Sunday, December 03, 2006


Hooray for Christmas!!! What better way to succumb to holiday cheer than to be tagged with a Christmas meme by Stacy? And what better photo to use than that of the dodgy Santa on the Auckland Whitcoulls Building? Unfortunately you cannot see the finger actually beckoning, as it does in reality, but the vision is almost complete. Note the leery eye and the overall oddness.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Has anyone ever had egg nog?
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? I've always understood that Santa gives you the stocking presents, and the other presents are from your family... or else it becomes a bit weird when your parents want you to thank Granny for the socks when theoretically they are supposed to come from Santa.
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Coloured. :) Sorry, Stacy. I wouldn't mind white, but we've always had coloured, and Christmas is not a time to be progressive.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. I'm not exactly eager to kiss anyone I may be spending Christmas with, thanks.
5. When do you put your decorations up? As soon as is humanly possible.
6. What is your favourite holiday dish? Truffles, very chocolatey ones. Or the little bowls full of scorched almonds. The roast meal, preferably chicken, with Mum's way of doing gravy, and as many roast veges as you can eat. Pavlova for dessert, with kiwifruit and lots of cream. Sparkling grape juice.
7. Favourite holiday memory as a child? If I can avoid being specific, just the excitement of being the young one who got to hand out the presents to everyone and build oneself a little pile over in a corner that one would then open as slowly as possible to savour the delights of materialism.
8. When did you learn the truth about Santa? Say what? Well, no, to tell the truth, I cannot remember a time when I ever believed in Santa. It wasn't because my parents were anti-superstitions or anything, I just didn't see how he could be true.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No, we always wait until Christmas Day. I think being in the southern hemisphere where Christmas is all about summertime you don't really want to be sitting inside around a log fire opening presents at night-time. You want to be able to run outside and try out your new water pistol as soon as you've opened it.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Start with lights, then tinsel, and then put every single decoration I ever remember using on it.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Neither. It's just not going to happen in New Zealand! Yay! Honestly, summer Christmases are the best.
12. Can you ice skate? Nope. Maybe more relevantly, I can't water ski.
13. Do you remember your favourite gift? The chocolate fondue set from my sister a few years ago was pretty cool. As a child, I guess the Playmobil zoo was a high note.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? I can't choose. I love the carols, I love the religious side of it, I love it when my whole family is together. I can't really separate them out.
15. What is your favourite holiday dessert? Pavlova.
16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? Singing carols.
17. What tops your tree? A beautiful little gold angel my aunty brought for me from Germany when I was three.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving. I would have expected receiving, but thinking back to my favourite present, a few questions back, I realised I didn't remember very many of them. I do, however, remember buying for other people and the excitement of buying something they'll really like and watching them open it. When I was a kid my mum used to give me about $10 to spend on everyone and so I had to spend about 50c a person, an interesting challenge. But I loved doing it.
19. What is your favourite Christmas song? That's a hard question. I like O Holy Night but so does everyone. Mary's Boy Child? Away In A Manger - the version with the less well known tune? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen? Hark the Herald Angels Sing? There's a lot of really obscure carols in the Oxford Book of Carols that are really beautiful. I especially love the music from a Christmas musical my sister wrote for our church's Christmas play once. My favourite song from that went: "There he lies / in a manger sleeping / Lying there / Sleeping in a stable / Quietly go / Or the King of heaven and earth may wake and cry / Imagine that / Our God has come to save us as a babe / From highest heights / Born a peasant child to show the way / Amazing love! Grace such as this world has never seen."
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yummmmmm! I could eat fifty candy canes. I love licking them very very slowly so they get thinner and thinner and the red comes off until they're only white. All sticky goodness.

This year most of my siblings, nieces/nephews, and my dad and I are hiring out a camp at Peel Forest, a few hours away from Christchurch, over Christmas and New Years. It's going to be an interesting Christmas without Mum there, especially as it was a few days after Christmas that she died last year. I've never been someone who thought the passing of a year was really that significant but I've started to see how it can be. Hence the spending of Christmas in a completely new place this year.


Anonymous said...

That Santa looks pretty respectable compared to the inflatable types we have all over the place here!

I've always wondered how it would be to spend Christmas in the summertime...what an interesting change it would be!

I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas this year.

ellesappelle said...

Thank you!

I've wondered, too, about a winter Christmas. I was in the States just after Christmas one time and it was beautiful... I can see what all the fuss is about! I think winter makes for more lovely traditions, as well. Having barbecues and water fights is great, but they're not really the sort of things you can label traditions, are they?

Anonymous said...

They're definitely traditions, just not ones us Northerners would view as Christmassy. Barbeques and water fights are more Independence Day appropriate for us.

So, does Santa still don fur-trimmed clothing when he drops off presents to good boys and girls in the Southern Hemisphere or does he strip down to shorts?

When I tagged you, I completely forgot that it was during the Christmas season that your mum passed away last year. I'm a bad friend :(

ellesappelle said...

Yes, we still have the good old red and white fur Santa in NZ.

Re the mum thing, seriously don't worry about it!! I wasn't meaning to say that I suddenly hate Christmas or the association is too painful or something like that! I love Christmas altogether too much :)