Christmas Meme Part I:
What are your three favorite Christmas songs and who sings them?
I like only versions of these songs that sound “churchy”.
I am not now a practitioner of any religion, but when I was growing up, going to church was a part of my upbringing. Everyone in my family was crazy about the Christmas season. We played Christmas music constantly and it was always traditional music performed by the Vienna Boys’ Choir or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir -- sacred sounding recordings. I knew all of the words to every verse of every song that was printed in the Christmas carol pamphlets that the John Hancock insurance company gave away, including Adeste Fideles. In the 60’s, the people in my family were all big drinkers, and there is nothing that will get you in the mood for four verses of Joy to the World on a road trip like a whole lot of liquid Christmas cheer. Yes, it’s true. It was a family tradition to attend the 11:00 PM Christmas Eve Service at
What are your three favorite Christmas foods?
My grandmother’s parents were English and that carried over into most of the things we ate and drank. I don’t think anybody in my family even owned a coffee pot, because they all drank tea with milk and sugar all the time. My poor father had a sad little jar of Sanka somewhere in the house. My grandmother always loved mince pie and not everybody in the family ate it, but I did. I haven’t had Christmas pudding in too many years to count, but we always had it when I was growing up. The roast beef with Yorkshire pudding was a Christmas tradition and a Sunday dinner favorite if we weren’t having roast lamb with mint jelly.
What are three Christmas Secrets?
1. I’ve always thought there was something magic about Christmas Eve. That’s the night I’m most likely to secretly talk to my dead loved ones – and I think maybe they hear me. They all loved Christmas.
2. My parents used to tell us when we were little that there were little elves that hung around the Christmas tree and would watch us to make sure we were being good. I think they were right.
3. I can’t hear or sing O Holy Night without getting emotional. It doesn’t happen if the songs are sung by pop stars or with a modern sound, but if I hear it sung in the more traditional, church style, it brings me to tears. The same goes for Ave Maria and a number of other Christmas songs. Color me sentimental.
What are your three favorite Christmas movies?
2. It’s a Wonderful Life
3. The Charlie Brown Christmas Special and The Grinch That Stole Christmas
Part II is YogaMum’s Grinch Meme from last year (click on the link to see her answers).
What is your least favorite holiday task? (e.g. shopping, cooking, wrapping) I don’t like shopping for people who are so picky that I end up with a list of things they want and I have to choose one or buy a gift card. It sucks the joy out of the whole gift giving experience for me. These are the kind of people that don’t appreciate cool, creative gifts like yoga lessons or sealing wax or silk padded book rests or hamsters.
What was the worst gift you ever received? I can’t think of anything. I am very easily pleased. You could wrap up a chewed up old pencil and give it to me and I’d be delighted I was on your shopping list.
Who is the hardest person in your family to shop for? My father-in-law. He doesn’t need anything, doesn’t want anything and doesn’t have any hobbies or interests.
What relative do you dread seeing at the holidays? Or, when you were a child, what relative did you dread seeing? I’ve never dreaded seeing anyone that I can think of.
What holiday tradition would you eliminate if you could? If I had the power, I’d eliminate giving generic gifts that have to be purchased. Exchanging store-bought gifts just feels like an empty habit, without any real feeling behind it. It would mean so much more to me as a gift recipient if I got a poem, a plate of cookies, a knitted scarf, a contribution to a good cause made in my name, a song or a hand made card.
What do you swear, every holiday season, that you’ll never do again, only to find yourself doing it again the next year? I loathe buying gift cards. When I was growing up, shopping for gifts or making them was exciting. Everyone loved what they got, no matter how silly, because we really thought hard about trying to find something special for each other. I hate giving gift cards to people because I feel like I might as well throw a fistful of cash at them, but there are some people who will tell you that they’d actually prefer getting a gift card, rather than getting something they don’t want. I think we just have too much now. Do we really need to go out and buy more crap and create more waste with all of the gift bags, wrapping paper and ribbon? Disclaimer: This doesn't pertain to little kids. I love watching them open toys.
This concludes the official meme part of my Christmas post. This year my stepson and his children (okay, okay I’ll say my grandchildren but it kills me every time I do) are coming over to open presents on the 23rd. I started the cookie baking process today and have vowed to finish my shopping and figure out what to make for dinner by Saturday. On Christmas Eve, Scott and I are going to his sister’s house to have dinner and exchange gifts with his family. This year, we’ll spend Christmas Day alone together. Scott is Jewish, but not religious, but I think I’ve got him convinced that we should observe one of the great traditions of his people on Christmas Day: A movie and Chinese food.
I’m not going to tag anyone, but hope you’ll give the meme(s) some thought and maybe post your own.
What are a few of your favorite and un-favorite holiday traditions?