1. When do you put up the Christmas tree? After we buy it, usually the second or third week of December.
2. Real or Fake? We've done real every year we've put one up (we don't on years we go down to my abuela's) but this year we're looking for a nice artifical tree because real ones dry out so badly here.
3. Use lights? Yes. It varies from year to year (I think I have a minor case of Neon's light mojo) but this year I'm looking at multi-color button (small sphere) lights.
4. Garland? On the split-rail fence in the front yard, sometimes on the mantel.
5. Theme or no theme? Most of the ornaments are kiddie-craft type, but there's a smattering of handmade things various family members have done (tatted snowflakes, cross-stitch minis, etc.) and a growing number of Hallmark ornaments. I ordered chocolate babies this year because I want to see if Laurel eats their bodies off while hung on the tree like my cousin did when I was a little burrito.
6. What kind of topper? We rarely have a tree that can support one, but we have a cute angel from the 70s and a lights-and-tinsel star from the 80s.
7. What's your favorite ornament? Recent, the GI Joe anniversary ornaments Hallmark put out a few years ago (I think my first-year one is still in Chuck's ficus *sigh*). Older, the Snoopy ornaments my older sister and I painted as little burritos.
8. What does your tree skirt look like? Don't have one.
9. Where do you put your tree? It alternates between in front of the sliding doors to the deck and tucked between the fireplace and bookcases. This year Dad wants to put it in the nook above the downstairs end of the stairs, but that's where Laurel's toys are stored.
10. Who decorates the tree? Everyone; Dad or I marshal light placement.
11. What's "under" the tree? Presents and whatever Laurel drops in the water.
12. Do you put candy canes on your tree? Only ones turned into ornaments (we have a couple candy cane reindeer we made as kids).
About the food...
1. What's your favorite Christmas cookie? Almond shortbread with jam thumbprints.
2. Do you bake cookies and give them away? Depends on how much free time I have. I do for friends that otherwise might not have nummy homemade cookies.
3. Any "special" foods or candy that you only have at Christmas time? Michael's scones. *swoons* (Tea, if you're reading this, let me know if you want fruit tamales.) Lots of Mexican specialties I can't justify the time required to make most of the year. Maple candies. Fairy food (chocolate covered maple puff candy).
4. What do you eat on Christmas Eve? Nothing special. When we lived in New England, we had dinner at my grandparents'.
5. What do you eat on Christmas Day? Nummy brunch, including my overnight baked french toast. And anything I can add heavy cream to. (;
6. Do you like eggnog? Yes. Homemade is best, but the premium stuff from the grocery store is good enough for me.
7. Do you like candy canes? Sometimes.
About the decorations...
1. Where do you hang your stockings? On the living room mantel.
2. Do you put lights on your house? No, but we put lights and garlands on the split-rail fence in front of the house.
3. Got any outside lawn decorations? No, but I'm sure Sarah will eventually find just the right one soon. (My little sister is the queen of lawn ornaments.)
4. Do you put up a nativity? Yes. It's not as dramatic as the set with a human-haired Mary my great-grandparents had (it's been at my great-aunt Dora's every year as long as I can remember) but it's elegant and homemade.
5. Do you hang mistletoe under the door? No. It still reminds me of someone I'm trying to forget.
6. Got a wreath on your front door? Not yet.
7. How long does it take you to decorate? Not too long -- we decorate the tree, put up the garlands and lights on the fence, hang a wreath and put up the Christmas cross-stitch pieces (currently Old-World Saint Nicholas and a Scandinavian-style silhouette sampler).
About the movies and shows...
1. Favorite children's Christmas TV show/cartoon? The old Rankin Bass (producers) specials.
2. Which is best: Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, or A Christmas Carol? If I had to pick one, I'd say Dickens.
3. Favorite Christmas movie? Eight Crazy Nights. (It's better than any of the Christmas movies I can think of off the top of my head.)
4. Have you ever seen the Nutcracker Suite ballet live? Yes.
5. Ever been to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show? No.
6. Ever gone to the movies on Christmas Day? Yes.
7. Did you know it's the biggest day of the box office? I'm not surprised.
Other Christmas things...
1. Favorite Christmas book or story? The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
2. Do you stuff your stockings with any type of food? Every one gets a handful of candies. With my teeth, I usually get lemon drops or Japanese milk candy (my favorite).
3. Do you go to church on Christmas or Christmas Eve? If Amy or Dad asks. I chose to not be Catholic, but since the rest of my family is and they're active in the parish, I can go with one of them to midnight Mass and not have to stand. (Active parish members get priority seating; most of the Holiday Catholics have to stand if there's any room available for them.)
4. Have you ever gone caroling? Yes.
5. Favorite Christmas carol? Angels We Have Heard On High with the alto descant in the refrain.
6. Do you "believe" in Santa? *shrugs* Why not?
7. Do you leave Santa cookies? Yes.
8. What about Rudolph, leave him anything? Baby carrots.
9. What was your best Christmas gift? I won't say what it was, but it was from Hayden.
10. What was the worst/most odd gift? A female relative gave me lacy underwear when I was in middle school.
11. Do you go to a "work" Christmas party? We never went to Himself's Christmas parties because I think we were the only nonsmokers/nondrinkers in the whole damn squadron.
12. Do you hate going? *shrugs* Haven't been. I can't breathe smoke.
13. Do you send Christmas cards (handmade or bought)? Most years.
14. When do you start shopping? I buy gifts all through the year, but buy most of them in October and November.
15. Do you shop on Black Friday? I'm not stupid. Himself dragged me out this year in the evening afterward and there were still too many people for my taste. Online shopping pwns.