Blogmas Day 22: A Christmas Survey

I don't think I can quite express to you how incredible it feels knowing I have zero reason to set an alarm tomorrow morning. Having woken up before the sun the past three days, the thought of sleeping in is more attractive to me than a large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, Harry Styles, and a new season of RuPaul's Drag Race combined. If you know me at all, you know how serious that statement is.

Today's drive up to Rhode Island was pretty uneventful, which is about all you can ask for when it comes to road trips. I don't get carsick like I used to when I was a kid, which is comforting, but I must have passed the gene off to my ten-year-old dog, who delightful upchucked in the backseat of our rental car about four miles from my grandparents' house. She lasted eight hours and crossed through six states, yet couldn't wait ten minutes before she coughed up her breakfast. Nice. Other than that, though, my mom and I were able to occupy our time listening to music, podcasts, and old stories we cared to retell. Once we finally arrived (and thoroughly cleaned the car) we proceeded to flop into a horizontal position, where we remained for the rest of the evening, if you exclude dinner. Though to be honest I would've eaten lying down if I was allowed.

On that vein, today has been thoroughly draining. It also hasn't been one with a whole lot to report; I mean, hey, you heard about my dog's vomit and that's really the one thing worth noting. But Christmas is only three days away and I feel like Blogmas has been lacking its usual holiday cheer; I thought the best way to marry together my exhaustion and all things jolly would be to fill out a cheesy festive survey.

The Twelve Questions of Christmas*

1) What’s the best gift you have ever received? How about the worst?
When I was ten years old, I celebrated Christmas with my grandparents, my mom, my stepdad, and my aunt. Come to think of it, the exact same crowd that I'll be spending it with this year for the first time since then. Anyway, on Christmas morning my mom gave me a big flat box about the size of a large picture frame, wrapped with a bow. When I opened the box I came to find a shiny sheet of photo paper with bold red and green font, reading: "Tomorrow, you, Mom, Jim, and Aunt Amie are going to New York City to see The Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular on Broadway!" As a little kid with a fascination for theatre and an effervescent curiosity, there was nothing on the shelves of Toys R Us I could think of that I would trade that in for. I'm still the same way: when it comes to the best gifts, I'll take an experience over a physical object any day. Or just money, when in doubt.

As for the worst, nothing awful comes to mind. All I can think of is a Christmas when all I wanted was Hamtaro toys (those little rubber hamsters with accompanying play sets, because all my friends had them) when apparently they were flying off the shelves. My mom searched high and low but came up short; this was also in an age before online shopping was as prevalent as it is now. But anyway, because I still believed in Santa at the time, my mom wrote in Jolly Old Saint Nick's "note" to me all about how his elves only made one last set of Hamtaros but "a little boy in Alaska really wanted them, and I know how sweet and understanding you are, so I gave them to him." Not the worst gift, but definitely the worst cover-up.

2) What is your favorite Christmas movie moment?
The winter talent show scene in Mean Girls. It totally counts.

3) When do you open gifts?
In the past few years we've been in the habit of opening one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day; generally that all depends on if it makes sense, i.e. if there are pajamas to unwrap that can be slept in that night.

4) Do you believe in Santa? If not, who convinced you he wasn't real?
This question is too pure. I believed in Santa until the age of ten or eleven, which is probably a little too far on the older end of the spectrum. My neighbor told me he wasn't real, and then my divorced parents decided the best course of action would be to take me out to Friendly's to officially break the news. When your mom and dad put their differences aside and let you order any sundae you want off the menu, you know it's serious. That's also how you know I grew up super sheltered.

5) What is your happiest Christmas memory?
I'm not sure. The "best gift" memory in question one definitely comes to mind, though I think as I get older my most cherished memories aren't any moments in particular. I really just love the warm, comfortable feeling of Christmas as a whole; I'm at my happiest when I'm baking cookies with my friends or hanging around the house in pajamas with my family after the gifts are opened. Just the sense of stillness and joy is my happiest memory. I know, I know: cheesy, but that's what you signed up for.

Describe an ornament that has special significance to you.
I'm a big fan of those Christmas trees that are a collage of different mismatched ornaments, with each having its own significance or acting as a souvenir. I don't have a particular ornament in mind, but I will say that my grandparents give me an ornament every single year, a tradition they've continued with each of their six grandchildren. Each ornament is picked out intentionally and each one looks wildly different from the others. But what I'm just realizing is they only do this for your first 21 Christmases, the idea being that by that time you'll be just about ready to set off on your own, and when you do you'll have a tiny little ornament collection of your own. So I guess that means this Christmas I'll be getting my last ornament from them. For that reason, that one will have a special significance, but I'm not sure what it looks like yet, so I can't quite describe it.

7) What famous person would you most like to encounter under the mistletoe?
I didn't realize this would be a question when I referenced Harry Styles at the beginning of this blog post. So like...Harry Styles. I love being thirteen years old.

When it comes to decorations, are you more of a Griswald or a Grinch?
It's a cop-out to say "somewhere in the middle," but...somewhere in the middle. I love nothing more than a well decorated home during the holidays, but the effort it requires is taxing. It's only fun if you bump Christmas music, and even then by hour two untangling twinkle lights gets old.

What is your favorite version of a Christmas song?
100% without a doubt "Please Come Home for Christmas" by The Eagles. Not just my favorite Christmas song, but one of my favorite songs of all time. I'd listen to it in July. In fact, I have. Many times.

Have you had any traumatic Christmas-related experiences?
Alright, dark question! I don't think so, but also it's too late at night to comb through my memories and really try to come up with anything grim. But I mean my dog did throw up in the car today, and that was pretty traumatic. Smelly, too.

What would be an appropriate gag gift for most of your friends?
I think you can never go wrong with any bizarre food or alcohol item. Because it's funny but also serves a purpose. Pasta shaped like nether-regions. Bacon-flavored vodka. You get the idea.

12) Would you rather be a partridge in a pear tree or a lord a-leaping, and why?
Oh, easily the partridge. Do you know how much energy leaping requires? I'm more than happy just hanging out in a pear tree, thank you very much. 

On that note, it's bed time. Thanks so much for reading, guys. I'll see you tomorrow!

*survey from from


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