Monday, 5 December 2016

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls Christmas Blogging Tag

This blogging tag is actually from 2012, and originated over on the Family History Across the Seas blog. Still, it looked like good fun so I'm reviving it for the 2016 festive season. :)

1. Do you have any special Christmas traditions in your family?

Not yet, we've only been a family for a relatively short time. We did start with Elf on the Shelf this year though. I know he divides opinion, but I think it's just the cutest idea!

2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?

No, we're atheists.

3. Did/do you or your children believe in Santa?

I totally did as a little kid. I used to listen out for the jingle of Father Christmas' reindeer, and was completely convinced by the fact his mince pie and glass of milk were gone in the morning. I don't really know what Marianna makes of it all so far, she just seems kind of terrified at the sight of him.

4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood?

Nope. I went once or twice as a kid, but that was just with a couple of friends in the hope of getting some pocket money.

5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?

Merry Xmas Everybody. Gotta love a bit of Slade.

6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. For more of my taste in Christmas music, check out my Top 12 Christmas Songs.

7. Do you have a special Christmas movie/book you like to watch/read?

I love Christmas movies - the cheesier the better! I did the 25 Day Christmas Movie Challenge which covers all my favourites.

8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littles only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?

Individual gifts for the most part. I do have present pacts with some people - my brother, for instance - where we decided not to buy for each other.

9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?

Indoors, at home. Anthony's cooked the last few years. If it was left to me we'd have a sandwich buffet. I love sandwiches.

10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?

Turkey, usually. It's the done thing at Christmas, isn't it?

11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?


12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?

It does - and it comes ready made from the supermarket. ;)

13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?

We always get some Stollen and Lebkuchen at Christmas, they're so good.

14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?

Yes. Not every gift or anything - I don't have the time - but I love to give and receive home-made items. They always feel extra special.

15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?

My family all live locally, but they come to us on Christmas Day. Anthony's parents tend to visit on Christmas Eve.

16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?

Not particularly. It will probably change as Marianna gets older though and we start making our own family traditions.

Christmas, c 2003
Me opening presents on Christmas morning, I think I'm about 12 or 13 here.

17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?

We used to all go out, but now we have good intentions that don't generally translate into action. Maybe when Marianna is older.

18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?

Nope. I'd like to, but I'm a huge cheapskate and don't like the thought of all that electricity consumption.

19. Is your neighbourhood a "Xmas lights" tour venue?

No. There are a few households which really go to town, but it's not exactly a big thing locally.

20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?

I don't know what those are... We go to a bunch of community stuff like carol singing, Christmas light switch-ons, etc. Although if it wasn't part of my job I don't know if I'd go to as many. I'd do crafty stuff at home and avoid the cold, probably.

21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?

Absolutely not!

22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?

At home with family.

23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?

Sometimes. The odds here are 8/1 this year, apparently.

snow scene
Snow scene from my old bedroom window at my parents' house a few years back.

24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?


25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?

It's a tinsel tree. I think they're so beautiful. I'd love to get a huge 1950s style one, but they're really expensive so for now we have a little tabletop silver tree. Anthony still hates it though, he says tinsel trees are tacky.

26. Do you have special Christmas tree decorations?

I have some retro star baubles I nicked from my mum. She might have missed them, but she bought a new fully decorated tree a couple of years ago so they wouldn't go with the new look anyway...

27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?

I'm in the UK so obviously Christmas. Although, my mum said to me just last year that she had only just found out that Thanksgiving was a separate holiday, and not what Americans called Christmas. They do seem pretty similar, I suppose, with the turkey dinners and the decorations.

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