1. Gingerbread: For or against? Discuss.
Definitely for, if we're talking baking/decorating. Eating? That's a bit iffy. Go light on the nutmeg, and I'm OK.
2. Is it important to you to always stay (live) close to family?
It is more important now than ever. My parents (thanks for helping me celebrate yesterday, by the way) are elderly, and my kids go to a nearby university. I love my girlfriends and my job ... why would I want to move? (Ask me again in slushy March when I'm longing to live on Anna Maria Island, FL).
3. Which holiday pretend character do you wish really existed?
Prancer, from the movie. And then Frosty.
4. Which holiday movie best represents how you feel about Christmas or life?
"It's a Wonderful Life." Every clinically depressed, suicidal person should have to watch this as part of therapy.
5. Is there a particular Christmas song that you're enjoying now? Any that you're tired of?
Here's the thing. I love Christmas music. I'm the one who wants to listen in October but waits until Thanksgiving, only to be chastised by Thanksgiving purists. However, this year, it is not working for me. I get so frustrated at all the radio stations playing all Christmas, all the time 3 weeks early. I'm feeling a little bit like "Groundhog Day" every time I hear the opening chords in some. There are some new ones I've found on AOL Christmas music, though, that I'm enjoying. And for some reason, this year I like Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You." I'm REALLY tired of "Grown Up Christmas List."
6. What is your favorite way to remember those less fortunate at Christmastime?
I like the organizations that allow you to purchase livestock for families in developing countries that will help sustain those families. I like to give chickens. Anyone who knows me knows that secretly I would like to receive chickens, as well.
7. Does it upset you to see "Xmas" instead of Christmas? How about "Happy Holidays" etc., instead of "Merry Christmas?"
If there were some law passed which prohibited my use of "Merry Christmas," I would be all upset. As it is, it just doesn't bother me like it does a lot of people. I feel like "Xmas" is just shorthand. People don't usually literally greet each other with "Xmas wishes!!!" anyway. And sometimes you just say "Merry Christmas" so much that you like an alternative just for variety's sake. I see nothing wrong with "Happy Holidays." "Winter Solstice" is so lame that it's funny.
8. How many Christmas programs are you attending this month?
It was going to be three, but it has been merely two. I'm keenly aware, as I have only one child left in school, that these Christmas programs are limited in number. When your kids are little, it seems as though they will never end. So I kid about how looooong each program is, but my girl knows I cherish every minute of it.
9. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Any chance of that dream becoming a reality?
In East Central Indiana, there is a good chance. I'm not dreaming of it this year, however, which is a sure sign of oldness.
10. Tell me about a Christmas present you received as a child. Pics are always nice.
Loved my Baby First Steps and Baby First Skate. Here is a pic of me with "Skate." Notice how clean the bottoms of my footie pajamas are: a testament to my mother's cleaning routine, a variation on the injunction to "Pray without ceasing" as in: "Clean without ceasing."
11. How many Christmas parties are you attending this month?
About four or five. Two pound weight gain for each party, I'm sure.
12. How do you keep yourself centered on the significance of Christmas?
I'm struggling a little bit, to be honest. But I am so looking forward to the Christmas Eve service, which I usually never get to attend. This year will probably be different, so I'm happy about that.
TOMORROW: Come back to read one of my favorite things I've written in a while: The Six Saddest Songs of Christmas.