Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper, usually on the roll from the supermarket, but I've been known to re-gift those gift bags in an emergency, especially if I'm required to bring nibblies to a party.
Real tree or Artificial?
Artificial cypress pine, IIRC. It's about twelve years old and not too tall, but is a fairly good facsimile for its day, and withstands a good hosing in the yard to rid it of any dust. I saw some very impressive, ceiling-height, realistic artificials the other day in Myer. Sigh. I've also been known to inhale deeply if passing the real pine trees in the supermarket. I wish they could bottle that fragrance. Magnificent!
When do you put up the tree?
About now. Or Christmas Eve if the spring cleaning hasn't been done. School used to break up around the 14th (my birthday) when I was younger...
When do you take the tree down?
The 12th day of Christmas. Epiphany. January 6th. Especially if it falls on a weekend. (If Epiphany falls on a weekend, that is, not the tree.)
Do you like eggnog?
Favorite gift received as a child?
A hand-knitted red and yellow gonk - in 1965. My friend Jean had a sewn one, made of red, white and black satin fabric, and I pestered my Mum and paternal grandmother - for months! - for a gonk of my own. My brother received one in reverse colours to mine, and our younger brother received a similar hand-knitted Humpty Dumpty. I think it must have been in the same pattern book. My grandmother knitted my gonk in secret (and sent it to Santa to bring back on Christmas night).
Do you have a nativity scene?
A miniature plastic one from my childhood, and I inherited one of the two larger sets once owned and displayed by my grandmother. But I don't usually have room to display it. It looks bizarre next to a Muppet Show "Pigs in Space" playset of the starship Swinetrek.
Hardest person to buy for?
Me. I buy everything I collect (books, DVDs, action figures) the moment it gets released. Just give gift vouchers for Galaxy Bookshop, people!
Easiest person to buy for?
Probably my parents. Whatever I find has to be light enough to mail to Perth, but also throw in chocolate Clinkers or honeycomb for Mum and black jelly beans for Dad. It's a tradition.
Mail or email Christmas cards?
I used to be very good sending out gossipy news and personalised cards I'd made on the computer, usually me posed outside Number 96, or in some wacky Star Trek costume with a Christmassy theme. But the last five years or so it's tended to be a bulk cc-ed email to everyone on my guest book. Sigh. Guilty! This year it might end up being the mobile phone.
Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Mmmmmm. Dunno. Maybe an el cheapo tie with matching coffee mug? I have a huge neck and I can never find shirts that permit me to wear a tie comfortably. Biggest blown surprise: my grandmother was going to give me JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit" for my birthday one year, but ended up wrapping Book 1 of "The Lord of the Rings" instead, meaning I correctly assumed that Books 2 and 3 (and "The Hobbit") were in the Santa sack waiting for Christmas Day.
Favorite Christmas Movie?
Mmmmm. "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York"? I watched it being filmed on the streets of New York, January 1992, over several night shoots, and it was then released for Christmas the next year. It was fun looking for "my" scenes.
When do you start shopping for Christmas?
About now. The last two years, I've been on the fundraising shopping bus trip (organised through the school) to the factory outlet stores, so: late November. Any food bought then is already eaten, though. Guaranteed.
Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Our school Kris Kringle is traditionally both good taste & bad taste - and it's traditional to recycle the worst of the really bad ones!
Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Mmmmm. Glace fruit. Dark fruit cake. Roast pork crackling.
Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Coloured, but no flasher bulb because I have a Star Trek shuttlecraft that has a Spock audio message, and the flasher would wreck it. However, the shuttlecraft's memory chip stopped talking three years ago and then the light string blew last year! (I just found a working string in the tossed-out ragged old Christmas tree, across the road, when the neighbours moved out on a moonlight flit.)
Favorite Christmas song?
Definitely The Chimney Song, as sung by Lorna List. Track #2 of "Twisted Christmas" (1987) by the Bob Rivers Comedy Corp. Took me many years to track it down. The old 2UW radio station used to say it was by little Personality Plus, the fictitious sister of the breakfast announcers' resident mascot, Peter Plus.
Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Every second year it's Christmas at my Aunty Pat's in Malabar Heights, Sydney. Every other year I either entertain at home or go away on a break somewhere.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yep. And his seven dwarfs, too.
Angel on the tree top or a star?
Well, don't say you didn't ask for it:
Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Morning. Unless I'm not seeing certain people on "the day".
Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The school year goes right up to Christmas Week most years now. I used to have a whole week up my sleeve for spring cleaning.
Favorite ornament theme or color?
I buy two rather eclectic ornaments for the tree per year: one quite expensive and one el cheapo but very cute. Been doing so since 1983, so have over 50 ornaments now. Makes the tree look tinier every year.
Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Traditional English roast dinner, even on the scorcher days!
What do you want for Christmas this year?
Dunno. Already bought Star Trek Season One boxed set on combo DVD/HD, Season Three of "Lost", and all the Star Trek novels and action figures for the year. Typical.
Please feel free to chime in with your comments, or let me know if you do your own. Thanks for the tip, Andrew!