Friday, 4 January 2008

As it isn't Twelfth Night yet...My Belated responses to the Christmas meme...


Christmas Examination/Meme

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Depends if there are any gift bags to recycle or if there are fiddly multiple parts to a present - otherwise I wrap - invariably last thing on christmas eve but this year I fell asleep amidst all the wrapping paper and awoke at 5:30a.m. christmas morning with over fifty gifts to wrap - I say it won't happen next year ; but I know it will !

2. Real tree or artificial?
Well Nicky and I are both allergic to certain types of tree so since the kids have been larger we've usually had an artificial one ; this year we got a good bargain at the Argos Warehouse - a £70 fully dressed and lit tree for £20 !

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually about the 17th [sometimes a few days earlier] but this year we were all ill with flu but because we had to work through it [not being able to aford to take any time off work] it wasn't till the 21st!! [terrible] plus I think we must have used every decoration, bauble and bit of tinsel we owned - the tree's supposed to be green but when we had three sets of lights on it [two sets fused within a few days] the light made it look like a small nuclear reactor !

4. When do you take the tree down?
Has to be Twelfth Night - It's our eldest's birthday as well and it's become traditional to do it on the Epiphany [which is the 6th Your Eminence!!! a bit like the Ascension was on a Thursday not the next sunday!!!!! grrrr...lazy clerics !]

5. Do you like eggnog?
Well I have to confess the only Eggnog I've tasted was from an exploding carton of it at work - got a faceful ! and it's a pig to wash out of one's hair; but it seemed palatable enough- The whole family have Advocaat and lemonade 'snowballs' throughout the season.

6. Favourite gift received as a child?
Waddington's "Game of Dracula" - it was played until the board fell to bits - thousands of hours of enjoyment !


7. Do you have a Nativity scene?
A few tiny ones ; although we have two Crucifixes and a Rublev Trinity icon in our Living Room it's not exactly conducive to a spiritual environment - ironically I think the one who'd want a nativity scene most is the agnostic - Nicky; but we've never been able to extend the Christmas finances.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My Father - What does one get a Laird who never expresses any desire for anything ? One year I got him an acre of the moon !! [yes we were that desperate !] This year we got him six Terry-Thomas films on dvd, last year it was the complete Jeeves and Wooster [I told you of the nightmare we had trying to pick a Ruby Wedding present for my parents and ended up getting them a Lamp-post !!!]

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
The most hideous looking woollen jumper you could imagine - silver with white cobweb pattern with a massive canadian type foldover cabled v-neck collar - maybe suitable for perry como - but me? Never ! I hid it behind the hot water tank in the airing cupboard and thankfully it never returned to the light of day before it was 'out of fashion' in my mum's eyes - it was concentrated evil !

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Going to plead the fifth on that one - we were too ill/exhausted to send any.

11. Favourite Christmas Movie?
As a kid it was either the [engish voiced] animated The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Wizard of Oz or Doctor Who and the Daleks
Best film I saw on Christmas Day was 'Random Harvest'
But we have a definite ritual at Christmas - we watch both the 'Steptoe and Son' Christmas Specials - not films I know but they're terrific and get us in the festive mood. We also hunt out the Christmas episodes of any dvd sets we have - so we'll watch the Christmas 'House', Bones, Moonlighting, Ally Macbeal, West Wing etc...
We also watch the first Christmas Frasier - the one where he loses all the presents for his son and can't get him the one he really wants - but Frasier gets his son's perfect gift from his own dad - the tears flow like rivers !!!
Oh and all the 'One Foot in the Grave Christmas Specials' [see ? Joanna Bogle has no idea what she's missing not having a tv !!]


12. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When we have any money to spend ! One year we had to buy everything on Christmas Eve as it was pay-day. This year I started ordering bits off the internet in October.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Pleading the fifth again - well ? Yes if the kids already have the same thing or I have the same book - and then only if we're short of cash or an unexpected present is necessary

14. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas?
Sad I know but give me a cheese sandwich anyday - some people get a kick from alcohol or a recreational drug - for me it is a cheese sandwich dipped in coffee [Ugh ! how disgusting I hear you cry - Well I love them!] I adore Christmas dinner but have to say that Shepherd's pie with crispy stuffing and yorkshire pudding is as close as my tastebuds can get to heaven . I like dark minty chocolate, salt and vinegar chipsticks , Jaffa cakes, bacon sandwiches and the mouthwatering 'sliced ham on toast' - everything has to be accompanied with copious amounts of milk or milky sweet coffee [my grande tasse holds a pint!]

15. Clear lights or coloured on the tree?
Clear and white [like my soul -wink !] we have some pink/violet angel lights but I really can't stand coloured lights.

16. Favourite Christmas song?
Can't choose - although I really cannot abide O little town of Bethlehem, Little Donkey or Once in Royal David's City...

17. Travel at Christmas or Stay at Home?
Dinner at my Parents.
18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes. Next Question ?

19. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star this year, but it has usually been an angel.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Oh the morning at the earliest - the house budget doesn't normally stretch to a present for me anyway - but the kids and Nicky will open theirs upon Christmas morning, and my Parents give us each something just before dinner - I received House season 3 this year - and a surprise gift of a digital radio from my younger sister - a really good Christmas - 2 gifts !!!

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
I don't know if it's annoying; but it's certainly infuriating and deeply distressing...the lonely disenfranchised fathers who no longer live with their children - breaks one's heart to even think about it.
Seeing customers fighting over the last jar of goose-fat or complaining because we don't sell 'organic stuffing' isn't a great reassurance for the future of humanity.

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