’t want Jim to release it outside just to have it come back in again. So he submerged the container into the bath water he had left until the rat drowned, then he disposed of it and cleaned out the container. I was on the couch with my feet up the whole time, and I think the other boys were on the furniture as well, just watching, wide-eyed. Later Jim wrote a poem about it in the style of “‘Twas the night before Christmas…” (or the day after in this case), and he’s pulled it out and read it a few times over the years.
Thank you, Cindy, for creating this! I enjoyed reminiscing.