Monday, December 08, 2008


Poor little guy.... I think he's feeling the cold.

Bitterly cold here - 19 degrees F. - and not an original thought in my head, so I thought I'd borrow the Christmas Meme from Linda at These are the Days. So... here goes... The original had 23 questions, which just seems like an odd number of questions, so I added two extras at the end to bring it to 25.

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly gift bags these days, though my financial situation means I don't give many gifts and what I do are often sent from the source so they come neither wrapped nor in gift bags. This really stinks because I LOVE buying/giving gifts. I just love it.

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I really miss the smell of the real thing. When I still went out in the city in my last years, even though I didn't put up a tree because of the cats, I hit the tree sellers up for the branches they cut off other trees. I could usually make them look pretty good and they gave the smell of Christmas. Then I harvested the needles for incense. This year Nate gave me a new cyber optic tree. I don't decorate it because you-know-who would feel compelled to undo it anyway. Makes Christmas easy.... plug and unplug.

3. When do you put up the tree? Traditionally, I've been one of those people who puts her tree up a week or days before Christmas. This year - I plugged her in on Thanksgiving and am enjoying the twinkling lights every evening.

4. When do you take the tree down? Well, I t
end to leave it up through Orthodox Christmas on January 6th. Since my new tradition has me plugging in earlier, maybe I'll unplug earlier. Or not.

5. Do you like eggnog? Alas, as with all things that are fattening and not good for me, I love egg nog, spiked or unspiked.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My memory of my childhood is pretty fragmented. I don't really know if I had a favorite gift. I rem
ember getting a doll one year that I named Leslie but I don't remember much else about her. As an adult, my favorite gift would probably have been my first kitty - Katrina. She was a gift that kept on giving and brought me joy beyond measure.

7. Do you ha
ve a nativity scene? Yes. I keep it up all year just because I like it. It's not very traditional. When I worked for the Lutheran Church in America, one of my co-workers was a former missionary to Liberia. She gave me my little hand carved set. They got kind of disrespectfully pushed to one side during the book give-away and are currently in a huddle on the corner of the shelf. Maybe they are planning something.

8. Hardest person to buy for? I used to be REALLY good at gift buying. I was the source for ideas in my family and I was brilliant at it (if I do say so myself). (Sorry, that was immodest, but I was.) Al
as, lack of funds and distance make me not so good at it any more, though I have my moments. Probably my nephew is hardest because I can't afford any of the things I'd like to give him...

9. Easiest person to buy for? These questions are making me feel all Grinchy. Everyone would be easy to buy for if I had some funds. And it isn't that I'd necessarily spend a fortune, I just don't have anything much to spend. What I do buy, I try to buy from places like the Hunger Site at Greater, so that what I spend also gives 25 cups of food to people who are truly in need. That doesn't answer the question, but... Maybe the answer is "myself." (How awful
and Scroogy is that?)

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? No such thing. (Well, there probably is, but I don't
remember it and I love that someone even thinks of me. That's the real gift, isn't it?)

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Email these days with a few snail mail cards for those I can't email.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Well, hard to say. The old Alistair Sim "A Christmas Carol," is one... and of course "It's a Wonderful Life." And I have to admit that I like "The Santa Claus" with Tim Allen.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? varies

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I may have passed things on, but I don't think I've ever given something as though it was anythong but passed on. I think it's better to give something to someone else if you think they'd like it, than to stick it in a closet, though.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? cookies... especially the kind my mother made, though since she is long gone, I don't get those any more and am not ambitious enough to make them on my own. I should add that my niece Cindy bakes very fine cookies - as good or almost as good (subjective emotion here - I helped my mother make her cookies) my mother's. Some years she even sends me some.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored... and blinking if I get my way, though I like a mix of flashing and solid so there's always something lit.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I always have a hard time with favorite anythings. There are so many. Among my favorites are some lesser known carols... "Rise Up Shepherd and Foller," is b
eautiful. "Oh Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel," "Angels We Have Heard on High,"... heck... most all of them...

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? home, obviously, since I never leave.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Rudolph, Donner, Blitzen, Dancer, Dasher, Comet... guess not... is there one called Vixen? (probably not).

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? To be honest, I'm not that big on tree toppers. My friend D
an just brought me a pretty angel for the top of my tiny tree. I hope I don't hurt Dan's feelings, but I think I'm just going to have her stand in front of it and keep the Christmas moose company. She looks pretty there and Moose gets lonely fending off the 4-legged Angel. Although, guess who knocked the tree off the desk last night. Not Angel, not Tara Grace. Me. Sigh.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or mor
ning? Well, it's kind of a non-issue these days since I am all there is for Christmas and I usually know what I've given myself, but traditionally, growing up we opened one on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Commercialism.

23. What I love most about Christmas? I love the music. I love giving gifts. I love the smells and colors and the general spirit of good cheer attached to the idea of Christmas, if not it's execution. But most of all, I love the music.

and my two added questions...

24. What do YOU most want for Christmas this year? Well, I could say world peace and financial well-being for all people throughout the world and joy and peaceful well-being for all my real and cyber-friends (and I do wish those things)... But... on the more crass and venal side... Besides a big check from Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, I really want a new TV.

25. Any last thoughts? Yes... I wish you all
Peace and Joy in the holiday season and always. Thank you for visiting my blog, for your encouragement and support.


Carletta said...

As I read your answers I tried to decide how I would answer if I did it - some are similar. Hate the commercialism, love the music,eggnog - YES!
Santa's reindeer - Dasher,Dancer, Prancer, VIXEN, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. Rudolph - he's another story. :)
Loved this Raven.
The little squirrel looks stuffed and your icicles remind me I haven't looked for any.

Finding Pam said...

Ye our little squirrel is so round and fluffy. It must be very cold. Stay warm and enjoy the day.

Finding Pam said...

oops, sorry, but my cat it helping me type. "Your"

Dr.John said...

Very interesting answers. I will probably borrow the meme for next Monday.

Kim said...

You most certainly are NOT a grinch or a scrooge!

Great photos! I added a few more Christmas pictures under the weather, so I'm headed up to bed. Stay warm! It's terribly cold out tonight! (Am hoping for a delay or, even better, a snow day tomorrow! Freezing rain expected in the morning!)


Quiet Paths said...

This was neat, Raven. Oh Eggnog; delicious, delicious, Eggnog; let me count the ways...

happilyretiredgal said...

The photos and the temperatures made me shiver here in Southern California. I enjoyed reading your answers and learning a bit more about you. I keep MY nativity scene out all year too ... have for almost a decade now. I so agree with your answer to #10 and I miss my mom's sugar cookies and thin, flakey pie crusts especially at this time of year.

I've started answering these questions in my drafts folder and am thinking about skipping a few (like maybe half) or breaking it into two posts because 23 seems more than I can manage answering all at once.

storyteller said...

Ooops ... forgot the hugs and blessings, so here they are !

Travis said...

It's not nearly that cold around here, but the daytime high and overnight low are creeping much closer together. I heard a rumor of snow this weekend, but I'm not sure I believe it.