Sidney Williams' Journal:
The Christmas Meme
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1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Gift bags all the way. If it won't fit in a gift bag, I just stick a ready-made self-adhesive bow on it. I'm all about doing things the easiest way. No Martha Stewart make-it-from-scratch for me!
2. Real tree or artificial?
Sorry, you purists...I like my little two-foot artifical tree with its built-in fiber-optic lights and interior color wheel. The ever-changing light display is lovely...and I can pack the tree away easily to store for next year.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down?
After Twelfth Night (Jan. 6).
5. Do you like eggnogg?
Yes--with or without added alcohol!
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Probably a Breyer horse model, or perhaps my Barbie doll. (And that was back when Barbie was first on the market, in 1958. We got ONE Barbie doll; now every little girl seems to have at least 10 different Barbies.)
7. Hardest person to buy for?
My boss--what do you get for someone who already has, or can afford to buy, everything she wants? (Fortunately, the Boss told a few years ago that if we feel we must give her a gift, to donate in her name to a charity.) In general I no longer exchange Christmas gifts with most of my friends/family--saves money, and avoids bringing in more Stuff That Will Have to Be Discarded Someday. The exception is my new little grandson, Nicholas, for whom of course I had to buy a gift for his first Christmas.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
Baby Nicholas! Of course, bibliophile that I am, I bought him books.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes....Although I'm no longer conventionally religious, I like the whole tradition of the holiday season, including the religious references. I'm willing to go with a Pagan Winter Solstice theme, too....
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I buy a new box of cards every year, and every year I "don't get around to" sending them. I also resolve to send e-mail Christmas greetings, but usually miss doing those, too.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
A diet book from my sister--I think it was The South Beach Diet. Yes, I need to lose weight, but still....
12. Favorite Christmas movie(s)?
"A Christmas Story"--I watched it again on Christmas Eve this year, and loved it as much as ever. I can't decide which part is my favorite, the "triple-dog-dare" scene, the leg lamp scene, or Ralph's fantasy about routing the bad guys with his new BB gun. Others I like are "Bad Santa," and "Elf." "It's a Wonderful Life" is the greatest classic, but I'm kinda burned out on it right now. I've seen that SO many times....
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
See answer to No. 7 above.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Not that anyone can prove without investigation and affidavits.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Turkey with cranberry sauce and cornbread dressing. Although, alas, around here most people seem to have oyster dressing, and I hate oysters.
16. Color of lights on the tree?
Multicolored fiber optics.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
"The Christmas Song," as performed by Nat King Cole.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen (and, by the way, it is DONDER, not Donner! "Donder" is German for thunder, and "Blitzen" is German for lightning).
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
See No. 7 above. Others in my family who do give/receive presents do it on Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
With all the thousands of recordings of the standard Christmas songs, why must the radio stations play the same versions over and over and over?
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
Don't use ornaments anymore, just the little two-foot tree with its built-in lights.
24. Favorite for Christmas Eve dinner?
My family does not do anything special for Christmas Eve, only for Christmas Day.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
See No. 7 above. Alternatively, to win the Powerball lottery.
26. What is your wish for Christmas?
World Peace...An End to Genocide...Universal Health Care...