1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, though I like the act of wrapping presents. It makes it feel more like Christmas. Although my OCD tendencies shudder at the thought of wrapping oddly shaped presents.
2. Real or artificial tree? We always used to get real, but we have less and less room for them every year. So last year we bought a very narrow artificial one. It's tall enough to feel real, but without the mess, and gives us more options for placement. But I miss the smell of a real one.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually not until the first weekend in December. But this year we put it up Thanksgiving weekend since the in-laws were going to be in town. And hey, bonus of having a fake tree? It won't be dropping needles and dying on us come Christmas day.
4. When do you take the tree down? The day after Christmas, without fail. Once the presents are unwrapped, it doesn't feel like Christmas anymore.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but in moderation. This year we discovered the joys of eggnog ice cream. Yum!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? It's tough to remember. My mom wishes I'd say "the horse" I got in fourth grade. But I think I'll have to go with my beloved Speak & Spell.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Puhleeze. Have you met me? We're one step away from pagan equinox rituals.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Rob's dad. If he wanted it, he already bought it.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Myself. I have not just an Amazon wishlist, but a Kaboodle wishlist, for all the stuff that can't be found at Amazon. Oh, but also Cooper. He's only eight months-old, so he hasn't collected every toy known to man yet. And he's not very choosy, since it all just goes in his mouth anyway.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? There really aren't any bad presents.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Some years we manage mass produced cards with photos of us on them, and this year I had every intention of ordering them. But God, then they have to be addressed, and I have to buy more stamps, and there are never any photos of me without my double chin, so just, no.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Scrooged, Bad Santa, The Family Stone, and I will totally be watching any Lifetime network Christmas themed movie featuring Rob Lowe.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sometime in December, usually before I have to start paying for express shipping.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I doubt it, but if I have, like I'd admit it?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My chocolate chip cookies, red and green M&Ms, whatever my mom has baked up, and gingerbread with whipped cream (not gingerbread cookies).
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear only. And for God's sake, no freaking tinsel. And yes, I have a lot of rules.
17. Favorite Christmas song? "So This is Christmas", "Hard Candy Christmas" (which is not a Christmas song, but that's the only time it gets played on the radio), and I have this unexplainable love for Trisha Yearwood's Jesusy "It Wasn't His Child".
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Usually only travel as far as my mom's in Bastrop. Some years we've gone as far as Dallas. Some year we're going to make it up to Rob's family in New York. But damn it's expensive to fly at the holidays.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Prancer, Vixen, and Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A lighted rattan star. It's rustic without being redneck.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? One present on Christmas Eve, the rest on Christmas morning. Unless we have to leave early the next morning, then we open them all at night. But don't tell.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crowds, crowds, and more crowds. And people who think they need to spend a lot of money to make Christmas nice.
23. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? All kinds of individually selected ornaments (lots of snowmen and Barbies), with some matching ones and candy canes interspersed. And white lights of course.
24. What do/did you leave for Santa? Cookies and milk. I never understood why Santa didn't finish all the cookies. I could never let good cookies go to waste like that.