Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Christmas Character Tag!


Hello, everyone! Less than a week remains before Christmas, there's carols playing all around and presents beneath the tree, and the Advent devotionals and storybooks are drawing their ways towards the climax. Yes, the holiday spirit is definitely in full swing- something that always puts me in the mood to write Christmas-themed fluff-fic. Unfortunately, I can't sort out Christmas songs and characters into a writeable plot, and Fight Song is taking top priority at the moment for actual writing. So instead I'm creating the Christmas Character Tag in order to indulge my desires for fluff without having to come up with an actual story. Others equally taken by the season are more than welcome to join in.

Of course, since it's my tag, it's my rules, and here's how this is going to work:
1. Acknowledge the person who tagged you. Thanking them is nice, but not necessary. You can be annoyed at them if you like. (Though, if you're annoyed, why are you doing the tag anyway?)
2. Pick your characters. I advise having several, though not too many. They can all be from the same story, or they can be from different stories. If they're from different stories, make sure to specify who's from the same story.
3. Answer the questions. This should be self-explanatory.
4. Tag people. If you want. Don't tag more people than you have characters in the tag. If you don't want to tag anyone, you can do that too.
5. Listen to your favorite Christmas song. Because putting the effort in to write a post deserves a reward, my friend!

I'm going to be answering with the main characters from my Fairy Tale Retellings series, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that I haven't written much of anything about them since February or March-ish. So, our cast for the tag consists of adopted sisters Ivy Jade, Poppy, and Pansy, as well as Prince Hayden of Aldurna, Aethan Falleth, and Jason Silver.

And now for the questions:

1. If any of your characters are from Earth: what are some of their Christmas traditions? If your characters aren't from Earth: does their world have an equivalent to Christmas, and if so, how do they celebrate it?
 None of my characters are from Earth (though, for the rest of the questions, we're pretending that they are, or that they at least know about and celebrate Christmas). However, equivalents to Christmas do exist in the various countries of that world, and celebrations vary from one place to another. Specifically:
  • Ivy, Poppy, and Pansy are all from Keltia, which has a twelve-day midwinter festival culminating on the shortest day of the year. The festival celebrates the triumph of life and light over death and darkness, and like Christmas in our world, evergreen decorations and abundant sweet treats are common. However, like most Keltian holidays, there's a much greater focus on dances- whether that's traditional jigs and reels at various parties and socials during those twelve days or the symbolic dance of the final day in which whole towns participate.
  • Jason is from Morovia, which shares Keltia's midwinter festival and many of the same traditions, but in Morovia, there's much less focus on dancing, and much more on gift-giving. Each of the festival's twelve days is dedicated to giving to a certain person or group. However, as often as not Jason finds himself outside his home country during the festival because of his duties- and if he happens to be in the right part of Keltia, he'll just slip in to join Poppy's celebrations.
  • Hayden and Aethan are both from Aldurna, the only one of the five nations to not join in the midwinter festival. Their winter holiday, which is held later in the year, is focused much more on thankfulness to and worship of Adonai (God). Though the holiday itself only lasts one day, it's preceded by three weeks of preparation, much like the tradition of Advent in our world. The climatic day begins with a special church service, followed by a feast in the midafternoon and social gatherings in the evening. Despite the comparative solemnity of the Alduran celebration, it's still much more festive and relaxed than their culture the rest of the year, which might be why Aethan says it's the only time of year when he actually enjoys life in his home country.   
        

2. Which of your characters gets the most into Christmas? The least? Who gets annoyed at the commercialization, and who doesn't care because it's CHRISTMAS?
Poppy is by far the most excited about Christmas, and she'll sweep everyone around her up in her exuberance. Hayden is the least excited- not that he dislikes the holiday, but he generally doesn't get worked up about holidays. He and Pansy are also the most bothered by commercialization.
 
3. All the characters try to decorate a Christmas tree together. What happens?
Poppy and Ivy do most everything; they have the process down so well by now that it seems like a dance. Aethan cut down the tree, though, and he does the top branches that Poppy and Ivy can't reach. Pansy strings popcorn and cranberries and hangs up the stockings and sets up the nativity on the mantel. Jason mostly watches and makes sarcastic comments and teases Poppy and Ivy about their lack of height, but allows Poppy to bother him into doing the lights. Hayden, a firm believer in not having too many cooks in the kitchen, generally doesn't join in.
 
4. What's each character's favorite Christmas song?
Poppy and Ivy both sing "Feliz Navidad" and "Deck the Halls" about two dozen times each during the Christmas season, but Poppy also loves "Christmas in Killarney" (mostly because it's so fun to dance to), while Ivy prefers songs like "Sleigh Ride." Pansy's favorite by far is "Mary, Did You Know?" Hayden enjoys "O Come O Come Emmanuel." Aethan likes "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (though lately he's been playing "All I Want for Christmas Is You" a lot . . . particularly when he knows Pansy can hear it). Jason, for his part, isn't one for Christmas music, but he'll tolerate whatever's playing.


5. Can your characters agree on a Christmas movie to watch together? What happens if they try? Speaking of which, who cries at Christmas movies? Anyone?  
Hahaha, no. Not all six. Not completely. What begins with six people wanting to watch six different movies ends with one of two situations:
  • Poppy, Ivy, and Jason are watching a Christmas comedy (which one depends whether Poppy or Ivy gave in first on their pick); they throw Jason out halfway through because he won't stop making sarcastic comments about the characters and plot. Aethan would've been fine with joining in the comedy, but Pansy wants to watch Miracle on 34th Street, so they're watching that. Hayden has to go find other friends with whom to watch It's a Wonderful Life or else wait for Pansy to be done with Miracle.
  • Poppy, Ivy, and Aethan all somehow agree on White Christmas. Depending how late it is, they all end up singing along with some of the catchier and more upbeat songs (never the titular one, though, unless it's really, really late). Hayden, Jason, and Pansy either watch A Christmas Carol or else watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and save A Christmas Carol for when Aethan can join them.  
Of course if they all started watching movies earlier, they could all watch together and just take turns picking the movie every night- though Pansy and Hayden would still sit out some of the comedies (because of strong second-hand embarrassment and a different sense of humor than the movie is meant for, respectively). But because they don't start soon enough, they have to split up so everyone can see the movies they like best.
  
6. Your characters are going to a White Elephant Gift Exchange; what kind of gift does each one bring? 
Poppy comes up with something clever, but still nice, probably involving food. Ivy just goes the easy route and brings a mug and hot chocolate. Pansy either asks Poppy to come up with something for her or sits the game out. Hayden goes the even-easier route and picks up a gift card for either Chick-fil-a or ice cream, but he does the box-within-a-box-within-a-box trick (with a few more layers) to show that he tried. Aethan finds something silly, but not mean- if anyone brings a literal white elephant of any kind, it'll be him. And Jason looks for something as ridiculous as possible; forget the consequences.


7. What's each character's favorite Christmas treat?
Ivy loves peppermint bark and always makes it herself. Poppy doesn't have a favorite, per se, but she is very fond of molasses cookies. Pansy's preference is Russian teacakes and biscotti with hot chocolate. Aethan's treat of choice is ladylocks, but he can compromise on chocolate-dipped macaroons. Hayden isn't one for sweets, but he, like Pansy, enjoys biscotti as well (though he eats it with coffee, not hot chocolate). And Jason, for his part, has to be restrained from sneakily eating all the toffee.


8. Who among your characters likes eggnog? Who thinks it's disgusting?
Poppy heartily dislikes eggnog. Hayden doesn't hate it, but doesn't much care for it either. Ivy and Pansy will drink a little bit if it's there, but don't like large quantities. Aethan and Jason both enjoy it very much, and both will drink the alcoholic version as well as the nonalcoholic.
  
9. Who's meeting who under the mistletoe? Who's catching those people and teasing them about it forever?
Aethan would like to meet Pansy under the mistletoe, but knows she won't let him kiss her until after they're married. Poppy doesn't seek out the mistletoe, but if she happens to run into a certain Keltian prince (not a main character yet) underneath it . . . well, she doesn't mind a kiss or two. Hayden studiously avoids the mistletoe; he currently has no time for or inclination towards that sort of thing, and Jason teases him enough about his love life (or lack thereof) as it is.
 

10. Who makes all the Christmas cookies and other treats?
Poppy generally bakes for at least three days straight during the Christmas season, making not just cookies but also other treats both sweet and savory. Ivy and Pansy help as needed, but Poppy does the most- which is fine, since she loves baking.
   
11. Who stays (or used to stay) up late waiting for Santa? 
Of the characters included in this tag, Ivy kept staying up late for that purpose the longest. Pansy figured out first that Santa wasn't real, but would stay up with the sisters who did believe in order to keep them company, and because she thought that staying up late was exciting and romantic- she still does.


12. What would each character say Christmas isn't Christmas without?
For this one, I'm going to ask the characters directly, so we can get it in their own words:
Poppy: Family- and food. You can't have Christmas without plenty of food.
Ivy: I agree with Poppy about family, but I love the holiday dances as well.
Pansy: I think you can guess what I'd say . . . Poppy's right; family is the most important part.
Hayden: No Christmas is complete without a Christmas Eve candlelight service and a Christmas morning service as well.
Aethan: Holiday parties- I'm not particular what kind, but 'tis the season to celebrate as much as possible!
Jason: Eh . . . snow, I guess? It's the one day of the year when it isn't a pain. 

Finally, we tag people! As usual, picking up this tag isn't mandatory . . . but I would love to see your answers. I tag:
And here's a clean copy of the questions:
1. If any of your characters are from Earth: what are some of their Christmas traditions? If your characters aren't from Earth: does their world have an equivalent to Christmas, and if so, how do they celebrate it?
2. Which of your characters gets the most into Christmas? The least? Who gets annoyed at the commercialization, and who doesn't care because it's CHRISTMAS?
3. All the characters try to decorate a Christmas tree together. What happens?
4. What's each character's favorite Christmas song?
5. Can your characters agree on a Christmas movie to watch together? What happens if they try?
6. Your characters are going to a White Elephant Gift Exchange; what kind of gift does each one bring? (Or, because I had a different question here originally and forgot to change it before it started circulating, if you prefer you can answer: "Speaking of which, who cries at Christmas movies?")
7. What's each character's favorite Christmas treat?
8. Who among your characters likes eggnog? Who thinks it's disgusting?
9. Who's meeting who under the mistletoe? Who's catching those people and teasing them about it forever?
10. Who makes all the Christmas cookies and other treats? Who eats all the Christmas cookies?
11. Who stays (or used to stay) up late waiting for Santa? 
12. What would each character say Christmas isn't Christmas without?

Thanks, everyone, for reading! I hope you enjoyed this!
Merry Christmas!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

8 comments:

  1. This is a really fun idea! Not sure if I'll be able to fit it in to my schedule, but even just thinking about how I'd have answered them was actually really interesting! :D

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And even if you can't fit it in this year, there's always next year. ;)

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  2. Fun idea, Sarah! Glad to see you're still around in the blogging world! I think I'm going to do this. :)

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I'm still around- I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, not if I can help it! And awesome; I look forward to seeing your answers!

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  3. This is really fun - I enjoyed reading though it!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. This was fun to read! :D Your characters sound like they get up to great antics... almost makes me wish there was an actual Christmas for them to do these things during! XD Anyways great questions and thanks for tagging me!! :) I... likely won't get to it for at least a good while. But who knows, maybe I will, or maybe I'll save it for next Christmas or something. :P I'll have to think about what answers to all of these the Chess Club would have... especially since the one I'm writing right now actually has Christmas in it, so this could be research! o.o Heehee. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!! ^_^

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! And they do indeed get up to all kinds of mischief, especially when they don't have monsters and creepy magic people to worry about. (Though . . . I actually want to write a flashfic or something now where they're trying to have Christmas but the villains keep trying to wreck it or something . . . darn it.) And that's fine if you can't do it this year; next year will be fine! I do want to hear what the Chess Club would get up to, though! And yay for tags that double as research!
      Thank you for stopping by, and Merry Christmas to you as well!

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