Actually, this hasn't really anything at all to do with old Santa's list, but it does have to do with Christmas, and it is . . . another list.
I am slowly (or rather quickly actually) turning into List Girl. List girl makes me think of Word Girl (and those of you who can suddenly sing -- to the right melody -- "Word up, it's Word Girl" are probably so happy right now). Word Girl is a PBS cartoon superhero (with an excellent vocabulary and a sidekick monkey). List girl doesn't maybe sound quite so heroine-ish as Word Girl, but certainly not villainous, and, even if List Girl did smack of villainy, it would be alright because this is the last list I am going to do until . . . FOR-EVER! (Disclaimer: strictly speaking, that is probably not true . . . or, even, . . . loosely speaking).
Anyway, upward and onward . . . or forward and . . . backward?? No. No. That can't be right. Forget I said anything. On to this Christmas List that I came across. (Where? I don't recall. I'm sure I stole it from someone . . . maybe one of you. In any case, I'd be most flattered if any of you would likewise steal it from me . . . or, back from me -- as the case may be.)
1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
While I do purchase eggnog occasionally for my dear husband's enjoyment and can see why it might be a holiday treat that brings many of you a little cheer, I actually shudder and maybe even convulse a little at the thought of touching it to my own lips. I'm not sure why. It's probably delicious (bleck!). Actually, I think I do know why, and it might have something to do with my brother Aaron (maybe with sister Shannon's help) making homemade eggnog in the blender at home one summer when we were young. I don't recall much other than raw eggs swirling about, and something about walking down the street later still feeling very unhappy about the taste in my mouth. No no. No eggnog for me, thanks. I am, however, quite fond of hot chocolate. Sometimes I like minty kinds with a little whip cream.
2. Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree?
When I first read this, I thought, "What kind of lunacy? Presents OPEN under the tree?" But I was just picturing a bunch of toys lying about all helter skelter with nary a bit of wrapping in site. When I thought about it further, I realized that, actually, we usually do leave a few presents unwrapped to add to the excitement of the Christmas morning scene. I still remember very clearly coming into my own living room when I was small to a glorious hand made (by my mother) barbie house -- decked out with fake snow and Christmas lights. It couldn't possibly have been as magical had it been all wrapped up. So, we usually have something sitting out for the kids to see right when they walk in, but most everything else is wrapped (which makes for some late night Christmas Eve's for Mike and I now that we have five little people to wrap for).
3. Colored lights or white?
You can't really go wrong with either. White lights are so classy and pretty and are actually what Mike and I have used throughout our Christmases together, but we always had colored lights growing up, and they do make me so happy and bring back such good memories that I think I will have to revolt against all my pretty white lights and do colored lights soon. I don't necessarily want to go spend the money to get enough new strands for all our decorating this year, but sometime we will need to invest in them and then maybe I'll do alternate years of white lights and colored lights. Abe and Goldie do have little trees in their rooms with colored lights, and it makes me happy to see. Maybe I'll just go buy one little strand to drape around our bedroom as well for this year.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Why no, but perhaps I should -- though, naturally, I will dispose of any and all mistletoe when my kids become teenagers with little teenage friends hanging about the house (in order to help curtail any funny business).
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Nearly always the day after Thanksgiving. It's a day off from school and feels like a fun holiday weekend activity. I used to be pretty strict about that being the day to start playing Christmas music as well, but this year I came home from a run one Saturday in early November to find Mike had turned it on for the girls and we haven't been able to stop listening to it since.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Hmm. I don't know. I certainly enjoy good holiday eatin', but I can't particularly think of a favorite dish.
7. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
I think we have always given our kids a little gift on Christmas Eve. I can't remember for certain though. Growing up we always got new nightgowns made by my mom on Christmas Eve. In later years, we opened the family gift exchange gift (we'd draw names earlier in the season). I think I've given our kids pj's a few times. Last year Mike gave them all CD player alarm clocks to wake them on Christmas morning (or more to let them know how long they had to stay in bed). I wouldn't mind coming up with a theme for Christmas Eve gifts. I think it was my sister-in-law Kimberly who mentioned doing books as a Christmas Eve gift. I like that idea, or maybe an ornament (something Mike's sister Rebecca's family does on Christmas Eve).
8. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Mike and I strung popcorn and cranberries our first Christmas together and those strands are still loosely holding up. We also hang red beads and gingerbread cookies. Our main ornaments are ones we borrowed from Mike's parents our first Christmas together and consist of red ball ornaments; red checked bows; and these darling little knitted santas, snowmen and carolers. We intended to borrow them just that year but have used them ever since so they have acquired quite a bit of sentimentality to them. I will add (for the benefit of any of Mike's family members who might also view these as happy and sentimental childhood ornaments) that I do realize they aren't actually ours and will return them should the day arise that just such a sacrifice be required. We also have a few odds-and-ends ornaments of the kind your kids make for you that must go on the tree each year.
9. Snow. Love it or hate it?
Oh, I know it is such a hassle to have around and dangerous for driving, and I don't love trying to load all my kids in a snow covered car on our way to school in the morning, but I can't get it out of my head that to dislike snow is somehow slightly evil. I always get excited by a snowfall (I've told you this might relate back to my childhood and my mother making us feel that any and all storms were cause for celebration).
10. Can you ice skate?
Oh, I think I went a few times when I was younger, and, I imagine, that after an hour or so I could manage to lumber about the rink with out falling . . . but that is the problem -- it would be lumbering, which is a word that one should never see in the same sentence as "ice skate." I would love if I'd been blessed with a little more gracefulness and coordination.
11. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Too hard. I do tend to make fudge a lot around this time of year, and I love my mom's hot fudge sauce with ice-cream. And, even though they are loads of work, the kids and I always make sugar cookies sometime in December.
12. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Another one that is too hard. There are tons of traditions that I recall happily from my own childhood. Mike and I have pulled some of our happiest childhood traditions over to our family and are still in the process of creating more of our own. I miss going to choose our tree at one of the local tree farms in WA, that was a fun tradition, but I love the little set of tiny Christmas drawers my kids get to open for each day of December to find what Christmas type activity we will do that day (watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, make gingerbread, let the girls do a Christmas dance for us, etc.). All the traditions will have to be a post in and of themselves, but it does make me happy to think of the things we are doing now becoming the things that my own kids remember fondly as "our" traditions when they are older.
13. Candy canes. Yum or yuck?
Like snow, it seems bordering sacrilege to say "yuck" to candy canes, but, truthfully, I am not a huge fan. I may end up having a small piece off one of my kids' candy canes here or there through out the year, but I would never just eat one as a treat of choice.
14. Favorite Christmas show?
I don't know that there is one Christmas show that I absolutely love. At my house, we always watched A Christmas Story and Holiday Inn (I need to watch that one again with Mike), but, if I had to choose only two that we could ever watch again at Christmas I'd probably have to go for A Charlie Brown Christmas and the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.