Here we go...
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, definitely. Egg nog is gross, nasty, ick, whatever term you prefer. And LOL, I wasn't trying to steal your answer, Darcy...or Janet's for that matter...but I guess your term stuck in my brain. And also, yeah, it is gross.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? If I had my way, neither. I am not a Santa fan...why give a fictional character glory when you should be celebrating the glory of the King of Kings? I will read Santa, Are You for Real? to Rachel...but I don't want to push the idea of Santa any further than society itself does. But I'm not the only one in the house, and hubby likes to do the Santa thing. So in our house, he brings one gift, and it gets stuck under the tree (and yes, it is wrapped). And whenever she asks me the big question about S.C., she will hear the truth.
3. Colored lights or white lights on the tree/house? Personally, I prefer little white lights on the tree and house, but hubby likes multi-colored lights, so that's what we went with. We've got big multi colored lights on the house (or we will this weekend LOL), and a big new tree (yay!) with a bunch of multi-colored lights...I love our tree!
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope, I let God do that. It grows here naturally (and used to be the state flower); in fact, we had some growing in tree right outside our front door, until hubby cut that branch down.
5. When do you put your decorations up? The week of Thanksgiving...usually Thanksgiving Day or the day after.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I LOVE smoked turkey. That and the traditional apricot balls that I grew up with...but I don't make them now because hubby's not a fan and I don't need them.
7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child? Probably waking up VERY early, piling all the gifts into the back of the station wagon, and heading to the country for the family Christmas get-together.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was 3, and the Santas in the stores scared me. So mom told me the truth...it was just a man wearing a costume...and I was fine after that. Dad's family got MAD at her, and wanted to know who I'd think gave me any gifts...she told them, "people who love her"...which sounds better to me than a fat guy sneaking into my house in the middle of the night.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve? Nope, never understood the point of opening gifts early. Didn't do it as a kid, don't do it now.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I put it up (pre-lit, thank goodness!), and then start hanging ornaments. I've collected Hallmark ornaments for years, so most of mine are Hallmark. Now we're starting to get a collection of things that Rachel has made as well.
11. Snow...love it or dread it? Love the snow, so long as it doesn't stay around too long. Last year's foot+ stayed around more than three weeks and we had to dig our way to the front door...not fun.
12. Can you ice skate? Don't know...never tried. Would like to, but expect to wind up on my butt more than once.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No. I'm sure I've had favorites over the years, but none really stand out...gifts that I get are a bonus, but not the main event for me.
14. What's the most important thing about Christmas for you? We celebrate Christmas for a reason. I want to stay focused on the birth of Christ...and I also want to remember that the tree was cut down to make a cross...and that baby came here to die and rise again. We'll be having a birthday party for Jesus next week, and the gifts will be groceries for the church food pantry and hats, scarfs, mittens, etc for needy children in our area.
15. What is your favorite Christmas dessert? Not sure that I have one. I have a fondness for baked apples...they feel Christmasy to me...but hubby isn't a huge fan. I usually make a cheesecake...it's gooooood...but not so Christmasy to me.
16. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? I love listening to holiday music on the radio, and sipping cocoa while we enjoy the holiday light displays around town.
17. What tops your tree? Right now, nothing. There will be a star up there as soon as I can figure out how to make it stay on top of the tree!
18. Which do you prefer---giving or receiving? Giving, definitely. I love watching Rachel's face as she opens her gifts, and I love giving somebody something that I think will be meaningful to them. My favorite ever...giving my mom oranges, apples, peppermint, and nuts...the same things she used to get in her stocking every year as a girl. She cried happy tears :)
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Goodness, can I make a list?
O Holy Night--Josh Groban or Martina McBride
Mary Did You Know?--Kathy Mattea
Do You Hear What I Hear?---Whitney Houston
Holly Jolly Christmas--Burl Ives
All I Want for Christmas is You--Vince Vance and the Valiants
20. Candy Canes---yuck or yum? Yuck. I don't like mint.
21. Favorite Christmas show? Now, probably A Charlie Brown Christmas. As a kid, Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. If we're talking full-length movies, then A Christmas Story.
22. Saddest Christmas song? Christmas Shoes by Alabama
23. What's your wish for Christmas? Safety and security for each and every innocent life on this planet. Children today are subjected to so many horrors, and I wish that I could protect each and every one of them. And because it is so fitting, I'll copy Darcy's answer as well: that the world will recognize the Savior in the tiny baby we celebrate at Christmas.
And with that, friends, I wish you a very merry and blessed holiday season!