Both Karen and Joe tagged me in a Christmas Meme. On this Eve of Christmas, I'm glad to respond:
1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags
I'm pro gift bag: they are re-usable (so environmentally friendly) and not having to tear through wrapping paper minimizes the risk of paper cuts.
2. Real Tree or Artificial
We're sort of on the fence on this one: I've always had a real tree, but I see the value of the fake tree (Yeah for the environment!). The Duns house now has two decorated trees: the one under which presents are placed is real, the upstairs tree is artificial.
3. When do you put up the tree?
We put our tree up at Ciszek sometime after Thanksgiving. I'm assuming my parents put our trees up around the same time.
4. When do you take the tree down?
It'll probably be down by January 1st. Hopefully I won't be around for it - I hate taking down ornaments because the needles stick my fingers.
5. Do you like eggnog?
No! I drink an obligatory glass each year, but it's like drinking sweetened Crisco.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I think my favorite gift remains a set of tin whistles I received almost twenty years ago. They were nickel-plated with blue tops....a range of keys from a tiny G-whistle to a big Bb. I thought they were so beautiful and I felt like a real musician when I set them out in front of me.
7. Do you have a nativity scene.
Yep. Two of them (No, one is not made of real people and the other artificial).
8. Hardest person to buy for?
Me. I'm pretty low-maintenance. I'm one of those people who are happy with socks and underwear.
9. Easiest Person to buy for?
My grandmother. I could give her a rosary made out of small balls of drier lint with a bobby-pin cross and she'd be ecstatic.
10. Worst Christmas gift received?
I think I was a freshman in college when a friend of Grandma Duns sent me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toiletry set. I kept the tissues and gave away the bubble-bath.
11. Mail or email Christmas Cards?
If I sent them, they'd be by hand-delivered courier.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story and, though it is not an explicitly Christmas movie, it does seem to appear around this time of year: The Sound of Music
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Early in December.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No. Most people don't want tin whistles or books about Karl Rahner.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
There are sweet rolls we buy at Fragipanne's Bakery. They are delicious.
16. Clear lights or colored lights on the tree?
Clear. No twinkling. No special messages. Just clear and simple.
17. Favorite Christmas Song
O Holy Night. I think the imagery of a weary world aching for its savior speaks to the power of the Incarnation.
18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
Stay home. My whole family lives in Cleveland.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star.
21. Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Good question. Traditionally we opened on the morning but last year we opened on Christmas Eve.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
24-hour Christmas music. Also, listening to Ann Curry (Today show, which I am watching now) remind us OVER and OVER that there is one more shopping day left.
23. What I love most about Christmas:
I love gathering with my entire family.