1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
Apple cider with mulling spices. I don't do dairy while nursing or pregnant.
2. Turkey or Ham?
Neither. Beef tenderloin on the grill.
3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
Fake. I have a house full of asthmatic children and it seems like we spend every Advent hooked up to the nebulizer.
4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
We'll have a wreath on the front door and wreaths on the windows. We had icicle lights on our old house, but they don't really work here. Christian has suggested garland and lights on the pillars, so we might try that this year.
5. Snowball fights or sleddin'?
I'm a huge fan of sledding but we live on a former farm. Nothing but flatness everywhere. I miss the hills of our old neighborhood. I've done my fair share of referring snowball fights though (just can't seem to get my husband to behave;-).
6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
No. Shopping makes me nuts. Every ADD gene in my body boings out of control. I get totally overwhelmed and have to come home and read Raising Your Spirited Child just to calm myself, never mind any spirited children I was foolish enough to take with me!
7. Favorite Christmas song?
8. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
I have watched It's a Wonderful Life every year since it was a mandatory study break in college. I love it. And I like The Family Man, too. Other than that, the TV is busy with late football season and the beginning of the college basketball season.
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
One year, I played the song referred to in question #7 incessantly in April. It became a prayer for my pregnancy with Nicholas, my Christmas miracle (he was unexpected as many miracles are). The song played all the way to the hospital and echoed in my head as snow fell outside the Birthing Inn. Maternity wards at Christmas time are really beautiful places!
10. Stockings before or after presents?
Stockings on St. Nicholas day.
11. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
12. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
We do Christmas dinner at my house, some years as many as three times, depending on relatives and schedules.
13. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
Yes, all throughout the season.
14. What do you do after presents and dinner?
The children draw names to buy presents for each other. We open those before midnight Mass. Then, they get a present from us Christmas morning, after which we have breakfast. After dinner, they play with cousins and I clean the kitchen. That doesn't sound like fun for mom, but by the time we get to "after dinner" I'm ready for the solitude a pile of dishes affords me.
15. What is your favorite holiday smell?
My mother's pumpkin bread. I can't eat wheat any more and it's the pumpkin bread I miss the most, more for the smell than the treat itself. Spiced apple cider is a happy second place.
16. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
I love to ice skate. The mall, not so much.
17. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
We do both.
18. Favorite Christmas memory?
We brought Nicholas home on Christmas Eve. They handed him to me in a stocking. Michael was twelve and had not yet hit a teenage growth spurt. I remember wanting to stop time. Everything was perfect. Of course, if time had stopped, Mary Beth would still be the only girl and we wouldn't know Katie or Karoline. God always has a better idea than we do, doesn't He? And we sure can't out-give Him.
19. Favorite Part about winter?
I love a fire on a snow day. I love to walk outside at night after it has snowed. I love flannel sheets. I love my Christmas dishes. I love it that my birthday is right after Christmas and my mother can't resist a sale.
20. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
Yep, and I married him!