It’s true: while the game of tag has always crept into my surroundings—as an out-of-breath kid who wondered why others were so easily tricked into exercising, and now as a blogger that feels overwhelmed when my handle pops into “Follow Friday” tweets—I’ve always avoided it.
Like when I was a kid, it now has nothing to do with avoiding others and ruining a good thing. Rather, I get anxiety over tag. I overthink, I get stressed, and I need time-outs that the game doesn’t necessarily allow for.
So, when I was “tagged” by Bill from A Silly Place for a Christmas-themed post, my pupils dilated and my breathing staggered. Then, I of course felt honored and so touched that anyone in the blogging community would think of me.
And here we are. While I will not be tagging anyone else to participate and further spreading my contaminated energy into the interwebs, I will be answering the questions asked of me, encouraging responses from readers in the comments, and taking a serious look into Christmas, and what the season means to me. I think we could all do with some reflection and introspection, while enjoying the memories that are worth exploring.
Christmas Non-Tag Tag
1. Do you prefer Christmas lights on people’s houses to be understated or extra?
When it comes to all things Christmas, I am a firm believer in “go big or go home.” Please, do it up. Line the railings and sidewalks and trees and trim—as much as you can—with lights. Fill the street with visible cheer, and light up someone’s mood with a simple glance.
(Also do as I say and not as I do, since our townhouse is currently void of any external lights at all.)
2. Church or no church?
I grew up Catholic, went to a few years of Catholic school in Iowa before moving to Colorado, and got confirmed into the church when I was 16. I haven’t been to church since, except for the morning of my high school graduation, when I accepted a local scholarship.
However, both midnight and children’s masses were a large part of my childhood, and I really enjoyed the tradition of going and participating (I was typically the go-to altar server, and a reader in kid’s programs). Since we stopped (probably when I was in middle school), I haven’t missed it. My husband is not religious at all, and I’ve found myself nearly completely detached from all religious sentiment, so it’s unlikely that I’ll be going on Christmas any time soon.
Long story short: no church.
3. Memory from a previous Christmas that to this day makes you laugh your head off?
For many years, my parents and Chad and I (plus whichever brother and significant other could make it) would go to Gunnison’s only fancy restaurant on Christmas Eve, called Garlic Mikes. We’d dress up, have a delicious Italian meal, and feel totally stuffed before opening presents at home.
A few years ago (either 2015 or 2016), my brother Tyler and his wife Natalie were able to make it with us. As we were eating and enjoying each other’s company, my brother scanned the wine menu and jokingly pointed out the brand “Ménage à Trois.” Chad, my boyfriend at the time, who had consistently been very quiet and shy, spoke up, loudly, and asked, “What is that?”
Laughter—total and complete, with accompanying tears—ensued. It was hilarious, and has infamously gone down in my family’s history. I’m honestly surprised my brother didn’t bring it up when he was officiating our wedding.
4. If money were no object, what gift would you want for Christmas? What gift would you want to give?
The gift that I would absolutely want, more than anything, would be travel-related. I would love an all-paid, all-planned, totally coordinated trip to any international destination. It could be to Ireland, Hawaii, England, Australia, Italy, Bora Bora. I really have no preference—it would be amazing, no matter where.
If I could, I would gift my husband a house. I’d buy one for him, and take away the stress and tediousness of saving for and buying a home in Colorado. I think that would be the perfect thing for him to receive.
Alternatively, I would also really enjoy gifting my original idea (the trip) to just about everyone in my life. My parents deserve a bought vacation. My friends could use a getaway. My in-laws should see Iceland. I’d love to make that happen for my loved ones.
5. Love Actually — great Christmas movie, or greatest Christmas movie?
It’s great! But Die Hard is honestly a better Christmas film. So is It’s A Wonderful Life. Oh, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. And Elf, which is arguably my favorite.
6. What’s one Christmas tradition from your childhood that you still wish you did today, even though you’ve long since outgrown it?
There were a few times that my dad took me ice skating at the local frozen pond in town, before there was a super nice rink. I was absolutely terrible, though slowly got the hang of it over the course of a few hours. I remember he always made me wear my heaviest snow pants and several layers, probably to make sure I wouldn’t break with every fall.
I loved doing that with him, though we both outgrew it pretty fast.
7. Stockings for your pets, or no?
Very much yes. I can’t wait to have a dog and spoil them with treats on holidays.
8. Completely unexpectedly, a celebrity knocks on your door Christmas Day with presents for you and yours. Who would you want it to be?
This could easily change any day of the week for me. At the moment, I would absolutely love the celebrity to be either Amy Poehler or Jonathan Van Ness (from the recent re-boot of Queer Eye). I love them both so much, and would put money on a time well-spent with hilarity, inspiration, and sheer joy.
9. If you could fly away to some foreign country for Christmas, where would you go?
Yes, please! I would love to spend Christmas in England or Ireland. Honestly, anywhere in Europe would also suffice. They are big on my bucketlist, and that would be a great time to cross them off.
10. What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Chad and I had only been dating for a month, and we exchanged presents. He handed me a wooden box. Inside, there was a stick figure drawing of us, which asked me to the winter dance. At the time, I was a little underwhelmed at the two-in-one combo and would have likely preferred chocolate or any traditional gift for a new partner, especially since I was only 16. I made sure to keep that secret to myself, since I knew he worked hard and it was special to him.
Now, I think that’s pretty cool that he hand-made a box for me. That probably wasn’t easy, and it’s very sweet to imagine him drafting plans and spending time in a wood shop making it. I still wish he had added some white chocolate into the mix, but that’s okay.
11. Have you ever had white Christmas?
Many, many times, though Colorado has been facing a pretty severe winter-time drought in recent years. Though it’s nice and comforting, I really prefer not to drive in white conditions if I can help it.
12. Are you a brussel lover or a brussel hater?
Though I didn’t grow up eating them, Chad and I recently started adding them to recipes. And surprisingly, they are delicious when done right. In fact, I had some today with lunch, paired with roasted apples, chicken, and spinach. It was delicious.
Do you have any more questions for me? Let me know in the comments.