Randy (to Catalina): ...At Christmas. You know, Felis Nobby Blah.

Catalina: That means nothing.
Randy: To you, maybe, but in American, that means "Christmas" in Mexican.

Stole today's post idea from Sexy. All I want for Christmas is some originality.

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Oh that totally reminds me about the time that we had eggnog at a Christmas party and one of our friends was musing about how he "hasn't had eggnog in years" and doesn't "even know why I haven't had it in years" for like 20 minutes. Then someone finally handed him a glass of eggnog and he took a big swig, paused and exclaimed, "Ooooooooh! Nooooooow I remember why I don't drink eggnog!"

We waited with baited breath, "OK... why?"

*emphatically* "I don't like it!"

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree?

He always wraps them - even when the presents are carpenters clamps and cowboys hats... but sometimes the wrapped package is exactly the shape of a carpenters clamp or a cowboys hat - just with brightly colored Santas all over it. (I shudder to think what will happen if Santa ever brings a dog.) Oh, and he gets all his wrapping paper on after-Christmas clearance sales and nearly always has some lying around from last year, but every once in awhile he runs out and then the next year he forgets to look until Christmas Eve and then realizes he's all out of paper, so he has to wrap presents in aluminum foil or the Sunday comics.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White, tiny ones... and if you do it right, you just outline all the lines in your house. No bushes or trees or anything. That's just the way it is.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

I used to go out in the desert to get mistletoe when I was younger. But I'd bring it back and no one would be able to appropriately recognize it because it wasn't covered with that fakey green spray paint and plastic white berries. Out here, I wouldn't even know where to find real mistletoe.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

I can't stand having the decorations up for too long... mostly because we're too lazy to put the boxes they were stored in back in the attic when we know we'll just have to get them down again in a couple of weeks to put them away. So the boxes are stacked in the hallway. Eventually I will get too claustrophobic, blow a gasket and it'll all have to go back up - my husband just prays that this does not happen before the actual Christmas holiday.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Oh, I really love... what's that stuff called?... Oh yeah... I remember now - I think I got the recipe from my mother... It's called: Something I Don't Have to Cook.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

When I was sixteen, I had mononucleosis and my tonsils swelled up to the size of really slimy bananas. I had to be admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve because they were starting to cut off my airway and make it difficult to breathe. On Christmas morning, this youngish (20s), grungy looking, skinny dude waddled into my room wearing a giant Christmas tree made from poster board which was draped over him like a sandwich board. It had lollipops taped all over it with Scotch tape. He instructed me to take one, and a la Stephen Wright, monotoned out "Christmas Cheer from the lab..." as he waddled away.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't remember what age or the circumstances around it... but I remember having a discussion with the ultimate result being my mom fessed up. I don't remember being all that devastated by it... because I'm pretty sure my mother included a "Yes, Virginia There Is a Santa Claus" speech along with the admission. Sorry, no huge crisis or sudden realization that "they lied to me, they all lied" and I then swore never to trust adults again. It just seemed like an "oh yeah, of course" moment. I think those are probably just part of growing up.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

No! Blasphemers!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

I really love choosing all one type of ornament and lights in only two colors. It appeals to the Crazy in my over-organized brain. But I grew up with a tradition where we each got a special, chu-chi ornament each year and I love those and am doing that for my daughter as well. So by the time those are all hung (I gotta lotta years of ornaments under my belt), there's not much point in trying to do any type of theme tree. In the version of my life that exists only in my head where I have a lot of money and half and again more space in my house, I would have a tree like this in the parlor, and a second tree for the family ornaments in a family room.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

Love it... and not just because this city comes to a standstill with less than an inch of snow and I don't have to go to work. Or maybe it is just because of that. You got some snow you don't want? Send it over here! I loves me some government shutdown.

12. Can you ice skate?

Yes. But I've never beaten any one's knee in with a lead pipe. (That reference reference is really too old to be funny, isn't it?)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
There really are a lot. The one I've probably gotten the most use out of is a Digital Audio Player from my husband (he bought it before iPod completely took over the market) which I use. Every. Single. Day. Favorite probably came a month or two early in the form of a small squirmy, screaming, but healthy infant girl back in 2003. Oh.. and a bag full of cheese.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Peace, love, goodwill toward men... and avoiding people as much as possible, so I can continue to feel those things.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Mmmmm.... sugar cookies with that really sugar-y sweet frosting... decorated with those sugar sprinkles and jimmies... With sugar on top. In fact, you could just leave out the cookie part.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Santa coming down the street on a fire engine. Oh and going out to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day.

17. What tops your tree?

I like a star - it's really the only way to go. But I have been looking for years, YEARS I tell you, to find an appropriate, non-tacky, non-Eat-at-Joe's-looking star that I like. The likelihood of that existing in the world is less believable than Santa Claus. So instead we have a spire. Definitely NOT an angel with a tree shoved up her ass.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

I'm not sure I can answer this either way and convince myself I'm being truthful.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Actually, it's an album. Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song. I want to pour his voice all over my pancakes. Am also partial to Johnny Mathis' It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

20. Candy canes?

Years ago, I would have said absolutely not. But now they have the non-peppermint flavored varieties.. mmmmmmm. Kids today have so many more benefits than when I was coming up.... sigh.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?

A Christmas Story. This is the movie Frank Capra would have made if he'd been alive in the 1980s. And I'm not just saying that because it started my tradition of #16 above and I don't cook on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas everyone!