Ho Ho Ho! No, I’m not calling you names. It’s a Christmas Survey!

I snagged this Christmas survey from my friend Melissa at Baby Wanted.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? – Wrapping paper, though I am terrible at wrapping.
2. Real tree or artificial? – Though I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, I opt for the conveniently fake pre-lit ones.
3. When do you put up the tree? – When we have one (we didn’t last year because we weren’t going to be home for Christmas, and won’t this year because we’re broke and somehow managed to lose our Christmas tree from two years ago. I know, how the hell does one lose a Christmas tree? Beats the hell outta me, kids) we put it up the day after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? – Josh likes to take it down the day after Christmas. I prefer to leave it up until New Year’s Day.
5. Do you like eggnog? – Vomit. …So, that means no.
6. What about Fruitcake? – I have never in my life tried fruitcake. It honestly looks like something that someone cooked, ate, threw up, cooked again, threw up once more, molded into a cake shape and cooked again.
7. Favorite gift received as a child? – I loved Littlest Pet Shop toys, Barbies, and other dolls when I was young. When I got older, I liked board games and video games, creative stuff like “do it yourself pottery kits”, etc and once I got even older, money and giftcards.
8. Do you have a nativity scene? – Nope.
9. Hardest person to buy for? – My dad
10. Easiest person to buy for? – My hubby – he makes me a list. LOL.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? – I plead the fifth.
12. Mail or email Christmas cards? – Mail, when I find the time to actually do it.
13. Favorite Christmas movie? – Christmas Vacation. Hands down. I cannot get into the holiday spirit without watching this movie, which I usually do either on Thanksgiving or the day after.
14. When do you start shopping for Christmas? – If we have the money for Christmas gifts, we like to start sometime in November.
15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? – Not that I can remember.
16. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? – Everything in sight.
17. Clear lights or colored on the tree? – Colored
18. Favorite Christmas song? – It’s a tie between Happy XMas (War is Over) by John Lennon, and Star of Wonder by the Roches.
19. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? – We almost always go to Chicago to see my family for Christmas.
20. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? – DasherDancerPrancerVixenComitCupidDonnerBlitzenRudolph. So, essentially, yes.
21. Angel on the tree top or a star? – Star.
22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? – One gift on Christmas Eve, everything else on Christmas.
23. What is the one present you want most this year? – For Nellie to remain growing big, healthy, and strong.. If she wants to make her debut into this world early, she must wait until after December 27th (that’s when we reach 37 weeks).
24. Most annoying thing about this time of year? – People EVERYWHERE. Can’t go anywhere near a mall without going nuts.
25. What I love most about Christmas? – Everything. The lights, the music, the feeling of togetherness, family.


Note from Mama:
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Thankful Thursday – Thank You For the Music

Today, I am thankful for music. More specifically, the musical gifts I’ve been blessed with.
Now this is not meant to toot my own horn but I am a musical person. I am nowhere near as musical as some people I know, namely the other members of my family. Amongst my brother, parents, aunts and cousins we are all musical. I was raised very closely with my aunts and cousins and music has always been a part of my life. There is not a single person in that group of folks who cannot sing or play an instrument (most of them can do both). Our family gatherings always included singing around the piano while my aunt played, usually in three and four part harmony. When I was 9 years old and my grandma Nellie (yes, baby Nellie’s namesake) was still alive we put together a very special present for her. Grandma Nellie was blind – she had macular degeneration.
So one year for Christmas, my entire family recorded a Christmas tape for her. We sang songs in the church most of my family belonged to in a choral-type arrangement; and also sang individual songs. Every grandchild had a part in it. I sang a solo; a song called “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella”. My two youngest cousins – Bryan and Laurie, both sang a verse of “Away in a Manger” (Laurie was like, THREE at the time). My dad (this was a few years before my parents divorced) sang “O Holy Night” in his beautiful voice… I’ve had a few versions of this tape over the years and always seem to misplace it. One of these days I want to get it on a CD and keep a better hold of it.
Believe me when I tell you, this tape wasn’t just “oh, look at the cute kids singing”. Again, I don’t want to toot the family horn but my family members are all very, very talented. I’m pretty much the only one who does not read music and play an instrument. I played clarinet for about three years and decided that vocal performance was more my niche.
I still perform vocally today. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or know me in person you know I’m a Sweet Adeline. I belong to an international organization of women who sing 4 part a capella harmony in a barbershop style. I’ve been singing with my chorus for over a year now, and just recently formed a quartet with three other chorus mates. We’re calledRoute 41 and we had our first public performance this past Saturday. I love barbershop. Singing with my girls has filled a gap in my soul that I didn’t even know was there. I could have lived the rest of my life never finding a chorus that fit me and been perfectly, 100% happy in my life but since I’ve moved to Tennessee I’ve longed for an outlet for my love for singing and now I’ve found it. I love my chorus, and I’ve NEVER had as much fun singing as when I’m singing barbershop. Singing harmony lifts my spirit in a way that words can’t describe. When you find people that you can make music with.. Well, it’s pretty darn awesome.
So that is what I am thankful for today. I am thankful for music, and for having the gift of song inside me. I am very blessed to be able to express myself in such a creative way. I hope that my children inherit a little bit of my musicality because it would be really fun and wonderful to have that to share with them!

Note from Mama:
I made it to the finals at PregnancyCorner.com’s Mom2Be Blog Awards! PLEASE VOTE FOR ME! Click the blue VOTE 4 ME button in the top right hand corner of my blog!