1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? You mean we have to choose? I’ve been known to have Egg Nog in one hand and Hot Chocolate or coffee in the other. (Update…this year I even tried eggnog in my coffee. It makes a good creamer.)
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa wraps! Or at least puts them in bags. (Update: When the kids were little, some toys, like trikes, were too large to wrap, so Santa just put them near the tree.)
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? All white! To me that looks like little stars.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? I liked Carolyns’ answer: “If it’s needed to inspire someone.” I use to hang it every Christmas, but it was a silk mistletoe ball, and when it started to look bad, I just never replaced it. Us married couples don’t need inspiration, and Beth doesn’t have anybody, so it isn’t needed. (No updates here!)
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the day after Thanksgiving, but this year I was just too tired after all the wedding stuff. They are still not up. (Update: They are still not up this year, either. I want them to magically put themselves up, so I don’t have to mess with it. And I’m still tired from the wedding.)
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I don’t really think I have a favorite.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child : My favorite memories are getting together at my grandmother’s house with all my cousins on Christmas Eve.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I just figured it out for myself. I was 5 years old, and for a while, it had not made sense to me that reindeer could fly. I remember standing beside my mother while she was washing dishes one day, and I asked her if Santa was real. I told her I didn’t believe reindeer could really fly. I had already made up my mind, but I tried to get her to admit it. She gave me some evasive answer, so I knew she was covering something up. Yes….I really was only 5, and Brandon was also that age when he figured it out.
9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? We have for several years. When the kids were little and still believed in Santa, we opened them on Christmas morning. (Update: As they got older, we’d open one gift on Christmas Eve, and save the rest for Christmas Day. Now we just open them all on Christmas Eve. I’m sure when they have their own kids, they’ll do their own thing on Christmas Day.)
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I am very particular (read that “picky”) about the way our tree is decorated. It has to be just so. So for that reason, I never did let the kids just hang things wherever they wanted. I told them where to put each ornament, if they were helping me. But I usually decorate it by myself. When the kids got a little bigger, they each had their own tree that they could decorate however their little hearts desired. Now Bethany is just like me – trees have to be perfect and she is never completely satisfied with a tree. Our tree is decorated in red and gold, my favorite Christmas colors. (Update: My mom trained me to be that picky about the tree. She was always picky. When I got old enough, decorating the tree was my job. But it had to be just right. Even the the foil icicles had to hang perfectly straight. I have seen people just stand back and throw them at the tree. That is an offense for which the death penalty should be used.)
11. Snow, love it or dread it? I love it, because we seldom see it here in the Houston, TX area. We last had snow on Dec. 24, 2004, and it was beautiful. We didn’t just have a few flakes….we had SNOW! (Update: I would love to have it again this year.)
12. Can you ice skate? Heck, no. You would only have to see me try once to figure that one out for yourself. (Update: I have tried to ice skate. The operative word there is tried. I have never actually fallen on the ice, because that would require getting away from the side of the rink. No thanks. One year when our youth group when skating when I was about 19, I did manage to do some intriquite footwork, along with my cousin, David, and our youth director, Greg. None of it was intentional. We got into a tight spin. I wanted out. But Greg was cute, so I as willing to stay.)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I don’t remember that I ever had a favorite gift. But I did have a doll one year that I remember well. I was VERY young, and my mother named the doll Rockhead. And yes, that became my nickname.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Celebrating the birth of Jesus is the most important thing. We have a beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service at church every year. The second most important thing is getting together with my family.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pumpkin or cherry pie? Neither. We have a family tradition of making lemon meringue pie and chocolate meringue pie only at Christmas. My mother use to make them, but now I do it for the whole family. Those are my favorite desserts. I don’t know who will carry on that tradition after me, because my kids don’t like them. (Update: Mrs. Smith and Sara Lee will have to provide the desserts when I am gone. They are both pretty good at what they do.)
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Having dinner with my family on Christmas Day.
17. What tops your tree? An angel. And usually a cat….a real one. (Update: This year it will probably be several cats, since we have several who have not had a Christmas before.)
18. Which do you prefer – giving or receiving? Definitely giving. I am a giver and Bethany is, too. I don’t even really care if I get anything myself. (Update: I love to listen all year for hints at what people would like to have. I use to be better at planning that far ahead than I am now. I’ve kind of gotten lazy in the last few years.)
19. Which is your favorite Christmas song? Silent Night.Joy to the World and The First Noel are right behind it, though. (Update: Also Away in a Manger. And I always sing O Holy Night at the Candlelight service.)
20. Candy canes? I like to decorate with candy canes, because I like the red and white stripes. But I don’t particularly like to eat them. I love candy cane striped candles that smell like peppermint. (I like the soft peppermint, though. The kind that just melts in your mouth.)