Boxing Day

Bubs’ Porcupine Quill Birch Bark Box

This Boxing Day, how long are the return lines are at Macy’s?—Argyle Sweater 

Last night, I was exhausted after Christmas. So much cooking, so much eating, so much social interacting, a hermit can only take so much. So, we slept in this morning, which felt so good. I awoke in the middle of a dream, a travel nightmare of sorts. We were flying out for the holidays, all Home Alone style and I had just driven with my family up to the terminal, when I realized that I had to go back and park the car. As in such dreams a series of missteps ensued, mistakes piled upon mistakes, until missing the flight seemed like the least of my worries. Fortunately, when all seemed lost, I woke up and all of my anxiety melted away. Do you think that is the purpose of such dreams, reliving tense, if imaginary situations, so that you can feel that very real sense of relief?

The main instigator that precipitated the need for such a cathartic moment was probably the carving of the turkey—murder most fowl. Anne and I had been slaving together, in the kitchen all day, to cook this bird and in the end it all came down to me. Using the two wooden spoon method, one stuck down its neck and the other up its ass, I deftly extracted the bird from the broiler pan and plopped it on the cutting board. Where it immediately began to bleed grease.

Our next-door neighbors once quipped that they always knew when we were cooking for the holidays, after the Roto-Rooter man arrived to snake out our drain. The grease from the resting turkey was already flowing towards the kitchen sink’s drain. A frying pan was placed below the tilted cutting board in order to catch as much grease as possible, but this was a monster bird, the largest that I have ever carved, almost Rodan sized. Eventually though, the turkey was dissected and I threw the remains of its now boney carcass into the garbage. Except for what was to be served, the rest of the meat made it into Tupperware, to be frozen. In the end, I filled two empty half-gallon cartons with grease and greasy water. They spent the night in the freezer and this morning went out with the bones. I’m sure that some of the grease made it down the kitchen sink drain though. Anyway, we’ll be eating turkey for some time to come. Gobble-Gobble!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas – PhotoFunia

Anne has been slaving over a hot stove and I am up to my elbows in hot water, doing dishes. Your Mark I dishwasher is here. These two alternative forms of heat are both welcome, because it is freaking cold outside. It is probably even too cold to refrigerate food on the back porch. We didn’t walk yesterday or today, partly because of cooking, but partly because of the cold weather. I really love Christmas, but I think that by tomorrow, I’ll be about done with winter. 😉

We made quite the X-mas haul of booty. This year has a game theme. I must have heard the Little Drummer Boy three times already today, to which Anne has a joke to add: Mary, exhausted, having just gotten Jesus to sleep, is approached by a young man who thinks to himself; what this girl needs is a drum solo. Ahead of schedule, we’ve already had breakfast and opened presents. Now it is time for the next course, cooking. We unwrapped the turkey and discovered to our surprise that it was a Republican—it had its head stuck up its ass. We have to get this bird into the oven ASAP, because an afternoon of long-distance calling to family awaits us later today, followed by dinner and more dishes still. 

We got a call from two longtime friends, I won’t say old friends, even though they are both starting to show a little wear around the edges. Their big news is that they both have already gotten the vaccine. She is a physician who sees patients in at least two hospitals. I’ve long since given up trying to keep up with her work, because she has had upwards of six jobs simultaneously. So, she’s a doctor and as such is naturally at the head of the vaccination line. Interestingly, she said that those little vials that the vaccine comes in are supposed to hold only five doses each, but actually have six. That means that those 100 million doses that I have been hearing about on the news are really 120 million. Now her husband is not a doctor, so how did he get vaccinated? Turns out he participated in a trial. In this trial 60% of the participants got the vaccine and 40% got a placebo. Now it could be that he got the placebo, but after his injections, he had the hoped for side effects. Won’t know for certain, but things look promising.

Making Christmas

Making Christmas

This is a backstage photo from a Macy’s Christmas windows that Dan once shared. A little humor, from a hectic time past. 2021 has some big shoes to fill. But with it, here’s hoping you all…

Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light, next year all our troubles will be out of sight. Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. So hang a shining star upon the highest bough and have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

The preceding lyrics were first sung in 1944 by Judy Garland in the hit movie, Meet Me in StLouis. It was also the words on our Christmas cards this year. Released at the height of the American involvement in the war, this melancholy tune tells a story of both loss and hope. It seemed especially fitting for this year’s holiday season and that it was set in St. Louis didn’t hurt either. 

Today, Anne and I worked the day away, cooking and cleaning. Even though there will only be three of us this year, it still seems to involve the same amount of work. I guess this means more leftovers for us, but our huge turkey would have seen to that all by itself. Anyway, have yourself a merry little Christmas.

In order to make the making of Christmas a little bit more enjoyable, I turned on Christmas carols. This is something that I have avoided until now, because of the Little Drummer Boy Challenge. This is a hipster game that I learned of years ago and once learned cannot be unlearned. Basically, the object is quite simple, if you hear the song between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you lose. If you don’t hear it, then you win. Living like a hermit, I can generally win.

The last time I lost was one year that Anne was listening to a Christmas special on TV. The song came on, I heard it and when I went to confront her, she was fast asleep on the couch, so she won. Anyway, I thought that the radio station I had selected was sufficiently highbrow that that song would not be played. I was wrong. I was lying on the couch when it came on. Somehow, Anne had conveniently stepped out to deliver some cookies to the neighbors and had not heard it. A careful reading of the rules indicates that I had not lost after all, because the challenge had ended as of last midnight. So, there!