Ten on Tuesday (vol. 7)

December 22, 2009 at 12:46 PM 13 comments

Wow! Chelsea picked my questions for her Ten on Tuesday post this week. I’m flattered! To see how Chelsea and everyone else answered my questions, head over to Chelsea’s blog, Roots and Rings!

 Before I get to the questions, though, I want to apologize for our absence from the blog. My parents and younger brother arrived in town early Thursday morning, and I took off work on Friday so we could take a mini vacation to the Alps (German side). I will post about those adventures (including lots of snow!) tomorrow. For now, please enjoy Ten on Tuesday:

1. When do you put up and take down your Christmas decorations?
This year we put up our decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving. That’s what we always did growing up, and I think we’ll continue that in our home. Last year, we didn’t put up much decoration because we spent the two weeks prior to Christmas visiting family in the States. I guess that’s our exception to the “new” tradition. We take our decorations down right around New Year’s.

2. What do you do to simplify the holiday season?
We try to get our Christmas shopping done early. I like to buy gifts throughout the year as I see them and tuck them away. That also helps cut down on large spending in November and December. Also, our families have a simplified gift exchange since they’re so big. We don’t do gifts for everyone – that would be really hard!

3. What do you do to remind yourself and your family what the Christmas season is all about?
We don’t do much with the whole “Santa” side of Christmas. We try to steer clear of those Christmas songs and to not get wrapped up in materialism. In years to come, I’d like to read through the “Christmas story” in each of the gospels during advent.

4. How do you spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
Unfortunately, I don’t get Christmas Eve off, but that evening we’ll have a big dinner and go to church. Christmas morning, we’ll wake up late (no kids yet = the big kids get to sleep late! Hurray!) and go through our stockings. Then we have a nice breakfast and everyone gets ready for the day. Once everyone is dressed, we open presents – one at a time. At my parents’ house, this can take 3+ hours. It’s nice, though, to go through each gift and see how happy people are to receive them. In the afternoon/evening, we snack and watch movies. It’s a good time!

5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
I really enjoy opening gifts one at a time and sharing that time with everyone. I also really like the buffet my mom puts out during the afternoon/evening of Christmas. It’s full of sandwiches, chips and dip and cookies. Yum!!

6. Did you do the whole Santa thing growing up?
What do you like/not like about continuing the tradition? Yes, we did “Santa” growing up. I like the concept of getting little gifts in your stocking, but I’m not really a fan of Santa. It detracts from the real meaning of Christmas – Jesus’ birth. I also think it’s kind of weird that there are all these Christmas songs about Santa and far less songs about Jesus. Did you know if you Google “Jesus,” you get 205 million results, which is a lot of hits. However, if you Google “Santa,” you get a whopping 1.98 trillion results? That’s almost 8 times more results than if you Google Jesus. That’s disturbing. What do you think?

7. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
It’s a tie between what I call Hi Hos, which are white chocolate coated peanut butter filled Ritz crackers (with sprinkles on top, of course) and Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies, which are powdered sugar-covered pecan cookies.

8. How do you take your egg nog?
This year I have started taking it with a splash of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and a dash of nutmeg. Delicious!

9. What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?
O Holy Night is my favorite. I love the lyrics and the music is beautiful.

10. When was the last time you had a white Christmas?
In 2007 we had a white Christmas (just a powdering of snow though). Last year we were in Texas, so we didn’t see snow for Christmas. This year, I think it’s going to be too warm. We had snow up until last night, but it warmed up and rained and ruined the snow. By the way, I think White Christmas must be Al Gore’s favorite Christmas carol. Think about it “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas/just like the ones I used to know.” It seems to be all about global warming/global climate change. Hehehe


Entry filed under: Our Goings On, Ten on Tuesday. Tags: , , , , , , .

Lessons from Béni Let It Snow! Let It Snow! STOP THE SNOW!

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RootsAndRings  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    Your’s is the first I’ve read. I wonder if everyone is going to say “Oh Holy Night.”

    I think it’s funny that you are (semi) anti-Santa for the same reason I am pro-Santa.

    • 2. osarah  |  December 23, 2009 at 11:32 AM

      Yeah, that is funny – regardless of our stance, I hope our future children understand the real reason why we have Christmas and don’t let Santa get in the way of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • 3. Clare  |  December 22, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Great questions!

    We always open gifts one at a time too (both when I would spend Christmas at my moms and at my Salt Lake family’s place). I love it because you get to see everyone elses gifts and appreciate the GIVING as well as the receiving.

    I wish I was as organized as you with my gift buying.

    • 4. osarah  |  December 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM


      And the organization thing…well, it can get a bit tedious, so it has its ups and downs. I’m a bit over organized at times.

  • 5. CN Heidelberg  |  December 22, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    Hopefully the reason for the Santa google results is that it’s the word for saint in Spanish (and maybe other Latin languages)!

    Merry Christmas! Have a great trip!

    • 6. osarah  |  December 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM

      True — good point!

      And thanks, Merry Christmas to y’all too!

  • 7. Joy  |  December 22, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    Great questions.
    I grew up with St Nicholas, meaning mysterious gifts came on December 6th and Christmas was Jesus’s birthday and exchanging gifts with family. Unfortunately here in the States Santa Claus is everywhere so I don’ t think I be able to avoid it with my daughter but if you are still in Europe maybe you can avoid or

    • 8. Joy  |  December 22, 2009 at 7:21 PM

      at least minimize

    • 9. osarah  |  December 23, 2009 at 11:59 AM

      Yeah, I like the Dec. 6th St. Nicholas thing as well.

      We will be back in the States in just under a year and a half, so we’ll be going against the mainstream when we have children. Oh well!

  • 10. thedailychelle  |  December 23, 2009 at 3:33 AM

    I think the opening gifts one at a time thing is really cool! We’ve always done each person gets one gift at a time, and then everyone simultaneously opens their first gift, then second, etc. I like the way you do it a lot better! I think I will institute that with my mom and bro this year when they get here 🙂

    • 11. osarah  |  December 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM

      Thanks – you’ll have to let me know how it goes!

  • 12. Damon  |  December 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    I have a friend who told me her parents told her that the baby Jesus brought presents on Christmas day (apparently this is common in some German-speaking regions). She says she can even remember waiting up and spying through the keyhole to see the baby Jesus in the act of gift distribution. Perhaps another alternative to Santa?

    • 13. osarah  |  December 29, 2009 at 9:21 AM

      Yeah, John says he’s heard that before as well. It’s new to me though!


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