Christmas Meme Tag... Stolen shamelessly from WhiteCoat at WhiteCoat Rants

I *heart* reading WhiteCoat's post at WhiteCoat Rants.

Like him, I wont tag anyone, but if you want to particpate, let me know you did in comments so i can see what your thoughts are.

1. Wrapping or gift bags?
Wrapping paper, ABSOLUTELY. Unless it's alcohol, in which case it's put in a nice gift bag. There's something about watching my kids tear through some Dora the Explorer or Spongebob wrapping paper. One of my favorite memories from childhood was how awestruck I was when I'd realize my gifts "From Santa" were wrapped in totally different paper than my gifts from my parents.

2. Real or artificial tree?
Unfortunately...Artificial. Had a real tree for years when I was younger. Once I married Mr Epi we did the real tree for two or three years. The last year 95% of the needles fell off in the first three days. I bagged those suckers up and dragged the remainder of the tree back to the nursery where I bought it and threatened to dump it in front of the store if they didn't give me my money back. (They did) I miss the smell of a real tree. Thank goodness Yankee makes a candle that smells just like a real tree.

3. When do you put up the tree?
First weekend in December. When we had a live tree we typically did it the second weekend in December.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Just before New Years

5. Do you like eggnog?
Ewww... I just threw up in my mouth a little.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Hard to pick.. I'd have to say that my absolute favorite gift was the Canon EOS 630 my father gave me. Even had a telephoto lens with it. I know he dropped more money on that than he had planned on. It catapulted my absolute OBSESSION with photography.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
I don't. I wish I did.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
(Okay, at the time I believed it was a "less than desirable gift", but that changed.)
Here's a story for you. My late Grandmother gave me a set of Christmas ornaments one year. I was taught to always be grateful for anything you receive (we had some financially *tight* Christmases when I was younger). Being a 15 year old girl interested in just about anything BUT Ornaments, I mentally rolled my eyes, but thanked my Grandma. She passed away a few years later. Since then, they've become one of my most treasured items.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Absolutely mail.

10. Favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Pretty much two weeks before Christmas. We've not been financially able to start much sooner than that. We're constantly wondering why we didn't set aside money during the year so we wouldn't be scrambling at the last minute to come up with Christmas money.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Mmmm... My mom makes a great cheeseball. And don't forget the Buckeyes. (If you don't know what a buckeye is, feel free to ask. I'm not referring to the actual nut off the tree.)

13. Clear lights or colored?
Colored. But NOT blinking. I can't STAND blinking lights.

14. Favorite Christmas song?
O Holy Night... Particularly the version done by Martina McBride

15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
We would rather stay at home, but we travel. To multiple stops. My parents are divorced and remarried and so are Mr Epi's. (Bonus: his Dad lives three hours away and his mom lives in Florida). Most years we do a few days at his Dad's before Christmas than drive back home Christmas Eve to my Mom's. Mom's again Christmas morning, followed by a trip to my Dad's. Makes for two exhausted parents.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.

17. Angel or star on the top of your tree?
My tree has an angel on top which leans to one side or the other without fail. My mother's tree has an angel that my brother made in kindergarten. 25 years ago :)

18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
The kids open one gift Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning. My family spoils them a little... It's usually a SEA of wrapping paper.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
RUDE people out shopping. I cannot STAND watching people on TV fight over whatever the "must have toy of the year" or the 300.00 laptop at Walmart.

20. What do you leave for Santa?
Carrots for the reindeer, and milk and cookies (with a bite removed from all, of course) for Santa.

21. Least favorite holiday song?
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree. Only because it's in the rotation at the Mall and I hear it five times a shift.

22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color?
No theme... Lots of Future Cardiologist's handmade ornaments, and a yearly ornament I purchase for each.

23. Favorite ornament?
The set my Grandma gave me so many years ago... Also the "New Home" ornament we bought the year we bought our first home. There's also a felt heart with a picture of my son when he was six months old. My Aunt gave me that during his first Christmas. I bawled like a baby.

24. Family tradition?
Christmas Eve party at my Mom's house. Alcohol and snacks consumed. Cursing while putting together some toy for one of the kids.

25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Eve services?
If I can't make the 4 o'clock mass on Christmas Eve, I usually go to the midnight mass.

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