Christmas Meme

9 Dec 2007

A Christmas Meme:

Wrapping paper or gift bags?

We use gift paper or baskets which are usually returned after Christmas. We have heaps of gift bags though that other people have given us . I love unwrapping a gift rather than just taking it out of a bag so even if I used our stash of gift bags I would wrap as well.

Real tree or artificial?

Our tree is artificial. We used to buy a living tree each year and plant it in the garden but I don't want to live in a pine plantation. I don't like using a cut tree because they are usually just a branch of a big pine and they don't stand right.
I'm not sure if anyone in Tassie grows trees just for Christmas, we seem to like to cut them down and make them into wood chips.

When Andrew was a baby we bought our artificial tree and it has been a delight. It truly means Christmas to our children. Once it goes up and is dressed in all the decorations and lights they know Christmas is very close. It changes the whole atmosphere in our house.
We couldn't have Christmas without our tree.

When do you put up the tree?

Our tree goes up the first weekend after school finishes, usually around the 15th of December.

When do you take the tree down?.

We take our tree down on the twelfth night but I'm never sure if that is the 5th or 6th of January. I'm always really ready for it to go though. Our house is small and a tree takes up a lot of room. It is usually near a window so it also cuts down on the light that comes in.
It is also a little sad when the tree goes back in its box.

Favorite holiday theme?

I'm not really into themes. Surely Christmas is the theme for Christmas. It is a mixture of the birth of Jesus, Santa Claus, family and also a celebration of another year lived. It's also a celebration of summer and a long, long holiday, the end of the school year and a new year to come. The time between Christmas and New Year tends to be a time of reflection for me, a time to take stock and then think about the year ahead.

Favorite gift received as a child?

I can't remember much that I received as a child. I think I was pretty happy each year. That doesn't mean children don't care what they get. If I had received something I really didn't like I think I would remember that more.

Do you have a nativity scene?

We have a hand made Steiner style nativity that probably needs a bit of revamping. For some reason Mary is taller than Joseph and the three wise men are made to a totally different scale.

Hardest person to buy for?

My father in law

Easiest person to buy for?


Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

An oven mit that wasn't properly insulated and so you burnt your hand when you used it, it went into the dress up basket.

Mail or email cards?

Well, I actually don't send many Christmas cards. I try to only send to those I really want to rather than send off hundreds so that I get lots in return. I did send one email card last year but then had to contact them to make sure they received it. Somehow I trust Australia Post more than the internet.

Favorite Christmas movie?

I've never really been into Christmas movies but we do have a few. I like to watch Little Women, the most recent one.
I like to watch the Tailor of Gloucester from our Beatrix Potter videos because the opening scenes with
Niamh Cusack show a lovely turn of the last century Christmas.
I also really love the
video of A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. The language is so lyrical and makes me feel truly happy. We don't have the video but used to borrow it from a local library that no longer exists. We have the book now as I found it at the op shop a couple of years ago.
I also like reading
Michael Foreman's Christmas Treasury as it has excerpt's from various novels about Christmas.
I like to read over the Bible story as well and all the little Christmas books the children have collected over the years.

When do you start shopping for Christmas?

I usually do my Christmas shopping in November and December although I sometimes buy things earlier if I see something that really suits someone or is a great bargain.
I don't like to buy early for the children because if I buy clothes they might not fit or their colour preferences might change. We have moved out of toys now but when they were younger I liked to see what their interests were closer to Christmas rather than buy early in the year. All our birthdays are in six months earlier and a lot can change with children in six months.
My children and Stephen and myself get most of our new things at Christmas and our birthdays so I tend to buy rather than make our presents though I try to always include a homemade gift for everyone. Books, CDs, DVDs, jewelery, clothes, electronic equipment, sports gear and so on. Sometimes gifts are good second hand things I have found and we are never extravagant.
I think if your children don't get much through the year it makes Christmas and birthdays extra special if there is the hope of a long wished for present.

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

I have once, a small book that I really didn't find interesting I gave to someone I knew would love it.

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Freshly cut leg ham on toasted Beaconsfield bread with my delicious apricot chutney.

White lights or colored on the tree?

We have white lights.

Favorite Christmas song?

"Do they know it's Christmas"
My favourite Christmas carol is "Once in Royal David's City"

Travel for Christmas or stay at home?

Christmas is at our home this year

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?


Angel on the tree top or a star?

Our star died last year so I'll have to decide whether to make a star or an angel.

Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Only on Christmas day. We open our Christmas stockings and gifts from Santa first thing in the morning. Our gifts from family are given out after the main course of Christmas lunch.

Most annoying thing about this time of year?

The number of advertising catalogues that find their way into our letterbox .

What I love most about Christmas?

The utter joy on children's faces as they open their gifts.
Their sweet faces as they sing Christmas carols.
The quiet smiles on teenagers faces as they remember what it was like to be a small child and feel so excited about Santa Claus.
The choosing and wrapping of gifts, the presents under the tree, the sometimes surprising Christmas spirit you encounter when out shopping, the music, the books, the food, baking, treats, hugs and cuddles and kisses, decorating the house, the mystery, the delicious surreal relaxation of Boxing Day.

That the world of people who have heard of Jesus try to celebrate his birth and his life philosophies as best they can even though it gets drowned in all the hoo ha, it's still there and however you choose to celebrate Christmas the ideas of kindness, love, gentleness, giving and hope are there some where. They may be buried under a pile of materialistic crap but they are still there waiting to be discovered.

4 Responses to “Christmas Meme”

  1. I love all the Beatrix Potter stories put into animation. The live actions scenes are wonderful. My favorite one, of course, is The Tailor of Gloucester! The video, A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas is a delight. I would add one more to the list, The movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart. As always, your blog is a lovely treasure!

  2. Jenny, Very nice. I love how you describe the "utter joy" on the children's faces. I love that too!
    Blessings to you, Tami

  3. Oh we love the same Beatrix Potter movie. Clarice

  4. Jenny, this was lovely. Thanks so much for sharing!


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