Angels atop my dining room buffet.
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? I don't know how people can drink egg nog! Way too rich. Wisconsin is known for frozen custard and I don't like that either. Egg nog is sort of liquid custard. Yeech. Hot chocolate please, nice and creamy, with mini marshmallows floating in it.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa lives at my house when not working with elves. He does not wrap presents. He finds others to do that work, but Santa uses those handy dandy Christmas bags.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored! Our tree is not a thing of pristine beauty. It is a mish mash of styles, eras, and colors, but we like it. Colored lights on the house too, but some older homes look lovely and classy with greens and white lights. Nor ours though.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No need. Plenty of kissing happens without it.
5. When do you put your decorations up? When the kids were home we tried to decorate right after Thanksgiving. Now, well it happens piecemeal, depending on our schedules. If I had my preference the decorations would go up the Friday after Thanksgiving, and then they would magically put themselves away on January 2nd.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I have a hard timing picking absolute favorites. Maybe I'll say "pull aparts" which is a hot yeast roll we make by dipping the raw dough into butter with garlic and other seasonings and then piling them into a bundt pan to rise. When the are cooked and then popped out onto a platter they make a golden mound on a plate, and the smell......mmmm mmmmm. I love yeast breads.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Trips to Texas. I've written about that quite a bit already.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? You mean the weight problem thing? I think I've always known Santa has a problem with overeating. (I copied HS's answer here because I thought it was funny. I never believed in Santa so it wasn't an issue.")
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Usually, especially if there are lots of smaller presents. Only one though.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Ken...uh I mean Santa...puts the lights on, and Mrs. Santa does the rest. Last thing to go on are strings of little paper flags from Norway. That's been a tradition since Ken was a little boy, so we kept it up. (His grandfather lived in Norway.) We also have a Christmas troll that we set out that he remembers from long ago. It's ungly, as trolls are known to be, but it represents Juleknissen (not sure I spelled that right) who leaves toys and candy in the shoes of little Norweigans on Christmas Eve. Here is a picture. If you click to enlarge the picture I can almost promise a laugh, or at least a smile.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I live in Wisconsin. We SHOULD have snow for Christmas, since we live in a cold climate. But this year the weather is whacky, so who knows? Bitter cold is alternating with spring-like temps. We are confused up here.
12. Can you ice skate? ME? Uh...no. I can hardly walk and chew gum at the same time.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My diamond engagement ring was a Christmas gift. It came in a little musical jewelry box that looked like a Swiss chalet and played (ironically) "Oh How We Danced on the Night We Were Wed." It still sits on my dresser, a bit worse for wear.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? I love it all. I love the lights, the music, the gifts, the food, the gatherings, and the church services. All of it is part of the expereience for me. I especially like it if I am able to minister somewhere out of my usual place...like ministering in the inner city, or at the prison. The prison is a highlight of my Christmas. I posted about it here. All of it is part of drawing me to the Christ, the babe in the manger and the suffering savior and the coming King of Kings.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I don't think I have one. I like almond flavored butter cookies, and nut bread. We have a family favorite. No, not pumpkin, cranberry or banana. It's orange nut bread. And I make a fabulous fudge. We only have it at this time of year.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? See #14. It's hard to choose just one. Anything involving candles and music does it for me.
17. What tops your tree? A kind of funky little angel. Maybe you can see it in the tree picture.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving--but receiving is fun too. ;-)
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I already said I am not good with "favorite." I love "O Come O Come Emmanuel." I also love "Angels We Have Heard On High" because of the "Gloria" part. And overdone or not, the "Hallelujah Chorus" is just...well....glorious.
20. Candy canes?: I love them. To look at, to eat, to stir the marshmallows in my hot chocolate and to put on the tree.
21. Favorite Christmas movie? "It's a Wonderful Life."
22. What do you leave for Santa? I make Santa his favorite Norweigan Christma bread, Jule Kage. It is a bit like German Stollen, yeasty and full of fruit and nuts, and braided before baking.
I will tag anyone who still has enough Christmas "oopmh" to play. Maybe let me know in the comments.
Where the cat, Patches, has been spendng her time this lasat week! She believes the tree is one giant cat toy, but so far she has just batted a few bells and gazed upward. No leaps into the branches. Whew
A small detail of my nativity set from Bethlehem, a gift long ago.