With just nine days remaining until Christmas, we here at CivMix are engaging in a little holiday Q-and-A. We have posed a set of (we think fairly easy to answer) questions, and hope that some of our favorite people will respond.

If you’re interested in participating, please hit us up in the comments section. It’s fun! It’s easy! It’s painless….and also instructive. Who doesn’t like to talk about giving and getting during the holidays? And it doesn’t have to be all about the material gifts, either, because as we all know, sometimes those intangibles – like the gift of time well spent with people we love – are the best and most memorable gifts of all.

Veteran CivMix contributor Silvia Lilly has graciously volunteered to go first.

1. What one thing would your holiday be incomplete without? Elvis Presley’s Christmas album. I’m weird about Christmas music – I do not want to hear it until after Thanksgiving, thank you very much, but at the appropriate time of the year, I can’t get enough of Santa Claus is Back in Town. 


2. Share your favorite holiday memory or gift you received/gave. The present part of Christmas is my least favorite thing about Christmas! It just feels like there’s so much pressure to find the exact right gift that it almost feels like a chore instead of treat. The last couple of years, my favorite gift (to myself) has been tickets – a train to NYC followed by a flight to Palm Springs. Getting to the desert to spend time with a dear friend is the best present!
3. If you could have one person living or dead at your holiday table, who would it be and why? I’d love to share another holiday with my Uncle Wolfgang. Weeks before he died unexpectedly from a ferocious cancer in 2017, we had Easter together in the Black Forest.  It was a remarkably special evening, complete with additional aunts, uncles and cousins, and I’d love one more of those holiday experiences with my maternal side of the family. I miss him.
4. What’s at the top of your list to give and/or get this year? I’m always excited for my sons to open their presents but as they get older, I find my shopping has decreased in favor of giving them what they seem to most want – cash. I’m keeping my eyes open for an opportunity to pay it forward while at the grocery store. I think it would be really cool to surprise a stranger by picking up their shopping bill – I’ll let you know how it goes!
5. What’s your wish for 2020? If wishes were horses, beggars would ride and someone else would be sitting in the Oval Office, but, if I had to make a wish it would be for health care for all. The most valuable thing any of us can possess is good health and I wish every person in the world had access to quality and affordable health care.