Just like lighting a candle in the window to guide loved ones who aren’t with you, this time of year you do things because that’s the way they’ve always been done.
Your stocking has an orange and chocolate in it, you provide expert commentary at the annual viewing Home Alone, your brother emails you a photo of the yule log playing on the fire station TV, and you leave out treats for Santa.
Frankie, if you are reading this and you are not yet 18, please go tell your father his firewall isn’t configured properly. Gone? Good. And speaking of the cookies tradition — there will come a time when you are no longer the recipient of said tradition, and instead are the instigator.
I came downstairs this morning wholly confused that the cookies were still on Santa’s plate. OH. I guess that’s MY job now. Helping Santa with his cookies, that is. (Frankie, what did I say?)
That, and teaching her all the things that make the day special at our house — that she’ll pass down someday, too.
Two Christmases ago, I had just arrived in Italy. I was snowed in, solo, and improvising — to fairly marvelous results. My “tree” was a branch I picked up from the side of the road on my walk back from church, ceremoniously planted in a mug. (The other mug I owned was for mimosas, obviously.)
Last year we had a proper tree (except for the “having at one point been alive” part.) It was enjoyed, most especially by the stepcats who thought it was erected as a special hideout just for them.
This year, we’ve just moved to Germany. We have a one-month old, and haven’t finished unpacking yet. And so, a triumphant return to the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree tradition — only this time, it’s Charlie Brown’s more Flamboyant Cousin’s tree.
Just ignore the “green branches” part of the “Oh, Christmas Tree” song, and we’re set.
(Yes, the “ornaments” are necklaces. They didn’t specify precisely HOW you were supposed to Deck the Halls, just that you should. Fa-la-la-la-la-lah.)
In a word, yes.
Partially because I learn the most important five words first (bathroom, please, excuse me, french fries, and seasonal spiced wine) and partially because it was the same word in Italy. Last year we had glühwein in Venice. This year, at the Christmas Market in Kaiserslautern.
We kept the commemorative mugs because Santa probably needs a Very Special Drinking Vessel for his milk and cookies. (I was going to say Silk Nog, but since I only have one carton of the four I hauled home the day before Frankie was born, NO. Sorry, Santa. Seasonal for yourself.)
And though I could say this isn’t a blog about pictures of food, A) That’s probably a lie; and B) This salad is the best salad that salad ever SALAD. I had it three weeks ago, and have talked about at least once a day, probably to strangers, since then. So pics, because it happened again.
And with that pile of pommes in the distance, I used all five words today.
While we all know that there is but one true Christmas movie film, but The Santa Clause was on the other day leading to obvious questions: Why does everyone remember the early 90s Tim Allen show by the name of the fake show-within-the-show instead of its actual name, and — what happened to the kid?
Eric Lloyd grew up and traded one iconic haircut for another. Personally, I’d love to see older dudes still rocking the bowl cut. That might be interesting.
In any event, in any big seasonal event, a little Santa must come to town — and somebody here might be trying to have a first time on Santa’s lap a little later into December.
It’s a census visit really, just a check in to let him know she’s here and ready for her first Christmas.
I don’t think she’s after a Red Ryder BB gun. Yet, anyway.
The “seasonal reading of the original and most important nativity story,” in its 20th Anniversary, as seen on the biggest screen since the first time I saw it. Then, with Frank and the Bro at the theater. Now, with Ryan and his family by the fire.
I refrained from Rocky Horroring it (mostly), though I added a fun (I’m SURE for everyone) new element: Pop-Up Trivia.
“Watch Mitch Murphy’s mouth right here. He lip syncs the van driver’s lines.”
“Did you know ‘Buzz Your Girlfriend Woof’ is actually a dude?”
“Old Man Marley died this year and he was a WWII vet.”
While watching “Kevin, you’re what the French call les incompetents” with Linnie’s head as tall as me, I wondered as all normals do, “Huh. Where is Linnie now?”
Angela Goethals was in Phenom, about the teenage tennis player (this I TOTALLY forgot). She was one of the only ones who didn’t come back for Home Alone 2, a fairly fine sequel. It seems she’s still acting (24, CSI and stuff) but OH MAN. Looking for a then-and-now pic, I found it.
This is better than what’s on Buzz’s shelves: The Home Alone kids Then and Now.
Santa came early this year.
If the Bro and I were sending out Christmas cards, that up top there would be the front. (Does that count? Did I just send them?) If he’d be so kind to bring over some windshield cutters, I bet we could liberate the T & Z because OH MAN I want this Vickie’s-esque store’s Holiday decor scheme.
The Christmas market in Verona last night, with its high-tech dripping LED lights which somehow don’t manage to move the sight of the stalls and roasted chestnuts into the present at all. History, is heavy. Too heavy for the speed of light.
And a pilgrimage to “Juliet’s Balcony” which isn’t “real” but built because “In fair Verona where we lay our scene” is as far as anyone seems to have gotten in reading R&J. That, or Claire Danes talked too fast. I applied for the job of “Crank standing by the statue saying, ‘You know how it ends? In joint, inconvenient suicide, drugs and daggers respectively.” They weren’t interested, so I settled with pointing people toward the R <3 J 4EVA!!!1!! store.
Romance is stronger than crank.
Fuzzy-bottomed waddly warm squirmy PUPPIES. (Don’t worry, Santa. I’m not even bothering to ask. Again. I’ll just watch this over and over and pretend I have aquarium dogs.)
Venice in Glüh Wein. Christmas in Vin Brulé.
Brisk and warm and mulled, all at the same time.