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Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? i've never had egg nog, but, as some of you know, i have issues with the names of food (meatloaf, anyone?) and i think i might have some trouble drinking something called "nog" unless i was a prisoner of war and hadn't had anything to drink for several excruciating days, and it was a question of survival. even then, i might just pretend to drink it, keeping it hidden in my cheeks so i could then spit it in the face of one of the people guarding me. so, i'll say hot chocolate. but i prefer coffee. not seasonal enough? add some peppermint syrup, or, better yet, schnapps.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa definitely wraps the gifts.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? white all around. i would like to go back to the old school giant multi-colored glass bulbs. those were the best.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? interestingly, someone just gave us a peice of real and preserved mistletoe yesterday! so, i have to hang it so i can get my kiss on...

5. When do you put your decorations up? as soon after thanksgiving as we can muster up the energy. i like the decorations to be up through advent, as a way of preparing the way for the coming (again) of the One who changes everything.

6. Favorite dish? i love food. so its hard to pick a favorite. maybe mashed potatoes. and for dessert? cookies. i love cookies. my mom makes a mean oatmeal scotchie. and grandma's good luck nut cookies, which my dad has taken the mantle of making. shannon is also a master cookie-maker, and always trying new ones, so i am never short on cookies at Christmas!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child. i think it would be the milinovich family get-tegethers when we would all gather around, aunts and uncles, cousins, sometimes friends, and always grandma, and strange and (it seemed to me) magical instruments were pulled out of closets that remained closed and off-limits the rest of the year. some of them i could name, like the upright bass that uncle jim with the crazy eyebrows plays after he's had maybe one-too-many glasses of wine. but some of them were foreign, literally, from croatia. uncle tom, uncle john, and my dad would join tipsy uncle jim and the music made magic out of Christmas, for me. we sang carol after carol, and i didn't want it to end.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? what truth, exactly? i think i learned the truth about santa in college, when i realized that santa wasn't a jolly man in a red suit, but a symbol of the spirit of Christmas, the spirit that looks forward with birth pangs to a time when there will be no more war and no more hunger and no more sorrow and no more death. santa represents that part of all of us that yearns for that, and that begins to do something about it in the here and now by giving of ourselves, and by giving to those who are often forgotten. i guess i began to learn this truth as a child, but re-discovered it in college. to those who say there is no santa claus, i say, "bah, humbug!"

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? no. christmas morning, baby, 5 am!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? with christmas music playing on the stereo. usually i'm wearing socks, because i don't want to tramp mud into the house. we get out all of our ornaments, recalling memories. and we simply put them all on the tree. this is best done with aforementioned cup of peppermint coffee.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? love it. love it. love it.

12. Can you ice skate? no. emphatically, no. i have tried, but have only succeeded in making a complete spectacle of myself to the immense humor of everyone else in the vicinity. i am pathetic, blessed with a few things, but not with the grace of movement.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? no. as a child i loved star wars, and remember being excited about getting 'star wars stuff.' a cd player comes to mind. funny how things that meant the world then have faded into the greyness of memory.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? family. it is different for me, now, being a dad. Christmas is more about jackson.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? see above.

16. What tops your tree? a star. simple, and actually rather crudely made. stars are light in the darkest of times. to find light in the darkest moments of your life, is to find hope that really means something. so a star it is.

17. What is your favorite Christmas Song? too hard to pick: o holy night, what child is this?, o come o come emmanuel, we three kings, bring a torch jeanette, isabella...

18. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? yum, but they are too sticky. again, i prefer liquid form in my coffee.

Merry Christmas!


mary snow bunny said…
Ho HO HO! I'm with you on almost all of those questions...especially the iceskating one! maybe its a Milinovich trait that we just can't ice skate? I remember some years that Santa would use the same wrapping paper as mom...what a coincidence too! right now i am drinking a coffee with a shot of hot chocolate :) a great combo...listening to no doubt the best christmas cd AgentOrange records. This is the first year I put up my own Christmas decorations in my apartment and each placement was special and memorable. The real question is this....Favorite Christmas movie?? For me, i love sooo many...Rudolph, White Christmas, A Christmas Story...and more recently, Elf. and i love all the cheesy christmas movies that Hallmark puts out :) its a holly jolly season!!
Crafty P said…
I learned something new about you today! I didn't know you loved cookies that much!
Now is it just cookies at Christmas or all the year through?

I'm always saying how restaurants should offer a cookie plate for dessert with a cup of tea/coffee. Lidia's in Pittsburgh does this and I think it's BRILLIANT! I heart cookies so much.
greg. said…
mmm...Christmas movies. shannon likes some crazy 80's tv movie starring dolly parton called "A Smokey Mountain Christmas." its terrible.

i, on the other hand, have a sophisticated list, including prancer, burl ives' rudolph, and any old steeler games that were played in the snow (on vhs). elf was pretty good. my favorite all time, though, is miracle on 34th street. just has the magic for me.
greg. said…

i love cookies all the time. i prefer soft cookies to hard and crunchy ones. hard cookies tend to be the small, tasteless british variety that you are supposed to eat with tea, as if eating something nearly tasteless with tea is supposed to validate the tastelessness. no!

i like big fat gooey soft cookies. preferably with chocolate. and coconut. and oats.

you can always learn new things about me...i'm an enigma.

pete said…
1. "Syrup in coffee? Why didn't I think of that?!?" Ah, and that is also the only way to enjoy eggnog...with plenty of "syrup."

2. The only time I've seen Santa sit is when there is a child on his lap. How he SETS, on the other hand...ah, that's the secret.

3. My wife bought me a huge set of the giant multicolored glass bulbs at Goodwill for 25 cents, and yes, they are the best.

4. No. I get my kiss on without any sort of "herbal enhancements."

5. Day after thanksgiving. If our kids aren't puking from Norovirus, which they were this year...

6. Wow, tough choice. It's weird, though, because all I can think about this time of year is German food. We go to New Ulm, a little German town in southern MN, the week after Christmas every year, and I always get a hankering for sausage and beer whenever I'm there.

7. My favorite memory, without question, was the last year we were allowed to burn the wrapping paper in the fireplace (the next year it was banned in the state of Washington). Oh, the colors from all the toxic chemicals...

8. Unlike many children, I had a special bond with Santa, because my grandfather played Santa at the mall every year. I always thought that other kids were talking about my grandpa, and that he had fooled all of them (which wouldn't have been surprising, as he was quite a trickster.)

9. Only because my wife's extended family has a Christmas party on Christmas eve, and we all open presents.

10. Gonna have to agree with Greg on this one. Except we use a fake tree, so there isn't much mud around.

11. In MN we pretty much have no choice.

12. Pretty well, but not backwards.

13. (Well said, Greg.) My favorite gift this year (we opened some early, because Nicole and I are impatient) was 4 pounds of coffee from Lexington Coffee & Tea Co.

14. Being a dad, and watching my boys rip the paper off the boxes, as though that were the most fun part of the whole thing.

15. Another cup of coffee is dessert enough for me. (I've dropped 55 pounds over the last six months, and I intend to keep it off, darn it.)

16. A star. Very crooked, but a star nonetheless.

17. I have to admit that I love "Sleighride" ("Just hear those sleighbells jingling, ringtingtingling too"), but my other two favorites are "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch," and "O Come, O Come, Emanuel."

18. See #15.

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