Monday, December 25, 2006

21 Christmas Questions

I've stumbled over this little quiz-game in two interesting blogs and decided to play it myself ... as it's Christmas and I'm still trying to keep my promise about not bitching until January 2nd.

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Definitely hot chocolate ... I don't like eggnog and I simply loooooove hot chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree?

He just puts them under the tree, my parents and I came to an agreement about this years ago. Besides, it saves me from the trouble of learning how to wrap strangely shaped presents.

3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?

None actually, as I don't have a tree or a house (I live in a flat). But if I had a tree, they would be coloured (blue for preference).

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

No, because that's not a tradition in Germany - and I would a) not know where to get some anyway and b) not have somebody around to kiss underneath it (boohoo).

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Never, as I don't have any (see question 3). But when I still lived at home and we had a 'proper' Christmas, we would put up some stuff at the beginning of December (like the 'Adventskranz', a wreath made of spruce-branches with four candles on it, one for each weak before Christmas), some around the last week before Christmas and the tree on the morning or early afternoon of Christmas Eve.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

My mother's cooked rabbit, it's always delicious. Plus, I don't have to cook it, because it comes with spending most of Christmas with my parents.

7. Favourite holiday memory as a child?

The years before my grandmother died when I was ten. It was so great when we would go around the house (my parents and some of my mother's relatives live in one house) and visit all the others, finishing with my grandmother on the ground floor. After she died, the family started to break apart.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Well, first of all we don't have Santa Claus in Germany, we have either the 'Weihnachtsmann' (who's very much like Santa, anyway) or the 'Christkind' (in the area of southern Germany where I live). I guess I was about seven or eight when I realized my parents actually bought the presents and put them under the tree. I wasn't really told, but I think that year I stumbled over some presents when I was playing hide and seek with somebody.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

All of them actually, that's the way it's done in Germany. We do get our presents on Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

Not at all (see questions 3 and 5). When I was younger and we used to have a Christmas tree, we decorated it with a lot of old stuff handed down mostly since my early childhood or the first years my parents were married. We always had a green tree (duh!) with multi-coloured ball ornaments, silver lametta, two silvery stings of some fuzzy material, very pretty wooden ornaments (little toys, angels and suchlike) and white electric candles. I liked the way it looked and would decorate my tree the same way - maybe without the lametta, it's a bitch to get out of a carpet afterwards and I do have carpeted floor in my living room.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

I love it from Christmas Eve to New Year, but not before or afterwards when I do have to get to work and a lot of other people do as well (a lot of people in Germany do not work between Christmas Eve and New Year).

12. Can you ice skate?

No, but I can slitter across the ice with my normal boots ... does that count, too?

13. Do you remember your favourite gift?

Absolutely. It was a book my parents wrote and drew for me themselves. I still keep it and remember fondly how jealous my friends were...

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Spending time with all the people I love and trying to make their lives a bit more happy. But on the whole I try to do that during the whole year (at least while I'm not cynical).

15. What is your favourite holiday dessert?

My family's very special brand of Christmas cookies, you can't get them anywhere and nobody else does them like my mother.

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Spending the afternoon of Christmas Eve with my parents.

17. What tops your tree?

Again, nothing (see questions 3,5 and 10). But my parents had a very beautiful glass top that looked like a turned-over ice-cream cone with a hole cut in.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Giving, not because it makes me look like a nice person, but because I like the challenge of finding the right gift for everybody. It's not easy, as I've written before. But I would be the world's biggest hypocrite if I said I don't like receiving, wouldn't I?

19. What is your favourite Christmas song?

Everything but "Last Christmas" by WHAM! No, honestly I like "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" a lot.

20. Candy canes?

I like them, but I don't eat them very often. They're not part of traditional Christmas in Germany anyway.

21. Favourite Christmas movie?

First of all "The Nightmare before Christmas", I just love the story. In addition I enjoy watching two Austrian TV-movies every year: "Single Bells" and "Oh Palmenbaum".

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