20 Questions Tuesday: 20 - Christmas Time is Here

Here we are in December. The Holiday shopping month. The month that contains within its mere 31 days, Christmas. Without getting into the mythos of Christmas or whether it happened the way the Bible tells the story or not, or whether one is Christian or not, everyone has to acknowledge the fact that this is the Christmas Season and respect the amount of hoop-lah that accompanies this season. So without further ado, thanks to Capt. McArmypants, Info Diva, Bomber, and Dr B-Dawg. Here come the questions.

1. Secret Santa? WTF!?!?!?
I know, everyone gets Ted’s name in the Secret Santa program. I think we should stop letting Ted put the names in the hat.

2. Why doesn’t anyone wassail anymore?
I think it is due to the fact that one really only goes wassailing among the leaves so green,” but there are few places in the Northern Hemisphere during December that have green leaves. Heck, even in ‘Bama the leaves have fallen by that time.

3. “Scrooged” or Capra/Jimmy Stewart's masterpiece, “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
Honestly, I like Scrooged better. It is funnier, and that is why I like it more. One cannot beat the upbeat ending associated with It’s a Wonderful Life though. Well, except for the fact that Scrooged the song number, Put a Little Love in Your Heart, with the Solid Gold dancers.

4. Is it really the thought that counts? I mean. Sure in some circumstances, but as a universal maxim?
Typically the people who hold true to the maxim, “It’s the thought that counts,” are of 2 ilks. The first are the people who really didn’t put much thought into the gift and just threw something together. The second people are the ones who got a less than wanted gift but decide to be gracious about it because the gifter really did try. So for the first, no, and the second “Yes.”

5. How do you feel about the tradition of hiding pickles on Christmas Trees? Why pickles?
I am not big on that tradition, I think it is German in origin. Ummm… having Wiki’ed it, It is not German. For a run down of the tradition without speaking to its origins: On Christmas Eve the parents put a glass pickle ornament on the tree, and the first of the kids who finds this ornament on the tree on Christmas morning gets a special present.

6. Why do guys not like to buy jewelry as presents for women? What's so hard about picking out a bracelet or necklace?
It can be rather expensive to buy real jewelry. I think that is part of it. On top of that there is also a reluctance to purchase an expensive gift ( I am assuming you meant “real jewelry” and not costume) and see it relegated to the special occasions box.

7. When is a person too old to sit on the Mall Santa's lap for a festive photo?
When they are older than Santa. I would say that is a good rule of thumb.

8. Why leave cookies and milk for Santa? Does a kid get better gifts if the snack is pizza? Or an adult beverage?
I imagine Little Man’s presents under the tree would be better if he left a Mama Mimi’s: Mama’s Favorite Chicken Pizza and some Killian’s for Santa.

9. I love 80s music. But what possessed Billy Idol to record a holiday album?
The Christmas Spirit grabbed Billy Idol, whilst he was dancing with himself, no doubt, and shook the album out of him. I do not know whether or not he adds a hard edge to the songs, but he seems to have made it for his friends and family.

10. What's your favorite Christmas movie/cartoon/special?
This is a tough one, but I think 2 of the three can be summed up with How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I love the TV Special and the Boris Karloff version of the song. The Ron Howard movie from a few years ago was quite weak.

11. Adam Sandler's Hanukah song...your thoughts?
I think Adam Sandler is a bit over-rated. By “a bit” I do mean, vastly. All of his songs are not impressive to me. They really do tend to be mediocre at best. His shtick is to be sophomorically amusing, and it does not translate well into his ode to Hanukah. His forced rhymes are not funny, and his falsetto voice is annoying. He is unable to keep a straight face during his musical interludes because he either feels that they are incredibly witty, or (more likely), he can’t believe that people find his shit funny.

12. What's the best Christmas gift you received as a child? As an adult?
Child: One I remember clearly to this day. I was probably 6 year old when I got a Godzilla bendy toy. I loved that thing all the way to the point where his head torn free of the wire “skeleton.”
Adult: Hmmm, I would have to say the Looney Tunes Chess Set given to me by my parents my super-Senior year of college.

I have to clarify this a bit though. You see, my parents are quite possibly the worst gift givers ever (as long as I do not consider my grandparents from my dad’s side of the family). I believe I have expounded upon their gift giving prowess before and how it is necessary to open their gifts prior to Christmas morning so that the rest of the Christmas Day is not completely ruined. I typically get every thoughtful and wonderful gifts from Wifey and Mimma, but I, alas, have come to expect reasonable to wonderful gifts from those 2. It makes it difficult to choose one of their gifts, whereas the vinyl pike smoke infused green table cloth gift givers actually sending something nice…. It was a surprise to get something that I actually wanted.

13. What puts you in the holiday spirit (if you get "in the spirit" at all)? It's okay if your answer is an alcoholic beverage!
An alcoholic beverage… Well, actually it is seeing Wifey get into the spirit of the holiday. She and Mimma really love Christmas, and that tends to buoy me up as well.

14. If you could be anywhere in the world on the morning of December 25th this year, where would you be and who would be there with you?
My house with Wifey and Little Man - and that is what I am doing.

15. To settle this matter once and for all (unless you supply the wrong answer), who sings better Christmas songs, Bing Crosby or Burl Ives?
Honestly (and I await the vitriol filled diatribe about to be heaped upon me by Capt. McArmypants) I find Burl to have a better catalogue of songs. Although, as a caveat, the duet of Bing and Bowie for Little Drummer Boy is out of this world surreal goodness.

16. Do you use an angel or star to top the tree?
A star but sadly not the Death Star. I have always wanted to say, “This is not merely a tree topper. Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station!”

17. Real or fake tree?
Fake, too much cleaning associated with the real ones.

18. As a kid, what was more likely on Christmas morning, opening a gift to be ecstatic that you got what you wished for or opening a gift and wondering if some stranger crept into your house and switched your gifts for things you would have never asked?
Not so much that, but I never understood why my grandparents would think that getting maroon socks was appropriate. I was a kid for goodness sake! Just a KID! Kids should get toys for Christmas, not maroon socks.

19. Pro or anti egg nog?
I loved the pre-made egg nog that the local milk distributor in Birmingham, Alabama made. Barber’s Egg Nog was amazing. I could take down a full quart of that in one sitting. I have not been able to find anything that comes close to the taste. It is one few things I miss from Alabama.

20. What do you use as your seasonal slogan: Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas....
In person I tend to say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas,” but in written correspondence I tend to stick with “Happy Holidays.”

To Recap:
I definitely have enough questions to carry this topic forward to next week as well
Overheard from Little Man: It’s okay, Leopard. I know you want to play on the bed, but we’re going downstairs now
Leopard is his favorite stuffed animal
Wifey’s on me to get cracking on designing the Christmas cards
Helluva good dip is evil, even when it’s dressed up in pretty holiday packaging.
I’m having trouble developing my Christmas gift list
No such trouble is being had by Little Man and Wifey
Looks like we are having faux pizza for dinner tonight
That means I need to go and get some faux cheese
Happy Holidays!