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Posts Tagged ‘Getting to Know Your Friends’

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.

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Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!

16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.

And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!

25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.

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Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 2

Posted by infinitygoods on December 13, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here.

holly-divider-bar.jpg

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Of course! Several actually. Like with our Christmas trees, I like to have at least one in each room. I have one I splurged on as a teenager. It is a Fontanini, which I bought from the San Francisco Music Box Company. The manger has a real Reuge movement which plays “Silent Night,” bringing me warm childhood memories of my entire extended family singing that carol in German, French, Italian and English. Each year I add at least one new piece to my nativity. I have another nativity made of porcelain and also with a music box. My mom gave it to me because it is small and one solid piece so that I could take it with me wherever I traveled. This one plays “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.” We have a nativity we inherited from my mother-in-law. It is nothing special, but has great sentimental value to us. I have one Santon from France which is dressed in fabric clothes. I love that little old lady very much, and she reminds me of the Santons my aunt and uncle collect during their travels to the small villages in France. Each one is designed after a real person in the village.

8. Who is your hardest person to buy for? It was my mother-in-law. She was one of those people who has everything, needs nothing, buys anything she might remotely want or wish for, long before anyone else even had the chance to get it for her. When you encounter someone like that, I advise you do as the Wise Men did, and bring lots of gold. Diamonds work well, too.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Our son has loved everything we have ever given him. He is so enthusiastic with every gift, it is a real joy to see him react to even the most basic item.

10. Worst gift you ever received? A scale so I could GAIN weight. I was in high school and my very own parents thought 90 pounds was not an appropriate weight. My feelings were very hurt.

11. Do you mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Both. I send far fewer cards than I used to, but I still send to my relatives scattered around the world and a few dear people who have remained friends over the decades. I do not feel obligated to send a card to every person I have ever met. I send a few e-cards to people who write to me via e-mail throughout the year. I do not write annual Christmas letters, obviously not because I do not like to write, but because if there is someone out there who hasn’t kept in touch with me (and vice versa) since the previous Christmas, then I’m sure they would not be interested in my Christmas letter. I also do not send Christmas cards to atheists, even if they celebrate “christmas” with a tree and gifts. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The tree and the gifts should be symbolic, not an atheist excuse for consumerism and greed. I also send a few Hanukkah cards.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Hmmm. … One year I found myself having to shop on Christmas Eve, one year I did some year-round shopping, a couple of years I did most of my shopping during all the AFTER Christmas sales and clearances for the following Christmas, so I was a full year ahead. I highly recommend being a year ahead of the game. Not only will you enjoy the Advent season far more if you don’t have to battle those crazed people in the malls, but you’ll save money twice (once because everything is on sale and another time because you’ll have beat inflation since by the next year, all the prices will have gone up. I wouldn’t recommend buying technology-related items like computers or iPods of course.) I prefer making my own gifts for those I love. I just pour all of my love into it. It’s usually projects which require many hours, but the people I love are well worth it, and I think it is much better than a store-bought gift. I also love to create memories more than buying something for under the tree. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I find myself buying fewer and fewer gifts as a reaction to the world getting more and more commercial. One huge pet peeve is that the store clerks are no longer allowed to wish us a Merry Christmas. What a bunch of double-standard, bah humbug Scrooges all these store owners and managers are!

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? If I am given a gift which I have no use for, I will give it to someone I know will be able to use it or enjoy it, otherwise I give it to charity. I see nothing wrong with making others happy.

14. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights. I think it looks much better. I still have some old strings of colored lights and they do get used around the house, but not on any of the trees.

Part 3 is here.

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Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 1

Posted by infinitygoods on December 6, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog.

 

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

 

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, depending on size and shape of present. I’ve also wrapped over-sized presents in large white garbage bags with huge bows and ribbons. By the time I was finished with the fancy presentation, no one had any idea it was a garbage bag. I like to reuse the bags we receive too. If the wrapping paper strikes my fancy, it will often get reused into a Christmas craft.

2. Real tree or artificial? Both. Most years, the main tree is real. I remember one year where all the trees were outrageous highway robberies so we skipped the real tree that year. We decorate trees in every room. We have a slim, white, wall tree we purchased when our son was born and it goes in his bedroom. The decorations are red, old-fashioned toys and garlands of tiny hearts. We have two, 3 foot, green tabletop trees. One is pre-lit. The other is not, but one year I took the time to wrap the lights just so around every branch and we put it back in it’s box with the lights still attached and it’s just ready to go for the next year. I have a tiny one about 10″ tall with burgundy roses, ribbon garlands and a gold stand which my best friend made for me one year. It looks very Victorian and is a treasured memory. I have another tree about 12-14 inches tall with tiny old-fashioned glass ornaments which I used to decorate my cubicle back in the days before I worked for our church. We have a ceramic tree with one colored light at each tip. Our trees range from a few inches to floor to ceiling height. Some years not all have gone up. All of our trees and most of our ornaments have very special memories attached to them. Each year we all decorate together and as we pull out the ornaments we tell our son about each memory. Last year he started telling us the stories and had quite a bit of joy recalling all the ones he remembered.

3. When do you put up the tree? Most of the time we decorate the Friday of Thanksgiving week-end. I know some people are very much against it because it is before the start of Advent, but it is very convenient for a busy family. We decorate together and it is an enjoyable family activity with lots of music, singing, story telling, egg nog, cookies and general merriment rather than the chore some people unfortunately experience.

4. When do you take down the tree? The real tree is checked daily for any signs of dryness and it’s branches go into our fireplace as soon as it is deemed too much of a hazard. The trunk is chopped and left to dry for later fireplace use. We keep our real tree watered and add plant food or sugar, sometimes even Seven-Up to keep it from drying out too quickly. It usually lasts past Christmas day. At least one artificial tree is kept for the full 12 days of Christmas until Epiphany on January 6. All remnants of Christmas disappear by the week-end. Sometime between December 26 and January 1, the house has also undergone a slower transformation by decorating with a New Year theme.

5. Do you like egg nog? I love egg nog. I add milk to mine as I do not usually drink it with added alcohol and it is often too thick without the added liquid. It also makes it last longer. Sometimes when I don’t want something too heavy, but I still want the flavor of egg nog, I will mix mostly milk and only a little bit of egg nog since the flavor goes a really long way. I alway add freshly grated nutmeg. It makes quite a difference for my taste buds. Did you know egg nog was used as a restorative in the Victorian days when someone was ill or recuperating from an illness? All those eggs, cream, milk and alcohol are good for you!

6. What was your favorite gift received as a child? Books, books, and more books. And non-fiction, please. I loved to learn and still do.

You’ll find the rest of this Christmas questionnaire in a future post on a computer screen near you, so be sure to check back.  😉   Click here for Part 2

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