1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate. I don't mind a sip or two of eggnog (or an eggnog latte or milkshake), but it's really not my thing.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa puts out one big gift, unwrapped, for the big oooh factor. That's the way it was done when I was growing up, and that's how it's done now.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I lobbied for white lights on the tree when we were married, but my husband wanted colored, so that's what we got. Then a few years ago, he decided he wanted white, so we switched, but I want to go back to colored! We are more a "festive, homemade, souvenir ornament" kind of house as opposed to a decorator's dream, so I think that the colored adds to that feel.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.
5. When do you put your decorations up? I used to do it the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now that we travel at Thanksgiving, we don't, and I feel like I'm starting out the year behind. Hopefully we'll get it done this weekend.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My grandmother makes a mixed vegetable casserole that is SO good.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Whenever we were at my grandmother's house, I remember us begging and begging to open gifts, because we weren't there on Christmas morning, so we basically picked the time during our stay. She always ordered things for our stockings throughout the year, and stashed them away. We loved those stockings. When my sister, the youngest, turned ten or twelve, I think that my grandmother stopped, and just put a $20 bill in our stockings. One year we all begged for stockings again, including the junky stuff that had been in there when we were children. Our favorite were these guns that had flashlights that lit as you squeezed the trigger. We played Charlie's Angels with them.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't really remember either. I remember finding gifts in a friend's closet, labeled to Susan, from Santa, when I was around six. I think that we "knew" then, but might have wanted to hold on a bit longer. I think that's where my eight year old is right now. She knows, but she enjoys the fun, so she doesn't think about it too much.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Growing up, we always opened PJs Christmas Eve (so that we'd be picture-ready on Christmas morn), but we don't open one now.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Oh--I answered this above with the lights question. We have really enjoyed buying souvenirs or mementos of special events and using those unique things to decorate our tree.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I like it. This will only be the third winter I've ever dealt with it, so ask me again in a few years.
12. Can you ice skate? I'm not a pro, and don't do it too often, but I'm not a total spaz. My husband and I skated in Central Park when we went to NYC for our 10th anniversary (before we lived up here), and that was really fun.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? One year I had really been dropping some hints to my husband for some diamond stud earrings. I'm not a big jewelry gal (and he's not a big jewelry buyer), but I was really hoping for these. Come Christmas morning, I had not only the diamond earrings as requested, but a pearl necklace as well! We were about to start trying to start a family, and Terry saw that as the beginning of the end of our financial freedom, and he thought that pearls were something that every woman should have. It was very thoughtful and I have loved both items over the years.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? I love the traditions--the ones that we experience with my husband's family, where we usually spend it, like going to Washington DC every year and seeing the tree at the White House, and I also enjoy creating and establishing traditions for our family here.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I do enjoy fudge.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We've started one here at home where we open our gifts the night before we leave for my in-laws'. Santa has even come early for us the last two years. It's a lot of fun, and a special time for our immediate family.
17. What tops your tree? For a while it was a big bow with flowing ribbon, and then I bought a star, which I wanted, lit up with colored lights just like when I was growing up.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I really do love giving. I love getting the kids what they want (or picking out something that they didn't even know that they want that they love!), and finding something special for each person. I do wish that I could have an unlimited budget and bless someone's socks off, but that probably won't happen anytime soon.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love O Holy Night, but I now have a special place in my heart for Joy to the World, because it was Amanda's favorite when she was just a young preschooler, and she would sing along, and called it the "Heaven 'n song."
Did you notice how many answers were, "That's the way I do it, because that's how we did it growing up?" It seems like that's the way of holidays, isn't it? Feel free to do this meme on your own, or comment on any of the questions here.