Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve, 2022

A version of this was originally posted December 24, 2021

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 Obamas 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. Mele Kalek-Obama: (I, Motus make several cameos in this short musical so watch for me!)

Amazingly the opening sentence in that 2009 post is still mostly true, only the dates have changed:  

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 processing 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, but(t) his sidekick, Black Pete is unacceptable. The next day it’s Santa himself who;s unacceptable: too white, too fat, too cis, too privileged:

white chocolate santa

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


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

elf cupcake

marshmallow polar bearsinstructions here

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. People began to dread even seeing certain people/relatives over the holidays:

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…

And I see the country is as divided over Hallmark Christmas movies as politics. It’s like asking people whether to put rum or bourbon in their eggnog or Tom and Jerry punch bowl. Feelings run high.

With the assistance of this helpful Hallmark plot generator anyone could write a Christmas movie.


And that brief look back brings us to Christmas Eve Present where Progressives everywhere are celebrating Festivus, although they’ve expanded the Day of Grievances to include all 365 days (366 in Leap Year).

Raj and I will be spending a quiet Christmas Eve at home this year. We would both like to thank all of you for your prayers, good wishes and cheer through this rather difficult year. I am so appreciative to the MOTI for brightening our days throughout these sometimes dark months. I am happy to report that I am beginning to feel a bit stronger, far from “normal” whatever that is now, but definitely better. My current course of treatment will continue at least through June and possibly longer so it’s still a long haul but one I’m grateful to be able to make. I will see what can be done about my eyes (and jaw) issue after the first of the year.

Meanwhile, behold this wonderful Christmassy floral arrangements which arrived yesterday from the MOTI.–


My eyes prevent me from taking photos that do this arrangement justice  but it’s breathtaking and very Christmassy with evergreens, ever-reds, a dozen and a half of huge pinkish roses, burgundy peonies and even 4 rosy cheeked PEARS! The only thing missing is the partridge and as luck would have it, I have one of those hanging on my Christmas tree.

So again, all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve gotten this far through your love, prayers and the mad skills of modern medicine, all of which I am most grateful for.

So I wish you all good health, good travels, good friends and good cheer and a very Merry Christmas Eve, wherever your sleigh may take you. 
christmas window vignette

Sunday, December 18, 2022

It’s Still A Marshmallow World

This is a repost from 2018, one of my favorite Christmas posts and a good way to kick off Christmas week:

Marshmallows scream “Christmas!”


They needn’t come from bags, apparently you can make them yourself. And if you are truly OCD you can even make them into marshmallow snowflakes.

marshmallow snowflakesWhat a great gift for all the, um, snowflakes in your life.

They come in multiple flavors of the season:

flavorschocolate caramel, peppermint, gingerbread

as well as multiple species:


But is there any marshmallow as cute and fun as the snowmen?


When I saw these little guys I immediately recognized them as a modern adaptation of the puffy little Christmas decorations I made one year when I was in high school. I tracked their provenance back to the pages of the December 1960 Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I found me an archial magazine website that has every issue, ever published, of dozens of iconic magazines.  And there they were, on page 58, in an article titled:

Marshmallow Men-21_thumb

Marshmallow Men-1

In my house the December issues of the “ladies” magazines were never disposed of, they were stashed away after Christmas to emerge again every year as inspiration for the upcoming holiday season. What didn’t get baked or made one year might just make it into the rotation in a subsequent cycle. And so it was in 1966, a sad year for my whole family as my dad had died late that summer, I finally set about to make the marshmallow men that made their debut 6 years prior.  While Gingerbread Snowflakes’ updated version uses colored markers to make eyes, nose and buttons, the original BH&G specs are far less benign. Check out the materials listed for the construction of the original snowmen:


Glass-head pins!!!! In cute little marshmallow men that look like confections?! Can you imagine what the publication’s lawyers would say about that today? In 1966 however I headed off to the fabric store to procure my glass headed pins and non-digestible green sequins without batting an eye. And what? - white resin glue! That’s awfully toxic isn’t it? Pretty sure I used Elmer’s because that’s what we had, not because you can eat it.

I remember my creations being adorable, if not quite perfectly constructed. In fact they were probably more than a bit rough around the edges because crafting has never really been my forte. But I remember them making me happy for the first time in what seemed a lifetime. They were a tiny part of learning that life goes on, that pain never goes away but it does abate. Although oblivious to it at the time I was beginning to discover, as Deborah’s Palm has reminded us time and time again, that we choose life and blessings, not the other way around. Choose wisely.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas Eve…and a marshmallow world.

Oh, the world is your snowball, see how it grows
That's how it goes, whenever it snows
The world is your snowball just for a song
Get out and roll it along


Marshmallow Men-2