Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. July is a good time for me to get away before the serious preparations for Christmas begin in August, so, having made sure the reindeer are in good hands and that the 'naughty and nice' lists are being checked at least twice, my wife and I pack up our sunglasses, beach towels, sun tan lotion and swimsuits and head off to sunny Hawaii. While I may PINE for our SNUG home in the North Pole, I am looking forward to having a nice rest and have packed a pair of binoculars as I hope to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes, ornithology, while in Hawaii.
2. Ah, this is the life, lying under a palm tree with a cool glass of pineapple juice and the sparkling blue sea lapping gently at the shore. I remember that one of the elf TEACHERS who works in 'The North Pole University of Toy Manufacturing and Reindeer Maintenance' informed me, after his own holiday in Hawaii a couple of years ago, that he had heard that it was illegal for new buildings to be taller than the tallest palm trees. I don't know if this is true, but contemplating the palm inevitably turns my thoughts to Christmas again as I wonder if we might eschew the traditional decorations this year in favour of a tropical theme, but then I remember that Twinkle, the chief interior design elf who TRIMS our evergreen himself, has a short fuse and would probably hit the roof if I told him we were swapping the fir for a palm and the holly wreaths for flower garlands!
3. It usually takes a couple of days for us to get into holiday mode and to truly relax and enjoy our much-needed break. Even just getting away for a fortnight necessitates a great deal of planning, not only making sure that Santa HQ will run smoothly while I'm gone, but also ensuring that I won't have to 'talk shop' all the time while I'm trying to get a tan. The problem is, I am very recognisable and when children (and grown ups!) notice me, I'm soon inundated with premature Christmas lists! So, for the past few years, I've taken the precaution of FIRST having my barber drastically alter my appearance, which is done with great HASTE. This works like a CHARM as, once my beard and hair are suitably trimmed and I am in my holiday clothes, I am able to blend in very well.
4. After eating all those mince pies that the children leave out for me on Christmas Eve, I have to watch my weight for the rest of the year. When we go on holiday, however, I leave my DIET at home for a few weeks and sample as much of the local cuisine as possible. We went to a lovely little restaurant last night where we listened to a band CROON traditional Hawaiian melodies AS we sampled a selection of local delicacies.
5. Speaking of food, I have been so impressed by the exotic dishes I've sampled here that I am determined to try out some of these recipes myself when we get home. I have even thought about attempting some Hawaiian twists on traditional Christmas desserts, but fresh ingredients like pineapple and yam are hard to come by in the North Pole soI will have to use canned varieties. I have no idea how these culinary experiments of MINE will turn out, but they do say that 'variety is the SPICE of life' so it has to be worth a try!
6. This is the life, working on my tan while I casually LEAF through the book Mrs Claus bought for me. She KNOWS that I don't get a lot of time to read the rest of the year and she also knows my penchant for a good mystery, but, unfortunately, the bright sun in my eyes and the fact that the heat is making me very sleepy are making it hard for me to focus on this book. Although I enjoy this weather on holiday I must admit that I find the more bracing weather at home very refreshing and am glad that I get to live somewhere so cold!
7. Although it is lovely and warm here in Hawaii, it still feels quite strange to only be wearing a VEST and shorts, since I'm used to wearing many layers of clothing at home to counteract the North Pole chill. However, I would definitely be conspicuous if I were to be seen strolling along this sun-kissed beach in the SAME RICH red and white suit I wear for work on my biggest night of the year, not to mention the chance of me suffering from heat stroke in such an outfit!
8. Mrs Claus says that all of this beautiful tropical scenery has brought out the old romantic in me. I think she might be right. Just last night I was reminding her of the Christmas, a very long TIME ago indeed, that we STOLE our first kiss under the viscum album.
9. I can't possibly leave Hawaii without trying my hand at surfing, even if it is at the COST of my dignity! I must admit that I am hardly a natural at this, but, given my build and age, I felt like a KING when I managed to stay on the board for more than ten seconds! Perhaps surfing might help me get in shape, climbing down all those chimneys carrying a big sack of presents never gets any easier, but I don't think that surfing would be possible at the North Pole so I will have to take up a more suitable sport like skiing!
10. We're back in the North Pole now and I've just stowed our cases away in our BOXY attic for another year. Although I am always a bit sad when our holiday comes to an end, I do love my home and my work so returning to both is no great hardship; there is always something to look forward to and, right now, my thoughts are firmly on 'Operation Christmas'. I feel a bit like I do on the day after Christmas Day, a little sad that all the excitement is over but enjoying relaxing with the family and hoovering up all of the Christmas leftovers before sitting down in front of the television with a GIN and tonic. In the AD breaks between the customary James Bond film, we might even see an advert that will inspire us to book next year's holiday!
Source: Author candy-pop
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