Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Survey

I saw this on Heather's Blog a few days ago, and thought I'd participate! It really doesn't have to do with anything health or counseling related, but that's ok...right? I've always found it interesting how different people celebrate the same holiday. Traditions are fascinating:)

Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Absolutely Hot Chocolate! I love hot chocolate, and now that I have a lactose free recipe, I can make it as often as I'd like! I love putting peppermint in it to add a little extra zing to it!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
ALWAYS wraps them. I actually never realized until a few years ago that some people got unwrapped Santa gifts. Ours were always wrapped and under the tree, in the stockings, and on the fireplace.

Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White goes on the main tree and colored lights goes on the "kids" Christmas tree (the tree with all our old ornaments and things we made growing up). Colored lights are acceptable outside, as are white:)

Do you hang mistletoe?

When do you hang your decorations up?
The weekend before Thanksgiving. That way, when I return home after visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, it's all decorated. I don't turn on the lights until after Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
This is difficult. I REALLY look forward to creamed onions at Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. And this amazing strawberry jello with strawberry chunks in it. I only eat these two foods at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they're special.

Favorite holiday memory as a child?
I have so many fantastic Christmas memories from growing up that it is really hard to choose. We weren't allowed to make any noise on Christmas morning until 8 am, so my cousins and I woke up early and played card games quietly in our rooms. The anticipation was so high, and when we were finally told we could come downstairs, it was amazing:)

What is on your Christmas wish list?
Amazon Gift card to buy a few books as I think of them throughout the year. That way I don't have to feel the pressure of coming up with books on the spot!

Do you open up gifts on Christmas Eve?
Don't even get me started on this one:) We do NOT open our gifts on Christmas Eve and I don't think that I ever will open them on the 24th. Growing up, we were allowed to open up one gift on Christmas Eve.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
At my house my tree is pretty simple. White lights with differed colored balls. Simple but beautiful! At my parents house, we decorate the "kids tree" with our favorite ornaments, and the various things we made at school growing up. It's fun to look back at old crafts and school pictures attached to ornaments.

Snow? Love it or dread it?
I love the snow, but really dislike the cold. I would like snow from December 1-January 20th or so, and then I'm pretty much over it.

Real tree or fake tree?
I have a fake tree right now because I don't actually spend Christmas at my place. My parents have always had a real tree, but the "kids tree" is also a fake one. I love the smell of fresh pine trees!

Do you remember your favorite gift?
I definitely don't have a single "favorite gift" that I've gotten. One year I really wanted a blanket from one of my favorite places, and asked my mom for it every day from October until mid December. I still use that blanket on a daily basis, and it reminds me of so many fantastic memories from growing up. It's a sentimental and practical gift all in one.

What's the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Amidst all of the parties, gifts, and celebrations, I remember that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. It's also important for me to spend time with my family.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?
This is a tough one because we don't have one traditional holiday dessert. I love the Christmas cookies that we make each year though!

What is your favorite tradition?
Last year was the first Christmas that we did something different, so we're a little bit trying to create some new traditions right now. Every Christmas Eve we go to church, then drive around to look at Christmas lights, and then come home and eat cake (it's Jesus' birthday, remember?), read the Night Before Christmas, and Luke 2. On Christmas day we try to drag out the gift opening all day. We slowly open gifts, talk, play games, and go on a walk throughout the day. The entire day is spent together as a family.

What tops your tree?
An angel that we've had since before I was born.

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Buying gifts for people makes me really anxious, unless I know that the person has asked for that specific item. I've never enjoyed buying gifts, but it's not because of the time it takes or the money spent. I just get nervous. However, if I know someone has wanted that item, then I love giving gifts! I like getting gifts, but part of me always feels a little bad about the entire thing.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day- I linked it here so you can check it out. I'm all about a good story behind the song, and this song has a fantastic story. Until a few years ago, however, it was either O Holy Night or The First Noel.

Candy canes, yuck or yum?
I really like the fruity candy canes. I don't normally go out of my way to eat a plain peppermint candy cane, but I do love putting them in hot chocolate.

Favorite Christmas movie?
Another tough one, because I try to watch so many every year. I really love It's A Wonderful Life. I think the concept of us reaching out and touching more people then we realize it a fantastic idea, and one that we generally don't think about. It's interesting to think what life would really be like for our loved ones if we hadn't ever been born.

What do you leave for Santa?
Nothing now. Growing up it was always milk and cookies.

Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
oops! I already answered this. We had to sit quietly in our rooms until 8 am, so we played card games and whispered excitedly amongst all the cousins. We would then line up on the stairs and take pictures, and could hear the Christmas music playing downstairs. We would then all run downstairs into the living room and grab out stockings!

Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

Christmas letter or Christmas card?
I know sometimes the Christmas letter can be a brag fest, but whether it is informative, bragging, or completely ridiculous, I LOVE the Christmas letter. I love reading them!

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and it's certainly interesting to see how traditions change as we get older and as the family make-up changes. I've packed in at least one Christmas movie a week, and listen to Christmas music many times a day. Basically, I just love Christmas, and I love watching movies at night with the fire going, Christmas lights on, and my family around me.

Now it's your turn!
Answer one or some of these questions! What's your favorite holiday tradition?

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