Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christmas Meme

As seen on Singularity...

1. Real tree or artificial?

I love real trees! They are the ultimate symbol of the Yule season to me. There is just something about bringing this big tree into my home and basking in its glory that makes me extremely happy. I have heard all the arguments against real trees, and they just don't hit home to me. If I am decorating with something that big, I would prefer it to be a renewable, natural, agricultural product that will not end up in a landfill some day.

Having said all that, two years ago our family was discussing possibly not having a tree due to very limited funds that year. Word of this got out to some of our neighbors, and we were given not one, but two artificial trees and an offer for a third that were no longer being used. One of the artificial ones was green and the same size tree as we usually use so we put it up, and it was beautiful. There was a part of me that was mourning having a real tree though. It was the first year of my whole life that I hadn't, and I was disappointed. My kids were disappointed too, but I think more for me than for themselves. Last year, we decided to cut down a small tree in our wood. It was damaged and probably wouldn't have survived much longer. (Something is killing all the evergreens except for the cedars here.) This year, we once again have very limited funds. (December is a difficult time for substitute teachers.) So we have put up the artificial tree. It is beautiful. I am happy. :)

2. When do you put up the tree?

No particular time. This year it was December 3rd. It has been as early as the day after Thanksgiving and as late as the day before Christmas Eve.

3. When do you take down the tree?

Traditionally on January 6th. In reality, as early as the day after Christmas on a couple of occasions when the tree was falling apart, and as late as January 15th on a couple of occasions when we just didn't get around to it earlier.

4.Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Mostly wrapping paper.

5. When do you start Christmas shopping?

Christmas shopping? What is that? Truthfully I haven't Christmas shopped in at least 7 years. We don't really exchange gifts with anyone, and we only give the kids homemade gifts. (Not that we wouldn't like to buy them gifts, but we really haven't had any extra money for presents the past few years.)

Back when I did Christmas shop, I use to do it all on one day, usually a couple of Saturdays before Christmas. I like the hustle and bustle of the crowds, and I found that limiting it to one day helped me to both scale back, and choose more unique gifts for those who I was giving to. I do buy presents for people at other times of year, but I usually just give them to them then instead of waiting for a holiday.

6. Who is the hardest person to buy for?

My mom! She doesn't want any extra stuff, and she always seems to have all the things she needs.

7. Easiest person to buy for?

Any of my daughters. I know thousands of things that they would each like to own.

8. Angel on top of the tree, or star?

I prefer a star. Diana had an angel that she called a faerie that she use to use before she was with me. We did use that one year, maybe two, but now we are back to the star again. I think I had a bow one year a long time ago.

9. What is the worst Christmas gift you ever got?

My Grandma Long use to give me underwear. They were always fairly large briefs with lots of girly decor, not at all the type of panties I wear. I was so embarrassed each time I opened them because we would be opening presents one by one, and I was suppose to hold them up so that everyone could "ooo and ahhh" over them!

I couldn't possibly choose one favorite gift. A few stand out though. Every year, I wanted The Game of Life, but I always forgot to ask for it. There was one year that my parents said they didn't have enough money to get many presents. Then on Christmas morning, I had The Game of Life and an umbrella! (I really loved umbrellas as a child.) I almost think that that was the best Christmas ever!

11. What is your favorite food to eat at Christmas time?

Cream pies and coconut cake!

12. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Enough money to pay the bills. The sense of security that would give me would be the perfect holiday present.