Thank goodness for Christmas memes because my photo cards arrived in the mail yesterday.
All 125 of them. Bulk-buying is my friend.
Yes, we do send out a TON of cards, but I have a HUGE family, plus it's really one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I love to send them, I love to receive them, I love the pictures, I love the family letters, the whole nine yards.
How can you not love reading about how The Smiths vacationed for three weeks in Costa Rica, shortly after Jim got that promotion due to his Nobel Prize for Physics. Marcy successfully defended her thesis and earned her Ph.D., all while caring for the kids and the home and hand knitting a tiny hat each day for the local neonatal intensive care unit. And don't forget the kids! Their kids are the kids you wish you had.
Most of you know I usually have my tongue tucked firmly in my cheek, but I truly do love the letters. I know everyone tries to put a good spin on their year, myself included, and I am nosy enough to want to know the dish.
It is sleeting and nasty outside today, so it's the perfect day to curl up in front of our tree and indulge my pen fetish. I have to find the perfect one for all these envelopes.
These memes are open to all, so if you are busy with cards to address or cookies to bake (or cookies to eat), feel free to grab one.
Christmas Meme the First, courtesy of Red Cardigan:
1. Love 'em, hate 'em, tolerate 'em, or...? I love them, always have. In fact, I'm sure my father has fond memories of yelling up the stairs to my third floor bedroom, telling me to turn off my Bing Crosby White Christmas record in the middle of July. Nobody rocks "Merry Christmas" in Hawaiian like Bing Crosby did.
2. Policy: none before Christmas, none before Thanksgiving, or...? Definitely none before Thanksgiving. We put all of our Christmas CDs away with the decorations, but I can only last until the first week of Advent before I need to troll the ancient yuletide carols.
3. Favorite? Favorites, if you've got more than one? O Holy Night; Carol of the Bells; Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella; Go Tell it on the Mountain; Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming; Gesu Bambino; Resonet in Laudibus . . . . like I said, I like me some Christmas carols . . . .
4. Least favorite? Drives you batty/hate it/turn it off if it comes on the radio? Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer makes me want to puncture my own eardrums. I never thought it was funny.
5. Caroling door to door in neighborhood? Ever done it/would do it? Wouldn't even consider it? I have done it, and if you have an enthusiastic group it really is an infectious kind of fun. When the kids get older, maybe we'll try it in our neighborhood. Francie just went caroling for the first time with some friends, and she had a blast.
6. Funniest kids' rendition, if any? We've had different versions of Hark! Harold the Angel Sings over the years.
7. Most inappropriate carol ever heard in a church setting (Catholic or otherwise)? I can't think of one right now. Maybe I've just blocked it all out.
8. The one foreign language carol I know (or know best) is...? I guess I would have to say Feliz Navidad, but our choir did learn some Slovak carols last year since our parish was founded by Slovak immigrants. Of course, I don't remember them today so I can't say that I know them.
9. Carol that perplexes you the most? This doesn't perplex me as much as it depresses me. The Coventry Carol has such a beautiful melody, one that really sticks in my head, but the words break my heart every time. It is named after Coventry, England, where this song was part of a 16th century pageant depicting Herod's slaughter of the innocents.
10. Carol your whole family will sing? If they know the words, my kids will sing out. In fact, they will sing out even if they don't know the words. Francie loves O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and O Little Town of Bethlehem; Fiver loves Deck the Halls; Sally and Bun like whatever I put on the radio. For now.
Christmas Meme the Second, a la Cheryl from Twinfatuation:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? We use giant sized Santa Sacks for all the kids' gifts. It saves me from a late evening of wrapping, especially since I am not too keen on the actual work of wrapping. Although I do like for the kids to tear open a wrapped gift or two, so I like to keep a little bit of paper on hand.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real, always, and one that we cut down ourselves, to boot.
3. When do you put up the tree? It depends on Rob's call schedule since we go out into the wild for our tree. I don't like to put it up too early, but I also want the kids to have that family experience of finding the tree and putting it up together.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually by the end of the first week of January.
5. Do you like eggnog? No, despite repeated tastings. I really want to like it for some reason, but it's just not taking. Rob, on the other hand, requests a constant eggnog drip from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember being really jazzed over Western Barbie. My mom did not like Barbie, so getting one was like a Christmas miracle. Western Barbie looked like Dolly Parton and came with a tiny little "Barbie" stamper, with which I promptly stamped all manner of inappropriate (and unwashable) items.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My mother-in-law. She has everything!
8. Easiest person(s) to buy for? The kids. They like whatever they see.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? We have three. Two that can be handled by little hands and one "good one" for looking with our eyes and not with our hands.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, complete with the family letter that lots of people hate, but I secretly love to read.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can't think of a single one.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's A Wonderful Life, closely followed by A Christmas Carol (1951 version). I would include Meet Me in St. Louis, but I don't think of that as strictly a Christmas movie.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Tomorrow.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, and there is nothing wrong with that (as long as the item is in good condition). You want everyone to get something they will enjoy/use, right?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sugar cookies, chocolate peanut butter cookies, jam thumbprint cookies . . . I see a theme . . .
16. Lights on the tree? Used to always be white, but this year we are doing multi-colored. They remind me of my childhood Christmas tree.
17. Favorite Christmas song? See meme above
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We always stay home on Christmas Day, but the days and weeks around Christmas usually involve a bit of traveling.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? "More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name. Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On cupid! On Donder (yes, Cheryl, I learned Donder) and Blitzen!"
And how can I forget Rudolph, even though he doesn't make it to the poem.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A Moravian star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One small gift from Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas morning. We have to wait for Santa after all!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? I can find a million simple, cheap things that I want while I am shopping for everyone else, but when someone asks me for a recommendation for a simple, cheap gift that I would like I cannot remember a single item.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My favorite ornaments are any that I inherited from my grandmother or parents, and of course any that the children have made. Our tree is a very homespun creation, with most of it's ornaments being hand made. I love looking at them.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We usually alternate each year between turkey and roast beef. With all the trimmings.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Just to be with my family.
And now on to the cards! Where's my pen?
Have a great Gaudete weekend, my friends.