Monday, December 04, 2006


Having been tagged by Elizaphanian, here are my answers to this meme of the silly season.*

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. Egg nog has never really made it Australia, though since Christmas means summer and temperatures often in the 30s (=over 90F for those stuck in the past), hot chocolate doesn't make much sense either.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? I thought he outsourced all wrapping to elves.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Neither.

4. Do you hang mistletoe on your house? No. No mistletoe in Austrlia. No house to hang it on.

5. When do you put your decorations up? We don't have decorations. We are so infrequently at home around Christmas that we just freeload on the decorations of others.

6. What is your favorite holiday meal (excluding dessert)? Summer fruits: cherries, plums, bananas and especially passionfruit.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Christmas in Scotland while on holidays when I was nine. To a young colonial boy, Christmas in the motherland complete with address by the Queen was a fascinating mix of novelty and deep familiarity.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Which one? One year when I was probably around 6 or 7 I saw Mum and Dad buy the gifts that ended up coming from Santa. A few years later I learned the truth about St Nicholas. A few years later again I learned the role that Coke played in creating the modern image of Santa. And then a few years later I started thinking about the social and relational function(s) of Santa. Truth is a complicated concept.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Sometimes. We've recently started a tradition of having dinner with a close friend on Christmas eve and this sometimes involves presents. See also #13 below.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? No tree. See above.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? In Sydney?

12. Can you ice skate? Yes. Took my wife ice skating on one of our first dates.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Life - received every breath, every day. New life - received on Christmas eve fifteen years ago.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? God with us.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Whatever is available on years when I manage to avoid eating too much before dessert to be able to fit any in.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Gathering for church late on Christmas eve with great expectation and joy.

17. What tops your tree? See above.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Receiving. A close call, but we are all fundamentally recipients before we are called to imitate and participate in God's generosity.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Hark! The herald angels sing, Joy to the World or O Come, o come, Emmanuel. The last is probably my overall favourite, but you don't hear it as often.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or yummy? In primary school, they used to function as a currency of popularity at the end of the year as everyone would hand them out to their friends.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie? Are there any good ones? There have sometimes been some good Boxing Day movies, but which studio is so short-sighted as to release a film on Christmas Day?

22. What would you most like to find under your tree this year? My voice back again.

23. Favorite Holiday memory as an adult? Discovering that there are so many delightful members of my extended family (I come from a very large extended family and as a child was always a little intimidated by the sheer numbers at Christmas gatherings).
*During a recent doctor's appointment, I revealed that I have been studying theology and am to work as a Christian minister. From this point on, my doctor was obviously embarrassed every time he made reference to the 'silly season'. As always, it was only afterwards I thought of a response: 'It is indeed silly that we have managed to turn a time with such reason for joy into a season of stress and anxiety.'