Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh, Christmas Time

Having junked our artificial tree at the end of the season last year, yesterday we went on a mission to chop down a real one. We took a tractor ride into forest of pint-sized pines, whereupon a grumpy farmer told us he was only making one trip because the ground wasn't frozen enough. We looked at three different types of trees; green ones, blue ones, and more green ones.  Finally we settled on green.  We wandered through the rows of pines, rejecting some, picking out maybes and then forgetting where they were.  All the while Jadzia was kept in low spirits due to the cold, a lost candy cane, and general three-year-old crankiness.  We finally found the perfect tree (we got cold and hungry).  Adam sawed it down and then we bought hot dogs and chili at the farm store.

It's been a week of Christmas memories.  On Friday we had lunch with Santa at the community centre.  By we, I mean William and Jadzia. Santa doesn't feed grown-ups.  My children were the only ones who opted for food before seeing Santa. It meant that Jadzia had chocolate brownie up her nose when I snapped the Santa photo, but I don't think you can really tell in the picture.

Thursday was William's Christmas concert at his school. He chose a bright green shirt to wear and stood out beautifully.  His class recited a poem called "I don't want mittens for Christmas" and sang "Mittens and Gloves". Not exactly old chestnuts, but they did very well.  I was able to enjoy myself despite the overtired three-year-old on my lap, who wanted desperately to go on stage with her brother.

In other news, I was sort of tagged in a Christmas Meme (as part of my writing group) and it seems appropriate (appropriately lazy) to answer those questions here.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Hot chocolate tastes better, but egg nog is more Christmassy. Never make hot chocolate with water. That's blasphemy (and not in a good way).

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

3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Coloured.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up?Sometime in December/ when we feel like it.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish?Christmas log.

7. Favourite Holiday memory as a child? The memories I had this week are right up there.  I guess I`m not technically a child though.  So I`ll go with this one: My grandparents celebrated on Christmas Eve. On years that we stayed at their house, we would hide in the kitchen, then Santa would ring a bell.  We would run into the living room and all our gifts would be laid out.  We never saw Santa, and I swear the whole family was in the kitchen, all adults accounted for. It must have been the real deal.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I consider myself a Santa Claus agnostic.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?Except when we went to my grandparents, we usually opened Christmas morning. Although we got one gift (always a book and occasionally a book and pjs) on Christmas Eve.  My inlaws also celebrate Christmas Eve, so there is present opening at their house then, but at our house Santa`s presents get opened on Christmas Morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? The Christmas decorations box pukes all over the tree and we call it done.

11. Can you ice skate?Since I was two.

12. Do you remember your favourite gift? My daughter, Jadzia. Born 5:15 am, December 25th.

13. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family. Warm fuzzies.

14. What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?I told you! Christmas log.

15. What is your favourite holiday tradition?I love everything except the financial stress.

16. What tops your tree?A slightly dilapidated red star from an Ikea ornament set.

17. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both.

18. What is your favourite Christmas Song?I used to like `We Three Kings` because of the camels with sneakers.  `Santa Baby`is a good one.  Also `Here Comes Santa Claus`. Edit: Oh! I totally forgot about Tim Minchin's White Wine in the Sun, which is both funny and touching and very well captures the meaning of Christmas.

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?I can take them or leave them.

20. Favourite Christmas Show?Will Vinton`s Claymation Christmas Celebration which my family watched every year from the time it came out in 1987, until it faded into obscurity.

21. Saddest Christmas Song? Christmas songs should not be sad. They should be joyous.  Songs about war and hunger are okay as long at they are upbeat. There should never be any songs about a little boy using a sob story about his dying mother to scam someone into buying him an expensive pair of shoes.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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