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I’m never happy to see Christmas pass; it makes all the decorations and holiday gear suddenly seem sad and out of date. It shouldn’t be so, as we are celebrating The Season, and that lasts beyond The Day, right? But we all know better. Santa is a symbol of hope and delight on Dec. 23rd; on the 26th he’s heaped in clearance bins. Even his most fervent constituency, children, has moved on.
I love this Christmas parody of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks. It distills the essence of that quiet few moments on Christmas Eve, when the stockings are stuffed and the gifts are arranged under the tree just so. The night is still and cold. The kids have knocked off the pretense of sleep and have actually succumbed to their visions of sugar plums. Santa has already been by the house and you're ready for down pillows and a comforter. But you sit for just a bit, admiring your handiwork. Merry Christmas, Indeed.
TWC is done with the shopping and about to whip out a batch of Leo's egg nog. Recipe to follow.
Considering that we've been assured that this recession borders on the dregs of 1933, I have seen nothing short of relentless cheerfulism (I made that word up) this holiday season. There has been no shortage of big smiles, from proprietors, clerks, and customers alike.
I kept count: Hundreds wished me a Merry Christmas (even the ordinarily indifferent). At a distant second, I heard scores of Happy Holiday greetings. At least a dozen people encouraged me to Have a Good One. A half dozen others wished that I'd Have a Nice Day. One long-haired, surfer-lookin'-guy grinned and said, Have a Nice One, Gramps. An old biker-lookin' guy nodded; Have a Good One, Broh. Happy Kwanza? Nope. Happy Hanukkah? Only my Jewish friends. There was also a Watch Out For the Wall from the chick at BevMo, who assured me that nobody had Christmas Eve off and that by noon the lines would stretch to the beer section at the back of the store. And, Lordy, what is up with the inordinate amount of cleavage, complementing all the warm smiles? This is why they hate us; for our beautiful women.
Have you noticed that there are some people whose smile lights up a room? Three of the four Santa Snells have megawatt smiles. Not moi, but I'm good at drinking wine.
I'm ordinarily a glass-half-empy kind of guy, but not today.
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint milk
1 pint brandy
1 ounce dark rum
3/4 cup sugar
separate eggs, beat whites until stiff
add 1/4 cup sugar, beat until well mixed
beat egg yolks until creamy
add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until well mixed
add milk, heavy cream, brandy and rum to egg yolks. Mix well. Then add egg whites and mix well.
Drink and be Merry!
Warmest wishes to y'all.
UPDATE: Leo's egg nog is muy bueno. My only deviation from the recipe was to add fresh nutmeg to the mix and as a garnish. I also made some NA egg nog for the kids, substituting an equal portion of cream and milk to sub out for the booze.
This egg nog is stout, lightweights should cut back on the alcohol somewhat.
The Boy has an ongoing interest in the manly arts. His latest creation is a rod iron Christmas candle holder for the house. Sometimes rod iron is called wrought iron, which I mention so as to remain clear on the particulars.
Last week, after he zipped through his literature final, the teacher cut him loose and he moseyed over to metal shop where he won five bucks in a friendly game of poker. I suppose it should bother me a bit, but it doesn't.
Oddly enough, in public school's crazy, zero-tolerance, alternate universe, where no student has any rights worth respecting, playing cards are tolerated. Back in the days of my vagrant yoot, a pack of Bicycles would get you the boot as quickly as a pack of Marlboros.
Don't get me started on pen knives, random drug searches, or ibuprofen. Did somebody say it's a free country?
On her way from the dishwasher to hang up three sparkling clean wine glasses, The House Blond got a little distracted and jumped into animated conversation mode. As she became engrossed in relating the story, a particularly emphatic hand gesture sent all three glasses flying. Two of them exploded instantly, sending glass shrapnel in every direction. The third slammed onto the ceramic tile and skittered across the kitchen floor where it then ricocheted out from under the kick space and came to a halt by the sink. Undamaged.
Plastic? Nope. We have plastic wine glasses for the boat, but not at the Casa. These are roomy, good looking, twenty ounce Italian glasses, with enough swirl room to satisfy even guys the Kosmik Kid, who need a lot of glass to enjoy a big, bold red. The titanium reinforced stems also add strength and they'll hold up to the dishwasher.
I was a bit skeptical of Luigi Bormioli's claim that the glasses were nigh on unbreakable, but the proof is in the puddin' so to speak. I watched the glass bounce across the floor and it didn't break, chip, or mar, which may explain the twenty-five year warranty.
Wish I'd had unbreakable glasses hanging up when the wine glass rack let loose one night and left this mess behind.....
These are perfect every day glasses but they are classy enough for your exquisite holiday table. They'll also make a wonderful holiday gift for the wino in your life.
They ain't Reidels, but you can buy sixteen unbreakable Luigi Bormioli Symphony wine stems for the price of one Reidel, which is guaranteed to shatter upon impact with ceramic floor tile.
Back in the days of my pre-vagrant yoot, I was crazy for this cute little Jewish girl, except I didn't know she was Jewish or even what that meant. After Christmas Vacation, er, ah, I mean Winter Break that year, I asked her about her Christmas gifts. A puzzled look crossed her face and she simply said that she didn't do Christmas, which confused more than enlightened. Kids don't always understand mad crushes or the subtle distinctions that delineate things in the real world.
I suppose that my parents meant well as they explained that Jan lit the Menorah and well, what if you grow up, fall in love, and have kids? What ever will you do? On the the bright side, they were relieved she wasn't Catholic.
Decades later, in a bit of irony, my cousin (Mr Macintosh) married a lovely Jewish girl, had kids, and they worked it out. Pretty sure they light the Menorah and the Christmas tree.
That said, for some inexplicable reason, this video brings my dear Mrs TWC a disproportionate amount of enjoyment. White Christmas? Meh. Run, Run, Reindeer? Just OK. Adam Sandler? Whole 'nother thing. Might be her favorite Christmas song. Don't give up before you get through the intro.