Sunday, December 17, 2006
Dragon Time Christmas, I'm feeling a bit dragonish today. (This image is from Pandora's Dragons). Maybe it is that our house is really cold. We were away Friday night, when we returned on Saturday afternoon it was 46F inside, same as outside! After a roaring fire finally got it up to 62F we went to bed. Then we are having a cold snap of course, so it is 32F outside, so now the inside temp is back down to 54F. It is amazing to me how sensitive I am to just these relatively small ranges of temperature.
Or maybe it is that I haven't finished shopping yet for presents.
Or that we are feeling pinched for $$ since we are spending it all on this giant house project.
Or that the dog keeps busting through the doors to outside letting all the freakin'g cold air in.
We celebrate christmas, chanukkah (note the uncapitalization), and Solstice (the cap is for me mainly). The holidays for us are about seeing family and friends, traditions and celebrating the loving bonds we all treasure. I've been talking a lot about this with my boys lately, as they don't quite get the whole Christmas story, and the "War on Christmas" and the dichotomy of a secularized commercial holiday that all about stuff vs. a religious tradition. Maybe this would be a good year to go to a Christmas and Chanukkah service, just so they can see what they're missing out on. I inflict my very low key version of Solstice on them every year, and since it involves turning out all the lights and a cake, who is to complain, right?
How about a Christmas Meme? I got this one from DebR over at her new blog location.
1. Apple cider, Eggnog, or Hot Chocolate? Yes to all three! Especially Bud's Eggnog, with some good Jamaican Appleton Rum(I've actually been there to the rum factory in Jamaica, so I always buy this brand), heated up with cinnamon sprinkled on top of course. And Hot Chocolate from Ghirardelli or Scharffenberger made with whole milk, and topped with real whipped cream. Apple Cider is good hot or cold. The spicier the better.
2. Turkey or Ham? Hmmmm, I suppose Turkey, just because then there is dressing. Or Ham if it is a HoneyBaked Ham. Both are good. Usually for christmas Eve we do a complicated Chinese meal or maybe my special Sicilian lasagna. This year we are on our own, so who knows what we will have...I haven't really thought that far ahead yet.
3. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Duh?! What a question, of course wrapped. Even the presents in the stocking have to be wrapped. The only time wrapping doesn't happen is if it is an outside gift. Then there is a big bow involved. The point of the wrapping is extending the surprise of opening the gift. ALso if a kid wakes up early or "sleepwalks" then there isn't a surprise at all that you are there to see.
4. Colored lights or white on the tree? I usually have the colored lights on the tree. Sometimes I'll put both. I used to put up strands of white lights going up the stairs with garland and such, but that staircase is no longer this year! We're trying LED lights on the tree this year, of two different types. One is muted and pastelish, and the other is way too intense looking, something inbetween would suite me best. But I like the power savings with the LED!
5. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree? We have a live tree. I buy a new one every three years or so. It gets put up on a short table, so it is tall enough. Otherwise we would go out in the backyard and cut down a tree. Really! We did last year for my parents. The live trees get planted out eventually, we dedicate them to those that have passed on in the intervening years. I like being able to see the growth of the tree and think about family and friends that aren't around anymore.
6. Favorite Christmas song? That is hard to pick! "Silent Night", or the Dave Matthews song "Christmas Song" or Bing Crosby's scat "Jingle Bells".
7. How do you feel about Christmas movies? I like some of them. Some are too sappy for me.
We just watched "Christmas Do-Over" last night which was good. The Bill Murray version of A Christmas Carol is one of my faves: "Scrooged". "Elf" is pretty good. I really love "White Christmas", just because of the music. Can't go wrong with Bing! And of course "A Christmas Story", it never fails to get me laughing til I cry. And a not really a Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life." Which I got on DVD last year, so it won't take so danged long to watch with all the stoopid tv commercials, yay!
8. What is your favorite holiday dish? My Spode Christmas tree two level cookie server. It goes so well with the rest of the special china. That reminds me, I gotta dig that out! Oh, you probably meant food. Hmmmm, I guess the almond flavored christmas tree press cookies.
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music? Before December 1st. On that day, which happens to be my birthday. I pull out my stack of holiday cd's. I loathe hearing it in the stores though, never seems to be good versions, just the crappy ones.
10. What is your favorite holiday smell? The smells of my grandmothers' houses when we would first walk in on Christmas. Now I suppose the smell of the tree. When I was a kid, I used to keep a bag of pine needles from every Christmas tree, just so I could smell it during the year.
11. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was 9 or 10. I wasn't too mad as I recall. And my parents made it into a responsibility so I could help make the magic happen for my little brother. We handled it the same way with our boys (just recently in fact!).
12. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? Mostly stars and suns and moons, some Santas, colored glass balls that say peace, colored glass tree light bulbs, glass icicles, glittered balls, and new this year two words: one beaded silver script PEACE and one red metal block lettered PEACE.
13. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas Day? We open presents on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day, we open the presents from Santa ,our stocking
14. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you? We've done it all different ways. Usually we have some people over on Christmas Eve. Then we go to my parents' house on Christmas Day where more relatives and friends join us.
Once at Disneyland and Legoland too.
15. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving!! I love feeling like I've really pleased and/or surprised my giftee. Makes me all warm and tingly inside.
Hey I feel all warm and tingly inside now after having concentrated on WHY I like this celebration time of year. Merry Merry Joy Joy to All!