Ok, I was tagged for the Christmas 'Hoopla' (love it!) by Shana over at My Three Wisemans. I also was tagged over e-mail for another Christmas meme by my sister-in-law, so I figured that I'd do that one here as well. :)
Here are the rules for the hoopla:
1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas.
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.
5. If you want to -- please give me, Andrea, some link-love as the 'Hoopla-Creator'. I love new blog-traffic.
Yikes - twelve things? I'll see what I can think of... Here goes:
- The first church service I ever attended (I was in college) was a Christmas Eve service. I loved the singing, the scripture and the candlelight.
- We always had real Christmas trees while I was growing up. My dad would take us to go pick out the tree, bring it inside, get it upright in the stand and then disappear downstairs to watch sports while my mom, my brother and I decorated it.
- My mom told my brother and I the Christmas story every year, otherwise we pretty much celebrated it as a secular holiday since my dad was very uncomfortable with the whole idea (he's Jewish).
- I have all of the ornaments that went on our tree when I was growing up but I didn't put any of them on the tree this year - between having a toddler and 2 cats, I didn't want anything to happen to them.
- I think that was a smart move - I don't know how many ornaments I've picked up off the floor and re-hung on the tree already... The tree's probably been re-decorated a couple of times over at least though if you added them all together. :)
- My mom and brother have come up to visit on Christmas Eve every year since Abby was a baby. They stay the night so they're here on Christmas morning to watch the girls open their presents. Then we all drive over to Detroit in the afternoon on Christmas day to spend the evening at my uncle's house with my mom's family.
- We've gotten together with my mom's family every year that I can remember. When I was a kid, my mom hosted it at our house every year. Helping her get everything ready (setting the table, making pies and cookies for dessert, etc.) was a big part of my Christmas every year. My aunt took over hosting it after my parents separated during my first year of college, and she's hosted it ever since.
- Other than assorted weddings and showers, Christmas Day is usually the only time during the year that we get together with my mom's family. My aunt and uncle who live in Chicago don't usually come but there are 4 'grown-ups' (my mom, my aunt, my uncle and his wife - is she an aunt-in-law then? LOL), then 7 of us 'kids' - my brother and I and five of our cousins (kids of the aunt and uncle mentioned above). And now our spouses, so that's 5 more people since my brother and one of my cousins have never married. Then two 'young adults' - my cousin Karen's kids who are in graduate school and college right now (her third son doesn't come). Hmm, we've got one teenager now (my cousin Leslie's daughter), and 5 little kids as well (my 3 girls, plus my cousin Gwen's 3-year-old daughter and my cousin J.R.'s little girl who's a few months younger than Becca). Hmm, if my math is correct, that's a grand total of 18 adults, 1 teenager and 5 kids.
- Every year for the past 10 years, I take Christmas ornaments for everyone at my uncle's house (well, the adults anyway). The first year I made them - crocheted snowflake ornaments (yes, I was still single and had loads of free time!), but I've bought them every year since.
- We're getting together with Ron's family this coming Sunday to celebrate Christmas together. We all used to get together every year but it's been several years now (Abby was a baby) since the last time we've managed to get everyone in one place. My in-laws have generally made the rounds on Christmas morning and I think they'll still do that as well this year too.
- Ron and I generally wrap all of the girls' presents on Christmas Eve. Not for any particular reason, except that we procrastinate and end up running out of time. I want to try to do it earlier this year since I lost track of what I had bought for which girl and I have no idea if everything will be anywhere close to 'even', so I want to sort through it all - soon. Just in case.
- We're still tweaking our ideas of which presents the girls get from Santa and which from us. Now that they're getting older and remembering things from previous years, we really need to stay consistent. I think last year we had a 'big' present and a few smaller ones be from Santa (all wrapped in a separate wrapping paper) and the rest be from us. Stocking stuff is from Santa too, of course. Not that the girls really care what comes from who though - if it's wrapped, they'll dig into it. We could wrap their presents in birthday paper or even newspaper for all they really care. They just want to see what's inside.
So I'm supposed to tag people specifically for this one, not just leave it open. I have no idea who's already done it or not, so if you have just consider this some extra link love coming your way! :) Um, how about Karen at Write From Karen, Jean at Working Momma 247, Carrie at Three-Girl Circus, and Jen at One Mom's World.
Ok, so I was sent this meme from my sister-in-law over e-mail and I've seen it on a few blogs as well, so I figured I'd answer it here and send her the link - nothing like extra incentive to get her to check out the blog, LOL. :) So this is for you, Terri!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? For the girls' presents, always wrapping paper. For teachers, daycare provider, and other people usually gift bags.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I hate to think of what the cats would do to a real one.
3. When do you put up the tree? We usually do it Thanksgiving weekend but for the past couple of years we've had Hannah's birthday party that weekend so have put the tree and decorations up the following weekend.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the weekend after New Year's.
5. Do you like eggnog? Nope.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Barbie townhouse, probably.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? We have the Little People one and a small porcelain one that the girls were given at church. I love my mom's too much to buy a different one - hers will always be what I think of as a nativity scene.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Abby. The child doesn't really play with toys, but she wants to get them as gifts, so it's hard finding stuff that I know she will both like and play with after the first 5 minutes.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Hannah. If it looks like, acts like or is in some way related to dogs, she'll love it.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A very furry, fuzzy, colorful hat, scarf and glove set that I got one year from my (former) stepmother. We had completely opposite taste in things and she tended to buy gifts me that she liked. This one was horrendous.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? 'Snail' mail!
12. Favorite Christmas movie? The original Miracle on 34th Street.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually on Black Friday.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep! But I'm not giving any details... :)
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas dinner at my uncle and aunt's house. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes - all the fixings. And fudge, cookies and pie afterward. My aunt is an awesome hostess!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored, always.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Anything off of Amy Grant's first Christmas CD. And my favorite carol is Oh Come All Ye Faithful.
18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? We're home in the morning and then drive 2 hours to Detroit that afternoon. And the 2 hours home afterward at night with the kids in their pajamas, sleeping in the van on the way.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yep! Let me just say that Abby and Hannah's favorite Christmas song right now is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, so I could name all of them backwards, forwards and in my sleep probably.
20. Angel on the tree top or star? An angel - it was a gift from my mother-in-law.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. Sometimes we've opened one on Christmas Eve, but I honestly can't remember if we let the girls do that last year or not.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Feeling obligated to buy for people. And how hectic and crazy everything is - it's hard to just stop and actually enjoy the season.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Seeing the girls' joy on Christmas morning when they realize that Santa did come. And watching them open their presents. Abby wants to open present after present and Hannah wants to actually open each package and play with the toy. It's hard to keep them opening at the same pace so Abby isn't done while Hannah still has a pile of presents left... I'm curious to see how Becca will do this year.
Ok, so I won't tag anyone specifically on this one - feel free to do it if you want to though! :)