Karen, a glittering gem of the Ocean and the richly scented Autum Rose have tagged me for this meme.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bag: Both, and I am afraid I often use neither shoving homemade stuff into shoe boxes and carrier bags.
2. Real tree or artifical: We have an artifical tree because real ones shed and babies get the sheddy bits and it can get a bit unpleasant. We also keep our tree in a cage-a playpen, thus preventing toddler and baby climbing, pulling over on head and other small-person induced catastrophes.
3.When do you put up the tree? My son puts the tree up as soon as we hit Dec 1st. He would put it up earlier if I let him. He's 16 now and still gets all excited about a tree with pretty lights on and do you know- I don't blame him. It is becoming a running joke that the tree goes up almost at dawn on Dec 1st, and it didn't this year because he was at work! People popped over to see us and asked where the tree was. LOL.
4.When do you take it down? Epiphany-once the wise men are headed home
5. Do you like eggnog? Er...no.
6. Favourite gifts received as a child; I received a cuddly Koala once and loved it.
7. Do you have a Nativity Scene? We have a cloth Advent Calender one hanging on the wall. We did have a traidcraft wooden thing too but over the years people have vanished from the set-not sure how. We also have a large nativity scene in the back room made from toilet rolls. We make one most years. This year Mary is in pink at the insistance of my (just turned) 3yr old and we have a couple of pretty scary looking shepherds. The kings are yet to be made. We add a nicely wrapped box under the scene and then the children each make Jesus a present. On Christmas Eve after Mass each of us put the little gift into the box for the baby Jesus.
8. Hardest person to buy for: Usually my oldest, but this year there are a couple of things he needs to get ready for his trip to America so it wasn't so hard.
9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received: Well, it wasn't a gift as such, but I had my daughter on Dec 7th and was home for Christmas which was great as she was due Dec 27th and I had thought I might spend Christmas in hospital-but then the whole family went down with D&V and I got it too-horrible with a new C-section let me tell you!!!
10. Favourite Christmas movie: Of course "It's a Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas" but I also love "Muppet's Christmas Carol" (I can't help it) and a made for TV film about a family made homeless just before Christmas and end up sleeping in a huge store-which I am sure was filmed at Jenners in Ediburgh. I can't remember the name of the film, but it was about how home and family are more important than shopping and honesty is more important than wealth. Loved it.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards: Both and hand them out personally when I can.
12. When do you start Christmas shopping? July/August. Don't be horrified there is method in my madness. We have some family members we only get to see once a year, usually at the end of August and I like to be able to hand over the pressies to be saved until Christmas. This means I can buy something suitable for the godchildren and other children without worrying about when and how to post it. Then we go fruit picking and I freeze it all until jam making.
I get the first autumn apples around the end of Sept and start buying in the dried fruit etc around Oct and if I am organised (which isn't often these days) the first cakes and chutneys get made by the end of Oct.
The not-made pressies get bought from Nov and I try and spread the cost.
13. Have you ever recylced a Christmas present: Yes, someone can get use from it, and it seems a waste otherwise.
14. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas: I love Christmas dinner- beef and venison pie cooked with cranberries; hot roasted chestnuts from a paper bag; homemade mince pie with cheese (don't much like shop mince pies); Green & Blacks chocolate.
15. Clear lights or coloured on the tree? Coloured. I like them.
16. Favourite Christmas song: Hymns I love are O Come, O Come Emmanuel (I know it's an Advent hymn, but I love it). Adeste Fidelis - it is better in Latin. And I confess to loving the daft song "Santa Baby" which we have on MP3-the Miss Piggy version.
17.Travel or stay home: Home. Everyone comes to us. We do visits around the time though.
18. Can you name Santa's reindeers? Erm...no...embarrassing-not-very-mum moment
19. Angel on top of the Christmas tree or a star? At the moment we have Spiderman -but I am informed a star will be made. Spiderman keeps falling down, poor dear.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One small pressie when we get back from Mass and the rest spread out over Christmas Day.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of year: Coca Cola adverts and other people's killjoy misery about Christmas.
22. The best thing about this time of year. The wonder and excitement of children. The lights sparkling in people's homes; the amount of kindness and the fact that those of us who spend so much time walking in darkness get to see a Great Light
Now I tag
Philip of Carpe-canum if he has time
And Paul on the Side of the The Angels