Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tis the Season

A Christmas Meme from Vitamin Sea!

1. What is the worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Oh, this is ridiculously easy. Last year my husband the romantic gave me an exercise ball. Oh, I wish I were kidding, but sadly for his balls he really f'd up with that one. Granted, it wasn't the only gift he gave me, but that doesn't count nor did his lameass whiny excuse, "But you like to work out." Uh huh, and after that gift you can forget about any bedroom "workouts." In our first year of marriage I made it clear that anything that has a plug is not an appropriate Christmas or Birthday gift. I thought exercise equipment would be obvious, but apparently I underestimated him. His remedial training has begun.

2. Two weeks before Christmas you win $1 million. You have to spend it all by the end of this year and you cannot buy anything for yourself. How do you celebrate the holidays?

I'd split it between two college funds for my nephews.

3. Do you have any family traditions? What are they and do you continue the tradition in your own household?

My family would eat Christmas Eve dinner a la "The Feast of the Seven Fishes," (It's an Italian-Catholic thing) go to midnight mass and then come home and open presents. You'd think it would be hard to come up with 7 halfway yummy fishes, wouldn't you? My Grandma always snuck in the 7th by grinding up sardines in the tomato sauce for the pasta. Of course, I never knew that as a child...just thought the sauce tasted a little different due to all the chocolate I consumed before dinner. Oh, and the Baccala (salt cod) - ack, yack, blech.

Why seven you ask? It stands for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The seven days of creation. In Biblical numerology, seven is a number of perfection.

One of my favorite memories is frying shrimp in the downstairs kitchen (a staple in all good Italian homes) with my Grandpa. He'd give me shrimp hot out of the oil and sneak a couple for himself. That tradition died with him, but that's OK, because it was the time spent together that made it a tradition, not the shrimp.

4. What is your favorite smell from this season?

Fresh Christmas trees. We never had one growing up because we would always be gone during Christmas and my dad was afraid the house would burn down. When my husband and I lived in Upstate NY we started chopping down our own tree - pretty much a requirement there, in fact, I think they kick you out of the state if you have a fake tree.

Anyway, the real tree tradition stopped when one year my husband could not get the tree to stay upright in the stand - it kept falling over. He thought he had it at one point so I went ahead and decorated the whole tree and then, boom, an hour later over it went. Husband was so mad he chucked it out the front door where it stayed for a good 2 weeks. The neighbors really got a kick out of that one. Now we have a fake, pre-lit tree from Tarjay.

5. Do you regift? (That’s when you get something you hate and give it to someone else on another Christmas later)

OH, you betcha. Why would I keep that ridiculous picture frame of Santa kissing his reindeer? I can always find someone who would actually like something I don't. And, if I can't, my mother-in-law gets it. :)

6. If you have kids, how hard do you try to preserve the myth of Santa Claus? What do you do to keep the Fat Man "alive?"

What? Wait, there's really no Santa Claus? I still believe in the power of the "season." I think there are a lot of people who are more generous, kind, and loving during Christmas. It's a shame that seems to fade when Christmas is over, but I do believe it can be a very "magical" time.

7. What was your favorite gift you received when you were a child?

Hmm, the 'ol Easy Bake oven is coming to mind. It's interesting, though, that I don't really remember a lot of the gifts I got. What I remember most is the excitement of going to Pittsburgh to be with my grandparents, aunt, and eleventy five cousins. I'm sure my parents have fond memories of the 10-hour car ride from IL to PA with my brother, the family cat, and I in the back seat. Ah, good times. Good times. Also, a really good lesson - it's the company not the gifts, stupid.

8. Do you sing along with the Christmas muzak in the stores? What’s your favorite Christmas song and which is the one that you hate so badly that you go postal and run amok in the aisles of Walmart when you hear it?

I don't even notice the Christmas music in stores since they've been playing it since the day after Halloween - I'm now desensitized. My favorite song is Silver Bells. I also like Joy to the World, but I have to admit I probably like it because it always signals the end of a looooooong Christmas mass.

Play along in comments or on your own site!

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