Friday, December 1, 2006

Christmas Meme

Practically everybody in the blogosphere has done this meme except me. Just call me the Last Of The Mohicans. Here's Diane's version of the Christmas Meme.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?

Yes, please. I love me some eggnog, but when it's cold outside that rich, creamy hot chocolate warms you from the inside out in a way that eggnog can't. Unless you really doctor up your eggnog with an adult beverage(s). In which case if you drink enough eggnog you might think it's hot chocolate before too long anyway, or you might not care anymore. What was the question?

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

Wrap. Or bag, as the case may be. Jessica is 19 and half of the joy of Christmas was watching her tear into the gifts. Even as a kid, Mama always wrapped our gifts. No toys just setting under the tree for us. I like to build that anticipation.

3. Colored lights or white?

Yes. I like them both. I've done all clear lights on the tree, and all colored. For outside lights, (which we never do - 300 pound arthritic women and ladders just don't mix.
Nuh uh, no way) I love the old fashioned big colored teardrop shaped bulbs. I think they're called C3's. Love them on trees and shrubs and on rooflines.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope. But if I had any, I would. We manage to hug and smooch without it the rest of the year. I do remember my Daddy bringing home the real stuff occasionally when I was a kid. If he saw it when he was out squirrel hunting he'd shoot it down out of
black gum trees with his shotgun. It's one of the few things that birds can eat that's poisonous to people, by the way.

5. When do you decorate for Christmas?

It varies, but up until the last few years I put up the tree and decorated on Thanksgiving night or the Friday after. In 2004 my Daddy died on December 19th, then my Mama died on April 13, 2005. I didn't have the heart to put up the tree last year. Jessica put it up and took it down for me. So far I still haven't decorated for Christmas, but the idea is growing on me. I'll probably drag out the stuff and put up
the tree sometime this weekend or next week.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert?

Hmmm....My Mama's homemade cornbread dressing and giblet gravy, I think, though it's hard to choose.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Probably when I was about 6 or 7 years old, Daddy got up early one Christmas
morning and dragged his feet in the snow to make it look like Santa's sleigh had made a landing in our yard. Of course it was a couple of years later that I figured out the truth behind it. And many more memories than I can ever express in words. Thank you, Mama and Daddy for making Christmas so special for us. We never knew we were poor financially until we were much older. In all the ways that matter, we were rich.

8. When and how, did you learn the truth about Santa?

I think I was about 9 years old. I was bound and determined to stay awake and see
this Santa Claus guy. There was always a big discrepancy between what I ordered for Christmas and what was actually under the tree on Christmas morning. This had to be investigated, you understand? What's the point of writing letters to a guy and sitting on his lap, telling him your wishlist, when he couldn't deliver the goods after both a verbal and written request? And so I stayed awake. Much to my surprise, Santa ran over the coffee table in the dark and said some words that I got in a LOT of trouble for if I said them. And it wasn't "sugar!" When I peeked around the bedroom door into the living room, I saw my older sister Donna hopping up and down, carrying presents to put under the tree. Santa. Investigated and found to be an imposter, cussing sister in his place. Rats!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

We NEVER did when I was a kid. Christmas morning was when we all opened gifts. Period. But through the years, with having several sets of grandparents and great-grandparents along with our own Christmas, we pretty much open gifts
whenever. I personally would rather wait until Christmas morning. I think it's kind of an anticlimax to have all the gifts already opened before Christmas morning. But, I can see where that's an opportunity to put the emphasis back on Jesus for the day, and take the focus off the gift thing.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

What, I have to have a theme?? As I said, I have both clear and colored lights, so when I unpack the lights, I decide then which to use. Other than that, anything goes. I have ornaments that I've bought and that have been given to me. Sadly, I don't
have any of the ornaments from my childhood Christmas trees. Mama and Daddy's house burned in February 1987 and they lost everything. So all my ornaments are a very eclectic mix. Theme, schmeme. I do like themed trees, but I like variety, too.

11. Snow. Love it or hate it?

Absolutely love it. Here in Northeast Arkansas we probably average 1 white Christmas out of every 10. Unlike our more northerly neighbors, a white Christmas is a rarity here, and to be treasured and wished for. But I love snow anytime, not just
at Christmas.

12. Can you ice skate?

Of course, doesn't everyone? mean with skates and all? Um....NO. Not on purpose, anyway. Fat people and falls on hard water ain't a good combination. I'm allergic to pain and broken bones.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

Honestly? I don't really have a favorite, but the most memorable was one I almost didn't get. Cecil and I (okay, mostly moi) were snooping because we suspected Mama had hid some Christmas presents for us. And we were right. We found them in Mama's chrome cake cover. She had gotten us both a silver locket for Christmas and hid them until she could wrap them. We didn't cover our tracks well, and she discovered our snooping. Man, was she mad! She told us since we snooped we weren't getting them. But before Christmas she relented and they were under the tree on Christmas morning. I still remember exactly what that locket looked like, but I have wracked my brain and I cannot remember what happened to it. I sure wish I still had it.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?

Hands down, Jesus first and family second. Period.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Whatever I'm munching on at the time. The one with the most memories attached? My Mama's homemade Jam Cake. I have so many memories of watching and then
helping her make them as I got old enough to be more of a help than a hindrance.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Carolling with my church family. And taking food baskets and gifts to needy families with the ladies from my church. And watching classic Christmas cartoons as we put up the Christmas tree and decorate for Christmas. Frosty, Rudolph, Garfield, and the California Raisins, among many others, have played in the background every year
since Jessica was born in 1987. Ah, the memories....

17. What tops your tree?

Hmmm....Well, up until last year, it was a blown glass, for lack of a better term. It was a replica of one of those Victorian spires. But I think it gave up the ghost last year when Jessica was in a bit of a hurry to get. that. tree. put. up. as. fast. as. possible. so she could be done with it, for Pete's sake! So this year? Maybe a foil-covered cardboard star like we had when I was a kid, before Mama got the blonde-haired angel topper. I really don't know what I'm gonna fling up there yet.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Again, YES. I'll just be honest and say I love both. I love seeing someone's face when they open a gift I lovingly made or chose especially for them. And I love to be the recipient of such a gift. It has nothing to do with the cost of the gift, it's knowing the love and care and thought behind the gift.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night and Silent Night are my favorites, but I love almost any Christmas song. Did I mention I love to go carolling?

20. Candy canes. Yuck or yum?

Yum! But not a steady diet of peppermint, please. I like variety. So feel free to give me most any kind of candy.

There's my version of the Christmas Meme. I think I set a record for longest post EVER. If you're one of the few who haven't done this yet, feel free to jump on the meme bandwagon.

Lord willing, I'll be back Saturday for my Sunday Dinner Meme.

Happy Weekend, y'all!!


Big Mama said...

I never get tired of reading everyone's answers to this meme. I got all teary when you thanked your Mama and Daddy and said y'all were rich in what mattered.

Sweet, sweet post.

Barb said...

Your very first answer cracked me up, Diane. I can't imagine drinking enough eggnog to think it's hot chocolate before I upchucked the whole mess! All of the answers are wonderful.

Your Christmases were so much like mine when I was growing up, this brought back a lot of memories. I can understand why you didn't get a tree up right after losing your parents. I hope you'll be in the spirit to put one up this year.

And isn't there a wedding happening soon? Didn't you say something about a December wedding? I swear, I had no idea you'd been posting and suddenly bloglines says there's three. AND blogger wouldn't show me your photos a couple of posts back but now I can suddenly see them again. That card with the tea bag from Pea is adorable.

You did a great job on this meme. I enjoyed every word of it. You'll have to let us know what you decide to fling on top of that tree. :-)

Johnny said...

I would have never thought that about my wife! cussing like that! well not until last year when I woke up and heard some very explicit language and yes she was still hopping around holding her oh well.

Dawn said...

I still haven't done this meme - maybe I should do it next. Good stuff!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Granny D

I love this one , and your answers too , I am going to steal it and am telling you outright LOL

You always have the best sense of humor and just at the right time
love ya girl
Ta Ta for now

Nasty Nashe said...

haha. and i just know you'll have a great christmas, D. =)

PEA said...

I think this is the most fun meme that I've ever participated in:-) I so enjoyed reading all your answers...still giggling at how you found out there was no Santa! lol Loved hearing some of your memories, you always have such heartwarming ones. We do indeed have to thank our parents for making our childhood Christmases such happy ones:-) Can't wait to see a picture of your tree all decorated!! Hugs xoxo

Sue said...

Loved reading this Meme! Wasn't this a fun one to do! I especially enjoy this season to reflect and reminisce about precious memories.
Bloglines and blogger are being extra beasty lately aren't they!!

Brenda said...

Sister Santa? That had to be a bummer. Our Santa was illiterate. My dad would write a thank you note for the cookies and milk and misspell just about every word. His handwriting was unmistakable, yet we still believed it was from Santa.

Loved all your answers!

Tammy said...

I loved your version of the Christmas Meme...I will have to do it soon!
I've got a lot of catching up to do...I'm starting to feel a little frantic..yipes!!