Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Christmas Preferences

MCF kinda tagged me:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I'm no good at wrapping gifts, Wendy handles that here. If I try to wrap something I usually end up with tape in my hair, on the ceiling, etc. I don't like gift bags, though. I think they're kinda chinsy.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
I prefer real trees, I like the smell. But we've used an artificial out of convenience for several years.

3. When do you put up the tree?
We put ours up last weekend. We usually put it up in the first week of December of so. My mom and stepdad are nuts, theirs goes up before Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?
I always want it down right away after New Year's Day. Sometimes it's later than that coming down due to busy schedules, etc. But I can't stand to still be looking at the tree more than a day or two after New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Love it. I love eggnog and fruitcake.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

I posted this picture of myself on Christmas Day when I was eight once before:

By the way, in spite of the appearance in that picture, I do have and have always had a left eye.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My stepson, Liam. He's just not a materialistic person. He rarely wants much of anything and we have to try to come up with stuff off the top of our heads. I remember one year when he was four or so, we asked him what he wanted most of all for Christmas and he said "Soup."

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My stepdaughter, Willow. She wants everything.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
We do, it's behind me this very second. It's a small one, you could sit the whole thing up on a chair, but it's a Nativity nonetheless.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
We haven't done either over the last couple of years. We've been busy. I can remember one Christmas three or four years ago when we spent twenty bucks on postage for Christmas cards. I thought that was excessive.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Someone I was once married to always got me something last-minute, half-assed and uninteresting. One year I told her I'd like to have the movie Wag The dog and she instead gave me Primary Colors. Her explanation: "Same thing."

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Every year I have to watch at least one production of A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version is my favorite, I'm a big fan of his). I also always have to see the original, animated 1966 television production of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

You know, it never occurred to me until just now that they are essentially the same story. They're both stories about miserable old men who find redemption at Christmas time. Hmmmm. What's that say about me?

I love Boris Karloff's narration in ...Grinch. To me, that's one of the distinct sounds of Christmas.

13. When do you start shopping?
Wendy and I try to pick things up year round. We keep our eyes open, look for clearance sales, etc. Wendy is especially good at this.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yeah. Once or twice.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Homemade Chex mix, eggnogg, fruitcake.

16. Lights on the tree?
Yes. Are there people who don't put lights on their tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I love Christmas but I've never liked Christmas music. Purely for nostalgic reasons, I don't mind hearing this:

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
I've never traveled at Christmas and I don't think I ever would. I can see me holing up in my house, REFUSING to travel, and ultimately pissing off members of my family. Christmas traffic? Bah. Humbug.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
I thought they already had names. Why do I always get stuck doing someone else's work? Let Santa name his own reindeer.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
We haven't used a tree topper in years. We never could find one we liked and at some point someone said "Do we really have to use a tree topper?" The consensus, apparently, was that we don't.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
When I was a small child we always did it on Christmas morning. Then, once my sister and I were both young adults, my family switched to Christmas Eve for a long time. I don't think there was ever a decision to make that switch, it just kinda happened. Now that I have a family and kids of my own we're back to Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Like I said before, I don't dig Christmas music. And cloying, manipulative songs like this one especially get under my skin.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
We have Marvel Comics, Simpsons and Spongebob ornaments on our tree. I really enjoy those. My favorite ornament that we have, though, is either our Charlie In The Box misfit toy ornament or our Bumble ornament or our smiling Grinch ornament.

The Island of Misfit Toys was always my favorite thing about the Rudolph Christmas special. And I'm sure that says something about me, too. It always bugged me, though, that they all wanted off the island. They all complain about having to live on the island, feeling unloved, unwanted. I always thought "Why don't you guys love each other?" You wouldn't think misfits would feel rejected by other misfits, would you? And then, at the end, Santa gathers them all up and delivers them to children. But they'd all been complaining just before that no kid could love them because they were all misfits. So what kind of cruel joke is that? Stanta takes them off their island, where at least they had each other, and delivers them to kids who can't possibly love them.

Was he trying to teach them a lesson about how they could have been happier on their island if at least they hadn't taken each other for granted?

What's up with that? Is it, like, Santa's vicious attempt at ironic punishment? Is Santa like a Christmas version of John Doe from Se7en? Sick freak.

I mean, think about it. Santa clearly hated misfits. He even wanted Rudolph banished until his nose proved to be useful to Santa's own purposes. Santa just hated anyone who didn't conform to his rigid standards. His name should have been Saddam Claus. Vicious bastard.

No wonder his wife was trying to kill him with fatty foods. "Eat, Papa, eat!"

You know, this quandary probably made an early contribution to my lifelong mistrust of authority.

24. Favorite Christmas memory?
I can't put it into words. There are sounds, smells, etc, that will cause me to remember something that is impossible to voice, but something real. It's just a remembered feeling of the childhood magic of Christmastime.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

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I was quite upset to see the poor editing job they did on the Grinch this year. They cut out two stanzas of the best song. How Grinchie of them! Karloff rules...
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