Posted by: Clare | December 22, 2009

Ten on Tuesday (2)

Ten on Tuesday from Roots and Rings:

1. When do you put up and take down your Christmas decorations?
Ha! See the entry before this. I lose at Christmas 2009. BUT I am usually very gung-ho about Christmas and more than excited to get my decorations up as soon as possible. I have a rule about holidays taking over other holidays though, so I never put my decorations up before Thanksgiving. They usually go up over the weekend after Thanksgiving (which I guess technically is Thanksgiving Weekend, but whatever – as far as I am concerned once Thursday is over, it’s Christmas time!). I always take them down on or just after January 6th.

2. What do you do to simplify the holiday season?
The holiday season is already very simple for me right now. I live alone, am single, and have no kids or pets!

3. What do you do to remind yourself and your family what the Christmas season is all about?
I focus the attention on spending time with family and friends and conversation rather than making gifts the priority. I also like to take some time for reflection. The meaning of Christmas is difficult to ignore unless you are just all about the gifts.

4. How do you spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
It varies from year to year depending on who I am with/where I am. The past 3 years I have been in Salt Lake with my SLC Family and pretty much the focus both days is on family, friends and food. Lots of food. Too much food. Sometimes we go see a movie on Christmas day.

5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
My mom started a tradition when I was just over a month old on my first Christmas. Every year she gives me a sterling silver ornament. I love getting them all out every year and taking a little “memory lane” trip. I hope to continue the tradition when I have kids.
I used to love the tradition we had when I was little (until I was around 12) that my mom and I would get dressed up and go take my picture with the Santa at Harrod’s department store in London. They used to have a really long, magical display with animatronics and stuff to look at while you were in line that really got me excited about the holiday. We would then go pick out a Christmas ornament together (we also had a tradition of buying one new ornament a year, separate from the silver ones) and end the day with a fancy meal. I really enjoyed those days with my mom.
I also always have loved going for walks on Christmas Eve to see lights. Either alone or with family/friends.

6. Did you do the whole Santa thing growing up? What do you like/not like about continuing the tradition?
See above for my Santa picture tradition. However I did not believe in Santa, my mom made it clear to me from the beginning that he is a fantasy character. I always had gifts from “Santa” though. I don’t think that knowing made Christmas any less magical for me but I did really enjoy getting into the whole Santa thing (lists and leaving cookies, etc.) when my mom was dating a guy whose son believed in him. I haven’t yet decided what I will do when I have kids.

7. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
I don’t discriminate, I love cookies in general. Which is probably why I am currently overweight. Gross.

8. How do you take your egg nog?
I love it either homemade, or store bought (two TOTALLY different things). I have always had non-alcoholic, though I’m sure it is also delicious with alcohol.

9. What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?
My favorite of all time is probably “Once in Royal David’s City”, purely because it is the carol they always open A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with. I went to King’s College Choir School (where the little boys in the choir are from) from 6-11 so when I was growing up I always had friends who were singing at King’s on Christmas Eve and I loved watching it on TV every year. That song sort of epitomizes Christmas for me. The other carol that I feel the same way about is “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, because when I was at boarding school (from 11-16) we would sing it every year. In fact I may actually write a whole post about my favorite Christmas songs, so I’ll stop with this answer for now!

10. When was the last time you had a white Christmas?
Last year! I was in Salt Lake City for Christmas and we had snow anyway but then there was a massive snow storm on Christmas Eve. It was beautiful! I’ll be having a white Christmas this year, too.



  1. I loved hearing how knowing Santa was a fictional character affected you growing up. Hopefully it will go over the same with Johns & my future children.

    • If you do decide to to go with the “Santa is fictional yet fun” thing from the start, make sure you also are clear about other things such as the tooth fairy (whichever way you want to tell them). My mom made the mistake of assuming that since I knew about Santa yet still played along with it, that I also knew about the tooth fairy. Not the case. The trauma of the night I woke up to catch her playing tooth fairy is one I will not forget!

      It definitely did not take away from Christmas knowing though, I still loved it – and loved Santa too! It was like a fun game.

      • Yikes! I bet that was traumatic!

  2. “I don’t discriminate” — I love it!

    And all cookies shall be created equal.

  3. Harrods at Christmas = amazing! I feel a little more in the Christmas spirit just flashing back to that store now that you’ve mentioned it 🙂

    Also, LOVE your cookie answer!

    • YES! Harrod’s is crazy over the top at all times, but at Christmas it takes it to a whole new level and it doesn’t seem so crazy, just really magical! It’s a whole different world.

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