Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How to Have a Great Christmas

Get up early, well before the kids, even though you were up late baking pie and the cornbread the night before.

Find out you didn't bake the cornbread quite enough.  Put it back in the oven.  Realize, after you get the rest of the ingredients ready, that the oven was at the wrong temperature and burned it.

Finally get a dressing made, after cutting the burned parts off the cornbread.  Hope it's still enough dressing.

Go wake the family, who all respond with groans because they were up late the night before.  Listen as your #1 Son, who came home to visit for the holiday, gets sick in the bathroom.

Spend 30 minutes trying to figure out which cars to take, who will drive, who has to put up with #2 Son's music, where the ice chests will fit, and which gas station to stop at because the one with the cheapest gas also has the lousy coffee, and everyone has to have coffee at the gas station.

Find out, at the gas station, that your debit card doesn't work because of a botched transaction the previous day.  Go get the emergency stash of cash out from your driving glasses case.

Drive 70 or so miles to Grandma and Grandpa's house, realizing when you get there that you forgot the football programs for Grandpa and one of Grandma's gifts.

Look over the situation in the kitchen and hear from Grandma that the turkey was a dud.  Look at the turkey, which baked off with almost no juice in the pan, and realize she's right.  Grab the giblets and start boiling them for gravy as she tells you she also has only about a half cup of flour left in the house for the gravy roux.

Wrestle Grandma's cantankerous stove into boiling the giblets and browning the roux with the help of 6 other people who have nothing else to do while the potatoes are being mashed and the gravy made.

Listen to Grandma worry about the homemade mac and cheese, which also dried out, probably in sympathy with the turkey.  Check on it, and sure enough, it's dried, too.

Burn the edges of the bread while spattering hot gravy on yourself.

Serve a dinner that could feed 20 to 7 people.

Try to pack all that food into the ice chests you brought along.  Have Grandpa shoo you out the door in record time because there is a bad storm front moving in.

Drive home and get there just ahead of the storm.

Unpack and get everything into the fridges just in time for the power to go out.

Be thankful for the generator.

Be thankful for Grandma and Grandpa, who put up with this every year.

Be thankful for the children mostly behaving and keeping arguments down to a minimum.

Be thankful that you don't have to do this again until next Thanksgiving.

Be thankful because it really was a wonderful, happy Christmas after all.

Today is:

Awful Tie Day -- internet generated, go to the office and compare who got the worst tie as a gift

Blessing of the Wine -- Greiveldange, Luxembourg (winemakers parade to the church to have a barrel of wine blessed)

Boxing Day -- day on which boxes of goodies are given to the less fortunate or public servants, and sometimes servants and masters traded places for the day

Coffee Percolator Day -- invented by James Mason on this day in 1865

Day of Goodwill -- Namibia; South Africa

Day of Our Theotokos /  Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God -- Byzantine/Eastern Orthodox Christian

Family Day -- Namibia; Vanuatu

Icelandic Traditional Calendar Month Morsugur "Fat Sucker" begins -- Iceland (refering to the daily fare becoming scant in deep winter and body fat is used up)

Independence and Unity Day -- Slovenia

Junkanoo (Junkanoo Jonkanoo, Jankunu, John Canoe or Johnkankus) -- Caribbean Islands, also on New Years Day (A special music and dance, mime and symbol that is an early traditional dance form of African descent.)

Kwanzaa, Day 1, Unity

Mauro Hamza Day -- Houston, TX, US (United States Fencing Association Foil Director)

Mummer's Day -- Padstow, Cornwall

National Candy Cane Day

National Thank-you Note Day

National Whiner's Day™ -- a day to encourage people to be happy with what they have; the previous year's worst whiners are announced (you don't want to be one!)

Recyclable Packaging Day -- started by someone who wants to remind us to gather up the reusable bags, boxes, etc., left from the holiday, and recycle the rest

Second Day of Christmas

Sports Days -- Falkland Islands (through the 28th, with the Boxing Day race at Stanley being the most famous part of the celebration)

St. James the Just's Day -- Orthodox Christian

St. Stephen's Day (Patron of casket makers, deacons, horses, masons, stone masons; Patron of over 80 cities throughout Italy; Kessel, Germany; Metz, France; Owensboro, KY; Toulouse, France; against headaches)
     Public Holiday in Alsace, Andorra, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, Czech Republic; Germany, Holy See, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain (regional), Switzerland (regional)
     Celebrated as Father's Day -- Bulgaria
     Day of the Wren -- Ireland; Isle of Mann (costumed mayhem)

Tehuantepec Festivities -- Oaxaca, Mexico

Thanksgiving Day -- Solomon Islands

Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra) - Zoroastrian

Birthdays Today:

Jared Leto, 1971
Lars Ulrich, 1963
David Sedaris, 1956
Ozzie Smith, 1954
Carlton Fisk, 1947
John Walsh, 1945
Phil Spector, 1940
Alan King, 1927
Steve Allen, 1921
Richard Widmark, 1914
Mao Tse-tung, 1893
Henry Miller, 1891
Charles Babbage, 1791
Thomas Gray, 1716

Today in History:

Columbus founds the first Spanish settlement in the New World by leaving behind 36 men in what is now Haiti, 1492
The final trial of Louis XVI of France begins, 1792
A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable, 1811
The Erie Canal opens, 1825
Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years, 1871
King Mwanga of Uganda signs a contract with the East Africa Company, 1890
Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium, 1898
FM radio is patented, 1933
Time Magazine's Man of the Year is for the first time a non-human, the personal computer, 1982
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the USSR, 1991
A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing over 250,000 people, 2004


  1. uh huh. Now I know where you hide yo' cash. Muwahahahahahaaa! first I thought you were "wrestling grandma". Was about to give you a "shame on you" interwebs stare down.

  2. What would it be without the chaos? Glad you enjoyed despite the various bumps along the way. :)

  3. Josie, it's only ten bucks, just enough for a small hiccup problem.

    Hilary, if it went smoothly, we wouldn't know how to enjoy it!