By the Llama Butchers.
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Oh, yes please. Don't forget the wassail, the hot spiced cider, and the hot buttered rum.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Depends on the physical bulk of the gift. Usually he wraps them, but if, for instance, the gift is a bike or wagon, a simple bow will do.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored on the tree, white on the house.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
5. When do you put your decorations up?
As soon after Thanksgiving as we have a chance to, though this year that wasn't until Dec. 11th. Living here in Oregon, trees are VERY fresh when we get them, so they last a good long time.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Crackers, beef stick, port wine cheese, and other snacky stuff. It has always been a tradition in my family to forego a real meal on New Year's Day, and instead nosh on hors d'oeuvres all day while watching the Rose Parade and bowl games.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
Christmas tree hunting. Again, growing up in the Pacific Northwest, where evergreen trees are so abundant, we never BOUGHT a tree. We always drove up into the hills/mountains (back in those days you didn't need a permit) and cut one ourselves -- always from BLM land, never national forest or provate land. My mom would pick the tree, and my dad would cut it down and haul it back to the vehicle. More often than not, my mom would make my dad traipse across the hillside for an hour before finally returning to the first tree we'd spotted, and often the ideal tree was the top 7 feet of a 20-foot-tall tree.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
My parents never told me he really did exist, so I don't ever recall an Earth-shattering moment of revelation to the contrary. This is currently a bone of contention in our household, since TFR grew up in a family that to this days perpetuates the myth among its children. I don't want to play up Santa Claus to The Lad, but TFR has won on this one.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. In my family, it was one gift Christmas Eve, all the rest on Christmas Day. We've adopted TFR's family's tradition, which is to open gifts between family members on Christmas Eve, and Santa gifts Christmas Day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
When I was a child, my parents started a tradition of giving my sisterand me one new ornament each year. A few were lost or destroyed over the years (moves, flooding, etc.), but most survived. When each of us married, those ornaments went with us. Lo and behold, TFR grew up with a similar tradition, and we're carrying it on with The Lad. Therefore, our tree is covered in an eclectic variety of ornaments. As for the exat process, we start by stringing lights (including two strings of light shaped like Winnie-the-Pooh and friends), then the garland, and then ornaments. Every few years, TFR lets me indulge in icicle tinsel.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Love it, almost never get it. TFR hates it, except at Christmastime (a result of her Minnesota upbringing).
12. Can you ice skate?
I've seldom had a chance to, but took right to it when I tried.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The used copy of BH Liddel-Hart's A History of the Second World War given to me by TFR our first (very poor) Christmas together.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Time spent with friends and family. I'm a very social person, and since moving back to Oregon, I've made few friends and often find myself very very lonely. The holidays often are the only time I am with a large number of people about whom I care deeply.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Homemade caramel corn.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Reading the gospel account of the nativity on Christmas Eve.
17. What tops your tree?
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
Giving. And when it comes to receiving, it's all about the surprise. No matter how small the present is, if it's unexpected and thoughtful, that's more important than how expensive it is.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
It's a tossup between O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
20. Candy canes:
Mmmmm.... Love 'em. I used to give them out to customers when I worked as a parking lot attendant.
21. Favorite Christmas movie?
22. What do you leave for Santa?
We don't, yet. At TFR's family's, it's the traditional milk and cookies, and carrots for the reindeer.
Consider yourself tagged, Ken at It Comes in Pints, Bob at Eugene Rant, and the Nightfly.