Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas-y Tag 2015

My parent's tree was the model
Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I was delighted when Deborah O'Carroll (The Road of a Writer) tagged me for this. If you don't already follow her blog, you should. She loves Tolkien and she's got a great sense of humor, and she's got a lot of interesting writing projects in the works.Thanks for the tag, Deborah, and Merry Christmas!

I'm skipping the rules and just getting to the fun part, because that's how I roll (today). If you read this post and would like to share your Christmas (or honestly, any holiday) traditions, I'd love to read/hear about them!

(all images belong to their respective copyright holders, and are used for zero financial gain)

Christmas-y Tag 2015

1. What is your favourite Christmas treat?

Actually, would you believe it's fruitcake? I seem to be the only fan of this much maligned delicacy.  But it has to be home/bakery made, and it can't have any of that dreadful fake candied fruit. Real dried fruit, pecans, and legitimate ingredients only. I also love Stollen (so apparently I just like bread/cake with dried fruit??)

2. Are there any special traditions that your family has to celebrate Christmas?

Ever since I was little, we've hunted for The Pickle ornament on our tree. It's a vaguely strange tradition that is supposedly German, but no one really knows where it started. Regardless, you hang this ornament on the tree and whoever finds it first gets a prize. It's pretty hard to find a a green ornament on a green tree, but is there a point? No. Idea. Well, other than prizes. Still, it's something my dad's family, and his dad's dad's family (etc.) all have done for years.

3. How do you normally celebrate Christmas?

We read the Christmas story, then hunt for the pickle (see #2), then we open presents, eat brunch (usually homemade, but we have met relatives for it before), and then hang out all day. I am a big fan of spending the day in pajamas.

4. Do you enjoy getting presents for your friends and family? Do you buy your gifts or go the homemade route?

You know someone loves you when they knit the same scarf three+ times for you . . .

Yes! I love giving gifts. If I had tons of money, I would do this all year long, not just at Christmas. For everyone. I love picking out/making the perfect thing for each person and wrapping it up so it looks pretty. How much I make depends on the year and how much time I have. I knit gloves for people (a lot), as well as baby sweaters, and I've made other things too.

5. Is it cold where you live? Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Funny you should ask - it's normally cold here (West Michigan), but this Christmas will probably be green. Normally we have snow by Thanksgiving (and when I lived farther north, we sometimes had snow by Halloween!)

6.What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Books - always! Also, board games! I love them, but I don't usually spend my money on them. That sort of thing (anything my adult budget doesn't usually allow for)

7. What’s your favourite Christmas song?

I actually don't like what I call "holiday music"--that generic stuff that involves pop divas vocalizing and singing meaningless phrases ("Last Christmas," I'm looking at you). What I do love are instrumental carols and folk tunes, and classic hymns.  Any Celtic Christmas cd, Mannheim Steamroller, and TSO are some of my favorites. For a beautiful modern rendition of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," you can't get much better than Kutless here.

8. What are you reading in December? (Anything festive?)

I'm not much for seasonal/themed books, but I am reading Magna Carta by Dan Jones, and a couple ARCs (none of which are festive. At all). One of my favorite things about December is that I usually find some time to read. With half-days at work, and a couple extra days off, reading is one of my priorities.

9. Are you an organised little elf or are you still shopping/preparing on Christmas Eve?

It's practically a Christmas tradition for my sister (Grace) and I to be up way too late on Christmas Eve putting the finishing touches on everything.

10. How early do you start to get into the Christmas spirit?

After Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving.

11. Do you make any Christmas crafts? Decorations? Send physical Christmas cards?

Sometimes. Depends on my mood and how many presents I made. I usually ice Christmas cookies and hang them on the tree. So they're usually ninjas or Star Wars characters, but they're still gingerbread.

12. What’s the menu for Christmas Day?!

Sugar. With a side of protein and more sugar. My mom usually makes something good, like ham or turkey with mashed potatoes, etc. But I seem to develop a strange passion/tolerance for sugar and bypass most of the real food.

13. What famous Christmas character do you most identify with? (Scrooge, Elf, Tiny Tim, the Grinch, Santa, etc.)

Well, I'm not Buddy the Elf, but that's probably obvious. I once played the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in a skit though. It was so much fun! I got to pace around shrouded in black, and point at things. I didn't have to speak. In other words, the only sort of dramatic role I was meant to play.

14. If you were to start a new Christmas tradition, what would it be?

I think my staying up till midnight and trying to finish crafts is a good one. Grace and I usually listen to music/watch movies and get really slap happy. It's a fun tradition. (See #9)

15. What Christmas movies do you like to watch this time of year or what’s your favorite?

It's a Wonderful Life, Elf, the classic claymation Rudolph, Nightmare Before Christmas, Rise of the Guardians, and White Christmas. Also, I sort of associate Star Wars with Christmas, because I first saw it around Christmas when I was seven. After that, it became a thing. A thing that The Force Awakens is now continuing.

16. What’s your favorite Christmasy book or book with a favorite Christmasy part?

Despite the fact that ^^ was based on a book, I haven't read it yet

Letters from Father Christmas by Tolkien is wonderful. I also like A Christmas Carol and The Grinch.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Feel free to do this tag, just link back so I can read it. Otherwise, share some of your favorite traditions in the comments. How do you feel about seasonal (any season) movies and books?