Christmas Meme


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.


Do you still get new jammies for Christmas Eve?

I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of year.

Happy Holidays, Holly!

We do the new pajamas on Christmas Eve tradition in my family, too. I actually really like that, because I can always use more pajamas!

A question I would have liked to have seen in the meme is "Real tree or artificial?" I used to be adamant about having a real tree in the house for Christmas until I became allergic to them... now I have to insist on artificial trees, which causes some problems with traditionalists, which I perfectly understand. I do miss having a real tree, but the fake ones can be pretty convincing nowadays, and anyway, isn't the fake tree a wonderful representation of modern Christmas?

I love "The Coventry Carol" and "Carol of the Bells." I can listen to those all year. "Little Drummer Boy"? I would like to poke his eyes out with his drumsticks. And "The Muppet Christmas Carol" is the Best Christmas Movie Ever. Are you traveling this Christmas? To where?

Holly! I'm glad I inspired you to write such a great post. Just so you know, in case you do get saddled with wrapping paper somehow, my mother had a good solution.

The Ref is a must see takes place at Christmas movie.

Have you ever seen a holly tree? They have them in Victoria BC I noticed while there.

Tell Saviour I want to comment on his blog but can't. Blogger won't let me switch to Beta nor can I comment now on Beta Blogs. That's Blogger's Christmas gift to me I suppose.

Happy Holidays!

Hi Janet--No, I don't still get new jammies at Christmas, unless I want to make them myself. Revena, I'm glad someone else gets new pajamas new year's eve--it is a great tradition! Matt, I went ahead and added your question--thanks for providing it. Rebecca, I am indeed traveling this year--going to AZ for Christmas and New Year, even though it will probably be colder than PA there. And Dale, thanks for the inspiration and the link to the story of your mom's snowflake brilliance.... I consider myself something of a paper snowflake connisseur but it never occurred ot me to cut them out of wrapping paper.... I think your mother is a genius.

Oh, and I have seen a holly tree--in Virginia, on the U of Virginia campus. These trees were 30 feet high and really cool. I was impressed. I just have holly shrubs outside my house.

Happy Holidays, Holly-pie!

I like those "combined Xmas and birthday" presents, too and I occasionally get them, since my birthday is in February ... but usually by February my mom can't bear the thought of not getting me a birthday gift, so I'll get a birthday gift too.

Best xmas gift I've ever received - Honestly, my family tends to write checks for xmas gifts and I generally enjoy those quite a bit. (is that wrong of me?)

Take care, Holly

I grew up with the Christmas jammies tradition too! And it lives on in the lives of my kids now. I just bought my son's PJs tonight.

As for the tiger-striped nightshirt...maybe you can incorporate it into a quilt for him and re-gift it! I love that idea.


First visit here... I skated in from Janet Kincaid's.

I like the meme! Mind if I steal?

Merry Christmas (hey, I'm a Christmas kind of guy)!


Gunfighter--by all means, take the meme! I'm glad it has inspired someone else.

Not many non-Mormons know of the hymn because "Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains" was actually written by a Mormon choir director, John Macfarlane, in St. George, Utah.

Hi Toader--thanks for the info. It's too bad the song isn't more well known, because it really is a fabulous carol.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on December 12, 2006 7:52 AM.

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