So apparently I've been tagged. Man, I don't even remember the last time I did one of these internet surveys. Crazy. Anyway, several of my answers are going to be identical to Jenny's, 'cause, well, we live in the same house. I'll mark the ones that are the same.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Coffee. Maybe with a little dollop of Scotch.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Yes. When I was really young, and my parents were still married, about half (usually the smaller half) of Santa's presents were wrapped, and the other half were just sitting under the tree. The end result of which was that on Christmas morning, my brother and I would get up and go see what we'd gotten before getting our parents up. Anyway, after my parents divorced, Santa's presents at Dad's house were never wrapped, while at Mom's house they all were. In our house, we have dogs, cats, and a crawling baby, so if we put any presents under the tree before Christmas Eve/Morning, they wouldn't be intact when it came time to unwrap them. So for us, all the presents are wrapped, and none of them go out until sometime in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Jenny and I actually have gotten in the habit of racing to see who can get their presents for the other out first. I usually win. Twenty-five years old and I still have trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Again, my parents' differing styles came into play here. Dad always put colored lights on the outside of the house and on the tree, whereas Mom put white lights on the tree and no lights on the outside of the house, just some candles in the windows and a wreath on the door.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? [Same as Jenny] We have a fake cluster (real is poisonous to pets and babies) with a bell that we hang between our living room and kitchen.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving. When I was really young, we'd get a live tree, and so it'd usually be later, but when I was 9, Mom and Dad each got artificial trees, and so we started putting the decorations up earlier. Well, Mom did... nowadays Dad may decorate for Christmas or not. He usually manages to have his tree up by Christmas Eve. The last couple of years, Jenny and I have put it up for him a couple weeks before Christmas. In our house, we usually put them up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Except for any lights going on the roof. For those we jump on the opportunity to do it when it's fairly warm out and the roof is dry. Learned that lesson the hard way our first year in the first house - it's really hard to get from your roof to the ladder so you can get down and go inside and warm up when your butt is numb from sitting on a wet roof, hanging lights in 40-degree weather.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Hmmm.... yes.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Jeez. Lots. Christmas has always been great for me. I'm told that my reaction to seeing that I'd gotten a Nintendo - the original NES, so I was probably about 6 - was pretty funny from a parental perspective. Actually, and this is going to sound weird, later in high school, I enjoyed driving myself home from Midnight Mass. At 1 a.m. on Christmas morning, you can drive through a town like Leitchfield (which, though it isn't big, isn't that small, either) and see maybe one other car. It's very peaceful. But in general, Christmas has some of my best childhood memories, so it's hard to pick one.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Wha... What do you mean? What "truth" about Santa?
Okay, so in '91, the year my parents divorced, I spent Christmas Eve at my Dad's house. I woke up at about 4:00 Christmas morning and went to see what Santa had brought and... nothing. I ran into Dad's room, freaking out 'cause Santa hadn't come. Dad told me to get back in bed while he checked the situation out. A few minutes later he came back in and told me Santa had come while he was in the other room. A couple months later I went "Wait just a minute..."
So I was a gullible kid. Sue me.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We could usually manage to finagle an early Christmas present. Whether on Christmas Eve or the week before, or something like that. No real traditions like the pajamas in Jenny's family or anything like that, just some years we got to open a present early, some years we didn't.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? [Mostly the same as Jenny, except for the part about the cats... she's the cat lady here, not me] Pre-lit with colored lights, angel on top, gold bead garland, and all our family ornaments (lots of Hallmark stuff, etc.). No tinsel - animals spread it and eat it. We usually get a new ornament every year (mine are almost all cats - do you sense a theme with me?) and for special occasions (New Home, Parents-to-Be, etc.) but there's lots of room left for more. :-)
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it. It should start snowing on Thanksgiving, at the latest, and from that point on, snow enough and stay cold enough to maintain about a 4-inch layer until absolutely no earlier than New Year's Day. I'm in general a winter sort of guy.
12. Can you ice skate? When I was in 7th grade, my mom and brother and I went ice skating basically every weekend for most of the winter. I got pretty good by the end of that winter, but I haven't been since, so I'd probably fall and break my ass if I tried it now.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I've gotten a lot of great gifts. It's hard to pick out my favorite. My pajama set from Jenny the year before last was pretty nice. But no, I can't really pick a "favorite."
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? [Same as Jenny] I like spending time with family. I also enjoy giving gifts. The big thing, though, is comemorating Christ's birth (even though it was probably really in the spring).
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Yes.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Hmm... can't really pick one from among the others. There are lots of things I like to make sure I do at least once in a holiday season - watch It's a Wonderful Life and The Muppet Christmas Carol, for example. I also really enjoy putting up Christmas decorations. But it's hard to single out an individual holiday tradition and elevate it to the position of "favorite."
17. What tops your tree? [Same as Jenny - but did I really need to say that? It's the same tree.] An angel figurine.
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving, by a fair margin, actually. I'm not sure exactly when this happened, but at some point in the last few years I realized that I was looking forward to having people (especially Jenny) open the gifts I'd gotten them more than I was looking forward to opening my own gifts. Of course, I'm still a big fan of opening my own gifts. A really big fan.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "O Holy Night." Done properly that song can nearly move me to tears. In general my favorite Christmas songs are the more worshipful ones, the Christmas hymns - "O Come All Ye Faithful," "The First Noel," and the like. But "O Holy Night" is the best by far.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Candy canes are hard to eat. The peppermints that I can just unwrap and pop into my mouth are great - when they're around they're like cigarettes for me: I eat them all the time, especially after meals (and I don't have to worry about going outside to eat them, and it's okay if my clothes smell like peppermint - pretty sweet deal, really).
Oh, that's the end of the survey. I kept hitting the down arrow to get to the next question, and turns out there are no more questions. Just as well, I suppose. Gabe's awake now.
Oh, and I guess I should tag somebody... hmm... I'll tag Jon.