Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Hi guys. I’m probably taking the week off. Between cooking and entertaining, there isn’t going to be too much time to spend here. I’ll be back the following Monday with pictures of The Feast of Fishes, new dresses, and boys in suit jackets. And some thoughts about the impeachment, for sure.

Please have a joyous week whatever your holiday flavor! Tell me what you’re doing, please. I love hearing stories from the readers.

13 thoughts on “Happy Holidays, Everyone!

  1. What I’m doing is probably completely unrelatable. Going in tonight to work a full night shift so I can get my weekly incentive pay ($300, nothing to sneeze at. But in oder to get it, you have to work 93% of the available hours, and they round up if there is *any* remainer. So. No blowing off early to get extra sleep before…), driving 6 1/2 hours after a lengthy nap at the rest stop south of the job (so I don’t have to go all the way back to the motel and pay the toll bridge). With any luck, I will get enough sleep to have a pleasant drive and make it in time for the roast pork loin my dad is cooking. After that, it’s the candlelight service at my UU congregation, which warms my pagan heart.

    Christmas dinner will be turkey, because the general contractor handed out turkeys to everyone last week (that wanted one—most of us are travelers with no place to put a turkey. Those that declined had their turkeys donated to the local food bank. My foreman helpfully stored our turkeys in his basement freezer, so mine will be thawing on the way back.

    The rest of my weekend will be spent doing some mundane chores back home, sorting through some books so I can resell unwanted ones back here at Half Price Books, getting my bullet journal ready for the new year, hiking some local trails, trying to pep-talk my daughter into adulthood (school isn’t going well, don’t ask), and eating home-cooked meals. I miss the hell out of cooking. I will be getting out of the fleabag motel, but can’t get into an apartment till mid Januafy (hashtag, “boomtown blues”). On the upside, it’s a hell of an apartment, plus affordable, and closer to the jobsite, and no toll bridge, so worth the wait.

    Also on the upside: I actually got all my presents wrapped!

    Protip: Jeeps are *fantastic* for road naps. The seats are heated and go *aaallll* the way back. That feature also comes in handy for making out, something I probably wouldn’t have discovered if I hadn’t been trying to keep my OTJ romance on the down-low, which did not include a walk past all the other brothers in said fleabag motel. (now, they just treat us like an old married couple when we return to my room. His place is an hour in the opposite direction, which is unfun after a ten hour night shift, hence 99x out of 100 it’s my place.) You couldn’t pay me to be a teenager again most of the time, but the “making out in the car” part is just as fun as it was back then! (/sly smile).


  2. Oh, wow. That took an unexpected turn!

    We’re having the following for Christmas Eve dinner: salmon in orange ginger sauce, mushroom soup (traditional Polish), cooked carrots, beans (symbolic of prosperity), box kit tiramisu (very exciting!).

    Christmas Day dinner will be ham and pecan pie, and side dishes to be figured out later. The family was cracking the pecans today–we gather them all fall on walks.

    Our 9th grader made meatloaf last night, which was pretty thrilling. I also have a box kit peppermint cheesecake that I’m looking forward to, but I’m not sure when we’re going to make it.

    The gifts all got wrapped today. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we got the kids (and particularly our 7-year-old) All the Things. Our high school senior was philosophical about the gift disparity, as she noted that a gift to the 7-year-old is a gift to all of us. (The kids have THREE WEEKS of Christmas break.)

    I got my husband pjs and shirts with lots of pockets and (this is the thing he will actually like)…canned trout and herring.

    We got a month of Disney+ for Christmas break and the older members of the family are (like the rest of the internet) enjoying The Mandalorian.


  3. Happy Christmas and/or Hanukkah. We got the tree up last night, so I think we’re doing well. We don’t have to cook anything.


  4. We got a tree for the first time. My wife is Jewish so it never was a priority but she was always curious. We were supposed to drive to Cleveland to visit family but my wife ended up in the ICU 2 weeks ago with eppiglotitis. Essentially strep throat gone rouge. Rare enough the doctors were abuzz. She’s fine now but the trip would be too much. Anyway we stumbled on a tree clearance sale and grabbed a little scruffy tree that looks lovely in our living room. We are having a bunch of friends over tomorrow and will enjoy food and wine and board games.


  5. Merry Christmas to all celebrating today! Also Happy Hanukkah, but I am a couple of days late.

    My husband and I are in a hotel near my mom’s while my kids sleep on cots in the second bedroom of my mom’s apartment. Fortunately, they are now old enough to sleep late, so we are having a lazy morning here. Christmas celebrations today are at my sister’s house. She had surgery on a femur fracture a week ago (a consequence of the cancer treatment) and it’s better to go to her rather than to make her go to someone else’s house.
    My nieces and nephews are having a Book Christmas, which was very fun to shop for. My kids are having an education-related Christmas as we are giving them things they need for college. My husband got me a Baby Yoda ornament, and I am over the moon (of Endor… or something like that). (FYI, I hated the last Star Wars movie and thus will turn all my fannish energy to Baby Yoda from now on.) We return home tomorrow, sans kids, who are driving my car. My friend who is dog sitting is going on vacation Friday, The kids will stay in NY and hang out with their cousins.
    (I just got a photo of my dog from my friend. She got my dog a Baby Yoda hat! OMG!)


    1. Wendy said, “My nieces and nephews are having a Book Christmas, which was very fun to shop for.”


      “FYI, I hated the last Star Wars movie and thus will turn all my fannish energy to Baby Yoda from now on.”

      Werner Herzog makes a great Space Nazi, but I understand not wanting to put a Werner Herzog ornament on the tree…


  6. Well, the Christmas celebration is finally over. My sister’s family could not join us because her husband has medical problems, so it was just the three members of the nuclear family plus my father. But of course much of the work is the same whether for three or eight, i.e., the tree, the decorations, most of the cooking, etc. My wife made beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and vegetables, and I made pecan pie for dessert. Also, to paint a complete picture of life’s variety, I should note that our Christmas includes more high end touches than the average American’s: oysters and champagne at noon and a server to do most of the serving and kitchen cleanup.


  7. I liked oysters for two weeks when I was 14. As an adult, we now host the oysters and martinis part of Thanksgiving, which means I get to buy & store the beasties. As everyone knows I’m not a fan of oysters, the rest of the family appreciates the effort. They also take seriously my threat to decrease the yearly oyster order, should all the oysters not be eaten by the end of the day.

    We were 10, 3 generations at a table. We cooked prime rib, with mashed potatoes, carrots & a salad. The slow cookers made the side dishes easy, but I learned that using purple carrots in the glazed carrots turned everything kind of puce.

    No servers or kitchen slaves; we use children for that. I am also grateful to the person who invented dishwashers.


  8. Cranberry said,

    “They also take seriously my threat to decrease the yearly oyster order, should all the oysters not be eaten by the end of the day.”


    “No servers or kitchen slaves; we use children for that.”

    I’m in the process of acclimating my husband to the idea that (at least over breaks when we’re all eating at home multiple times a day, cooking dinner almost every night and the dishwasher is running 2-3 times a day) that if the dishwasher is full, a teen needs to empty it, and if there are dirty dishes in the sink, a teen needs to load it. We are also having the teens make the occasional dinner, as well as help a lot with dinners.

    We normally have so few dishes that it’s not a big deal for just us adults (i.e. generally my husband) to load the dishwasher once a day, but during breaks when we’re all at home, we adults cannot/should not function as the Downton Abbey staff to our teenagers.


  9. We are in Hawaii, our winter holiday tradition, year 14. There was a massive rainstorm on Christmas Eve; our power went out at 9! For us, no big deal — some lights mysteriously stayed on from some form of backup power. But we did wonder what the Christmas celebrators did. The power returned early on Christmas Day. Our meal was at a grill down the street and some celebrating in the sun. The water was pretty crazy, suitable only for pictures.

    Two more days of Hanukkah for us — merry Christmas to all those who celebrated.


  10. Thanks, all. I really love hearing these stories from our small, but diverse community.

    I need to get my head back to writing/work stuff. Lots of responsibilities this past week. Fun, too, somewhat. But I can’t blog about any of that. We did eat lots of good food and went to see the Nutcracker, so that was all good. I’m about five pounds up right now, so clearly I consumed too much and am now repenting seriously. I’ll post some pictures later.

    I need a couple of hours of reading stuff on Twitter to get me into work mode. I’ll be back with a blog post soon.


    1. “I’m about five pounds up right now, so clearly I consumed too much and am now repenting seriously.”

      Wish I’d known. I’d have brought you my stomach bug. I’m down about 5 pounds after 3 days. (Picked it up from my niece, who got sick on Christmas Day.)


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