Christmas Questionnaire!

My beloved friend Rachel sent this to me, and gosh-darnit, there was just no way I could pass it up. But since I hate feeling like I am spamming people with stuff like this, I figured I’d just put it here…where the people who will love me no matter what come to see what’s going on. Here you go!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper, but I’m not good at it, so my laziness often wins out, and people get their gifts in bags even though I really prefer the paper. I have also been known to wrap presents in grocery bags (paper and plastic), paper towels, actual towels, toilet paper and fabric scraps. Creative tapelessness solutions are another story.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
I have had the same artificial tree since my sophomore year in college, and it still looks great! Ooooo! Time to plug it in!!

3. When do you put up the tree?
As soon as it is socially acceptable.

4. When do you take the tree down?
I try to get it down before my birthday.

5. Do you like eggnog?
SOYnog. With Disaronno. Rum schmum. Amaretto’s the way to go!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Savings bonds, without a doubt. Actually, those turned out to be a REALLY great gift later, but we didn’t fully appreciate it at the time. I remember getting a scooter one year that I rode around the living room. That was pretty awesome.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My mom, who will never tell us what she wants (hint, hint).

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Annabelle, because she doesn’t know the difference. And Rachel, because she’ll love it no matter what.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
I don’t. Hey, maybe if I did, I could arrange it any way I wanted to, and then I’d have it all out of my system by the time I got to my parents’ house. Then perhaps their baby Jesus would stay in his manger and off of the roof. Something to look into…

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Real mail is always far superior to email. Except when bills are involved. Then no mail is good mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I have no idea. I can’t remember anyone giving me a particularly bad gift. At least not with me in mind. I have, of course, received bad gifts from such gift exchange games as “Dirty Santa” (aka “White Elephant”), but I don’t think those really count.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie Movies?
Oooooo…I have to pick just one? Nope! Watch this. I’m going to change the question. HaHA!! How do you like THAT? You didn’t even see it happen did you? To you, it looks like it was always that way. That’s the beauty of time travel, my friends. Mwaahahahaha…

ANYhoe, ELF, Christmas Vacation and Love Actually all top the list.

17. Favorite Christmas song(s)?
“Deck the Halls (in 7/8),” “O Holy Night” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

But for replacing all the “yous” with “Jews,” NOTHING beats “Sleigh Ride.”

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Travel? Who said travel? I’m packed. Where are we going?

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I have a star that I think topped my family’s tree for many a year during my childhood. I love it.

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning?
We open ONE on Christmas Eve after we get back from church, and we open the rest on Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
All Christmas music, all the time. Don’t get me wrong now. I LOVE Christmas music. But ALL day? Every day? For over a month? That is too much, radio station!

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color?
For the past few years, I have had a blue, purple and silver tree, and it is lovely.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
You mean what to eat or whom to invite?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Oh, I am SO glad you asked! I have no idea. Have to get back to you on that one.

Why Being Always a Bridesmaid and Never a Bride Is Actually WAY BETTER!

I’m-a just put it in a bullet-point list.

  • sassy necklaces
  • lots of dresses (ahem…excuse to shop) I can put on later and laugh about
  • not having to plan a wedding
  • not having to pay for a wedding
  • an iPod shuffle
  • not having to live with a boy and all his boy-stank
  • not having to spend a thousand dollars on a dress you will definitely only wear once
  • having an excuse to get yo’ herrr and yo’ nails did
  • a vintage brooch
  • getting to be behind the scenes at the wedding
  • not having to be in ALL the pictures, but getting to ham it up just a little
  • getting escorted by gentlemen in tuxedos
  • priority seating (and food service order) at the reception
  • getting to support and serve your best friends as they make one of the biggest decisions of their lives and experience all the changes that accompany it
  • all the fun, none of the stress

Next time on Onward Hoe!: Changing the Way the World Goes Christmas Caroling

28 down! 67 to go!

On the radio yesterday morning, they were talking about the things you should do if you want to live to 100. I thought it was interesting, and that I had a pretty decent shot at making it to the triple digits except for maybe one thing. I don’t remember what the one thing was now, though. Oh. Probably exercise. Anyhoe, I was trying to find the list online when I came across The Longevity Game. It’s especially fun if you put in all the worst possible answers and watch what happens to your little “representative.” If you play it, make sure you click all the possible answers just to see what happens before selecting the real answer and moving on. It’s pretty entertaining, and really enlightening to watch the age forecast change with each answer.

And if you did the math, according to the game, I’m going to live to 95, barring all freak accidents, terminal illnesses, etc., of course. I don’t know. On the one hand, I think I should really just slow down and enjoy every little bit of life because I’ve got plenty of time. I don’t need to be rushing from one thing to the next. But on the other hand, I’m almost a third of the way to dead, and I’m thinking I really need to live it up!

Maybe a combination of both is the ticket. Live it up AND enjoy every last second of it. Yes. That sounds nice. So…when can I move to Egypt? Or Turkey? Or the Czech Replublic? Italy, Spain, France or the UK? Brazil, Mexico, Honduras or Ecuador. Maybe even California or Canada would suffice. I’m just ready to go. There’s so much of the world that I want to experience, and I hate that there are so many obstacles to doing it. I’m not quite sure how to get around them all without becoming a total vagrant. Part of me says, “Be responsible with your money so you have something for the future,” while the other part argues, “Screw it. You don’t get to take it with you anyway.”

“But you don’t want to die because you failed to plan,” says Responsibility.

“It’s not dying,” says Free Spirit. “It’s going to be with Jesus for eternity! But before you get there, you may as well have some fun!”

“True, true,” replies Responsibility, “but that somehow just seems…dangerous.”

Feeling she’s getting to the root of the issue, Free Spirit asks, “So this is about fear, then?”

“Well I don’t like to call it that,” defends Responsibility.

“What do you like to call it?” Free Spirit pushes.

“Responsibility, of course.”

“Poppycock,” retorts Free Spirit, spitting inadvertently and not caring. “You’re just chicken.”

“Maybe,” says Responsibility, putting on her best quiet cool, “but either you’re chicken too, or I’m stronger than you, because we haven’t done much in the risk-taking department for quite a while.”

Ladies, ladies, please. Calm down. Was that weird? Maybe just a little? Sorry about that. It’s just the ever-present debate going on inside me. The thing is, I don’t just want to go on an adventure. It’s more than that. I want to do something big with the 67 years I’ve got left (if I’m lucky), something that requires supernatural intervention if it’s going to get done, something more beautiful and magnificent than I could ever dream of. And what I’m doing now – well it doesn’t so much fit into that category.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I love my students, I love my roommates, I love all of the things I’m involved with here. But apart from my never ending battle with time management, my life here is not a challenge. I want to push myself into complete dependence on God, but I know myself, and I know I can’t will it to happen. I have to place myself in circumstances that will require it. I just need a clear vision of those circumstances, and that’s where I find myself now – in the waiting room.

Any advice, internet?

my new favorite hymn

We’ve sung this song in church several times now, and I just love it. You can read all of the words here (we don’t sing all the verses, and we don’t do it to the organ tune that site plays), and you can listen to a wee preview here (the actual tune we sing). Vintage does it more hard-rockin’ than that, which I really like, but you know I’m always down with a slow jam too. Anyway, I just wanted to share my favorite verse with you. It gets me every time.

From the depth of nature’s blindness,
from the hardening power of sin,
from all malice and unkindness,
from the pride that lurks within,

by thy mercy,
O deliver us, good Lord.