19 December, 2006
A spark of festivity
Surprisingly enough, I discovered this meme questionnaire via Neil (though I see Tim completed a version too). It relates to the 'seasonal holiday', so I might get bored halfway through and struggle to contain my irritation until the end. Fun, fun, fun.
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate. The very thought of the alternative turns my stomach.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
They're wrapped, typically at 01:00 on the day. I may do something different this year.
3. Coloured lights or white on tree/house?
I don't have any housebling myself, but white is far more stylish than a tacky jumble of colours.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
5. When do you put your decorations up?
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I don't object to the standard turkey dinner, though my mother and I disagree on vegetable cooking times.
7. Favourite holiday memory as a child?
No specific one springs to mind. I did enjoy childhood christmas mornings, getting tremendously excited and sleeping very little. That thought reminds me that the afternoons tended to be spent with my father's extended family. It's no coincidence that I haven't seen any of them in well over a decade.
I also happily remember covering my dog with the discarded wrapping paper.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I'm not sure how old I was – about ten? – but it was in the pedestrian cut-through between The Groves and The Ridgeway, Northop Hall, Clwyd. Yes, I very clearly recall my world collapsing. It wasn't because I no longer believed in Father christmas, but because my parents had lied to me. It sounds overblown, but that loss of absolute trust was a genuinely life-changing moment.
9. Do you open a gift on christmas Eve?
No. I remember being allowed to open one at about 04:00 on christmas morning as a child. My parents left presents in our bedrooms, not under the tree, so if I woke early – and I always did – they were right there, so tempting but untouchable.
10. How do you decorate your christmas tree?
Much as I like the idea of black trees, I don't have one myself.
11. Snow, love it or dread it?
Mixed feelings. I like looking at it, and if I'm out for a walk, but on the daily commute it's just a hazard.
Anyway; snow is somewhat rare in late December in North East Wales, so isn't really relevant to this questionnaire.
12. Do you know how to ice skate?
The basics, yes.
13. Do you remember your favourite gift?
I don't remember one single all-time favourite gift, but my favourite from last year was a replacement hip. Yes, really. My sister, an orthopaedic surgeon, gave me a (used) metal femur head/neck.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Fighting back my natural cynicism for a moment: seeing my mother and sister does matter to me. Nowadays the period around 24-26 December is just about the only time our schedules can be relied upon to coincide.
Seeing Helen is kind of important to me too, but that's after the traditional 'festival', and I do see her at other times of year!
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
christmas pudding, I suppose. Very important: it absolutely must be dry. No cream, brandy butter or other appalling adulterations, thanks.
16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
I can't think of one. Seeing in the New Year at the top of Moel Famau probably counts, but I don't do that every year, and won't be doing so this time.
17. What tops your tree?
I said I don't have a tree!
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Definitely giving. I'm afraid I tend to find receiving to be a depressing experience, during which I discover that friends and family know me even less than I'd thought.
19. Favourite christmas song?
20. Favourite flavour of candy canes?
That's not part of the UK seasonal tradition, but if a 'candy cane' is what I think it is, peppermint sounds most appealing.