My friend Bou tossed this Yuletide Turd into my punchbowl. I like her way too much to even consider refusing to play. So, in the off chance you are interested in reading my answers to these questions, here they are:
1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? For gifts I buy for immediate family, wrapping paper. They don’t mind that I lack the patience or skill to wrap things very well. Mrs. Parkway is, by contrast, a wrapping arteest.
2.Real tree or artificial? Years ago, real, but for the last several years a rather large (and very real looking) artificial tree. It is stored away in three sections in a large, zippered, opaque plastic bag. Each year dragging it up the cellar stairs reminds me of the scene in the Sopranos where the guys, after shooting Big Pussy Bompensiero in the cabin of a boat had to drag his dead ass in a body bag up the ladder to toss him over the side into the ocean. I’m getting too old for this shit.
3.When do you put up the tree? Usually Thanksgiving weekend, which sparks the annual “We should get a smaller tree” discussion.
4.When do you take the tree down? When it starts to get real dusty.
5.Do you like eggnog? Absolutely with a slug of rum, please.
6.Favorite gift you received as a child? It was a reel-to-reel tape recorder, back when such things were cutting edge. I recorded all sorts of goofy things. I still have some of those tapes in my basement (the tape recorder has long since been tossed). I keep promising myself to have them transferred to CDs, because, among the mindless things a pre-teen kid would put on tape, there are some tapes of my dad playing guitar and singing. The only thing is I fear that if I were to hear those portions of the tapes, I would turn into a pile of emotional jelly.
7.Do you have a nativity scene? I believe we still have the one that we had when I was a boy. I imagine it was bought piecemeal, because the big, plaster Wise Men don’t even fit in the manger, and the camel (also a bigass plaster thing) is as big as the manger itself. I suppose that’s why it remains in a box with other Christmas stuff that doesn’t get displayed.
8.Hardest person to buy for? Mrs. Parkway, but I’m pretty good at always coming up with something that works.
9.Easiest person to buy for? My friend and bodyguard, Ken. He likes all sorts of silly stuff, even things like that fish that flapped around and sang songs when you pushed a button. Problem is, we don’t exchange Christmas gifts. I do, however, like buying goofy things for his (and the Deckmistress’s) deck and I do, but not at Christmas time. (Memo to self: The pink rope light in the shape of a flamingo needs to be replaced.)
10.Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, although I think that Christmas cards should be reserved for people one doesn’t see regularly, but exceptions remain.
11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Really no such thing, in my mind. Someone wanting to give me a gift means more than the gift itself.
12.Favorite Christmas movie? Hard one. Probably, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but “A Christmas Story” is right up there.
13.When do you start shopping? For the gifts that I personally have to buy, about ten days before the big day. Of course, each year I tell myself that I won’t wait so long next year.
14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No way.
15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mrs. Parkway’s homemade cookies. The ham, kielbasa, sauerkraut and homemade potato salad are also faves.
16.Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear and there are something like 1,500 of them on the tree. Oy!
17.Favorite Christmas song? Silver Bells. (It was my mother’s favorite Christmas song.)
18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stayed at home for the past thirty years. I have lots of liquor.
19.Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeers? Sure. Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy … Only kidding. I know ‘em all, but I have to sing the verse of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in my head in order to recite the names.
20.Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel — the same one for as long as I can remember.
21.Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning — always.
22.Most annoying thing about this time of year? Television and radio commercials pitching gifts, truckloads of catalogs, too much traffic, crowded stores, long lines and the general hysteria that accompanies the holiday.
23.Do you have Jebus in your heart this Christmas? Each Christmas I am eternally grateful that my heart is still beating.
24.What would you like for Christmas? An oceanfront house. Know anyone who might want to give me one?
Now’s the part where I am to share the joy of the season by tagging five other people. If the following peeps come across this post, please consider yourselves invited to play. If you have better or more important things to do with your time (e.g. stringing paper clips together), taking a pass on this is quite all right.
I also invite anyone reading this to feel free to jump into the pool.