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Stephanie, The Elf That Sends Out Way Too Many Christmas Cards

Stephanie’s Holiday Questionnaire:

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

“I’d have to say the Christmas jammies I get for our three kids every year. The tradition started out as a way to get them coordinated Christmas Eve night at bedtime for cute pictures Christmas morning. Yes, they were often hideous, but in a cute way. Now, they aren’t all Christmas-matchy, but they are always comfy and cozy. I hope to continue this tradition forever.”

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

“Some of my favorite childhood memories were traveling to my grandma’s house in Browerville, MN, or to my aunt and uncle’s house, in either Circle Pines or Little Falls, MN, and to my grandparents’ house in St. Louis Park, MN. I remember being worried that Santa wouldn’t find us so far away from home, but he always did! I also loved the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible (even though it seemed to take forever as a little kid) and the singing and instruments my mom’s side of the family always incorporated into our gatherings.”

What was the best/most memorable Christmas gift you’ve received?

“Matt got me my first camera the first year we were dating and I fell in love with photography after that. Also, my bag from Duluth Pack last year was pretty awesome and I’ve used it every day since.”

What do you wish for this Christmas?

“I’d wish for everyone to genuinely love someone and to feel loved by someone. Love is such a powerful emotion and it’s such a gift to give and receive. Sappy, I know.”

Have you been naughty or nice?

“I try to be nice, but I will admit I do have a little naughty streak in me.”

What is your favorite Christmas cookie or dish?

“I love the full, traditional turkey dinner complete with stuffing, cranberries, green bean casserole and wine, with a real tablecloth and pretty cloth napkins.”

What is your favorite Christmas song?

“This is hard – there are so many good ones! Favorite traditional Christmas song: What Child Is This? Especially Josh Groban’s version. Christmas song I physically cannot stop myself from dancing and singing to: Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. Christmas song that gets stuck in my head all year long: It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

“Elf is my absolute favorite Christmas movie, but National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a very close second. There are so many fantastic quotes from the movie Elf!”

Do you enjoy giving or receiving gifts more?

“I love to give and I spend a lot of time trying to get thoughtful gifts for people on my list, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t like to receive too. Matt is a really, really good gift giver.”

Do you stay within your Christmas budget?

“I know I overspend for everyone on my list. That’s part of the fun, right?”

Artificial or real tree?

“I do appreciate a real tree, but the artificial trees are hard to beat. I am not a good tree waterer.”

What color decorations do you use? (red/green, multi, white/red, etc)

“I like to switch it up every year. This year it’s white lights with red accents.”

When do you put up your Christmas tree?

“I try to always put our trees up Thanksgiving weekend. I like to finish one holiday before I start on the next one.”

How many trees do you put up?

“Two at home – one upstairs and one downstairs – and usually two at the office.”

Do your stockings get filled or are they only for decoration?

“I like them bursting with awesomeness!”

What do you/did you leave for Santa?

“When the kids were little, we’d leave the traditional milk and cookies, with a little reindeer food every once in a while. Now that they’re all teenagers, the big guy gets nothing.”

How many Christmas gatherings do you attend each year?

“A couple at least: one for work, one with my side of the family, sometimes one with Matt’s family, sometimes with friends… It really depends on the year.”

Do you still send out cards?

“Of course! It’s one of my favorite things to do at Christmastime! I usually send out over 200 cards with a double sided letter. I know that’s over the top, but there’s so much to say! It’s the one time of year we always check in with many of our old neighbors, distant relatives, far away friends and loved ones, even some of our parents’ friends. I love getting cards and letters from friends and family too. I pin them up around our windows, so we can admire them into January.”


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