Posted by: bellissimanh | December 10, 2007

Christmas Meme!

I actually don’t even know what “meme” means… but I do know it involves joining a group of friends in learning fun and often trivial facts about one another… and I’m all for that… so here goes! πŸ™‚

Xandra tagged me… and you can check out her answers here. I will never look at eggnog the same again! πŸ™‚

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Generally a combination of both. I like wrapping paper, but there are just some gifts that are too hard to wrap… for those, the good Lord invented gift bags. WITH tissue paper, of course! πŸ™‚

2. Real tree or artificial?
For years we always had a real tree. The problem is that Joel is a fire hazard freak, so didn’t want to put the tree up as early as I did. I would have it up the day after Thanksgiving if I had my way (which I don’t…LOL). So we would wait… and then as it got closer to Christmas, we got busier and busier… and had difficulty finding a time that was good for all of us to first select a tree… let the boughs drop… and decorate. I hated the stress of trying to fit everything into a busy schedule. Two years ago I bought a pre-lit artificial tree (a really nice one!) at Target’s after Christmas sale. It was marked down by an insane amount, and I figured it would solve my problem of not being able to put the tree up early… it also makes life much easier on my allergies! πŸ™‚Β  As to the dilemma of WHEN to put the tree up, see below. πŸ™‚

3. When do you put up the tree?
I like to put it up the day after Thanksgiving. I LOVE it. I had understood that Joel’s reluctance to put it up that early was the fire hazard for all these years…. but discovered this year, he just doesn’t LIKE it up. ROFL… I’m going to start calling him “Grinch.” This year it became a bone of contention… me dropping hints… him finding valid reasons for not being able to put it up yet (it involved moving a treadmill that I swear I am GOING to use someday, and not having anywhere else to put it). Just when I had given up onΒ  it and began to wonder if we would host our neighborhood Christmas party on the 21st with NO tree, I came home from the nursing home ministry this week to find the house dark. As I walked through the door, Joel flipped the switch and the tree lit up, in all its decorated glory. I squealed like a three-year-old! πŸ™‚Β  I love you, baby!

5. Do you like eggnog?
I do… but I have to water it down with skim milk. Can’t do it straight. Ugh.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I have to pick just one?? There was the Shawn Cassidy “Born Late” album… and the counted cross stitch unicorn my mom made for me… but I think my favorite was a heart-shaped ceramic trinket box that my Mom had painted and fired in a kiln. It was blue, and dainty… very pretty.Β 

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No… I wish I did. I’d love the Willow Tree Set…

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My Mom. I’m not sure if it’s because I know her so well, or because she seems to be genuinely happy with anything I get her. πŸ™‚ Probably a combination of both.

9. Hardest person to buy for?
My kids are getting harder to buy for. The older they get, the more expensive the items on their Christmas list gets. Noah is probably the hardest, because he doesn’t really understand the concept of money yet. The girls really know what’s affordable and reasonable and what’s not… but Noah doesn’t quite get it yet. For example… we told him we would NOT be getting him a Nintendo Wii. He said that was fine… he’d just ask Santa. Aaaaaaaaaaargh.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I quote Xandra: “I’m going to have to plead the 5th here as to not offend any gentle readers.”

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Neither. I do Christmas cards for our church family, but that’s it. We have mailboxes at church, so no postage required… just stick it in the box and it’s delivered. πŸ™‚ I know, I know… I probably SHOULD mail Christmas cards… but I have never had the time or energy to do that… nevermind the addresses! πŸ™‚

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
White Christmas… hands down! πŸ™‚

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I wish I could tell you that I faithfully shop all year round, and then avoid the rush and panic of December. Unfortunately that’s not true. Two years ago I was done and wrapped by September and LOVED it. No such luck (or effort) this year, though… still have lots left to do.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes. With a very large family, there are always those “token” gifts. You know the ones… you buy out of obligation for someone you really don’t know at all, and end up getting them something that they will never ever use. We have purchased a few of those, as well as received them. Generally, they go into the box for the Sunbridge Christmas Store. Each year our church collects gift items (from the congregation) and then we go to the local nursing home and set up a “store.” The residents are allowed to come in and select gifts to give their families, and then we wrap and address the packages for them. This way they get to give a gift to their children, grandchildren (or someone else) when otherwise they wouldn’t have the money or the means to do so. It takes them a bit to understand that they don’t need money to buy the items… that it’s our gift to THEM… but once they catch on, it’s really a blast! πŸ™‚ Anyway… that’s where those “regifted” items generally end up.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Hot Mutsi. I can’t spell it, but it’s a cheese dip that my mom makes every year with mozzerella cheeses and green chili’s. I know there’s more that goes in it… but I got the important stuff! πŸ™‚Β  We serve it with pita pockets… you fill the pita pocket with the dip and eat it that way… Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Honestly? I’d love both! Our tree has white lights on it now and I do miss the color… but I don’t like colored lights alone. I like white lights on the outside of the house, but nothing tacky. No inflatables here… and I don’t do Santa at all, really. I have nothing against him, and Noah still believes in Santa (see #9), but if I’m going to make a statement about Christmas with my decorating, it’s not going to point people to a jolly old MAN… it’s going to point them to the God-man. I wish we had a life-sized nativity to put out front (a tasteful one, of course), but we don’t.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel or Oh Holy Night… love them both equally! πŸ™‚

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Home… definitely home. My parents usually join us for dinner on Christmas Day.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Probably minus one or two. I’m always forgetting SOMETHING! LOL

20. Angel on the tree top, or a star?
We have nothing on top of it right now. We used to have a star… but since the tree was set up without me, I’m not sure why there’s nothing there this year. I’ll have to remedy that! πŸ™‚

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning… not even ONE on Christmas Eve! I’m such a mean mom, I know…. ROFL

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
That people seem to be so stressed and angry… I even find myself that way sometimes. That’s why I wish I could always finish early so I could actually ENJOY this precious time, rather than being stressed about not having my shopping done… or the baking… or finding time to fit everything in. I wish it were all SIMPLER.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
Christmas morning. The kids get up first (of course) and they open their stockings. Joel places a hot cup of tea in my hand, and then we gather around the tree and we read the Christmas story. We share a time of prayer together before we open any gifts… and thank God for His most precious gift… our Savior. I love taking time to reflect on what it’s really all about… and that my kids recognize the significance of that as well.

Ok… I tag….

Dawn, Angie, Stephanie, and Tara. You’re it, girls!Β  (and anyone else who wants to play! πŸ™‚



  1. I, too am looking for a tasteful nativity scene to put in our front yard. Pigs will fly before I put out one of those inflatable ones……

  2. That was so fun to read! I LOVE the Christmas Store idea…LOVE it!

  3. Your christmas Morning Memories sound wonderful and made me tear up. I want your reciupe for the cheese dip stuff. I water down my eggnog too! and the Willow Tree Nativity -I saw the camels today in the christian bookstore and oh, it was beautiful! I would have that on my list if we could afford it! (all of it including the star backdrop is really spendy.) Loved the list!

  4. I have the Willow Tree Nativity. I adore it! I love the peace and serenity of it. I hope it will be yours soon!

    Need the recipe for the Hot Mutsi. Sounds very yummy!!

  5. Fun! I love that Willow Tree nativity. I collect the angels. Hmmm…might have to think about that.

    NOT looking foward to the kids getting older and their lists including $$$ items. I know it will happen so we try to get away with less now!

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