Dec 24, 2014

The Christmas Meme

My friend Pandora does at least one questionnaire meme on her blog a week, which is a good idea. It means she rarely goes a week without a post, and questionnaires on blogs are often a good read. We do love to read about each other's interests, opinions and foibles, don't we?

She has just done The Christmas Meme - which surprised me, knowing Pandora is not a HUGE Christmassy person... but a quick read reassured me that no, she hadn't had a commercial Christmas epiphany, and all was still right with the world.

I liked the questions, so I thought I would give it a go. Plus, obviously, it's a good day for a Christmas Meme post.

1. Do you send Christmas cards? 

Not any more. I stopped about three years ago. But I do feel a twinge of guilt for every card I get in the mail (which is not many - hardly anyone sends them anymore).
The Cranky Old Man has a good post about the slow demise of Christmas cards.

2. How soon do you start shopping?:

October for the kids, November for everyone else. I try to be done by mid-December. Try.

3. Who do you shop for?: 

My kids, husband and myself (our gift to each other - usually a token or something we need). My nephew and niece, and my cousins' kids. And a small gift like jellybeans or chocolates that the kids give their grandparents. Well, not "like". It is always jellybeans and chocolates.

4. Do you put up a Christmas tree?: 


5. If so, is it fake or real?: 

Fake. I love the real ones, and I always vow to get year.

6. Do you like tinsel?: 

I LOVE tinsel.

7. Do you use homemade or store bought ornaments?: 

Mostly store-bought, but with kids you naturally get a few homemade ones too. My mum still hangs the ones my sister and I made as kids on her tree.

8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?: 

I do! Nothing fancy, just some solar lights along the front garden path, and a string of lights hung from over the porch.

9. Do you put lights on the tree?: 

I do - but it took me a long time to come around to it, as I was always morbidly afraid of lights catching fire. I'm still a BIT afraid - I don't have the lights on very often or very long.

10. How about popcorn and cranberries?: 

No and I've never heard of doing that either.

11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?: 

Mais oui.

13. Do you hang up your stocking?

No stockings for grown-ups.

14. Does your family read "Twas the night before Christmas?": 

Not as a tradition, but it gets recited sometimes. My kids prefer the Aussie version which I don't love, but whatever - it's all Christmas!

15. Christmas Movie?: 

There aren't really any Christmas movies that I love. I have to turn off Twitter when people start live-tweeting Love Actually. I remember finding Jingle All the Way very funny years ago, but I'm sure it is dated and unfunny now. As is Deck The Halls which we just watched last night.

16. Character from any Christmas Movie: 

Tom Hanks' conductor in The Polar Express.

17. Christmas Song: 

Silent Night is my favourite because it's so beautiful.
The Little Drummer Boy for the sense of shared community - it's naff but I've always loved it.
And for fun, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

18. Christmas Memory: 

Best ever: when we were kids we had a few Christmases at my grandparents down at Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula, with our aunts and uncles and cousins, and it was just so much fun. We kids all slept in fold-out beds in the car port - it was perfectly secure, it had canvas sides and a zip-up door (!) - while our parents drank and talked and laughed till late.

On the alternate years, we drove up to the NSW Central Coast to stay with my other grandparents. Those Christmases were a bit more low key but I still have great memories of them as I loved my grandparents and their house, and the semi-rural idyllic spot they lived in (as it was then).

19. Give or Receive?: 

Give, of course.

22. Ham or Turkey?: 

We don't do turkey anymore but my Dad used to barbecue it over coals and it was fantastic. We still do ham, and I love thick slices of ham off the bone on toast for breakfast on Boxing Day, and every day thereafter until depleted.

24. White Lights or Colored Lights? 

Why not both?

25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights?:

Still, definitely still. A couple of times I've set my lights to blinking and felt like I was going to have a seizure. They make you very dizzy.

26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year?: 

I was not naughty, but I was not very nice. I was a bit crabby this year.

27. What do you want for Christmas this year?:

I wanted a Fitbit, but then I had a brainwave. The kids are getting bikes this year and they are cheaper than Fitbits. In January I'm going to get a bike each for me and Y. Looking forward to it.

28. When do you open your gifts?: 

Christmas morning.

29. What's the best gift you've ever gotten?: 

My bike when I was a kid. So exciting. Independence!

30. What's the worst gift you've ever gotten?: 

I can't recall. One of my aunts was eccentric and she used to give us weird things she picked up cheap from markets. Sometimes they were great - like one year when she gave me a little yellow transistor radio. Other years they weren't so great. I can't remember the gifts themselves, but I do remember opening something and thinking 'huh?' a couple of times.

31. Who gives you the most gifts?: 

Look, we cut out gifts for grown-ups in our extended family a few years back, and it was such a relief. We don't need anything, and we don't waste time, stress and money buying each other things we don't want. I am happy not receiving more than one or two gifts at Christmas these days.

32. Have you ever had a secret Santa?: 

We've done Kris Kringle at work in the past. It fell away a few years ago, and no one really wants it back I don't think.

33. Do you like wrapping gifts?: 

I do! I'm a very good gift wrapper. Give me any shaped item, I can do it!

34. Do you put change in those red buckets?:

I always have, but I admit since the institutional child abuse horrors have come to light there are certain organisations which I decided this year will never receive a penny from me again, so I have stopped dropping coins in certain red buckets (I know, that's depriving the needy based on my own outrage - I don't feel sure about it). But every year I give to The Smith Family and I buy a few toys or gifts for the Kmart Wishing Tree or the ABC Tree.

35. Do you burn a yule log?: 

Burn a what now?

36. Can you name all the reindeer?: 

Dasher, Dancer, Donna, Blitzen.... Prancer....


37. Do you bake cookies?: 

Not for Christmas, but other times yes.

38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Claus?: 


39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?: 

No mistletoe ever encountered.

41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?: 

Okay, yes we do. But only in our local area. We have a few houses here that do a LOT of lights. I can't get a good photo, unfortunately.

42. Have you ever left Santa cookies?: 

Right up until this year.

43. Have you ever sat on Santa's lap?: 

As a CHILD, yes.

44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with?: 


45. Where do you celebrate Christmas?: 

Usually lately it's been at my sister's house. As my brother-in-law is one of seven kids, he always hosts for his extended family, and they have included us all in that.

46. Have you ever had a white Christmas?: 

I've had one proper white Christmas in Boston as a teenager which was amazing. Every lovely White Christmas visual and experience, all come vividly to life. And we had snow in London on New Year's Eve once during my two years there. And... do the TWO times we got hail on Christmas Day here in Melbourne count?




47. What part of Christmas do you look most forward to?: 

Meeting up with extended family in the evening. It's getting to be the only time I see my cousins, which is a pity.

48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?: 

As a CHILD, yes.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kevin Dooley/Flickr CC


  1. Longest list ever!

    Merry Christmas.

    1. I know! and why stop at 48? Weird!
      Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas. I do love Christmas Lights. And we might even go for a drive in a few hours...

  3. Merry Christmas...

  4. Nice answers.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    I haven't been around to see any lights, there doesn't seem to be any in this neighbourhood.

  5. EC, Delores and River, I hope you all had or are having, a lovely Christmas.



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