Every week, Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee dreams up a random dozen questions for folks to answer. This week's:
1. Gingerbread: For or against? Discuss. Served warm with a good sauce and a lot of real whipped cream, gingerbread is a very nice winter-weather treat. But absent the appropriate accoutrements, I can live without it.
2. Is it important to you to always stay (live) close to family? I do not live near my own family, nor have I for many years. It’s not that it isn’t important, rather, it’s just more important to be where my husband is, where his youngest (still underage) son is, and where there is work for both of us. When we are retired in 20 years and all of the children are grown, we will re-evaluate the situation, and who knows where we will end up...
3. Which holiday pretend character do you wish really existed? Santa Claus. I’d love to be able to write a letter each year and then have all the presents neatly wrapped and waiting for me on Christmas morning. That would be a lot less work for me, and the presents would probably look a lot better than what I can produce wrapping-wise!
4. Which holiday movie best represents how you feel about Christmas or life? I love all the versions of A Christmas Carol – and I love the book even more. I like the cautionary tale about social justice and the message that anyone, even the most curmudgeonly, can change.
5. Is there a particular Christmas song that you're enjoying now? Any that you're tired of? Enjoying: “How Many Angels” by Catherine Hessler. Tired of: any and all of of Elvis Presley’s recordings of Christmas songs, most especially the very horrible “Blue Christmas.”
6. What is your favorite way to remember those less fortunate at Christmastime? I don’t have a favorite way or a tradition. We do whatever comes up before us in any given year.
7. Does it upset you to see "Xmas" instead of Christmas? How about "Happy Holidays" etc., instead of "Merry Christmas?" “Xmas” is kind of ugly to look at, so, while it doesn’t upset me, it does give me an impression of ugliness that might influence my shopping habits. As for “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” – I don’t have a problem with that. Retail stores are not in the business of spreading the Gospel unless their Board of Directors says so. They ARE in the business of making money, and having a more generic greeting for the buying public is part of their marketing strategy. In this country, they are free to do that and are not under any obligation to do otherwise. And I am free to respond with “Merry Christmas” if I wish. I’m also free to be sensitive to someone else’s views in any given situation and choose my greeting appropriately.
8. How many Christmas programs are you attending this month? I don't know - my husband is going to one tonight for one of the grandkids, but I've got something else on my schedule that I can't get out of.
9. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Any chance of that dream becoming a reality? I am dreaming of a non-white Christmas, but there is every chance, here in Idaho, of the white stuff coming down in buckets if it so chooses. Last year it snowed a ton on Christmas Day, and everyone crawled across town to the family gatherings. Our annual brunch with extended family was missed by a whole bunch of people who couldn’t make it the 18 miles from their town to ours. And by evening the snow had drifted so high at our end of the block that some of our kids’ cars got stuck in it. At that point, snow is nothing but a nuisance.
10. Tell me about a Christmas present you received as a child. Pics are always nice. Hmm… well, we were pretty poor when I was very young, and I think my mother was hard put to come up with presents some of those years. When I was about 5 or 6, I wanted my own garbage can (what we called a “waste paper basket” in those days – you didn’t put any food garbage in it) in my bedroom so that I didn’t have to walk out to the kitchen to throw something away. When I got up on Christmas morning, there was a pink, metal can with carousel horses painted on it. My brother, who had wanted the same thing, got a blue one. And we were both thrilled, actually, because “Santa” had brought us what we really wanted.
11. How many Christmas parties are you attending this month? I don’t know yet for sure. Including our get-together with our kids, I think four – one will be for my husband’s work, one was for the women at church, and the rest are family parties.
12. How do you keep yourself centered on the significance of Christmas? Lots of different ways, I guess. 1) I’m 51 years old now – years and years of a spiritual journey with God have made it easier to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. 2) My mother’s recent passing has given me a new and deeper perspective on eternal life and just what the Incarnation really meant/means to humankind. 3) At church I am one of the worship leaders, and this month I have concentrated on composing the worship sets so that they contain both familiar carols and customary, modern day praise and worship songs; my hope is to illuminate the meaning of the carols and to bring the sometimes archaic language to life.
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Thanks for reading!