It seems that Rach from Our Rach Blogs loves a good question and answer session, and is determined to bring the rest of us down with her. Her weapon of choice last time was the Sunshine Bloggers tag, this time me and poor Martyn from Inside Martyn’s Thoughts have to take part in The Christmas Tag.
So without further ado, here are my answers:
Have you ever had a white Christmas? Yes. Oh you want more? Okay. Growing up in Germany we had the most wonderfully white Christmases. I remember visiting my Nan and at the back of her house she had the steepest of banks which we used to slide down in black bin bags. It was amazing. Then I grew up and snow became an inconvenience. It was cold and it was wet and I had no idea why people enjoyed throwing it at each other. Brrrr. Then I learned to drive, and ever since all I remember is being stuck in traffic jams because roads weren’t cleared and people had no idea how to drive up a hill in icy conditions. I’ve had white Christmases, yes, but apart from looking post card pretty, I really don’t like them.
Where do you usually spend your holiday? This is the most politically loaded hot potato of them all. “We’re visiting so and so this year.” “You always visit them, why don’t you visit me, you love them more than me!! wah wah wah” I get so fed up of the whinging and moaning just because we have chosen to go to one place over another, or have decided with our finite amount of time not to go and visit all 106 friends and family in equal measure so as not to upset one or another. If it were up to me, we’d go on holiday to somewhere sunny every Christmas. Alone. As it stands, we’re usually found on our own in the family home at Christmas, but we do try to see parents (and ageing grandparents) either before or afterwards.
What is your favourite Christmas Song? Oh God, do I? Really? Okay, okay. Let’s go with the Pogues because it sounds as equally miserable as i am.
Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve? This used to be a solid tradition for me growing up, and was one I tried to bring into my family life, but it never passed muster. Every now and again the kids will open new pyjamas on Christmas Eve to go to bed in and lounge around in all Christmas Day, but it doesn’t happen frequently enough to be called a tradition or even the norm.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Santa (or Satan if you believe this rubbish) doesn’t exist so can’t own reindeer. So let’s go with yes, yes I can name all none of them. What? Stop being miserable? Me? Okay. Yes, I actually can name all of them, including Steve, John, Harry, and Teresa who didn’t quite make the grade and got voted off in the Reindeer Got Talent semis.
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year? Extra time off work, definitely. It also seems to be a tradition that one or all of us are sick on Christmas Day, so definitely one I’m not looking forward to.
Is your Christmas tree real or fake? I have a cleaning obsessed (borderline compulsive) wife. A real pine tree would kill her I think, and our poor vacuum Hetty. So it’s definitely fake – and lasted us for years!
What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet? Taste wise, it’s got to be pfeffernüße, but texture it’s a little too crunchy with its outer shell. Lebküchen Herzen on the other hand are simply divine, not as tasty, but the soft spongy texture and chocolate outer are perfect. Those and German spiced biscuits are my favourite in house treats. Outside, I can’t go through a Christmas market without having a wurst or schnitzel of some kind.
Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better? Receiving of course. Anyone who says otherwise is a flipping liar – that means you Rach! Unless, of course, you’ve been buying yourself everything you’ve always wanted all year then it might be different. Quite frankly I could give my son a paperclip and he’d be happy, so yes, I’m much more selfish and definitely prefer receiving than giving. If ever I end up in jail, I hope the other inmates don’t read that in a very different way!
What is the best Christmas present you have ever received? It was an all inclusive ticket for one to Lanzarote over Christmas. I loved every minute of it.
Crikey these questions go on and on.
What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season? Cambodia. I’ve never been there and it looks amazing!
Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably? Wow, this is really subjective. I think I do an amazing job of wrapping the presents in the plastic bags the shop gives me – and it only costs me 5 pence! But apparently that’s not good enough. Sorry your highnesses. No, apparently my standard of wrapping doesn’t quite meet society’s norm of excellence.
Most memorable Christmas moment? Watching Olivia, who was very very sick, open a present from her grandmother. She started crying soon afterwards and we asked her why she was crying, and she said that she was so lucky to get such nice things and was really happy. I was also pretty chuffed when I smashed the Fatty Arbuckles eating challenge in the run up to Christmas in circa 2002.
What made you realise the truth about Santa? Catching my mum putting a stocking on the end of my bed.
What makes the holidays special for you? I hate to say it, but it doesn’t. There’s not much about this holiday that I enjoy. The commercialism, the politics, the shit TV and X-Factor, all equal a pretty crappy time of year. I’m inundated with stories of how parents are apologising to their kids for not getting the must have presents; I hear of the stress people are under to host and cater huge lavish meals for the sake of one day; watching people go into huge amounts of debt because of the pressure they are under to spoil their children and families; and then hearing about the fallings out because someone has upset someone else because they didn’t make the effort to see them, all kind of takes the magic away from it. That said, I am inspired by Pauline Cox who every year runs a JustGiving page to buy underprivileged kids and families a selection box at Christmas. It may not sound like much, but to them it means the world.
Picture credit must go to Brian Moylan at Gawker.com who describes the things he hates about Christmas too.