1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I prefer paper. I resort to bags.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Though I prefer real, I hate dealing with the needles. Susan and I have always had a fake tree.
3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever Susan tells me too! Usually, when she clears a space of toys.
4. When do you take the tree down? ASAP! By the time we get all the kid’s presents home from three different opening locations, we really need the room!
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes! Uncle Ade’s recipe (now duly made by Aunt Ginny) is the real deal. I’ve opined about its loveliness on many occasions. The downside is, his version is so delicious, nothing else comes close. Remotely close. Same city close.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the real memorable ones would be the drum cases I received from my family, the bass drum microphone from Mom and Susan, and the .22 from Father. I still have all of them. The drum cases, especially the snare case, get used frequently. The mic gets used weekly.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Mom.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My boys. (I just get them the cool toys I’d like!)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? I don’t. Susan does.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can’t think of one. I can think of the worst one I’ve ever given, though!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? “A Christmas Carol.” I like them all, but some versions are better than others. I’m searching for an old B/W version I saw as a child at my grandfather’s house. I haven’t found it yet.
13. When do you start shopping? About Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes. This year, even!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peanut butter bon bons. Those ones in the gold wrappers you get at Wal-Mart.
16. Lights on the tree? Yes. I like them multi-colored. I don’t like them to play music.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Nat Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song.” Or maybe “While By My Sheep.” Or maybe “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” It’s hard to choose.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We travel. I don’t like traveling far, though.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Not only can I name them, I can name them in Latin!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? It doesn’t really matter, but we have a star.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve? Christmas? Both!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The business.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don’t have one.
24.Favorite Ornament on tree? See a post or two below.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Oh, this and that.
26. What was your most memorable magical Christmas memory from your adulthood? Probably the year Julia got the doll that talked, and she just couldn’t take her eyes off it!
27. Have you ever been involved in a Christmas gift prank? I was the butt of a prank once. I learned some important lessons. 1) Don’t expect to get anything at Christmas. The gifts you receive are gifts–they’re not things you deserve. 2) If you don’t get what you want, don’t be disappointed. You could hurt someone’s feelings.
28. Favorite Christmas Cartoon? The Grinch, I guess.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I prefer paper. I resort to bags.
I may not have mentioned it, but I joined Facebook a few weeks ago. I must’ve mentioned it, ’cause I mentioned finding Heather Armstrong. Anyway, on Facebook, you can send people flair. Flair, for those of you not in the know, are the little things that waitstaff wear on their uniforms to make them personal. Well, at least according to Office Space. Anyway, you can send people little pieces of “flair” they can add to their profile. Here’s mine:
One of them I really, really like. Well, Lots of them I really like. But one is particularly “me.” See the one that says “Coffe, p.o., prn”? Anyone have any idea what that means? Leave me a comment with your guesses.
I mentioned in my Friday Fill-In about my most treasured ornament. This pink ornament came from a set my grandmother has. There is still on her tree two mates that go with this one: a white one with pink writing, and a blue one with white writing. Every year, Ma let me put this one on the tree. Several years ago, she gave it to me. I still put it on the tree every year. To stay safe, it goes near the top.*
1. Friends are precious. (And good ones are precious and few.)
2. Forget about health; it’s overrated.
3. I’m ready for scooter season.
4. Grey Flannel is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.
5. The oldest ornament I have is one from the ’50s, I would guess. (It’s one I loved as a child, and my grandmother gave it to me a few years ago. It holds the place of honor on our tree.)
6. Take some ice and snow, mix it all together and you have a recipe for low attendance at your company Christmas party.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a night home alone with Susan (who’ll be recovering from carpal tunnel surgery), tomorrow my plans include a gig in Bangor, and Sunday, I want to crash in the afternoon after about six hours of church services!
Friday. Work all day. Head to gig in Brunswick. Play ’til 12:30. Head home. Arrive home between 2:30 – 3am.
Saturday. Get up at 7:30. Shower. Pick Paddy up at 8:30. Head to gig. Play the Windward Gardens craft fair until 1pm. Get rave reviews. Make quick trip to grocery store. Quick nap. Get pizza at Pizza Hut for supper. (Just like at the office, everyone at home likes those $5 Pizza Hut pizzas.) Head to Chestnut St. Baptist for their “Walk Through Bethelehem.” Head home to bed.
Sunday. Awake at 6:30. Make coffee. Wake family at 7:30. Get more coffee at Dunkin Donuts on the way to church. Birthday lunch (mac and cheese and homemade chicken “nuggets”) at Mom’s, with some wonderful gifts. Head home for two hours. Make ice cream for evening church supper. Spill ice cream mix on blue blazer. Head back to church at 4pm. Have Christmas program practice and Venezuelan missionary supper. Accept rave reviews on ice cream–even though Susan did all the hard work! Head home. Fall asleep to “Car Talk” playing on my new iPod alarm clock Susan and the kids got me for aforementioned b-day.
1. Snow is supposed to fall in our area on Sunday.
2. I’m looking forward to spending time on the beach with Susan!
3. Mac OS-X is the best OS ever!
4. One of my favorite old tv shows is Emergency.
5. I’m done with cruising the bars, looking for hot chicks. (I found one, and married her!)
6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is the joy of finding the perfect for someone, and watching their expression as the open it.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to playing a gig in Brunswick, tomorrow my plans include playing a gig in the morning and going to a “Walk Through Bethlehem” in Camden, and Sunday, I want to have enough free time to work on my neighbor’s computer!
So I’m on my way out the door. Nat is eating his English muffin, which his brother has conned him into sharing. As I’m about to step out Matthew says “I want to give you a huggey.” Nathaniel says to me “That’s how he says “hug” in French.” And Matthew corrects him: “Brother, we don’t live in French!”
I had a little extra time this morning, so I snapped on the Tivo. There wasn’t much there waiting for me, but there was an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods. (Or, as my boy’s call it, “The dirty foods guy.”) He was in Turkey, exploring the local culture. There, they participate in oil wrestling. Guys put on tight, water buffalo leather pants. They then cover themselves in olive oil, and wrestle. Now Mr. Zimmern is built like I am. They couldn’t find a pair of pants that fit him. They ended up having to call in guys to help him put his pants on, and they also oiled the inside of the pants. At one point, Nathaniel said “Daddy, we should try that!”
I’m afraid not, Son. I’m afraid not.
Breakfast at home (bacon and eggs–Susan’s pick). To Mom’s in the AM so Julia and I could get a hair cut. Home. To Ma’s house for lunch at 2pm. Fun with 20 people. Home. I don’t remember what happened in the evening.
Dropped eggs on hash (my pick). Organize the garage a little. Put Sta-Bil in the scooter and lawn mower. Take the scooter for a quick ride. Hey, it was warm. (Well, warm-ish.) I went out to the Owls Head General Store, drank a cup of coffee, and beat feet for home just ahead of the rain. Head to Wal-Mart just to see the madness. I did some dish washing and cleaning in the afternoon. In the evening, my gig was at My Fork.
French toast and bacon (Julia and Susan’s pick). We all went to the Farnsworth for their kid’s Christmas festivities. After that, the boys and I came home and watched The Incredibles (again!) while Susan and Julia went to the Samoset Craft Fair. In the evening, we went to the Festival of Lights parade down town.
Cheese filled crumb coffee cake (Nathaniel’s pick). Church in the AM. Susan’s lasagna soup for lunch. In the afternoon, I went to Keith Wass’s bachelor party. (Pot luck. Some beers–for the others, not me. No strippers!) Back to church for the Christmas program practice. Home and bed. The end.