This is the first meme I've ever written. It was inspired by Dale's story about his father chopping down Christmas trees.
What greeting of the season do you use?
Happy Holidays. It's not that I'm unwilling to say "Merry Christmas;" I just prefer to include a reference to New Year's as well.
Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning! Are you kidding? Santa Claus doesn't come down the chimney on the afternoon before Christmas!
Did you leave out milk and cookies for Santa?
No. My mother said he didn't really have time to eat them and anyway, the milk would be warm and icky by the time he arrived. Santa was always generous to us in terms of the gifts he left, but a little rushed and spartan about their presentation. He didn't wrap presents. My mom said he was too busy making and acquiring the presents to have time to wrap them. We could always tell presents from Santa because they weren't wrapped but simply bore tags with our names on them, written in handwriting that looked a lot like my mom's.
What's one Christmas Eve tradition your family had?
OK, we received ONE present on Christmas Eve: every year we got new pajamas, and got to wear them to bed that night. But it wouldn't be right to say we got to open that present, because the pajamas weren't wrapped, either.
(Have I ever mentioned that I LOATHE wrapping paper? I prefer to give and receive gifts in reusable bags or boxes. I hate the waste involved in wrapping something in paper that just gets ripped off and thrown away. I think I am figuring out how I might have acquired that attitude.)
What's your favorite Christmas song?
That's a difficult question, because I really love Christmas music--at least, I love Christmas carols and hymns. I really like old-y weirdy songs like "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" sung by the Motabs. I love "Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains" which is a Christmas song not many non-Mormons know, but all Mormons know it because it's in the Mormon hymn book. I love "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" mostly because it's fun to play on the piano--it's one of the only songs I can play. I love the chorus to "Angels We Have Heard on High." And so on.
I also love Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from Meet Me in St. Louis. And I choke up whenever I hear the Band Aid song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" I adore the way Boy George belts his lines!
And, for obvious reasons, two of my favorite Christmas songs involve holly: I think everyone should "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas," and I always remember that "The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the woods, the holly bears the crown."
What's your least favorite Christmas song?
I hate a lot of popular Christmas music. I LOATHE the wretched "Little Drummer Boy" song--rum-pa-pa-pum indeed! Sometimes I can't bear to be out in public between Thanksgiving and New Year's because it involves listening to horrible versions of jingly, jangly Christmas songs.
What's your favorite Christmas movie?
As of about a month ago, it's Joyeux Noel, which I liked so much I found an excuse to show it to one of my classes. It's a Wonderful Life might be next, just because I can't recall that many others. Are there many others? If I think about it, I guess there are.... A lot of Christmas movies bug me, because they're so, well, seasonal. You can enjoy singing a bunch of three-minute song once a year in a way that you can't really enjoy watching a bunch of two-hour long movies once a year.
What about A Christmas Story?
Is that the one with the pig-eyed blond kid who's always being told he'll shoot his eye out with a b.b. gun? I HATE that movie!
What's your favorite Christmas tv special?
Honestly, I hate them all at this point--I've just seen the old ones, like Rudolph and such too many times, and can't be bothered to watch any new ones.... Are there any new ones?
What's the best present you ever got?
Mm, well, I'm hoping that will be the present I'm supposed to get this year: a new laptop.
What's the worst present you ever got?
Continuing the electronics theme, that would have to be a very old word processor that didn't even work, long about 1989.
What's the best present you ever gave?
About 15 years ago I made one of my sisters a quilt that she still uses every winter.
What's the worst present you ever gave?
I have no idea, because whoever received it was too polite to tell me how much they hated it. But I did make my brother a tiger-striped nightshirt he never wore, not even once. I finally appropriated it and now it hangs in my closet. I should put it to use.
What do you want for Christmas this year?
I've reached the point where I am just happy with whatever people give me. But my mom offered to buy me a laptop for a combined birthday-Christmas present and also because she wants to spend her money on us instead of leaving it to us, and I simply wasn't going to say no.
Is Christmas still a religiously significant holiday for you--in other words, do you celebrate it as the birth of the savior of humanity?
No. I like Christmas a lot: I like the cheeriness; I like giving and receiving presents; I like singing carols and hymns; I like remembering loved ones. But Christmas lost its religious significance for me long ago.
Addendum (see this comment)
Real or artificial Christmas tree?
Well, I tend to travel over Christmas, and I live alone, so I don't typically get a Christmas tree. I much prefer live ones, though, and I am swayed by the argument that they are more environmentally sound, given all that's involved in making an artificial one and the frequency with which people throw them out so that they end up not rotting in landfills, whereas Christmas tree compost is actually very good for a number of uses.
I tag anyone who ever celebrated Christmas.