1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I try to use wrapping paper whenever possible. I think it looks more festive, and I'm pretty sure it's more cost-effective too (especially when you buy your wrapping paper in January at Hobby Lobby for like 25 cents a roll). But sometimes there are gifts that just aren't the right shape for wrapping, and I settle for a bag.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. It's simple, it doesn't drop leaves, and it doesn't need water. At the end of the season, we just box it up for the next year. Plus, it comes with lights already on it. Real trees smell nice, but they're so much work!
3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as possible after Thanksgiving. NOT BEFORE! Haha.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the second week of January. We leave all of our Christmas decorations up through the Epiphany (January 6, the day that celebrates the Magi visiting Jesus and the revelation of God the Son as a human being).
5. Do you like eggnog? Honestly, I've never tried it. But I'm SO sure that I won't like it that I don't even have to try. I did try a sip of Jeff's eggnog latte at Starbucks once and I didn't like that AT ALL.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Oh my gosh. This one time, I had a toy stroller for my baby dolls, and the stroller had a picture of a doll on the side of it. The picture wasn't of a real doll, but I was convinced that it was, and I told my parents I wanted THAT doll for Christmas (so I could put her in her stroller with her matching picture). So my mom searched every toy store in town to find the doll that most resembled the one on my toy stroller, and on Christmas morning, I was convinced it was her and I was so excited!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep! It's one of my favorite Christmas decorations. I love setting it all up. We keep baby Jesus put away until Christmas Day when He's born, so right now Mary is just sitting with an empty manger!
8. Hardest person to buy for? My grandparents. Or Jeff's grandparents. I think maybe once you've lived for a certain number of years, you just kind of have everything you want. Really, I think they just like gift cards, but I would so much rather buy something real! We usually go with gift cards though. :(
9. Easiest person to buy for? My sisters. I always think of like ten things I could get them, and then I get sad that I have to narrow it down to one or two!
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail! I love getting mail so much, so I make sure to send ours out via snail mail so other people can get some Christmas mailbox joy too!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmm, I don't know. I always feel so blessed at Christmas! Sometimes I get two of the same thing from different people if I had a certain DVD or something on my list.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Love Actually. Does that count as a Christmas movie? It's set during Christmastime! We watch it once a year, in December. It's probably my favorite movie ever. Other than that, I love Elf!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Lately, early November. With law school finals taking up three weeks from the very end of November to mid-December, I have to get it done ahead of time. We start our Christmas celebrations on the 22nd (so many families to fit in!), so it doesn't leave me much time after finals. I try to have all the gifts purchased by Thanksgiving.
14. Ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so, other than once I threw in a little Bath & Body Works lotion that I had never opened with a gift that just needed a little something to add to it. But I think I might have bought that for myself originally, so I guess that's not really "recycling."
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My Gran makes "Martha Washington creams," which are a delicious little candy and I love them! Also, coffee with Bailey's in it. Yumm!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Ours has colored lights. I can't decide whether or not I'd rather have clear. I'm not in to making our tree a decorative statement every year (I like having a hodge podge of ornaments that have meaning and family memories tied to them), so I think the colored lights are okay.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Hark the Herald Angels Sing
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We travel. Sort of. We usually do Christmas with my immediate family a few days before Christmas in Houston, then drive to Dallas for Christmas with my extended families, then drive back to Houston on Christmas Day for Christmas with Jeff's family. So we travel, but we also come home. Haha!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have a star, but my parents have an angel that is just lovely! Our tree isn't hefty enough to support an angel on top!
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Umm, like I said... we open some presents on the 22nd (to/from my immediate family), some on the 24th (to/from some of my mom's side of the extended family), some in the morning on the 25th (to/from Santa and my mom's parents), some after lunch (to/from my dad's side of the extended family), and some after dinner when we get back to Houston (to/from Jeff's family). I have no idea when we'll open our presents to each other. We'll fit it in somewhere!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Oh gosh... all the hurrying around and hectic-ness! It's SO HARD to find a parking spot anywhere at this time of year. And the check-out lines at stores are SO LONG, and everyone's in a hurry, which makes people in a bad mood, which is sad for such a should-be-joyful time of year.
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? Ohh, I don't know! I love so many of them! I think my favorites are vintage ornaments from my grandparents. When we got engaged, they gave us a box of old ornaments from their first Christmas tree after they got married! They're so cute, and I love the sentimental meaning behind them.
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Mostly, quality time with the people I love. Being so busy with law school makes me really appreciate that sort of time. Other than that, new tablespoon/teaspoon measurers! I also want some wooden barstools for our kitchen counter.