Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Tag...


I've been tagged by Ally at 3 Boys and a Princess. Ally and her husband were the first two people we met from our travel group on our way to China! We killed a three-hour layover in Newark together, followed by a 13-hour flight to Beijing. Once in Beijing, our families went in different directions, but I'll always remember our leg-stretching chats!


If I tag you, copy the questions below and answer them on your blog. Then tag 5 others!


1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

I would definitely pick hot chocolate...I don't drink coffee, but I love treating myself to a hot chocolate from Starbucks every now and then.

I really like to brew up a crockpot full of spiced apple cider...it smells as wonderful as it tastes!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Well, Santa usually brings three presents for each child. He tends to bring things that are too big or awkward to wrap, but he always wraps his presents in special "Santa" paper. Mrs. Claus likes to throw in a family gift...a game or a special movie...and sometimes a gift for Mom and Dad.

3. Colored light on house/tree or white?


I always insist on those big 0ld-fashioned multi-colored bulbs for the outside of the house. This year...for the first time in our five years here...my husband took his life in his hands to put lights on the second level of the house! I know he loves me! Or he was sick of my pouting and whining...

Our Christmas tree has minature multi-colored lights, with a chaser strand mixed in to give the tree a twinkling effect without being overwhelming. I am admittedly obsessive about the lights. Our 7.5 foot tree has around 1000 lights.

I do love white lights, though. I have a tree outside and a small tree in our office with white lights, and I have white lights on the mantle and stairway.

About LED lights...not a fan. The colors are just ick. I applaud environmental responsibility, but seriously...

4. Do you hang mistletoe?


Would you hang it up if you had a dating teenager???

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Thanksgiving is the official beginning of Christmas in our family. The tree is usually up by the end of the weekend. Of course, with all the directions I'm usually running, it takes me a couple of weeks to "finish" decorating...

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?


I have to pick ONE? Can't...I love them all. Hash brown casserole, twice baked potatoes, spiral-sliced ham...



7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?


I remember the first Christmas after my mom remarried...I was nine years old...waking up on Christmas morning and having a wonderful feeling of normalcy wash over me...I had two parents!


8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

The truth is...he's a really cool guy who artfully demonstrates the act of giving, not receiving...the epitome of the true gift of Christmas...the coolest guy ever...Jesus. Can't remember, exactly, the when or how...


9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

I always give the kids one gift to open on Christmas Eve...new Christmas pajamas! And they always love them! They would all spend the entire Christmas break in their pajamas, watching movies and playing games, if I'd let them. Jon and I don't usually exchange gifts until morning.



10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

My tree is a work of art...an ecclectic collection of ornaments handed down from both grandmothers, ornaments I made in elementary school, Jon's toy soldier that his mom made for him as a child, ornaments the kids have made, ornaments from my annual exchanges, ornaments we've purchased each year for the kids, souvenirs from vacations...I absolutely love unpacking those boxes. We literally have so many that they barely all fit on our tree!

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?

LOVE IT! Especially before Christmas...but the truth is I love a good snowstorm! I dearly love a WHITE CHRISTMAS! I love looking out the window and seeing it come down! I love watching the kids play outside...and I even love the mess of wet coats and boots and gloves all over my kitchen when they come it. I love being snowed in. I love snow days! Snow did betray be once, however...we had a freak snowstorm three years ago, and it came down about four inches an hour! It took me three hours to drive home from the grocery store! And, by the way, around February 1st, I am DONE! Ready for spring...dreaming of palm trees.



12. Can you ice skate?


Well, I have gone ice skating...it's not my gift (although I'm sure it's a GREAT gift for the spectators). And I have a hard time staying warm. I am...or was...a much better roller skater. Back in the day. Not saying what day.



13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

I know I've gotten some great gifts, but, for some reason, I remember absolutely loving my blue-and-yellow OH-SO-SEVENTIES sleeping bag and the stuffed dog I dubbed "Softie" and slept with until I was grown...I think I was maybe seven at the time....



14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Two things...making sure that we ALL remember what Christmas is really about...and making special memories with and for my kids...

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?


Candy cane cookies. No question. Although I dearly love my mom's recipe for sugar cookies. They are both iconic symbols of Christmas to me. And Santa gets them every year.



16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?


Can't pick...love them all...church on Christmas Eve...going to see Santa, then going out to dinner and picking out ornaments for the kids...ornament exchanges and Christmas parties...the Birthday Party for Jesus at school...baking cookies with the kids...sprinkling reindeer dust on the lawn...reading Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve...watching Christmas movies..


17. What tops your Christmas tree?



I have a big black and red plaid bow with streamers that cascade down the tree.



I do love the idea of an angel or a star...



18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?





I remember the anticipation of Christmas morning as a child. Couldn't WAIT to see what surprises were in store. I still love surprises, but now, I love most seeing the joy of giving a gift and seeing the reaction when it's opened.



19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Good grief. I cannot choose. So here's a few of my faves...Third Day's "O Holy Night", "Jesus, Light of the World" and "Merry Christmas", Mercy Me's "Joseph's Lullaby", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Christmas Time is Here", Amy Grant's "Grown-Up Christmas List" and "Breath of Heaven", Point of Grace's "We're Not That Far From Bethlehem", Steven Curtis Chapman's "Miracle of Christmas" and "All I Really Want for Christmas" (you didn't think I'd leave HIM off the list, did you??)...and throw in a little Garth Brooks and Ray Conniff, too.





20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?






Every once in a while, they hit the spot. But I love most watching little ones devour them...sticky and all! Not to say I don't have a wipe handy to clean up the mess...



21. What do you want for Christmas?



World peace. Oops...that's Miss Congeniality. How about my missing memory card for my camera? Oh! I know! A clean house. And all my laundry done at one time. HEY! I believe in Christmas miracles. It can happen!



22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?





Yep! We always have a Christmas outing with my husband's work...this year was a mystery dinner theatre...pretty fun. I also go to an annual ornament exchange where a lovely bunch of Jesus-loving women turn into sneaky, cold-hearted ornament stealers. Great food! Great fun! AND I host the annual staff party for work.



23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?





We dress up for Christmas Eve service. I force the kids to take pictures before they open their PJ's...because they blaze a path to put them on within seconds!



24. Do you own a Santa hat?




I am not a hat person. I do, however, force my children to comply with any and all hat requests.


25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?




We spend Christmas Eve with Jon's mom and usually his brother and family (his sisters are usually here for New Year's). Christmas Day is usually spent at home, with my parents coming over later in the day. I'll be missing my brother and his family big time this year...they are all the way in Seattle.


Okay, now you know probably WAY more than you ever wanted to know about me, including the fact that I cannot be confined to short, concise answers. In keeping with tradition...and you obviously know by now I love tradition...I must tag others...I'm cheating because I don't personally know that many bloggers...and Kristi got to them first!!!!....so here's my list...



KRISTI at Fireworks and Fireflies...part of my China family...she's a blogging queen...who beat me to posting...even with two two-year-olds...I'm not bitter or anything...love you, dear friend...



Donna at Inn of the Seventh Happiness...another beloved member of my China family....mom to five, teens to toddler...one drummer, even...we have a LOT in common...



Allison at Maggie's Red Thread...has a girlie just a bit older than Caroline from the same orphanage...apparently our girls are cut from a similar mold...hilariously similar in nature...



Jen at The Princess Diary...adopted a gorgeous little girl from China this year...a fellow America World family...quite honestly, one of the most positive, encouraging people I've ever known...



Jenny at Grace for Today...another of my blessings from our trip to China...living an adventurous and inspiring life with her husband and three kids as a missionary in Albania...



and, last, but not least...C.C. at her family website...more of my dear China family...can you tell I love these people? Always a sweet smile on this girl's face...now with two little ones to keep that smile in place...



Okay, a couple of you have now been tagged twice...



I know you don't have anything else to do right now...



Merry Christmas!
...and I know the spacing is all messed up on this post, but I am DONE with Blogger for the night...I'll fix it later...

6 comments:

Ally said...

Cindy, I just love your sense of humor!! You are just to fun. Hope you all have Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for playing along!! oh my I am still laughing...

Our Journey said...

Your mistleote answer is quite funny!! You know Mike is already "stressing" about the teenage dating years around here!! haa haa. I think you've given me an idea for a new tradition around here -- Christmas jammies on Chrismtas Eve!! Cute idea! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!

Jack said...

Cindy,

I was on the roof because I love you! I put one blinker on the corner to as a reminder of my love for you. It also reminds me of how greatful I am that I did not fall off the roof, causing my heart to stop beating.

Donna said...

Miss Congeniality!!! I LOVE that movie!! "I'm GLIDING HERE!!" just never get's old....
Miss you & hope you find that memory card for Christmas!!!

Kristi said...

Thanks for playing along dear friend! I'm jealous of your outside lights ~ I'm not sure which house my lights are at this year, or if they are in our storage unit...
Oh, and if I were there I'd come do your laundry for you, but with my little wrecking crew, I can't make any promises about a clean house!
Love ya!

Allison said...

Okay, I have fulfilled my duties as a tag-ee