Podcast

Episode 115 • Christmas

115

Wreath

Ornament

Stocking stuffers

Wrap up

Put up (the tree)

Story

Wife: Honey! I’m so excited! Did you get everything from the attic?
Husband: Uhm, yeah, I think so.
Wife: Even the lights?
Yep, even the lights.
Wife: Alright great, let me see. Alright, so the wreath will go over there. Can you hang it on the door? Okay, then these are the ornaments, I think we need some new Christmas decorations. All this stuff is so old. You know what? I’ll run to Target later and see if they have something oh and that way I can get some stocking stuffers for the kids, you know? Oh look, we have so much wrapping paper left from last year! Great, that means I can start wrapping up presents right away! Honey, can you pass me the tape?
Husband: Here. Babe, one thing. I know you always get really excited about Christmas and everything related to Christmas but don’t you think maybe we should wait a little longer before decorating?
Wife: What?! No! I want to do it now, come on, babe, please, you said you’d help me!
Husband: Okay.
Wife: Alright, and then for the tree. My mom’s coming to help us put it up next weekend so we need a tree by then. Could you go to the Christmas tree farm and get one? I want a big one this year. Is that okay?
Husband: Yeah, it’s okay but I really think the tree will have to wait.
Wife: Why?! But that’s the best part!
Husband: I just don’t think I can find one at this time…
Wife: Yeah, I’m sure you can.
Husband: I really think it’s too early for that.
Wife: No, it isn’t. It’s never too early to decorate for Christmas.
Husband: But babe, it’s- It’s the middle of August!

Questions

All right. This story was actually meant to make fun a little bit of people that start decorating for Christmas way before Christmas time, but it's usually like November or even late October. I don't think there is anybody that really decorates their house for Christmas in August, but just for the sake of the story.

Wreath

'Alright, so the wreath will go over there.'

• What is a wreath usually made of? Leaves and flowers or fabric?

Leaves and flowers or fabric. A wreath is usually made of leaves and flowers and little branches.

• What shape is a wreath?

A wreath is round. It's like a circle, and it looks like a donut made of leaves and flowers, and it's purely used to decorate.

• Where are wreaths usually placed?

I think the most popular place to place a wreath would be on the front door. You would hang it on the front door, but you could place it virtually anywhere in the house. There's people that decorate their fireplace with it, or really anywhere you want to around the house.

• Do you hang a wreath on your front door for Christmas?

My family, we do have some Christmas traditions, but I don't think my mom has ever owned a wreath, but our neighbor in Milan does. I remember any time I would see her front door and I would see a wreath on it, I'd be like, "Oh, all right, okay. Christmas is coming, now I know."

Ornament

'Okay, then these are the ornaments, I think we need some new Christmas decorations.'

• What is the purpose of Christmas ornaments?

Christmas ornaments are meant to decorate your Christmas tree. It's what you place on the Christmas tree so that it's going to look more fun.

• What shape are Christmas ornaments?

They can really be any sort of shape. You got the classic type of ornament, which is basically a bowl and that's pretty much it, but then you also got some other shapes. An ornament can have the shape of a snowflake or a reindeer or a snowman, really anything. I remember we had one that was shaped like a boot. I don't know why, but yes, really any shape. Hey, people even use cookies as ornaments, so really, anything that you hang on a Christmas tree, that becomes an ornament.

• What kind of ornaments do you use to decorate your Christmas tree?

Let me preface this by saying that I do not own a Christmas tree right now. I have been moving a lot over the past, I want to say six, seven years so there's no point in owning a Christmas tree, if you can't take it with you, because every time you would have to buy a new one, but I think my favorite kind of ornaments are just the ones shaped like a ball. I'm a very minimalist person. I like very minimal decor. I'm going to stick with something that's very traditional and a little boring.

Stocking stuffers

'... oh and that way I can get some stocking stuffers for the kids...'

• What are stocking stuffers? Little gifts or big gifts?

Stocking stuffers are the little gifts that you would find in the Christmas stockings. Not only are they little gifts, like literally small gifts, but they are also usually not very valuable. It can be like little toys for kids, or I don't know, I can't think of anything right now. I don't know, like sticky notes. I don't know, these kinds of things are stocking stuffers.

• Where are the stocking stuffers placed?

The stocking stuffers are called like that because they are placed inside the stockings. If you're not familiar with this. In the US, there's-- I'm not sure about the UK, but definitely in the US, you've got this tradition of hanging stockings on Christmas Eve, on the 24th of December. That way, when Santa comes, not only is he going to bring the big gifts, that he's going to leave below the tree, but he's also going to stuff the stockings with these little toys and presents, so the stocking stuffers.

• Do people buy stocking stuffers in your country?

Yes. In Italy, we do have this tradition, but it's actually not Santa that delivers these presents, but it's another person. We call it the Befana, and it's like an old lady, but on the 6th of January, so about two weeks after Christmas, children in Italy wake up. The night before is when they hang their stockings, and then on the 6th, they wake up and they go through their stockings and they're filled with stocking stuffers, so little presents, but also candies and sweets. It's a lot of fun. I love January 6th in Italy, and I love stocking stuffers. A lot of times, to be honest with you, it's useless stuff that you're never going to use in your life, but it's still fun to see a lot of little presents, all at once.

Wrap up (a present)

'Great, that means I can start wrapping up presents right away!'

• If you wrap up a present, do you cover it with paper or do you uncover it?

If you wrap up a present, that means you cover it with paper.

• What’s the purpose of wrapping up presents?

To be honest with you, I'm not entirely sure. I think it has something to do with building suspense. You want to hide. You don't want the person that you're giving the gift to know right away what you're gifting them. That's why you wrap up the present, to hide it for a little longer.

• Are you good at wrapping up presents?

No, I'm terrible. To be fair, I think it's a little pointless to spend too much time wrapping up presents because then you're going to give it to the person and the person is just going to destroy the whole thing, but I'm probably just saying that because I'm very bad at wrapping up presents. My sister is a pro. My sister can wrap up anything. It doesn't matter the shape it has. She can wrap it up great.

Put up (the tree)

'My mom’s coming to help us put it up next weekend.'

• When are you supposed to put up the Christmas tree? Before Christmas or after Christmas?

Well, I know that there's a little bit of a debate here. There's people that say that you should put up the Christmas tree on a certain date, people that say it's a different date, but I think we can all agree that we are supposed to put up the Christmas tree before Christmas and not after Christmas. Putting up the Christmas tree really means, to place it somewhere and then decorate it.

• Do you enjoy putting up the Christmas tree?

I think I used enjoy it a lot more as a kid because I didn't have to do a lot of the boring stuff. As a kid, my job would be mostly to hang the ornaments on the tree, but now as an adult, I realize that there's a lot more that goes into putting up the Christmas tree, like getting the tree out of wherever you stored it, then you got to put it together if it's a fake one. Then you got to untangle the lights. That's one of the worst things. It's a lot of work, but I guess I still enjoy putting up the Christmas tree, it feels nice.

• Have you already put up the Christmas tree or do you know someone who has?

Like I said, we're not going to be spending Christmas here in Valencia, we're going to be on the road mostly so no, we haven't put up the Christmas tree, but a lot of the people that I know have already put it up.

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