1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Both. I love a fancy gift with big, elaborate bows. But gift bags are just too darn easy when you're in a hurry.
2. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial. It's cheaper and easier, especially with those blessed pre-strung lights. While I love the pine scent of a real tree, I hate all the needles afterward.
3. When do you put up your tree?
Usually right after Thanksgiving. If Giancarlo wants to. If not, I just wait until he mentions it. (I have past Christmas issues that I'm working to resolve!)
4. When do you take it down?
ASAP! But if the rest of the family doesn't agree, then we wait until January 6th. And it drives me wild.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Actually, I don't mind the flavor. But it's the thought of those raw eggs sliming their way down my esophagus that creeps me out. When I was a boy I made home-made eggnog all the time: Milk, raw eggs, nutmeg, sugar, whip it all together with the hand-held hand-cranked mixer, and voila! A perfect recipe for salmonella poisoning.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
My STAR WARS book bag. That my mom made. That had little Luke and Lea dolls that stuck out of the front pocket. Talk about adding fuel to the "I think Jason might be gay" fire!
7. Worst Christmas gift ever received?
A gray ceramic hand with fake roses growing out of the palm. I'm not kidding.
8. Hardest person to buy for?
Giancarlo. But we've come to an agreement that we don't buy Christmas gifts for each other any more. And we're both okay with that.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
Kim. (Pumpkin Delight) Somehow I always know exactly what she wants or what she would like.
10. Do you have a nativity scene?
11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail....when I send cards out. I'm hit-and-miss with Christmas cards.
12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Bad Santa. Just kidding. I've never seen it, but it seems so wicked. I actually don't think I have---wait! Santa Claus is Coming to Town. With the Heat Miser and the Freeze Miser and Mother Nature. LOVE that movie.
13. When do you start Christmas shopping?
Usually soon after Thanksgiving. This year, thanks to online shopping, I got most of it done before Thanksgiving! The best part about online shopping is that I don't have to package stuff up and go wait in line at the post office.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Too many times to mention. Ooops, I guess I just mentioned. Does that make me a tacky person? It does, doesn't it? Don't worry, I haven't ever recycled gift that I've given to you.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Cheese balls! I love cheese balls!
16. Lights on the tree?
Oh. That's not what you meant. White. (That's kind of like the Little Old Lady From Pasadena who marks "yes" on health forms that ask her to indicate her gender.)
17. Favorite Christmas song?
That is way too hard. Deep down, in my heart of hearts, I LOVE Christmas music, except when I hear it in October and early November. The problem is that I live with a house-full of people that don't necessarily care about Christmas music. They don't get it. They want to turn it off after about 20 minutes. That discourages me. But I think my all time favorite is The Carol of the Bells.
18. Travel or stay home?
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Is the pope Catholic? Is sugar sweet? Is snow cold?
20. Angel or star?
In my perfect world where I exercise complete dictatorship-type control over all of the Christmas decorating:
Living in a world of compromise and Catholicism:
Vacant-eyed ones. With big gaudy wings. I have a real problem with angels with wings. Maybe it's my Mormon upbringing. Maybe it's my mother. But I was taught that angels DO NOT have wings. That's just silly. Next someone's going to tell me that babies should be baptized because they're born full of sin.
21. Open presents Christmas morning or eve?
In my perfect world where I exercise complete autocratic control over all of the Christmas gift opening: Christmas morning. Except one present on Christmas Eve, which is invariably new pajamas.
Living in a world of compromise and Mexican culture: Christmas Eve. All of the gifts.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Monochromatic. Soothing and classy.
23. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
My Christmas issues! (My mom died on Christmas day, there's a constant familial-cultural struggle going on inside my head about how Christmas should be, I don't really know if I believe in Santa, blah, blah, blah, blah.....)
But I'm getting better every year. A little bit at a time.
24. What do you want for Christmas this year?
New garage door springs. Oh, wait. I already got those. Yesterday. Merry Christmas to me!