1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just place them under the tree? He wraps them. Sometimes he uses Mom's handwriting just to confuse people. On St. Nicholas' Day, St. Nick didn't wrap the presents he put in our shoes.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored. I wish we could use the old Noma lights, the big bulbs.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Sometimes. No big deal.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Part of the Nativity, and the Advent wreath, and the outside wreath and lights (weather requires), First Sunday of Advent. The tree and everything else, Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday). But nothing gets lit up until Christmas Eve. When I was growing up, Santa brought EVERYTHING, tree, decorations, everything, Christmas Eve (my parents were heroes).
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Probably the lobster or shrimp we have, lots of it, Christmas Eve. Or the prime rib or standing rib roast of beef we used to have for Christmas dinner (too much travel that day for the big sit-down dinner any more). This food makes my childhood sound like we were rich, which we weren't, we owned the pot we p*ssed in but it was old, dented and repainted, and my mother saved money all year, literally, in an envelope, to make those fancy foods a holiday treat.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? See the next question.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Mom's handwriting was a big help. But since Santa brought the tree Christmas Eve, I got to stay up and help all that happen. Sneaking past my brother's bedroom and going downstairs to help put up the tree was an incredible feeling of privilege and anticipation.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Gotta have tinsel. Most of the ornaments have meaning: old family treasures, hand-made in childhood, picked up in travels. Loaded, loaded with ornaments, but nothing's expensive.
11. Snow? Love it or Dread it? I love it.
12. Can you ice skate? No, and I can't think why I didn't learn.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? There were several and they all came after I was too grown up to be confused about from whom they came.
14. What’s the most exciting thing about the Holidays for you? The same thing as the least exciting: seeing all of the relatives. That, besides FINALLY getting the clue that God so loved us that He came to live among us, and He knows and loves me personally.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Plates of homemade cookies, left out and snitched at during the day with coffee mit a little schlag (whipped cream) und brandy.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Home one: listening to the old Christmas LP's, watching the old movies. Public one: trying to get to a Do-it-yourself Messiah, singing that glorious music with a thousand happy strangers-suddenly-friends.
17. What tops your tree? An angel.
18. Which do you prefer – giving or receiving? Giving a gift that I've made.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? This is harder than I thought: Angels We Have Heard on High for lyrics and melody, but I can't sing it worth a darn. Silent Night (Stille Nacht) in German for memories of family long gone.
20. Candy canes? Nah. Christmas cookies with sprinkles.
The Sound of Cash Registers
11 hours ago