Have you started your Christmas shopping? We have a budget for Christmas, and normally I start shopping on Black Friday. Our entire budget for all recipients – including each other - is less than most people I know spend on gifts to one or two of their kids, but we make do. However, because we bought the house just a couple of weeks ago, we aren’t really doing presents this year. We’ve put out the word to family and friends who we might normally exchange with that it’s a church mouse Christmas this year. Steve and I are exchanging a couple small gifts each and that’s all. The house is our big present to each other.
Tell me about your special traditions. We don’t have any aside from spending the day with my family. Maybe I’ll start something easy and pleasant this year. Does being the person who hands out the presents count as a tradition? It’s a role I really enjoy.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Sort of… I go to JoAnn’s, Barnes & Noble, and then have my once yearly stuffed French Toast at IHOP. No muss, no fuss, and I come home with some great gifts, things to make gifts, and the rest gets bought online.
When do you put up your tree? Now that we have an artificial tree we put it up the first week of December.
Do you travel at Christmas or stay at home? We drive the few miles to my parent’s house on Christmas Day, though this year they (and my brother and his wife) are coming to our new house! Over the weekend we tend to visit Steve’s family in the neighboring area.
What is your funniest Christmas memory? Funny? Umm… the year Dad got one of those flashlights on a headband and wore it all day long? We laugh and have a good time, but I don’t remember specific funny moments.
What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time? I don’t really have a hankering for Christmas movies, but I like A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Christmas Story.
Do you do your own Christmas baking? What is your favorite treat? Yes, I at least bake my Rock Star Oatmeal Cookies for Dad, he looks forward to them every year now. I guess that’s a tradition! My favorite holiday treat is my mom’s cheesecake.
Fake or real tree? As much as I love real, it’s a hassle and wasteful… not to mention expensive! We have 7.5 ft pre-lit for now.
What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done? I don’t really panic. We never spend more than we have, and I don’t set unrealistic expectations (nor do our families have elaborate traditions).
Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? Never, I love wrapping and it’s normally done at least several days beforehand so there are pretty packages under the tree.
What is your favorite family fun moment at Christmas? Definitely opening the presents. I love to see their faces when they open my gifts to them.
What Christmas craft do you like the best? I don’t do “Christmas” crafts, I’m crafty all year long.
Christmas music – yes or no? Absolutely! Despite being Pagan and all, I love the high Church music like Ave Maria, along with some of the more contemporary offerings. iTunes just gave away a great holiday sampler and I found a couple new modern songs to love.
What is your favorite song? My favorite Christmas songs are: Happy Christmas, War is Over by John Lennon (contemporary), Coventry Carol (Lully, Lullay) (16th century high church), and Silent Night (traditional). Coventry Carol is part of an impressive suite of lesser known Christmas music called Dancing Day, collected by a composer in 1974. Check it out!
Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child, Bye bye lully, lullay. Thou little tiny child, Bye bye lully, lullay.O sisters too, how may we do, For to preserve this day. This poor youngling for whom we do sing Bye bye lully, lullay.
Herod the king, in his raging, Chargèd he hath this day His men of might, in his own sight, All young children to slay.
That woe is me, poor child for thee! And ever mourn and day, For thy parting neither say nor sing, Bye bye lully, lullay.Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child, Bye bye lully lullay. Thou little tiny child, Bye bye lully lullay.