Poor Heather is a sick person and posted this 20 Christmas Questions post and wanted others to do it so she could have a nosy at other people's Christmas traditions. Being the kindly soul that I am (and due to my all encompassing aversion to doing actual work in the run up to Christmas) I have decided to oblige her.
1. Wrapping paper and gift bags?
Wrapping paper for me usually. It’s all part of the Christmas traditions – I go to Manchester a couple of weeks before Christmas, go to Paperchase and buy all my Christmas paper, boxes, shredded paper, ribbons etc and then come home and wrap all the presents in one go. None of this, wrapping as you go malarkey. All in one massive binge. And some presents may be wrapped and then put in gift bags. I’m crazy like that.
2. Real tree or artificial?
I’m all about the real trees, you can’t beat the smell and I’m a clean freak so don’t mind hoovering up the needles. This year it’s artificial though because Dorothy is allergic to pine and much as I love a real tree it’s probably not worth killing my landlord. Also. They’re freaking expensive and I’m eating dust at the moment in an attempt to save money.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Any time after the 2nd week in December is good with me. Too early and you’ve blown your wad too soon and it doesn’t feel special by the time Christmas comes, too late and you don’t get giddy enough on Christmas cheer.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Probably the 2nd or 3rd of January, doesn’t matter as long as it’s down before 6th January. Them’s the rules.
5. Favourite gift received as a child
One year I got an Oh Penny! House AND a Treehouse.That was pretty much the best Christmas ever.
6. Hardest person to buy for
At the moment, my eldest nephew. What the hell do you buy for a 14 year old boy that doesn’t cost the earth? Having never been a 14 year old boy it’s an unknown quantity to me.
7. Easiest person to buy for
Mumsie. I always have a whole list of things I could get her.
8. Post or e-mail Christmas cards
Post, post, post. Always post. I’ve posted cards that I don’t really need to post because I’m seeing the people next week but it’s just fun to get things through the post isn’t it. Especially things that are not bills or takeaway menus.
9. Favourite Christmas film
Can I say Love Actually? I feel like that’s cheating because I watch that film all year round and love it, it’s obscene the number of times I’ve seen it. You can’t go wrong with It’s a Wonderful Life, as long as you don’t mind crying your eyes out of your head at Christmas, ditto The Snowman. Also let us save a special place in our hearts for Santa Claus The Movie. I had that sucker on VHS, taped from the TV one year and watched every single year without fail – hello?! It has Dudley Moore in it! All other Santa Claus films are poor imitations.
10. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I’m not a particular mega early bird, I’m not that organised. It’s usually in November so that it’s all finished by the first week in December.
11. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I don’t actually know that I have, I never have the foresight or space to store a present away to give to someone else. Also I don’t know that I’ve got stuff that I really don’t like, that’s the beauty of being the simpleton that gets over-excited by everything, I’m always easily pleased.
12. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas
Everything. Just. Everything.
13. Lights on the tree (Coloured or clear?)
Clear lights on the tree, coloured lights elsewhere in the room.
14. Favourite Christmas song
Got to be a bit of Mariah Carey and All I Want for Christmas is You. One day I will be famous and I will be asked to go on Strictly Come Dancing and I will jive to this song. You heard it here first.
15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
Most of my adult life I’ve travelled away actually. Since Mum and Dad split up Mum and I usually drive over to my sister’s for Christmas, mainly because Mum’s house is too small to have everyone over to hers. Last year was the first year I wasn’t living at home and the ex and I ended up having 2 Christmas dinners, going to Mum’s first (she had a friend staying with her for Christmas) and then the ex’s parents later on.
16. Angel, star or ribbon on top of the tree?
Star. I’ve never found an angel that didn’t look weird or sinister
17. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Mum and I allow ourselves to open one present on Christmas Eve, just a little small stocking filler. This is because we are both children who can’t wait until the morning. I nearly punched my brother in the face when we had Christmas at his in 2006 and he said we weren’t allowed to open anything on Christmas Eve when we were in his house. Mum and I will definitely be opening something on Christmas Eve this year because we won’t be opening anything until late morning on Christmas Day because we’ll be jumping in the car first thing to drive to Ashby to my sister’s. (We don’t travel Christmas Eve because the roads are a nightmare! Christmas Day there’s no-one about so you zip there quite quickly.)
18. Most annoying thing about this time of year
The stress of trying to fit everybody in. This is multiplied if your parents split up and your siblings all live away from you and in totally different places. It sometimes feels like an inordinate amount of time at Christmas is spent trying to make sure you see everyone and don’t offend somebody.
19. What do you want for Christmas this year?
THIS is where I rant. I made a Christmas list this year, money’s been crazy tight since I made the decision to not go out with someone stupidly well off and I haven’t bought an awful lot of stuff for myself, apart from some clothes because I’ve shrunk so much. So I made my list and waited for someone to ask for it...and waited....and waited. No fucker has asked me for it and now I’m already in pre-sulk mode because I know I’m unlikely to get anything I really really want because there’s no way anyone in my family is smart enough to figure out this stuff. Yes I know the spoilt brat is out full force but would it have hurt someone to ask? Then I’d know that I’d have Mad Men on DVD, because I really want to watch that, or maybe Grey’s Anatomy seasons 4 and 5. And what about books? I like books, it would be fun if I could have some of those. Or maybe some vouchers seeing as the clothes that I have bought for myself this year no longer bloody fit. See? My needs are not extravagant, is it too much to ask that I just get the little things that I do want? *woe is me*
20. Traditional colours (red and green) or other colours?
Not really one for colour themes. Most of my Christmas decorations from last year (my first Christmas in my own place) were fairly traditional, not necessarily in colour but in kind of classiness if you catch my drift. But thrown in there were some garish little numbers that I picked up from Paperchase and Past Times. This year Dorothy and I have a whole fairy grotto/OTT/crazy cool tacky wonderful theme going on, it’s immense.
Anyone else want to take up the Christmas Question mantle?!