Truthfully I’m not really into the whole Christmas thing just yet, but I’m a little bored, and I’m sure I’d end up doing this eventually, so…
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags! They’re much less trouble, they’re faster to open, and they’re reusable. I think that between me, my family, and Drew’s family, we still have some of the same bags going back and forth that were new maybe six or seven years ago. I feel tremendous guilt on Christmas morning when there’s that big bag of wrapping paper to throw away. I hate it. We use gift bags whenever possible and only use wrapping paper for the really big stuff.
2. Real tree or artificial? Fake. Again, it’s a lot easier. You put it up when you want, you take it down when you want, no watering, and no needles to clean up. Plus, a decent one will last a pretty long time.
3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend.
4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever we get around to it? Most of the time I am ready for it all to come down on December 26th, but usually we leave it up until New Year’s and take it down then or the weekend after. I am always so happy to reclaim the open space in my house.
5. Do you like eggnog? Does a bear shit in the woods? You bet I like eggnog! Throw some Maker’s Mark in there and you have one tasty way to get through the holidays.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Impossible to pick just one. The big three that stand out are my Barbie Townhouse, my ice skates with the green pom-poms, and the drafting table my dad made for me.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? We have quite possibly the most fun Nativity scene ever: made by Playmobil.
8. Hardest person to buy for? I can usually find something for anyone, mostly because I am a big fan of restaurant gift certificates. Who doesn’t like to eat?
9. Easiest person to buy for? The boys. Though if I had unlimited funds, my brother would be easy to buy for too. I know he’d love a new TV and one of those plasma tv stands. Drew is usually easy too. He’s always happy with movies or some kind of electronic gadget. Or magic tricks (seriously — you didn’t know that my husband is a musician AND a magician did you?)
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can’t really think of anything, so I must have blocked it out.
11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Nat’l Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? We shop sales during the year for the boys. Everyone else? I start thinking about them in October, and then get really serious the day after Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pierogis, kielbasa, cabbage soup — growing up we did the whole big Polish dinner which was just so delicious. Of course, with my husband’s family not being Polish in the least we don’t do Wiglia, but if I’m lucky my parents still bring down some pierogis (the cabbages ones are my favorite!). I also love the spinach-gruyere strata that has become a fixture at my Christmas brunch. Lisanne gave me the recipe (she got it from a class she took at the CIA), and it is a huge hit with everyone.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear
7. Favorite Christmas song? “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (though it makes me cry every single time), “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron,” “Come All Ye Faithful,” and plenty more
18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? We stay home!!! When Jake was two we decided that we didn’t want to tear our kids away from playing with all their new toys, but anyone and everyone is welcome to come to our house. We always have plenty of food, and I assure you there is never a dull moment. We’ll travel for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is ours.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star. See?
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? A little from column A, a little from column B.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? How people suddenly forget a) how to drive and b) how to act.
23. What I love most about Christmas? I love the quiet on Christmas Eve after everyone has gone to bed, and I love the utter chaos of laughter and chatter and clinking glasses and paper and everything else the comes along with Christmas Day. And then I love collapsing with a glass of wine when everyone’s gone home and everything’s still a mess and looking at the tree and thinking about how lucky I am to have such an insane and wonderful group of family and friends.