Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holy Mother of Christmas Meme! The Traditions of My Clan

Welcome to Day 1 of my Advent Countdown. On a brief side note, you may have noticed the published date at the top of this post doesn't match up with today's date. This was the only way I could 'hide' the Advent Countdown posts, so prepare for some odd dates at the top of these posts. 

Today I have a tradition among many blogger, vloggers, and internet users of all kinds- a meme. Specifically a Christmas one- not surprising considering the context. Well, onto it then! And to be even more themetastic, the questions are in red, and the answers in green. Why not?

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

I've never been a fan of the former, but love the latter- so the choice is obvious. Sometimes it's the simple things in life. And there really is nothing like sitting with a hot drink (chocolate), family all around, while the chilly weather coats the world outside.

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

Well there wouldn't be much buildup if he didn't wrap them. It's the joy of picking out a gift at random and not knowing. It could be anything. That suspiciously rectangular present? A puppy! You never know.

Coloured lights on tree/house or white?

Personally, I like a mix of the two. The tree will generally be white/blue only, but sometimes we mix and match. I like a little variation around the house though. Generally, multicoloured above my bed, blue above the window (for the cold) and warm, white lights anywhere.

When do you put your decorations up?

I'm a little "Christmas crazy", so I like to get started early. However, I get held back by well meaning family members, and generally hold off till sometime in December- the earlier the better. I like putting up most decorations and lights with my family, so I generally wait for them to 'get the urge' before we have a family decoration day.

What is your favourite holiday dish?

Hmm, that's a hard one to answer. I suppose I've never really thought about it. I like to have a little bit of everything. And I mean in one bite (makes for a big bite!). The mixture of flavours and textures is perfect. If I had to choose just one? The bread sauce. Haha, maybe that's not a dish, but it goes with everything!

Favourite holiday memory as a child?

So many! Every Christmas when I was a child, my sister and I would wake up early, open our stockings together, pack them back up and then take them down to show our parents. It became a tradition. The four of us would open our stockings (along with my cat and dog- yes they each got their own stocking!) to mark the beginning of Christmas. We would all squish onto the bed, along with my cat and dog (the one day of the year she was allowed on the bed), and share in the feeling of togetherness (for me the epitome of Christmas). 

Describe your typical Christmas.

I have quite a big family, and traditionally we all get together for Christmas. Seeing as how I live in England, and my family is English, we celebrate Boxing Day. For non-British readers, that is the day after Christmas Day and is also a holiday here in the UK. It's a kind of second Christmas. A normal Christmas for my family is getting together with one half on Christmas, and the other on Boxing Day. 

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Absolutely not! The buildup is half of what makes Christmas what it is. I would never want to diminish that.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Love is not a strong enough word for the emotions I feel when it snows. I do live where it sometimes snows, but rarely is there a 'white christmas'. Snow is normally an occurrence during the next couple months. Suffice to say, if there is a white christmas, you'll probably hear my excitement around the world.

Can you ice skate?

If by ice skate you mean cling-to-the-edge-with-a-vice-like-grip-and-terror-on-my-face then yes. Oddly enough, I actually really enjoy ice skating, despite the fact that I seem physically unable to do it. I love the atmosphere. The cold, the music, the friends. 

What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

I kind of answered this is a previous question, but seeing my friends and family. It's not Christmas if I'm not home.

What is your favourite holiday dessert?

Not sure if they're a dessert, but sugar cookies. Either that or roast chestnuts (are they more of a snack?). I'm not really a fan of traditional Christmas puddings. I don't really like mince pies or Christmas cake (except the marzipan!).

What tops your tree?

It varies. Usually one of the varieties of star we have. 

Do you prefer giving or receiving?

Definitely giving. I've been told I can be a little overgenerous with my giving (is that even a thing?), but I can't help it. I love picking out gifts that I think people will love. I start creating lists for individual people early on in the year, then slowly short-list them, before finally settling on my final decisions. I buy gifts early too. That might just be paranoia though- you never know what might happen, and I'd hate to have found the 'perfect gift' only to be unable to deliver on it. I love making people smile. In fact, I'm pretty awkward when it comes to receiving gifts. 

What is your favourite Christmas song?

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". It's been a favourite of mine for a few years now. A classic Christmas tune. I even have a moose that sings it (using Andy Williams' voice). I love pretty much all Christmas songs though. They really set the season. The downside is that they're so damn catchy that you can't get them out of your head. Which makes for some inappropriate moments when you find yourself singing 'Let it Snow' in July.

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?

No strong feelings either way. The only time I ever eat them is at Christmas- and that's usually because I've been gifted one.

Favourite Christmas show?

My family has a few traditionals, and I have a couple of my own. We usually watch Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester (something that started when my sister and I were young), A Christmas Carol (one or many renditions), The Snowman, and whatever we see on TV that takes our fancy. 
Mine are Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (both the original and the Jim Carrey version), and again Christmas TV. 

What are you having for Christmas dinner?

Turkey with all the trimmings, various vegetables (carrots, parsnips, etc), roast potatoes, bread sauce, red currant jelly, gravy, etc, etc. The traditional Christmas meal.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Putting my stocking at the end of my bed on Christmas Eve. Something I don't think I will ever grow out of.

All I want for Christmas is...?

To see my family. This year I also hope for a quick conclusion to a medical issue I've been suffering from for the past couple months. All I can do is wait for the surgery. Crossing my fingers that it's before the big day!

Well I hope you all enjoyed this little (quite long) look into my life. Or at least the Christmas part of it. Let me know any answers you would give to these questions. See you for Day 2 of Advent Countdown.

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