Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

I Want to Know…

… what is your favorite Christmas carol?

I’m feeling very Christmasy today (probably because the view out my window would be a great establishing shot for a Christmas-related romantic comedy). (…Why romantic comedy? Probably because my iPhone is currently playing “Baby it’s Cold Outside.”) (…No, not one of the new lame versions, Dean Martin!)

… anyway!

I don’t think I could pick just one. I’d have to select one of each kind. I mean, first, you have to have the best choral one. That would be “The Holy and the Ivy.” The companion to that would be the best solo one – “O Holy Night” – which I do not have a good recording of. Most people who sing it do it wrong! And then, then you ‘d have to have the best sad Christmas song, which is obviously “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” (The new Josh Groban recording I just bought off iTunes last night almost made me cry on the train this morning… and relating to the previous song, yes, even his version is wrong.) But you’d also have to have the companion best happy Christmas song, which is less obvious. I think I’d probably go with “Jingle Bells” here – the Barbara Streisand version. It’s fun! Oh, and then you’d have to have the best instrumental one, which I think most people would agree would have to be “Sleigh Ride.” (I like to imagine the percussionists drawing straws – the short straw gets to play the jingle bells for that song.) Yes, I know it has words (I even have a recording of it by the Ronettes), but who cares – the instrumental version is better.

Man… I love Christmas music. It lets you enjoy things you don’t normally listen to. You couldn’t catch me dead listening to Jimmy Buffet on a regular day. But who can let Christmas happen without at least one listening of “Mele Kalikimaka”? The only Barbara Streisand I have is for Christmas. Ditto for the Beach Boys.

But if you held my arm, and twisted it, and made me pick just one…

… I’m almost thinking I’d let you take my arm…

… but I need that for things like playing the guitar and playing the plastic guitar and, you know, work ‘n’ stuff…

… so if I could only have one…

… “Silent Night.”

December 14th, 2007 • 3:38 pm • dinane • Posted in Christmas6 Comments »

Snow is Peaceful

Despite the annoying fact that I could see my breath on the train this morning, I still believe this will be a good day. Snow blankets everything, making the city feel like a Disney movie set. And there is something about the sound of falling snow. It’s like silence… only aloud. Also, while shoveling out the mail box this morning, even the roar of our neighbors’ snow blowers sounded soothing (maybe that’s because we ordered our own snow blower after Mike spent hours shoveling last night…). Plus, no one appears to be in the office yet, so I can sit at my desk, actually accomplishing things, while listening to my collection of Christmas music (which has now reached 116 songs).

I feel…

Peaceful.

December 14th, 2007 • 9:30 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas, House, WeatherNo Comments »

Blogable: No Snow on Christmas!

This year’s Christmas was an even year, so we spent it with Mike’s family in northern Canada.

Okay… not Canada… just northern Vermont, but really close to Canada, okay?

I’m not kidding, guys. They can drive to Canada in less time than it takes me to get to work at rush hour.

Anyway, it snows there all the time. Most winters it snows at least a little bit every day. Not this year, apparently. Christmas came and went, with no snow. For apparently the first time in 30 years.

Kate scolded her mom, as if it was her fault that her Houston-based daughter couldn’t see snow on her visit back to the North Pole. Christmas spirit was hard to come by. House decorations for Christmas weren’t up to code. Church on Christmas Eve was practically empty because so many people left town for the holiday this year. But we did still sing carols and make cookies (gingerbread!) and open presents and make Kate be Santa.

And it snowed on the 26th, so it wasn’t so bad…

I cannot imagine living somewhere where there is never going to be a chance of snow on Christmas. Those poor kids down south, or, God forbid, in the southern hemisphere. They don’t even know what a White Christmas really looks like! So sad…

January 17th, 2007 • 9:21 am • dinane • Posted in ChristmasNo Comments »

Christmas!

I didn’t really know what I’d write about today. I thought I might just let the blog go another day writing-free. Who knew that Jen would have the perfect thing to inspire me some writing.

Egg nog or hot chocolate?
I really do like both. However, since this is a Christmas quiz, I’ll have to go with the nog. I’ll drink hot chocolate almost any day that it’s below about 40 degrees. In fact, I’ve taken to having hot chocolate from Au Bon Pain almost every other day. They’ll make it with skim milk, so it’s almost healthy. Egg nog, however, is never healthy. And it’s only for Christmas. But I do love it at Christmas. With extra nutmeg.
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Since when is Santa a lazy bum? Santa always wraps. With paper that’s got his face plastered all over it.
Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I’m generally a big fan of colored. But my rule, really, when appreciating other people’s decorations, is consistency. If you’ve got the classy white edging and spotlights on wreaths thing going, don’t be putting up a strand of colored blinking lights on one of your fir trees. But in the same way, if you’re going gaudy, go all the way! We actually just have four strings of smallish, but not miniature, colored LED lights on the posts on the front of our apartment, and six strings of the standard small twinkle light sized colored LED lights on the tree, which is definitely too small for six strings of lights, but that’s how many we have, so that’s how many went on the tree. The LED lights are super bright and use like no electricity, so I love them.
Do you hang mistletoe?
We didn’t have it growing up, and I don’t have it now.
When do you put your decorations up?
As soon as possible following Thanksgiving. My dad was out putting his lights up outside on the Friday after. I was at his house that week, so my decorating had to wait for the next available weekend.
What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Aw, man! It’s all about the dessert! But if I have to chose a Christmas food that isn’t cookies, it would definitely be pierogi.
Favorite holiday memory as a child:
I don’t know if I can pin down just one. I know there was one year my parents invited Santa to come over on Christmas Eve (I think it was the neighbor dad from across the street, and if I’ve got my story right, my dad went over and played Santa there next), but it’s not a huge deep memory. It really is that whole cooking with my dad thing (how many times can I link to the same post? we shall see…) that sticks out in my mind. But not as individual events, just as a tradition all blurred together – in a good way.
When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don’t have a traumatic story. My mom broke it to me gently in the car on the way over to my friend Shelly’s house. See, Shelly’s mom told my mom that Shelly found out (she found the wrapping paper in her mom’s closet or something), and the moms figured Shelly would tell me. I did deduce from the Santa thing that there was also no real Easter Bunny nor Tooth Fairy (and the Tooth Fairy has always seemed the lamest of them all, by the way). Maybe it’s because I got let down easy that I still chose to participate in silly Santa-related activities. I like the idea of him, even if I know there isn’t a jolly old guy living at the North Pole with his jolly old wife, nine reindeer, and seventybillion jolly little elves.
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No! That’s like cheating!
How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
We’ve got the aforementioned lights, we theoretically had garland, but I forgot about it until the tree was more or less finished anyway, and then there’s the ornaments. Mike and I each have a collection from our childhoods that could easily fill a medium sized tree on their own. Then, we’ve also got a collection of various sparkly things that I’ve gotten more recently. And then there’s my favorites – my uncle’s ornaments. My uncle had the bestest Christmas tree around, even if it wasn’t real. He had this bright white tree with blue twinkle lights, and every ornament was special. He had his mother’s old glass balls, of which I now have a small collection, and he had the ornaments he made. My uncle was an antique dealer, and a true artist. He made a huge collection of ornaments out of foam balls, ribbons, beads and pins. They are each beautiful and unique, like snowflakes. I couldn’t describe them and give them justice. You’ll just have to believe me when I say they’re awesome. I have a small number of those now too. He has six nieces and nephews, and we each got a fair share of his Christmas spectaculars when he passed. Honestly, it was pretty much the thing all of us were dying to have of his.
Snow! Love it or dread it?
Oh, man how I love the snow. Christmas is better when it’s white. Also, snowboarding. We’re going this weekend (fingers crossed and depending on the weather), and I cannot wait. Snow is just so soothing and calming. I have to say, though, I do eventually get bored of it, the same way I get bored of spring, summer, and fall. It’s a good thing I live in New England, where we have all these lovely season-things.
Can you ice skate?
I’ve never tried. Is that weird? I can in-line skate pretty well, so I think I would be able to, but I’d probably need some serious practicing before I called myself a skater.
Do you remember your favorite gift?
As a kid, I’m sure it was my scooter. That thing was awesome. A great mode of transportation. Plus it was purple. Since growing up, I think my favorite gift is the clock we now have in our living room. I drooled over that thing every time I went into the store where it used to live, and Mike was awesome and got it for me a couple years ago. It’s really neat.
What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Cooking. (Obligatory third link) Pierogis aren’t the only thing. It’s the lemon sugar cookies with ridiculous amounts of sugar and frosting. It’s the big Christmas day meal. It’s spritz cookies. It’s veggie chopping. It’s pies and stuffing and potatoes and egg nog. Maybe it’s not exactly the cooking. Maybe it’s the spending time with people I love … cooking.
What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Cookies! Yay! I’ve been waiting for minutes to write this answer! I love cookies. I love sugar cookies. I especially love my mom’s recipe for lemon sugar cookies with lemon icing, which are cut into fun Christmas shapes like trees, Santas, wreaths, stars, snowmen, reindeer, and, of course, the “Christmas Duck” and now “Christmas Bunny.” (My sister and my boyfriend are both insane. And that’s why I love them.)
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
And you thought I would stop with three links. Why not make it four?
What tops your tree?
This slightly gaudy, but still quite nice, gold star with sparkly fake gems that I got at Mike’s favorite mall store, who’s name I cannot remember. They have all the kinds of things you would put in your library if you had a library. Mike wants to win the lottery so he can have a library and buy one of everything in that store.
Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
I love giving gifts. Absolutely. But I did really like Jen’s response to this one: “If I could only do one, I’d rather do the giving than the getting. But luckily, I don’t have to choose.”
What is your favorite Christmas song?
I love them all! I grew up listening to some serious classics, along with a really awesome 2-CD set of English carols. I can’t pick! My favorite of the English carols is “The Holly and the Ivy.” And I’ve always loved “Sleigh Ride.” Ooh, and “Oh Holy Night” is really fun to sing. But so’s “Silent Night.” Oh, and “Coventry Carol” from the Interstate 8 days. And “Carol of the Bells.” Plus I have a soft spot in my heart for silly things like “Dominick the Donkey.”
Candy canes: yuck or yum?
I love anything made out of sugar.
Favorite Christmas movie?
I’d have to say “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” stole my heart eightybajilionty years ago. No, I haven’t seen the live action one. No, I don’t intend to. Yes, I don’t care if the original cartoon is only a half hour. Yes, I own it on DVD so I can watch it over and over again. Which reminds me, actually. When I was a kid, I probably watched A Muppet Family Christmas, you know the one at Fozzy Bear’s mom’s farmhouse, more than the Grinch. But that could just be because we had that one on tape, where the Grinch we had to wait for it to hit the TV. That tape of A Muppet Family Christmas was from the TV, so it still had commercials. Commercials that I could probably still recite because I heard them so many times. Mostly they were for a brand of cereal that doesn’t exist anymore and for DoubleMint gum. Talking about tapes reminds me of one other thing. We only have a VHS player for two tapes at this point: Transformers and “The Snowman.” If you’ve never seen “The Snowman,” you absolutely must get your hands on it. It’s a silent movie cartoon. Yes, I know that sounds weird. But it’s beautiful art and a beautiful story. Plus the music is spectacular. Actually, add the soundtrack of “The Snowman” to the ridiculous list of my favorite Christmas songs.
What do you leave for Santa?
We always left him a variety of cookies, where at least one was in his likeness, and the biggest carrot we had for the reindeer. My dad would then bite several of the cookies (while we were sleeping, duh) and run the end of the carrot in the garbage disposal, leaving just the top nub, which he’d leave out on the front porch. Very ritualistic, my dad. Actually, he still does this. I think sometimes he thinks my sister and I still believe that Santa and Rudolph really come and eat those things.

Man, that was fun. Thanks, Jen.

December 7th, 2006 • 9:59 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas4 Comments »

Want More Christmas Spirit?

Have more Christmas Spirit!

December 4th, 2006 • 11:21 am • dinane • Posted in ChristmasNo Comments »

How Diane Got Her Christmas Spirit Back

It’s not that I have a particular love for parodying titles of mediocre movies I’ve never seen. It’s just that it is the most sensible title for what happened this weekend.

Friday night was filled with cookie baking. I make a mean triple chocolate cookie, I tell you. I geared up to make a huge double batch of super-sized cookies, and had the batter ready to go when Mike came home. I didn’t bake them right then. In fact, we went out for a lovely supper at a local “cafe,” where the only disappointment is that they no longer carry Bass on tap. The food was really good, and the price was totally reasonable. In fact, had I not gotten two beers (your basic Sam Adams), it would have been downright cheap. And I still have leftovers in the fridge, after eating half of them yesterday for lunch.

Anyway, after we got home, I did the baking thing while Mike played some old-school games on the Wii. Damn, that is a fun toy. He bought Sonic the Hedgehog for probably about two or three dollars on their mall-like-thing. He said it was a bit disturbing to hear “Se…ga…” sung out of a Nintendo. I wouldn’t know.

Saturday, I woke up early. I showered and properly did my hair. After discovering that I only had ten baggies, I tried to pack the twenty-six remaining (Mike and I each ate one on Friday) giant (neither one of us actually finished ours) cookies into a plastic box. No go. So I pulled out the big guns. We have one giant Rubbermaid thing that I think was designed to transport cakes. The cookies just fit. Good thing we ate some!

I did run into a stupid snag in Boston on my way south and then west. The ramp from 93 south to 90 west was closed. Why? I don’t care to know. But it took my 20 second long ramp drive and turned it into a 20 minute long crawl around the block. But I wasn’t sad. The radio chose that perfect and opportune time to play “God Rest Ye Marry Gentlemen” (the super-awesome Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlin version).

I was a little bit late, but I quickly said hi to Nancy, dropped my junk under a table, and brought my cookies into “Ye Olde Bake Shoppe” (or so the sign said). I apologized to the minister’s wife, who was running the table, for my inability to individually package the cookies. She handed me a box of baggies, and an additional one to wear on my hand, and told me I could do it now. So I did.

Once that was taken care of, and I had bought and stashed a wreath, I went over to my Fair-home, the silent auction. Nancy and Barbara were there again, like last year, and we had also picked up another nice lady named Debi. I fell right into anal-retentive mode, and started checking off the list against the items. Several items were without sheets (no where to bid – bad!), and there were items that had three different numbers, effectively. One on the big board, one on the sheet, and one on the handout list. I did my best to fix it all as much as possible as quickly as possible.

Prayer time!

Doors open time!

PEOPLE EVERYWHERE TIME!

Bids were made. Questions asked. Apologies from us for getting in the way.

We had a couple of pretty awesome items. There were bidding wars over Celtics tickets, some beautiful bracelets, and a porcelain ornament that sings “Away in the Manger.” Popular with the kids were a plush monkey, a rocking horse, and a singing Christmas tree. Yes, a singing Christmas tree. Man was that thing ridiculous. And slightly annoying.

Diane feels bad about tooting her own horn but is doing it anyway part-the-first:

There was a girl and her caretaker who came over to look at things. She was very interested in some of the nicest things we had, but the caretaker kept saying, “I’m sorry but that’s too expensive.”

It occurred to me. “You know,” I whispered to the caretaker, “Grandma’s Attic is where you can find some seriously good deals.” I pointed towards the back of the church and told her it was around the corner that way. She grinned at me and led her care that way. I was definitely glad to help.

Diane feels bad about tooting her own horn but is doing it anyway part-the-second:

There was a mom and her two young children hanging out by the rocking horse for a while. I let them try it out – they liked it quite a bit. Enough that mom put down a bid. (Though, unfortunately, she was outbid at the last minute by what can only be called a sniper – I felt pretty bad about that). Anyway, she had a girl and a boy with her (and apparently a 15-month old at home).

The girl was probably about 4 or 5, and adorable. She was holding in her hands a new (old) dolly, that she had likely picked out in “Grandma’s Attic” (which is essentially a tag sale). We talked about the doll for a little while, and she told me that it was sleeping beauty. However, the princess was missing her crown, and the little girl didn’t know what she was going to do about it. She told me that mommy doesn’t know how to make crowns, and daddy can only make big-girl crowns.

I told her to wait right there, and I bolted over to the wreath area (which was pretty decimated, even as early as 11 AM). I waited patiently to ask someone if I could have a bit of ribbon, and finally found someone who could help me. She asked what I could possibly need four inches of ribbon for. “There’s this little girl…”

I hardly got the sentence out before the lady said, “It’s for a child? Well, then! Anything for a child! Let’s find what you need!” She helped me pick out a little bit of ribbon and roll it up into a crown.

I got back to the silent auction area just in time to see the family on their way out. I stopped the little girl, “Look what I found over by the wreaths.” She took it with a huge grin on her face and plopped it down on Sleeping Beauty’s head. Her mom grinned at me as she skipped away. Man, that made me feel good.

Diane feels bad about tooting her own horn but is doing it anyway part-the-third:

It was a long, long day. We did all the same things as last year. Called out warnings for the end of the auction. Called out the end of the auction. Shooed people away. Made us a master list of winning bids. Discovered that there were still two different numbers that each had two items (woops!). Announced the winning bids. Screwed up several names. Etc., etc., etc.

After all the tallying and counting and paying and organizing and cleaning were done, we sat for a while and just breathed. Nancy and I had a moment where I almost lost it. It’s been really hard for me, living so far away and still trying to be a part of my church. Much, much harder than I thought it would be. Nancy gave me a good hug, which I carried with me for the rest of the day.

On my way out, I ran into Cathie. She and Nancy were co-chairs of the entire Fair this year. Crazy ladies, let me tell you. It is a huge amount of work. And they both do the soliciting for the auction in addition to the organization insanity.

Cathie stopped me, and told me that I was a life saver. I apologized for only being able to help out on the day, with nothing in advance, but that didn’t seem to phase her thanking.

About a week ago, I called Nancy to apologize. I had promised to help so much more with the auction. We were going to set up a database, and super-organize everything. It was going to be awesome. But I fell off the face of the church for a while during the last few weeks of rehearsal and run of Sabrina Fair. But I swore entirely that I would be there for the fair. I told her I’d come early to help out and stay for the whole day.

Apparently, according to Cathie, Nancy was having a super hard time by that point. She was exhausted and freaking out. But my calling her, just my presence at the auction, calmed her and reassured her that it was going to work out. I wouldn’t say that I was the only reason it did, but I’m super glad to have had the ability to really help out where I was needed.

I love those ladies, I really do.

Denouement:

On the drive home, it occurred to me to call Kate. “I got it back, Kate. I have Christmas Spirit again. Merry Christmas.”

Yesterday, after the nerve wracking football game, Mike and I headed out with his box-car and some twine. We stopped at a YMCA tree sale and picked out a very tall but very slim tree. We brought it home with us and gave it some water to drink. Mike lit him up and put the star on top.

Then we realized we still don’t know where the ornament hooks are.

Oh well.

I’ll buy those tonight.

And I won’t mind going to Target during Christmas season now. Because I’m totally in the spirit!

So’s the weather, apparently, because we got our first snow of the season. Not much, it just started accumulating before the sun went and ruined it all. But it was fluffy and white and lovely there for a minute.

“Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”

December 4th, 2006 • 10:47 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas2 Comments »

Holy Christmas it’s Almost Crap!

I would like to express my displeasure with the fact that Christmas is creeping up on me. I have no problems hearing carols over the radio at Au Bon Pain. I see no issue with the twinkly lights hanging from the posts and doors all around my neighborhood. I don’t even hold anger against those who have finished their Christmas shopping in advance.

Just…

I’m not ready.

I haven’t assigned my Christmas carols to my iPod. I haven’t got a tree. I haven’t started Christmas cards*, and I moved this year so I should be doing those early.

However, yesterday was a Christmas-friendly day. I finished shopping for one person on my list. We bought pretty wrapping paper and ribbons and bows. I hung lights off of our posts out front of our apartment. We even went to get outdoor extension cords so that our house won’t burn down.

So, I guess I’m approaching the state of ready to be ready.

I wonder when I’ll actually do the shopping.

At least I know that part of the week after Christmas will be spent on snow-covered slopes.

Have I mentioned that I’m excited about snowboarding? If not, I should. I should very often.

*Hello friends. I keep meaning to be one of those people who actually sends cards to their friends and not just family. Encourage this behavior. Email me your snail-mail address. Yes, even if you think I know it. I don’t. Trust me.

November 28th, 2006 • 8:21 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas4 Comments »

Wesołych Świąt

My dad can’t cook. Or at least, my mom doesn’t let him cook. There are only three exceptions to this rule. On Easter, he is allowed to make Easter Borsch, which is basically just kielbasa, black bread, hard boiled eggs, and copious ground pepper floating in the water the kielbasa was cooked in. It tastes better than it sounds. A few weeks or so before Christmas, he makes fruit cake. This is only because he’s the only one who eats it, and no one will be making it for him! And then there’s Christmas Eve.

Every Christmas Eve of my existence, with only one or two exceptions, I’ve woken to find my dad putting a pot full of the water potatoes had been boiling in out on the front porch to cool off. Most of the time, he’s already mixed the potatoes, pepper, and farmer’s cheese together, and we just have to wait for the starchy water to cool down. He then usually offers me and my sister one of the several kinds of special holiday breads for breakfast. I prefer panatone. He prefers poppy seed bread.

We prepare by getting out three cups. We have two identical (though different colors) ones that my sister and I like using and one other that my dad has used forever. We clear off the kitchen table, the kitchen counters, and the dining room table. The dining room table gets a layer of kitchen towels – this is where the pierogi will go when they’re formed. Flour is scattered across the kitchen table and the marble cutting board my dad uses. We briefly fight over which rolling pin is best and who should get to use it.

Then it’s time to bring in the starchy water. Babcia’s recipe is typed (as in by a typewriter, remember those?) onto a creased recipe card. In the corner of the card is my grandfather’s initials – he transcribed it for her at some point, probably having to force her to “measure” as she went. The recipe for the dough calls for “4-6 cups of flour,” one egg, “some of the water from the potatoes,” and “a heavy pinch of salt.”

But my dad’s been doing this enough, he knows what that means. Pile in some flour in a bowl with some salt on top. Put a dimple in the middle and mix in the egg with a fork until everything’s dry again. Then add potato water, stirring with your hands, until the texture’s right. It is completely done by feel, as it has been done in our family for generations.

We gear up for a fight with the dough as my dad hands us each a small ball to work with. Flour goes everywhere, rolling pins fly back and forth, the starchy, protein filled dough stretches and contracts despite our efforts to keep it big and flat. We cut circles with our cups, and at this point realize that my dad has all the filling. My sister and I then hijack the pot, and start filling our pierogi. The scraps go into a pile in the back of the counter, and we pick off another small ball of “firsts.” Rinse. Repeat.

When I was in middle school, I added some complexity to this shindig. I got the idea that blueberry pierogi would be super tasty and that I should make some for a school project about heritage. They were a hit with the other kids and my family, and we’ve been making them ever since. So the last couple batches of “firsts” get filled with 4-5 still-frozen blueberries.

My sister doesn’t actually like potatoes (no, none of us understand how that could have happened). So, she takes some of the “seconds” to make plain “pierogi-noodles.” She usually shapes them into different shapes, always including at least a Christmas tree, a wreath, and a candy cane. The rest of the “seconds” get the same treatment as the “firsts.” The “thirds” only get used if we forget to throw them away…

Each pierogi gets lined up on the towels in the dining room as they’re made. My dad and I neatly line ours up, and my sister tries desperately to disturb the pattern of half-moons lined up on the towels. My mom, who has been hiding in the shadows the whole time, usually comes out to take a few pictures as we near completion.

Christmas Eve mass is at 4:30, and by the time we’re done manufacturing pierogi like it’s our jobs it’s almost 3:00. At this point, we fight over who gets the first shower (usually me) and who’s stuck going after my sister (usually my dad). My sister takes epic showers. There’s only so much hot water in the heater. The third shower is always tragic.

My dad makes us remove our socks before leaving the kitchen, and cleans the flour off the floor while we shower. I’m not sure, but I think that may be his favorite part. He really loves vacuuming and cleaning in general.

When we get back from church, we put the big pot on to boil. Meanwhile, my mom puts frozen shrimp in the strainer to thaw. I melt down some butter and make a half-assed attempt to clarify it. My dad carefully sets the table with the Christmas Spode that he and my mom have been collecting one piece at a time since they met, making sure to set one extra seat, following tradition.

Once the several gallons of water come to a boil, the super-cooking-team-of-awesome gets back into action. All while we eat handfuls of shrimp. My sister transports pierogi into the kitchen, my dad submerges them in water, and as they come out, I coat them in butter “to keep them from sticking” (to say nothing of how good butter tastes…). This process continues for approximately forever, as we cook each potato pierogi and “pierogi-noodle,” even though we’ll never finish them all.

We do give it a valiant effort. They get slathered with sour cream and devoured in three pieces. Some years, I’ve eaten as many as a dozen or more.

When we have filled ourselves nearly to the brim, we put the water back on for the blueberry pierogi. We cook them as my mom clears away the sour cream-encrusted plates. My dad usually tries to keep his, claiming wastefulness, but my mom talks him out of it.

We eat the blueberry pierogi coated in cinnamon and sugar. Along side this desert we have hundreds of cookies and breads and cakes. At this point, our stomachs pretty much explode. We pack the now-solidifying butter-crusted leftovers into the fridge to be fried in future days. Food comas start up, and I really couldn’t tell you much else of what happens on Christmas Eve.

All of that adds up to Christmas Eve meaning far more to me than Christmas itself could. My Babcia’s recipe is the only thing I know of her, since she died two months before I was born. On her birthday. And I look like her. Yeah, I know that’s weird.

Moving on. Christmas Eve is awesome and full of tradition. And I’m looking forward to it eagerly.

I hope every one of you has a super awesome Christmas and Christmas Eve. And if you don’t celebrate such holidays, I still hope this weekend is super awesome for you. And on behalf of us Christians and Christmas-only-Christians, I appologize profusely for all the Christmas music you’ve been subjected to on the radio for the past month or more.

December 23rd, 2005 • 11:10 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas, Family2 Comments »
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