Meme Monday: Good thing in little package

Gifts can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and forms and places. They don't have to come in pretty packages adorned with paper and bows and other fancy trappings. Sometimes, they can be as simple as sharing the gift of one's self with another person. Opening yourself up and letting facts and tidbits about yourself come tumbling out. Making yourself a bit vulnerable. Allowing others to get to know you.

And that's what I like to do on what I call Meme Mondays. Take one of those cookie internet memes/sets of questions and answer them. To share parts of myself, usually in a very self-deprecating way. 'Cause that's how I roll.

I love it when others do similar things -- give me the gift of themselves. Letting me get to know them through their words and experiences.

Part of being human is sharing the gift of yourself. At least from where I sit. So here goes...

Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Yes. Both. Please. And thank you. In a little twist, though, I like my eggnog sans ze booze (Farm Store's is the best!) and my hot chocolate with a little zip in the doodah. Preferably peppermint schnapps.

The first time I had hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps was in a hotel bar in Lake Tahoe. We were on holiday on the West Coast (Will stayed home with my parents) and while The Mister skied, I did apres ski without the actual ski part. The bartender recommended the cocoa/schnapps combo and by the time The Mister came off the slopes in the late afternoon, I was plowed. So much so that I'd drunk dialed pretty much everyone in my phone -- fun fact: drunk dialing is actually more amusing during daylight hours, at least for the person who's not drunk. It was all fun and games until we had to try and put snow chains on the rental car to cross the mountain pass to get to San Francisco, and I was no help at all. Unless you count making snow angels and giggling helpful.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
My mother, The Belle, made a deal with Santa many years ago that he does not need to wrap any presents he brings. I took out an extension on that deal myself when Will was born. He appreciates it, from what I understand.

Colored lights on tree/house or white?
It depends on my mood, to be honest. I was in a "white lights only" phase for a while, but now I rather like the coloured ones, especially on the house. I still like white on the tree, since it provides a nice backdrop for the other tree garnishes.

Do you hang mistletoe?
You betcha. Have a vintage mistletoe/elf ornament that hangs in a doorway -- very similar to the one we had when I was a kid. Love it. Now c'mon over here and gimme a smooch!

When do you put your decorations up?
Decorating is a gradual thing around here. I'm not organized enough (hush) to get it done early -- like Thanksgiving weekend early, as so many people I know do. With The Mister travelling during the week, it's kind of catch-as-catch-can to find time to get the tree, et all. We'll probably get the ball totally rolling next weekend.

What is your favorite holiday dish?
Truth be told, my favorite holiday dish is a... jello salad. Yeah. I know. But it's part of my family tradition. I've made it for holiday meals for like 35 years. The dish has the very groovy name of Cherry Salad Supreme and it involves not one (raspberry) but two (either lemon or lime) flavors of jello, layered separately with add-ins like marshmallows and cherry pie filling and whipped cream and crushed pineapple. It's like the antithesis of clean eating. But damn, is it good. Reminds me of my Nana, as I make it in a big glass dish with etched fruit on it that has been in the family for eons. Special place in my heart it has...

Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Setting up the Nativity scene was always my job as a kiddo. I had a certain way I'd place all the figurines, based on the chronology of the Christmas story in the gospel of Matthew, with the last piece placed being the angel that hang over the manger. And when I went away to college, that was still my job -- it would wait until I got home, even if the 'rents had put all the other decorations up, including the tree.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I honestly don't remember when I learned the truth about Santa, but I did figure it out on my own. However, because I had a younger sibling, I had to keep up the charade for his sake. Heh. Sometimes, it's good to be the oldest.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No, we don't. The Belle is an incorrigible package snoop -- she shakes and examines all presents with her name on it, and despite her yearly suggestion that we open one gift on Christmas Eve, we always waited until the morning. The Christmas morning ritual: wake up, brush teeth, make bed, open gifts, have breakfast, take nap. Forward ho!

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Currently, the main tree sits in our living room and I have worked the decorations to coordinate with the browns/beiges/blues/crimsons/greens that dominate the room. My new tree -- the funky aluminum one -- will be decked out in vintage ornaments and highlighted with a groovy color wheel. Then there's the Festivus pole...

Snow! Love it or dread it?
Y'all. I live in the F-L-A. Second generation native.... I LOVE snow, since when I see it, I'm a mere visitor. It's wonderful.

Can you ice skate?
Hell-to-the-no. Good lord. In addition to apres ski, I also do apres ice skate very well.

Do you remember your favorite gift?
Honestly, I don't have a favorite gift. There have been some which were bigger hits than others, but every present that I really loved was perfect for me at that particular time in my life. All good.

What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Taking time to embrace the essence of the season -- the Nativity, themes of peace and joy, love and hope. It's a time of celebration and contemplation. For moments of boisterousness and silence. Of music and verse. Reflection of the year just past and planning for the year ahead.

And the presents. Mostly giving. But a little getting too.


What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I really don't have a favorite holiday dessert, unless pecan pie counts. But I do have a great holiday dessert story. One year -- I think I must have been a junior in college -- The Belle decided that we should try something new for Christmas dinner dessert -- an English trifle. Ladyfingers, raspberry jam and custard laced with sherry. What could go wrong? Nothing actually, save for the fact that we somehow ended up tripling the amount of sherry, both to soak the ladyfingers and in the custard itself. Unless you were a little old lady who sipped sherry steadily at the bi-weekly bridge club meetings or The Belle and me, that thing was pretty much inedible. Daddy would come home from work and find us both just sauced after having an afternoon serving of trifle. Come to think of it, that dish may have been the perfect food -- a dessert you can enjoy at happy hour time. Now where's my trifle bowl...

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I have a much-loved version of Handel's Messiah and copies of the music that we will use to sing along with the recording. I have had opportunity to sing the Messiah (altos rule!) several times with the church choir and it remains my favorite choral piece/presentation for the season. Will has heard this so often that he will chime in when the Hallelujah Chorus pops up -- now that's a lot of fun.

What tops your tree?
A gold paper mache 10 point star I bought over 20 years ago at Urban Outfitters in Georgetown. It's a little dinged and the paint's a bit chipped. But it has held the top spot on my Christmas tree since I was a single girl with a miniature tree and a handful of ornaments, as I couldn't afford much more. A treasure.

Which do you prefer -- giving or receiving?
Giving. But I'm getting better at receiving -- which is funny for a chick whose love language is gifts. Go figure.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Can't pick just one -- "Joy to the World" is my favorite hymn; "And the Glory of the Lord", my favorite classic piece. Anything by Vince Giraldi. Dean Martin's Christmas renditions. But if I had to pick one, it would be "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," any classic version. Judy Garland. Frank Sinatra. Ella Fitzgerald. I tend to get a little snotty when it comes to my Christmas music, now that I think about it -- I'm picky about what I like in a version. For example, there are myriad versions of another favorite "Baby, It's Cold Outside," yet most of them are just meh to me. Maybe I'll do a post about the requirements to make it to Janey's Top Christmas Hits list.... hmmmm.

Yeah. I know. Try not to act surprised about this true confession...

Candy Canes: yuck or yum?
Ugh. Don't totally dislike. But not a fan.

Favorite Christmas show?
Have we just met? A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's on the telly tonight and I cannot wait.

Saddest Christmas song?
Ironically, it's also my favorite -- "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The lyrics suit my temperament, I think. A bit contemplative and melancholy. But so, so beautiful. At least to me.

1 comment:

karin said...

Great minds indeed! your answers are way better than mine. Also, I'm going to need that trifle recipe STAT since I'll be spending Christmas with the in-laws....