I was tagged in Mrs. Tee’s Love Life Laughter #AAF post last week.  OK…not specifically…but as a visitor to the blog and an AskAwayFriday participant, I felt I needed to take up the torch.

Sorry – I know it’s now officially after Christmas…and all the questions are Christmas themed…but indulge me a bit…

What is #AskAwayFriday?

#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers!

This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world!

This week of course, Mrs. Tee and I aren’t trading – I’m answering as part of her blog challenge…and of course, she’s asked 15 questions instead of ten just to make it more fun.  And they’re all Christmas themed!

Drop by and welcome our fantabulous #AAF hosts:

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,

Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,

Christy from Uplifting Families,

Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings


Amber from Bold Fit Mom


1. Use one noise to describe how excited you are for Christmas.

Children’s laughter.  It’s my favorite part of life – and one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  The free, uninhibited sound of a child’s laugh is perfect at any time of year – but especially at Christmas.

2. What is the best present you’ve ever received?

My car accident was December 15, 2010. I was released from the hospital on December 24 and got to spend Christmas Eve at home with my family. I’ve never been so grateful to be alive.

3. What is the worst present you’ve ever received?

My ex sucked at gifts. Near the end, I’d go into the store, pick out my present, leave it behind the counter and tell him where to pick it up.  And at the very end, I just bought whatever I wanted and told him I’d already taken care of it.

4. As a kid, did a sibling ever receive a present that you wished was for you?

Not that I can recall. My sister was a bit of a pain – she always wanted to know what her presents were before Christmas and would hunt through the house until she found them. On more than one occasion she found not only hers, but mine as well. And she told me all about it.

I’ve always been of the belief that you shouldn’t open your presents before the event.  I didn’t want to find out the sex of any of my children.  Mother’s instinct told me what they were, so I knew anyway – but I kept it to myself.  Except for Bae.  Hubs was so insistent he was a girl, and I knew he was a boy…so I caved and the scan tech told us what he was (which means I was right three times in a row).

5. Sing a line from your favorite Christmas song.

Good King Wenceslas looked out,

On the Feast of Stephen.

When the cold lay round about.

Deep and crisp and eeeeeeeeee-ven.

Brightly shone the moon that night,

Though the frost was cruel.

When a poor man came in sight.

Gathering winter fu-oooooooooo-el.

On a side note – I only discovered two days ago that this is also my husband’s favorite song.

6. Rename a reindeer.

Stabby. If you’ve been really, really bad (like the Goblin King this year), instead of a lump of coal, Santa sends him to take care of the problem.

7. What is your favorite thing about Christmas?

Having time to spend with my family. My mother had three brothers and a sister. We still get together every year – most of my cousins have kids now. Even the ones who’s diapers I used to change. Now they have their own babies.  It’s awesome.

8. When do you start getting excited for Christmas?

Well…after Halloween and Thanksgiving of course.

9. Do you use advent calendars?

No.  My Nana was getting one of the chocolate ones for the kids…and my husband’s father (Opa) got them one last year too, but with shared custody – it’s just too difficult to coordinate it.  It means they get two to five chocolates each time they’re home.  That’s just too much.

10. Recite one line from your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie.

It’s really just one word…

11. Share a funny Christmas memory.

OK…so my uncle’s wife was Dutch.  And it’s Dutch tradition to get chocolate letters – the initial of your first name.  At one time, my sister and I had three girl cousins – five girls each two years apart. And my aunt used to get these Dutch chocolate letters for us every year.

Except one year, she bought them all for us…and then ate them all before Christmas. The next year, my uncle made a giant four foot tall letter J (which her name started with) and painted it like chocolate. It was hilarious.  She didn’t get them for us any more after that. Or maybe she did, and she just ate them…

My husband is Dutch (we went to Holland this year). So now we get them every year for our kids.

12. Talk us through your typical Christmas Day?

I don’t have a typical any more. It’s one of the “fun” things about mixing it up after divorce.

If we have the children in the morning, they’re typically up before we are, but will wait in bed until one of us stirs (usually the dog is first up…looking for a walk). After hubs takes the dog out, we unwrap, unwrap, unwrap and unwrap some more. Sometimes we wait for my mom/sister/stepfather to arrive, sometimes not.  Sometimes my sister and her family are visiting from BC and they come too.

After the present orgy, we have a big breakfast – some years french toast, others pancakes. Hubs’ family always celebrated Christmas Eve and had a breakfast of smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese, so we’ve added that to our traditions. Then the kids are back to their Dad’s for the afternoon – and hubs and I (and now Bae) have a quiet afternoon and dinner.

If we have the kids for the afternoon, we usually plan a big dinner at home, usually including my mother and family, my husband’s father, and sometimes extended family (my sister and family, my brother-in-law and his).  And sometimes Nana too. This year we’re heading to my brother-in-law’s house for a pot-luck.

Boxing Day is always the same though. We meet up with my aunts and uncles and my Nana and my cousins and their families. Sometimes at a church (there are over 40 of us now), this year at a local hockey arena.  We have a big Christmas dinner around 2 o’clock.  Santa comes and hands out all the kids toys (we have a name draw for the parents with kids under 20 prior to Christmas every year).  It’s just lovely.

13. Do you have any Christmas traditions?

We are not an Elf on the Shelf family. But the elves might be listening through the heating ducts – and reporting back to Santa.

Stockings hung by the chimney. We bake cookies on Christmas Eve and set out with milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. We always open our presents in our pyjamas. The kids always get new pyjamas for Christmas.  And see above re Boxing Day.

14. Real or fake Christmas tree?

I guess you missed it.  Real. Guilty.

15. Pictures with Santa…yay or nay? Share a fave.

Oh yes.  Our local pioneer village has a Victorian Christmas festival – complete with old-timey photos with Santa (they even dress you up!)

Anonymous blogger, so I’ll share another of my other favorite Santa photos…

Come on…like you’re even a little bit surprised.

And that does it for another #AAF. Thanks Mrs. Tee!! We should hook up for a real #AAF soon!

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