Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holidays! (part 1)

Sorry for the major gap again. I went to England, then the election happened, then had Thanksgiving, and the blog just sort of got lost in all of that. Interesting things are afoot, though. Big adjustments and announcements ahead! For now, I'm going to fill out the Christmas survey I've seen floating around the blog world over the past few days, because even though I'm a Buddhist, I still love the wonder and beauty of all the winter holidays, Christmas in particular. It reminds me of the very best of the rare happy family memories from my childhood. Things were very difficult every year around that time, but my parents still managed to make the home sparkle, fill our stockings with the best candies, bake the most amazing cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and instill in us the wonder of the Christ story, His acts of love despite poverty and the possibility of peace on Earth through humanity's potential for good.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I'm kind of a master gift wrapper as I channel my inner Martha Stewart.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial on account of California apartment living. Growing up in the country, though, my family would traipse out in the snow to cut down the yule tree every year.

3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving, another one of my family's traditions!

4. When do you take the tree down? Embarrassingly late. I like to keep it up as long as possible.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes. The organic, non-alcoholic kind.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My very first phone for my bedroom (a rite of passage!) at age 10. It was clear, to show all the rainbow-colored inner workings. It also lit up when it rang.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My brother-in-law. He's a polite, soft-spoken guy who never wants to request anything. Tell us what you want/need, silly!

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom or my four-year-old nephew.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, the world's tiniest nativity scene carved from wood and arranged inside a gourd as an ornament, from Peru. I'll post a picture at some point this season.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Handmade cards, always. Again with the inner Martha Stewart.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Regarding a certain relative I am convinced hates me: So everyone who knows me knows that I am vehemently anti-fur and I was also going through militant vegan-goth phase at the time, around age 18. This relative got me a multi-neon-colored scarf, most likely designed for a child, complete with dyed rabbit fur poof balls. No joke.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I am a weekend before kinda gal. I get that from my dad.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I recall

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My mom's special Christmas cinnamon rolls.

16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? White lights

17. Favorite Christmas song? Blue Christmas

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I live in the Bay Area! I do not require a white Christmas, LOL. We are very close to my husband's family here, so we always have a laid back Christmas Eve at my MIL's house and Christmas day at home, just the two of us.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Nope.

20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? A beautiful punched copper star with lights

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve with Ben's family.

22. Favorite children's Christmas song? Uh, are there child-specific Christmas songs?

23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People rushing around consuming and being jerks to each other instead of spreading holiday love and grace to each other. That's the best gift of all, don't you know?

24. Favorite ornament theme or color? Rustic/country. Mostly wooden and copper ornaments with glass embellishments to really bring out the sparkle.

25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? Nothing needs to die for my holiday festivities. :)

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? I want to go to Monterey Bay Aquarium with my family, little nephew included. Also, new yoga pants. Always new yoga pants.

27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? We're thinking about dressing my brother-in-law up like Santa to tickle my nephew.

28. Age you discovered who Santa was? We didn't do Santa in my family. I think my dad really wanted us to appreciate how hard he and mom worked to provide for us.

29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? I have to choose?!

30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? Copper, green and burgundy. We like to keep it Old World understated.

31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? Apartment living precludes it. :(

32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? He apparently shrinks very small to squeeze through the radiator.

33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? I really like experiences, not stuff.

34. Favorite Christmas Cartoon? How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Now it's your turn! How do you like to celebrate?

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