I found this on the Yarn Hog's blog and I figured what the heck? You've already listened to me babble endlessly about art that I still haven't made, about an evil co-worker with bad intentions (who I have successfully gotten rid of, read all the way to the end of the post and you'll learn how) and 100 factoids about myself.
I'm sure you totally want to know what my Christmas rituals are. I know you do, its completely fascinating and thrilling. After reading this you'll be able to sleep easier and a weight will be lifted off your shoulders. All the stress from the holiday season will melt away and you'll simply smile all the way through the string of endless parties and insane domestic activities.
Even if you think its boring and dull, its all I've got for ya tonight so here it is...
1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags?
Definitely gift bags. Its fun to do the poofy obnoxious tissue paper so you have to watch the recipient dig through it. And if you're especially crafty, you can wrap the gift itself in tissue paper so it blends in and they have to work hard to locate it. Its the little things that make you smile....
2. Real tree or artificial?
Fake. Artificial. Lifeless. Completely lacking the ability to shed sharp little needles all over the house and risk getting them stuck in the dog's throat because he feels the need to eat anything that's on the floor is (in the words of Martha Stewart) a good thing. Somehow I'm doubting a hacking westie throwing himself about because he's impaling himself by trying to digest tree needles would not help to make the season cheerful. Fake trees rule.
3. When do you put up the tree?
In the living room, next to the television, always with one branch strategically jutting out into the edge of the screen so that whatever show is on always has at least one person getting impaled by our tree. (I thought this said "Where do you put up the tree?" I'm a brilliant one with apparently no ability to read simple questions. The answer to the real question is the last weekend in November. Because I have a holiday party at the house in early December and I like the dang thing. So even without the party, I'd still put it up that early.)
4. When do you take down the tree?
Anytime between January and June. Seriously. I like it, its relaxing. If I'm in the same room with it, I light it up. I'm a simple girl.
5. Do you like Egg Nog?
Not really. I think it looks like snot.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Fisher Price Castle. I was really into cranking the drawbrigde up and down and I liked the bizarre stubby people. My mom didn't buy me dolls, I didn't like them because I always thought they were looking at me. I may have issues...
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yep, but its a small one. Only the key players are present. We've got Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. We gave the rest of the crew the year off.
8. Hardest person to buy for?
My brother. He requires an extraordinary amount of nagging to find out what he wants. Why do you have to be so persistent? Because, my brother has (to put it nicely) specific tastes. If it is not something he has sent you a link for or pointed out in an ad, it is an "unauthorized" gift. Sometimes its fun to taunt him with unauthorized gifts. The temptation to buy him a copy of the Happy Feet DVD (the full screen version, not widescreen) and yoda slippers is overwhelming.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom. She likes ebay gift certificates. She enjoys the hunt, it makes her happy. She's easy.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Napkins. Not sure what that was about. I was in university, my roommate was strange and she was quite proud of them. I smiled and thanked her...and then got a lock for my door.
11. Mail or email Christmas Cards?
Neither. I suck.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
The Christmas Story. Its completely eerie but the kid that plays Ralphie looks exactly like my brother - who is also named Ralph. And I about pee myself laughing every time when little Randy whines in a high pitched squeal "I can't put my arms down!!" after being wrapped in about thirty layers of snow suits. He looks like a mini Michelin Man.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually in November. I try to get it over as quickly as possible, like tearing off a band-aid. I worked in a mall while I was in college and suffered through two holiday seasons behind a cash register. People are surly and cranky and unreasonable and I'd rather strap myself to the front of a train about to ram a brick wall then spend any time amongst them.
Not that I'm bitter or anything.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Nope. I keep 'em. They are mine! All mine! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!!!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Pretty much everything. People make all the really cool stuff for the holidays and I figure its once a year.
16. Clear lights or coloured?
I like them both. They are shiny and cheerful. The only thing I don't like are blinky lights. They make me all twitchy.
17. Favorite Christmas Song?
I don't think I have just one favorite. I have one LEAST favorite. (I was going to say "One that I hate" but that didn't sound very Christmas-spirit-like). That dumb little kid whining about wanting a hippopotamus for Chrismas. Would someone please give him one so he can shut the hell up already? (Oh wait, that didn't sound very Christmas-spirit-like either.)
18. Travel or stay home at Christmas?
Home. Its nice to just chill out and do nothing. I rather enjoy being a human slug for a couple days.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer?
Nope. Although I wouldn't mind playing with them. They look cute and like they would be fun to feed.
20. Angel or Star on the top of the tree?
We have an angel. But she is appropriately turned away from where I usually sit on the couch so she isn't looking at me. (Did I mention I have issues?)
21. Open Christmas Eve or Morning?
Depends. My family gets together on Christmas Eve for Vagilia but we usually do it on Christmas day. Doesn't matter much, presents are good.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
They hype on the news about shopping. I actually witnessed a "Holiday Shopping Survival" guide story on the news that included where to get foot massages as well as recommending how much you should drink/eat so that you didn't have to look for a bathroom often. This was on the world news. It was sad. I boycotted the news for a week after that.
23. What’s the corniest family tradition you do or miss doing?
We don't really have any corny ones. My family is pretty cool.
24. What’s the worst thing you’ve seen related to Christmas?
Oh gosh, probably the commercialism. Although some commercials are kind of cute. My favorite is the Big Lot commercial with the cartoon reindeers looking at the white wire framed reindeers you can put on your from lawn saying "I don't get it." I'm with you my furry brother, I don't either. I think the worst one is the lady who can't remember the name of anything from the Lowe's commercial. She's a twit.
25. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees?
Mom does a killer theme tree. But when I had a condo and was doing my own tree, it had all the old wood ornaments on it from when I was a kid. Grant it, several are now missing heads and limbs because glue back then just isn't what it is now but I kind of think it adds to their charm.
26. Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies?
I've never met a cookie I didn't like. Bring 'em on, baby, bring 'em on.
27. Do you like fruitcake?
Yeah, actually I do. And the bonus is that if you don't eat all of it before it goes stale, you can use it as a weapon.
Okay, so that's the Christmas quiz from me. Feel free to copy the questions and answer them according to your traditions.
So I promised to tell you about Ethel. I got rid of her, she is "concerned" about me and I have to say that how I did it will probably send me straight to hell. I searched all over the internet looking for mildly offensive material to print out and put in the magazine she left me. I found more then I bargained for. To be honest, I got a little worried about humanity because some people are, well....s t r a n g e.
And then I remembered something I came across during a perfectly innocent search on etsy. Sometimes when I just feel like zoning out and TV becomes the equivalent of a migraine, I'll poke around on etsy and see what the crafting community is up to. Believe me you, there is some entertaining stuff on there.
It was one such evening when I clicked on the 'knitting' category. I had done this a couple times before and decided that since there were 983 pages and the likelihood of me getting through all of that in one sitting was highly unlikely, I decided to start surfing on the last page and work my way backwards.
And there it was. On the first page. In all its glory. In all its slightly horrifying glory. Here I was planning on poking around looking at wonky spun yarn and lopsided scarves and I was accosted by these. I admit I giggled but I was/am shocked by them and I WAS NOT SEARCHING FOR SUCH ITEMS. I considered posting the link here but I'm hesitant to do so. Let's just say it involves a male body part that you wouldn't expect to see knitted (which had to be knitted on circular needles) and a pillow. (If you are so inclined, a simple search on etsy will produce the listing and don't go judging me on it. I didn't make it, I didn't intentionally search for it.)
I'll say no more. Except that it has proven to be effective because its been quite quiet in my area at work lately. I do admit to feeling a twinge of guilt about it because I can only imagine the torment it produced for dear Ethel. Although, in all fairness, the woman did torture the snot out of me. All's fair in love and war...