A lot of what I think about Christmas

My mom
was tagged to do this Christmas meme so I thought I’d pick it up and do it as well. It brought back some happy memories, that’s for sure! If you decide to do it too, let me know.
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Both, either, or. I could also add in Bailey’s here, as well as chocolate-laced coffee. Yum. There really aren’t many bad drinks at Christmas!
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Does anyone’s Santa not wrap presents? This is curious to me.
Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
Our indoor tree has coloured lights. Our outdoor display could use a little work, and it’s a mixture of white and coloured. This year I wanted to surprise my daughter with it, but when we drove up the house in the dark on the day that I put them up she was nonplussed. The neighbour’s house was better in her eyes. Because they had red lights!  (I’m not surprised.)
Do you hang mistletoe?
I’m not sure I’ve ever hung mistletoe. It seems to be one of those “going by the wayside” sort of things.
When do you put your decorations up?
I think we did it November 30th this year; I felt the pressure of the advent calendar start approaching. Really, I had meant to do it earlier…not sure where the time went!

What is your favourite holiday dish?
I probably have two favourite holiday dishes, not that I’ve ever thought much about this. For the past several years we’ve been making Citrus-Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Rolls to eat on Christmas morning. They’re supposed to be light but they still are sugary, icing-y, cranberry-y and delicious! The second is probably the turkey stuffing recipe that we got passed down to us by my husband’s mother. It’s pretty much the best stuffing I’ve ever eaten.

Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
Many things come to mind here but I’ll name three. The first is coming down the stairs on Christmas morning and turning my head toward the front living room, and seeing everything magically laid out before me: the crackling fireplace, the stockings bursting with tiny delights, the mound of gaily-wrapped presents, snow lying about outside (more often than not) – wonderful!

I also have fond memories of the large family Christmases we used to have when my grandparents were still alive on my mom’s side. They had 13 kids, kids’ spouses, and tons of grandkids, yet they still bought presents for everyone (in the early days, before the grandkids started having kids!) Christmas to me means big crowds of family members getting together, laughing and carrying on, kids running everywhere. Eventually the family got too big for anyone’s house and a hall had to be rented. It could never hold a candle to those early Christmases opening presents in “the farm’s” basement though, sometimes trying on “old school” white roller skates too big for our feet and taking them for a spin around the room!

My third memory also involves family and singing carols around the piano. I mean everyone’s family sings carols in four-part harmony with various family members taking their turns accompanying at the piano, don’t they?  Lucky for me, this practice isn’t actually just a distant memory but one that still takes place every year and one I get to take part in when I’m home for the holidays.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I have no idea but I bet my big brother Kevin spilled the beans!

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No, we never have. We always tried to cajole our parents into doing this though, I’m not sure it ever worked. I’ve carried on the “Oh, let’s just open one present!” half-joking sentence with my husband! (He never goes for it.)

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Usually we have a bit of Bailey’s to sweeten the practice but this year we haven’t yet bought our Christmas bottle. We do put on the Christmas music though and I, in particular, reminisce about where I got each ornament (if I can remember) as I put them on the tree. This year Chelsea was a great “helping hand” and we put the small, beaded candy cane that she made at daycare right next to the small, beaded wreath that I made (at church?) when I was a little girl. Sweet.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without it.

Can you ice skate?
Yes, but I do need to usually crash into the boards to stop. That’s what I get for skating every six years (or less) I guess! It’s been a long time since my early figure-skating days growing up in my small town.

Do you remember your favourite gift?
Nothing comes to mind in terms of something commercial, but my favourite gift is really having all the people that I love in the room at the same time and place at the holidays.

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with people I love, laughing and having fun. Oh, and slipping Terry’s chocolate orange slices into my coffee or chai latte! (We discovered that little delicious sin last year.)

What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?
A new favourite is definitely the Oatmeal Pecan Pie that I tried out for the first time last year. It’s going to be a keeper for sure. I always make gingerbread every year as well, these past few years it’s been as a house.

What is your favourite holiday tradition?
Playing Christmas carols on the piano, only the ones I like unless someone else is singing along.

What tops your tree?
An angel which lights up, she’s gorgeous.

Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I think I love to give more than receive. The best part is the whole lead-up to the holiday season where I leisurely comb the stores to find items which I think my family will like. I never participate in the last minute buying rush of the season, can’t stand the crowds. Of course I love to receive presents too but I think I receive more joy out of seeing if the gift I have given is well-received.

What is your favourite Christmas Song?
I think probably The Christmas Song, also known as Chestnuts Roasting By an Open Fire. I can really “rock” that one on the piano! I like to play all the ones with feeling, not the “Two Front Teeth” sort of ones.

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
If I were forced to eat them I wouldn’t mind, but I definitely would choose chocolate over candy canes any day. We never buy them.

Favourite Christmas Show?
Holiday Inn has been my favourite “old school” Christmas movie for years. I’ve probably watched it at least 50 times. In the past few years I’ve started to enjoy The Holiday, and a friend reminded me about Love Actually this year as well, which I am watching tonight.

Saddest Christmas Song
Pretty Paper, hands down. There’s nothing happy about homelessness at Christmas. (Wow, cruddy note to end on! Someone needs to add a better question here at the end!) Wait, maybe it can be me…

Where’s the Best Place You’ve Ever Spent Christmas?
I like to be home for Christmas now with my husband and daughter, but there was one memorable year down South with my parents when we had to eat Chinese food for Christmas because the power went out at our condo unit and we couldn’t cook our turkey!

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