You all know how much I love Christmas, right? You know what else I love? Awesome bloggers! And these 3 ladies - Jen, Jill and Pauline - are at the top of my 'must read daily' blogs list! I loved interviewing them in the past, so I thought it would be fitting to put together a festive q's and a's with them - enjoy!
With the holidays around the corner, what is your secret to making sure your husband gets you just what you want? And how early do you start dropping the hints? Like, "Oh, look! The Tiffany catalogue just arrived... " Or "My goodness, my Louis Vuitton is really feeling the brunt of carrying around sippy cups, wipes, diapers, toys and books all day every day for five years..."
McMommy: Hahahaha! OMG! Get me “just what I want”? Hahahahaha! I’m sorry! Seriously, I’m sorry, I can’t stop laughing. It’s just that…well, if you know my husband….his idea of a fabulous present includes things like wires and RAM and motherboards and insert-more technical-language-that-I-don’t-understand-here. If I said the words “Louis Vuitton” to him, he’d want to know why I want a French man for Christmas.
Which brings me to... what are you asking for this year?
McMommy: A French man. Who answers to the name Louis Vuitton. Or a maid. But not a French maid. This present is for me, after all. Not my husband.
Jill: My husband and I don't go crazy with holiday gifts for each other. Gift giving really hasn't been so much fun since we started sharing a bank account. And a salary!
How early do you start your holiday shopping?
McMommy: How early? Um yeahhhh. Like four days early. I’m not exactly what you would call a “planner”.
Jill: I am totally inconsistent: Some gifts I will find months in advance. I love to stock up on baskets and filler when it goes on sale in January. But, somehow still, I always manage to be that idiot in Target on Christmas Eve.
How do you prepare for the craziness? Wine? Massages? Ear plugs?
McMommy: Uh, yeahhhhh, that’s the ticket! I drink a glass of wine every night to “prepare for the craziness”…yes, that’s why I do it! It’s a matter of holiday survival! I love the way you think, Mrs. LouLou! In fact, I’m feeling like we need a little more preparation around the McHouse. You can never be too prepared, you know.
What are you excited to buy for your children this year? (Note: Not something they have necessarily asked for - but something you can't wait to buy them anyway!)
McMommy: I helped the boys make “Wish Lists” this year. I let them cut out pictures of toys they wanted from catalogs and we taped them to big pieces of paper with the boys’ names on them. They looooved making these lists. So I’m excited to pick a couple things from their Wish List and see their reactions when they open them.
Jill: I am counting down the moments until I can play with Lily's new doll house furniture. I'm most definitely going to be more excited about it than she is. I'm also excited to give my kids walkie-talkies- I know they're going to love playing with them.
How many gifts on average does each child get? I don't really have a limit, which gets really out of hand, especially since my kids seem to have everything already! I even have to hide my purchases from my husband sometimes - we go way overboard with the give giving!
McMommy: We spoil our kids with gifts, but I try not to go overboard. They are still so little (5 years old and 2 years old) and they get overwhelmed with it all so easily! That’s the reason I’m not getting them the “real-life gas station” they put on their wish list. I mean, first of all? How would I even wrap that? Secondly? You may disagree with me but little kids shouldn’t play with gasoline. And finally, I don’t have the million dollars it costs to buy a real-life gas station. Sorry, kids. I bet you are wishing Dooce was your mother now, right?
Jill: We celebrate Hanukkah, so it's a present a night for a week. Some nights, they'll get a few little tiny things.
Pauline: We celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas as most Polish families do. So, on the 24th our entire family gathers after a 12 course meatless dinner and we welcome Santa into our home. Each child needs to demonstrate what they have learned through the year and then they are given a present. (I will blog about this soon as I did last year, teehee.) Typically, they get about four/five gifts that night. On Christmas day we open presents under our tree that we have purchased for one another. So my son buys a gift for both sisters and so on.... little gifts.
What are the 'must-buy' toys your kids are buzzing about this year? What do you think are the hottest finds out there right now for children that will likely be on your 'must-buy' list?
Jill: My kids aren't really old enough to be concerned with the hottest toys. I know that Ben will love anything dinosaur related, Evan will be thrilled with anything that makes noise and Lily just wants dolls. At the moment, they're pretty easy to buy for!
Pauline: My 7 and 5 year old are getting ipods this year. I can't stand filling up my house with more plastic toys made-in-china that will be tossed aside before Easter. They love music and dancing and are old enough in my eyes to be responsible for something like an ipod. I can't wait to see their faces when they get them.
Do you ever use the "Oh... remember... Santa knows if you've been good or bad!" tactic? I do, and I feel terrible doing it, but you know? It actually works!
McMommy: I’ve been using that line since April.
Pauline: Um yeah! Nearly everyday following Halloween.
Do you love to entertain around the holidays? What is your favourite holiday recipe, or favourite holiday treat you like to make? Or do you, because you've spent too much time shopping, opt to get food catered instead for your parties?
McMommy: We do a party every year called “The Eve of Christmas Eve” party. This tradition started many years ago with some friends, based upon the assumption that even though we worked, no one would REALLY be expected to concentrate and actually conduct business on Christmas Eve. Hence why we could stay out late and party it up. It’s one of my most favorite parties of the year because it is laid-back, fun, and most of all? No one comes expecting catered food. But you better have wine. You know, to help everyone “prepare for the craziness”.
Jill: I love entertaining in general, and the holidays are no exception. I refuse to get anything catered, though I usually end up regretting that. My favorite easiest recipe is a Kaluah dip-- it's super easy and always a huge hit!
Pauline: I am not a domestic Godess and always count on catering small get togethers, especially around the holidays. Nothing gets me more excited than researching locally owned places to cater my next event! At my next dinner party, after the village tree lighting ceremony, we are having Lebanese food. Nothing says Christmas like.... Lebanon. Right? I like to keep everyone on their toes and think that my guests enjoy it as well. They keep coming back!
What is your favourite thing about Christmas/Hannukuh?
McMommy: I’m sure I should be saying things like “The joy of the Christmas spirit!” or “The twinkle in my children’s eyes!” or something like that…..but one of my favorite things about Christmas is so simple: I love dimming the lights in the house every evening and turning on the Christmas tree lights and my lighted garland. I love that glow from the lights! Put on some Christmas music in the background and I’m on cloud nine.
Jill: Making gift baskets. I begin assembly style in November and for a month and a half, my dining room is turned into a holiday workshop. I love it, but it drives my husband totally crazy. Not that I care. :)
Pauline: I know it's sappy but I love giving gifts. Finding THAT perfect gift for my sister or watching my best friend open the gift I searched high and low for. I love gifts!
What songs do you love listening to over the holidays?
McMommy: Three of my favs: Baby It’s Cold Outside, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and All I Want For Christmas Is You. (I hate that I like a Mariah Carey song!!! Don’t tell anyone or my reputation is ruined!)
Jill: I adore Christmas music, but for my heritage's sake, I'll say AdamSandler's The Hanukkah Song. It always makes me smile.
Pauline: Last year, I couldn't get enough of Straight No Chasers the 12 days of Christmas. So much fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kYEK-pxs_A
Do you have a particular special holiday memory?
Jill: I've always been sad missing out on the beautiful traditions of Christmas. I remember loving helping my best friend's family decorate her tree. It was just so warm and cozy, sipping hot chocolate and stringing popcorn- I loved it!
Pauline: The memory I associate most with is our tradition of sharing Christmas wafers with our family. Before sitting down for our meatless dinner, on Christmas Eve, we share our wafers with each member wishing them all sorts of things for the next year. Nothing made me smile more last year than witnessing my small children take part of our very old tradition.