Saturday, December 26, 2020

Boxing Day America: Celebrate The Schtruggle

One day it’s November


and Thanksgiving,Gurley-Pilgrims-Thanksgiving-Candles-Vintage-Lot-Of-4

the next thing you know it’s Christmas.

and then blammo!  Boxing Day.

A boxing glove on the arm of someone wearing a Santa suit.

The name, origin and traditions of Boxing Day are disputed, as are most things these days. But in America to the best of my knowledge it’s just a day set aside for post-Christmas-sales shopping and returns. Back in the olden days (pre-cooties) people would storm back to the cheerfully over-decorated malls they had sworn just one week earlier to never ever visit again in search of super-sales on stuff they don’t need, don’t want and likely will end up giving away by the Fourth of July.

christmas 2020 be likeThe quintessential 2020 mall decoration: Christmas Godzilla

But now that we are in semi-lockdown around the land I’d like to suggest we all put our boxing gloves down, settle in with a nice cup of hot cocoa,

hot chocolate2jpg

flip your laptop open, and shop for all those after Christmas bargains in the safe, COVID-free environment of Amazon Outlet: Clearance, Markdowns and Overstock Deals!

After having been robbed of St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Christmas and everything in-between by our government overseers we deserve at least one extra holiday this year. So whether you choose to shop on-line, cruise the internet randomly, watch old movies or just eat, drink and be merry, go right ahead.

And if you’re feeling festive and a wee bit energetic you could actually get into the spirit of the day by finding a REALLY BIG BOX, cram it full of stuff you want to get rid of and set it out at the curb

2020 Dumpster Fire - NeatoShop

for pickup – torching. Yes, definitely torching, much more festive. And if you don’t believe me just ask ANTIFA and BLM; now those guys really know how to celebrate a schtruggle.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020: Good Tidings of Great Joy

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.




MOTUS and Raj would like to wish all of our wonderful friends here a very, very Merry Christmas. We all deserve to set the world’s burdens aside and simply embrace the beauty and miracle that is Christmas.

We send our love to each of you and wish you all a wonderful Christmas. Fill it to the brim with all the merry and the bright you can muster. For we are blessed.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eves Past, Present and Future

My Christmas Eve posts of the past have been some of my favorites, starting with the very first one in 2009. You remember - the year the Obama’s decided they simply must continue their family tradition (est. 2008) of spending 2 weeks over Christmas at a luxury resort in Hawaii on somebody else’s (ours) dime. Raj did a short video of that trip that I think I’ve used every Christmas Eve hence so tradition demands I use it again. From Mele Kalek-Obama:

I, MOTUS, make several cameos in this short musical so watch for me!

Amazingly the opening sentence of that 2009 post is still mostly true:

Santa and his elves are hanging around D.C. just long enough this morning to vote on how much they’re going to charge for shipping and handling on this year’s free gifts.

Then there was the year that the seeds of the BLM movement were sown and it became clear that there was no winning the Left’s race war.

I can’t keep up with the ever shifting sands of racism and political correctness. One day Santa is okay, butt his sidekick, Black Pete is unacceptable. The next day it’s Santa who’s unacceptable: too white, too fat, too privileged:

white chocolate santa

In the twinkle of an eye, only black guys matter:



Some years we did mostly recipes and cute stuff to eat and drink:

elf cupcake

marshmallow polar bearsinstructions here

Or sometimes I focused on highly inedible cute stuff like these adorable Marshmallow Men that came with their own Christmas story.

Marshmallow Men-1

Warning! Cute little men made of confections are NOT, repeat, NOT edible!!!!


I’ve tried to keep Christmas Eve as politics-free as possible, but that grew more difficult as the country’s deep divide grew ever deeper and people began to dread even seeing certain relatives over the holidays:

I see the country is as divided over Hallmark movies as it is over politics. It’s like asking people whether your  eggnog/Tom and Jerry should be dusted with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Of course your Dem and Never-Trumper relatives think that everything, including Christmas, is about President Trump. Remember Newsweek’s top Christmas week story back in 2017?  How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas To Promote White Nationalism. Things have only grown worse since then so let’s hope families either abstain from discussing politics or simply refuse to engage in bait-setting scenarios with warring members of their tribe. A truce for Mom’s sake would be nice.

Alas, COVID has pretty much solved that problem in most blue states for us. By more or less banning Christmas gatherings of more than 6 people it should be easy to avoid bumping elbows with the enemy camp this year. But do pay attention as that is how the left prefers to settle all grievances: strictures and mandates.

And that brings us to Christmas Eve Present doesn’t it? I know I shouldn’t do this, and I can’t actually bring myself to post any of the pictures, but here is the Daily Mail’s Christmas Eve Present to all of us. Open with extreme caution and have your eye bleach handy when doing so. Don’t say later I didn’t warn you.

As for Christmas Eve Future  - well, who knows?  I say we all go to sleep tonight with hope in our hearts and dream a little dream. Maybe, just maybe there really is a Santa Claus.

trump as elvis

And now I really must go sit in the corner and think about what I just did here.


[santa_monkey2%255B5%255D.jpg]Merry Christmas Eve to Janice the Elder, wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Santa’s Little Seraphim

Santa came to my house yesterday, with a sleigh full of gifts.


Yet more gifts for MOTUS, from the MOTI. After you already gave me such a glorious Christmas bouquet (which still looked perfect for our guests yesterday)!

tuesday before Christmas

First up, sweets and savories of my picking from Zingerman’s – which had lines to get in the store long before anyone ever heard of COVID 19.

Ari Weinzweig and his Zingerman's Deli ... "the coolest small company in  America" - GeniusWorks

If you’ve ever tasted their old style breads you would understand.

Ann Arbor: The Zingerman's Empire | Veggie Next Door

But that’s only the beginning: they have a whole line of homemade bakery products, imported and house made cheese, deli selections…and more.

House made cheese as well as

from around the world.

All The Tastings At Zingerman's In Ann Arbor, MI - No Home Just Roam

All so good that one simply ignores Ann Arbor’s  - and Zingerman’s - annoyingly leftist inclination in order to enjoy it all.  Their Paesano loaf alone would be enough to convert you to their ideological viewpoint. If, that is, you had not been educated well enough to know that if we adopted their commie ways you would be standing in line much, much longer than the longest wait at Zingerman’s for a far, far more inferior loaf of bread. 

But(t) still, that’s not it!! There are still more gifts in MOTUS’ email box. The next, a most, most generous gift from my favorite art supply house, Dick Blick’s. My painting has languished over the years due to, well, other stuff, but I’ve sworn to spend this winter here at home base while Raj’s knees (hopefully both) heal, re-immersing myself. Since most of my neglected oils have dried up over time they all need replacing,

Professional all colors 50ml each tube Oil paints colors painting drawing  pigments art supplies AOA011|tube oil paint|oil paints colorsoil paint -  AliExpress

and to be honest I’ve had my eye on a pochhade box for quite awhile now.

Pochade Boxes – Lines and Colors

I’m looking forward to a bit of plein air painting when spring/summer finally returns to these environs.

So thank you my little angels, for such thoughtful gifts which will delight me throughout the year come what may.  And if you accept my humble thanks for your splendiferous bag of Christmas gifts I do hereby swear to never, ever call any of you minxes again (unless of course you deserve it).


Now get out there and get that tree decorated if you haven’t already.

naked trees on sill

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

After the Solstice…the Epiphany

The great convergence of Jupiter and Saturn for the first time in 800 years to form the Christmas Star also happened to converge with the date of this year’s Winter Solstice. And I missed it.

Jupiter, Saturn Will Align to Create "Christmas Star" | 2020 | POPSUGAR  Smart Living

We were under heavy cloud cover with rain so there was no way to catch even a glint of the Christmas Star, which I can’t help but feel is a bit like a bad omen. Anyway, as I missed the Christmas Star I’m left with only the Winter Solstice, Druids and 90 freezing, cold, gray days that will be followed by another 60 days of moderately cold, gray days. I think a bit of an attitude adjustment is in order.

Let’s start by cleaning out all the old cookies.

deleting your cookies

I’ll help…dulces | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

Me too.

The 9 Most Festive Pup Holiday Card Photos Ever

And replacing them with a few new, butt kicking ones to do battle with the Druids.

These Ninjabread Cookie Cutters Let You Make Fighting Ninja Gingerbread Men  Cookies

Because I have a feeling 2021 is going to quite demanding.


I note that January 6th is also the Feast of the Epiphany, make of it what you will.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Steer Clear of COVID Porn If You Don’t Want To Catch the Humbugs

Confession: since I dropped Fox News from my “favorites” channel guide on Dish I haven’t watched any news on the television platform other than one local morning broadcast, when I had to go somewhere, in order to catch the traffic and weather. It was so dreadful I haven’t returned to it since.

But this morning for some reason when I returned to bed with my first cup of coffee at 5:07 I flipped through the channel selection and saw CBS Overnight News. I was curious as to how the other half lives so I tuned in.

fake news

So here’s an exact rundown of every story reported during the 60 minute segment between 5:07 AM to 6:07 AM. I backed up frequently to ensure that I didn’t miss any of the stories and that I accurately reported the gist of them. So here is a synopsis, in order, of the first hour “news” coverage. Ready? 

People place wreaths on the graves of veterans in cemeteries across America in a long standing ‘holiday’ tradition. Note: all wreath layers are wearing face masks and maintaining proper social distancing.

Anthony, a (black) UPS delivery man person honored with signs, balloons and cheers in a suburban (white) neighborhood in VA for delivering stuff with a smile throughout “these troubled times” “With a smile?” What?! He wasn’t wearing a mask?


A New Strain of the COVID Coronovirus identified in the UK! All non-essential businesses shutdown as of Saturday night. People scramble to catch trains to visit loved ones for “the holiday” before transportation restrictions put in place as of Sunday.

Sidenote added by intrepid on-scene reporter: although the new strain spreads faster it doesn’t make people any sicker and it does respond to the vaccine – so I guess it’s not a new, new strain, just a new strain. Whatever, be afraid, be very afraid.


Back on US soil:

SURGE AND SIEGE! Someone is dying every 30 minutes in LA. A doctor warns: if you get into a car accident, fall off a ladder, have a heart attack we may not have a bed for you. How can this be good? It’s not, but be very afraid.

Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) | Twitter

California food banks are overwhelmed. *ahem* That’s because your governor has shutdown most of the state’s businesses and everyone’s out of work.

California epicenter right now. More people dying now than at any other point in the pandemic. ed. In the 2nd hour they identified Tennessee as the epicenter so again, words like ‘epicenter’ don’t mean what  they used to.

Record hospitalizations across the country! (map)


The season typically defined by joy is increasingly defined by grief. Here’s our correspondent in Washington: The bells at the National Cathedral toll 300 times once for every 1000 Americans who have died of this horrible disease.

Insert heart rending human interest story here about a woman (black) whose husband died of Covid in May.

“Vaccines offer distant hope as the pandemic rages.”

A grief counselor explains how we’re all suffering during this siege. As if we need a grief counselor to tell us?

Let’s see how foreigners are handling this mess: How are teachers in Rome educating children during the pandemic? They’re taking them out into the streets for tours and lectures. (insert what looks like file footage from late summer/early fall of kids traipsing around behind teachers throughout Rome). They interview one child (behind a mask) who speaks perfect American English, which seems odd to me but nobody else seems to notice.


Sports Segment, yay! “Tiger cub” Tiger Woods son playing golf with his dad. He seems to be pretty good. And cute.

Tiger Woods Gives Son Charlie Big Hug After PNC Championship |

Buffalo Bills arrive in hometown after clinching AFC East championship. Is the NFL actually playing professional football out there? Who knew?

WATCH: Bills arrive at Buffalo Airport after clinching AFC East title |  News 4 Buffalo

Culture Segment: Nutcracker not being performed for “packed audiences” this year due to, you guessed it, the pandemic. We’ll show you what they are doing instead, when we return.


People are watching the Nutcracker performances outside, socially distanced. Also from behind plexiglass and virtually, online. Creative!

And that’s the overnight news, reporting from New York City. Some of you will be continuing with us when we get back from break for the rest of you, have a good day! But don’t forget to be very afraid.


Second Hour:

Breaking news: Congress says it’s close to finalizing a deal for a new $900 billion Covid economic relief package. I believe this has been “breaking” since October.

The President seems to be on the peripheral of these negotiations as he’s still fixated on overturning the results of this election. You mean correcting the voter fraud?

CDC identifies who they think should be prioritized next for receiving the vaccine: first responders, teachers and grocery store workers.

That was an entire hour’s worth of “news” – nearly non-stop COVID porn. So if you’re wondering why the country has been so fixated on COVID, COVID, COVID ever since RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA fell into the dustbin of history, look no further than our irresponsible  “news” outlets who seem less concerned that the CCP has set about destroying the economy and spirit of the Western world than they are with getting rid of President Trump and maintaining their pathetic ratings. I won’t be repeating this investigative exercise into “news” reporting for quite some time. It was enervating enough for a lifetime.

I’m going to stay home today, as instructed by our betters, and make cookies. Gotta do what you gotta do to keep those bugs away.

Coronavirus: US luxury homebuilder sees continued strong demand — as it  happened | Financial Times

Humbugs are the worst kind of bugs

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Some More Sunday Holiday Fun

Exactly how “the sister-in-law Christmas Wars” started is no longer clear; the only thing that all parties can agree on is that it started off innocuously enough with a few lights on shrubbery. This is a cautionary tale so  take notes and pass them on to your children.

It all began when one of Raj’s brother and his wife (SIL #2) bought the house next door to one of his sister’s (SIL #1) and her husband. The first year SIL #1 put up white Christmas lights outside as she always had. SIL #2 thought they looked nice so put up some of her own. I suppose that might have been considered an act of aggression but honestly, it was her first house…and it was Christmas.  The following year SIL #1 added some large colored lights and a yard ornament of some type  - nobody remembers the specifics anymore but I’m guessing a reindeer. 

Large Light Up Rattan Stag Reindeer Outdoor Christmas Plug In Timer  Lights4fun 5056106713936 | eBay

And with that innocent and inadvertent (or not, we’ll never know for sure) escalation the wars got underway. Each year the competition ratcheted up, aided and abetted in no small part by the annual tradition of Mom and daughters/daughters-in-law Christmas shopping weekend in Frankenmuth.  Frankenmuth, Michigan as you may or may not know is home to Bronners – “the world’s largest Christmas store” (showroom currently spans the equivalent of  5+ football fields).

If it’s Christmas they’ve got it, indoor and outdoor. And yes, that includes specimens from the isle of inflatable toys.

26 Best Inflatable Outdoor Christmas Decorations 2020 • Absolute Christmas

I’m guessing you can see where this is headed. Every year, both households added more decorations - often including a new blow up Christmas toy…or two. It became a tradition on Christmas Eve for the entire family to drive by the displays at the two siblings’ homes in order to judge the current year’s entry and cast their votes at the family Christmas gathering the following day. Just like in the real world, the voting always involved bribes, voter harvesting and other forms of cheating. Even so, the winner’s bragging rights changed hands every other year or so, often coincident with the addition of a new blow up.

Outdoor Christmas Decorations | Christmas Inflatables | Christmas Yard  Decorations | Outside Christmas Decorations | Christmas Blow UpsNo matter how abominable

Inflatable St. Bernard Dog Christmas Decor

Or inappropriate…

Tethers - Inflatable - Outdoor Christmas Decorations - Christmas  Decorations - The Home Depot

The Christmas War unofficially ended when Raj’s brother and SIL #2 moved a few years back; I think they needed a larger yard to display all of the blowups they had acquired over the years. So while a truce had been called, the decorative displays at both households continue. Which is why, when I saw the following card I considered getting 2 of them to send to SIL #1 and SIL #2.

inflatable christmas decorations

Fortunately my better sense prevailed so I’ll just share it with you instead.

Pass this tale on to anyone in your family with a Christmas blowup obsession. And remember this rule of thumb: one’s okay, two is stretching it; any more than that you’re really looking at the need for a family intervention.

Now tell us your stories and give us some recipes. Only 5 days till Christmas!