Weaponized Cuteness

My five year old granddaughter, Princess Sack of Potatoes, learned “Feliz Navidad” in kindergarten.  While she was visiting I went to YouTube to play the Jose Feliciano version as an historical record for her, but opened this one by accident.

She was fascinated by this pint-sized crooner.  And so it goes for every generation.  Well, no harm done.  Her mother and her grandmother and her great grandmother had their crooners too, whether it was Frank Sinatra or Paul McCartney or whatever singer was out there.  But so soon?

 

British Perspective on the Movie “The Holly and the Ivy”

The Holly and the Ivy is one of my favorite Christmas movies.  But it is an intensely English movie and so I thought it would be interesting to hear what a British movie critic would have to say about it.

Whether it is interesting or not I’ll leave to the individual viewer but I enjoyed it.  However I was already a fan of the movie and didn’t require any convincing.

Christmas Day 2023 – Quotation

King James Version

Luke:  Chapter 2

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

So Many Cookies

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

Camera Girl is like a food terrorist. She festoons treats around her kitchen like so many high-caloric land mines. And there I am blasted to bits over and over by all of these irresistible gastronomic pyrotechnics. I know how awful will be the penalties I’ll suffer when the holidays are over and how many hours of exercise will be needed to work off the hundreds of thousands of calories of delicious, delectable evil that she has surrounded me with. But eat I must. Over the course of almost five decades, she knows which foods I cannot resist. The cookies; grandma (or white), chocolate chip, oatmeal and the chocolate dipped coconut macaroons. The pies; apple, coconut custard, pumpkin, cherry and more. And that’s not even counting the ice creams and cheese cakes. And all of this will be after the sheer tonnage of lasagna, meatballs, sausage and filet mignon. Oh, the pain, the pain.
I rate my chance of surviving this onslaught as minimal. I reckon that if the EMTs arrive while I’m still breathing, they will advise her that as a purely practical triage decision they should leave me and move on to the next 911 call. At most they may spend a few moments berating me for allowing myself to come to this pathetic end.
But in all honesty, I acknowledge, that all things considered, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Gathering around the holiday tables groaning under the weight of Camera Girl’s bounteous feast is the highlight of every year. Enjoying delicious foods with family and spending time with the people closest to me in the whole world is well worth any bout of indigestion that might occur. Each of the rituals and ceremonies is a touchstone to the past. These same words and actions bring me back to the time when I was a child and eating these same foods and gathering together with family was the highlight of our holidays.
And to ensure that this tradition will continue, Camera Girl has her daughters and now her granddaughter over each year to knead the dough and shape the cookies that they bake for Christmas. And my son and sons-in-law and grandsons share in the expectation that these cookies will be there in the years to come. And I hope they do. Family traditions and gatherings may be the most important social functions in our human existence. They don’t fall under any government program and they aren’t mediated by any of the organs of modern life. TikTok and Meta don’t decide what’s the correct way to break bread with family and I doubt that the Kardashians or Taylor Swift even know what a grandma cookie tastes like, never mind know how to bake one.
So, whatever your traditions and whoever you gather with for Christmas, enjoy the time off away from the soul-deadening dictates of our woke institutions and brain-dead social media influencers. Use the time wisely to spend time with the people who actually mean something to you and enjoy that time together.
God bless us all, everyone.

A Christmas Wish 2023

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

Christmas Eve is again arrived.  And even the busiest among us will, hopefully, put aside the day-to-day struggle and embrace the traditions of the past with friends and family.  Of course, those with young children are in the thick of it and have the primary responsibility to transmit all the customs and follow all the protocols for the children.

But even oldsters like myself are free to join in and contribute to the atmosphere of traditional cheer.  In fact, as a bridge to the long-ago times when a richer meaning was attached to the holiday, we ancients can perform a special function.  We can give a perspective into Christmas that provides a more satisfying rational than just an excuse for Amazon to sell toys and demented pop singers to screech and gyrate to “All I Want for Christmas is You.”  You can explain that even non-Christians recognize the beauty of the Christmas story and empathize with the holiday’s mandate for all people to share in a truce from preying on each other and try to feel a kindred spirit with all mankind.

And for Christians it is a celebration of the coming of a new covenant that calls on all men to treat each other as brothers and recognize the divinity of the human soul and the necessity of treating each other with the requisite dignity.

And just as importantly we can have a great time and make memories that will last a lifetime.  I always eat myself into a stupor on Christmas Eve and Day.  Camera Girl is a wonderfully good cook who always overdoes holiday meals, especially desserts.  And I’m often in danger of eating myself into an early grave.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how I eventually go.  But as they say, “What a way to go!”

We’ll be out at a family feast on Christmas Eve and at home with about the same crowd on Christmas Day.  This year will be much like the recent past but as always there will be new happy and sad tidings to talk about and we’ll welcome new acquaintances and remember sadly those who are gone.  And we’ll tell all the same stories but including to some who have never heard them before.  And we’ll talk about the New Year and everyone’s hopes and plans.

And after everyone has gone home, we’ll finally stagger into bed at some late hour and groan from all the food eaten (at least I will).  But the magic will still have performed the miracle.  I will feel at peace with the universe for at least the week between Christmas and New Year.  After that, the horrors of our fallen world will have a whole year to wear away at my faith in humanity and my stomach lining.  But it’s enough to have this holiday and to share it with the people I love and try to regain my equilibrium and pack on a few pounds that I can use as an excuse to keep up with an exercise regimen.

I hope whatever rituals you follow are joyful and satisfying and provide the mental and spiritual renewal necessary to make it through another year.  And as Dickens wrote, “God bless us all, everyone.”  Even you Democrat weirdos.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2023 on OCF

I am going to try mightily to avoid politics tomorrow and the day after.  I’ve already written a political screed but I’ve scheduled it for 5 am December 26th.  Essentially, “Do not open until the day after Christmas!”

I’m going to look around and try to find some holiday related material to post or to link to.  Of course if the storm troopers swat my Christmas party I’ll probably defy my own edict and produce a screed from the back of the Bradley Assault Vehicle but short of that I’m going to try to take the high road this year.

H/T To the Conservative Treehouse for this link to Neil Oliver’s Christmas Story

Neil is a truly compelling speaker and he often captures in words the feelings we all have.  This poignant story of heroism is remarkable.  And his remarks afterward about saving ourselves in this world of useless “leaders” resonates with how I feel.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2022/12/24/neil-oliver-christmas-message-we-have-each-other/

 

Christmas Day 2022

Christmas Eve with the grandsons at their home was great.  They were in epic high spirits and we talked of various things.  With the eldest it was nuclear fusion and robotics.  With the youngest it was, of course, dinosaurs but also his latest pet, a bearded dragon with an inexhaustible appetite for “super worms.”  With the others there was talk of soccer and what they would be doing on the Christmas holiday next week.  Much food was eaten and the younger kids were occupied with happy mayhem.  Something with plastic swords and shields.

 

But this morning, Camera Girl is at peak output with potatoes being mashed, lasagna, roast beast and ham cooking and side dishes being prepared.  I can tell her patience is exhausted so I have to tread carefully around the outskirts of her kitchen or a carving knife might end up under my ribs.  She does have Sicilian blood on her mother’s side.  But I can tell all is going well.  She’s in the zone.  All of the desserts are already prepared and the meat courses are right on schedule.  It will be a feast to remember.  And the leftovers will be glorious.  That ham will end up in at least a lentil soup and probably some breakfasts.

But after eating way too much food and way too much dessert I’ll spend the time with the grandkids.  Now that Princess Sack of Potatoes is a full four years old, she’ll be right in the thick of it with her older cousins.  I might even try to put on a showing of one of the “Christmas Carol” movies but Camera Girl frowns on television watching on the holidays.  She prefers more sociable pursuits like cards.  We’ll see.

The weather has cooperated.  Although bitterly cold, the roads are in mostly good shape.  Only a few curves of the hills have some large ice hazards but last night I noted that these had been treated with salt so my guests should be safe coming and going today.

Monday we can get back to the political nightmare our country has descended into but today will be “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”  So, all of you have a great day and night and in Tiny Tim’s immortal words, “God bless us every one.”

Update:

I ruined my own surprise by hanging around the kitchen.  Camera Girl had secretly bought me a boneless loin of lamb.  She hates lamb and vociferously refused making it when I mentioned it last week.  But after performing my duty of cutting an X on the raw chestnuts, I glanced over at the stove and there it was.  My discovery angered her but what could I do?  She should have hidden it.  I did thank her heartily but she is pretty mad for me spoiling the surprise.  Well, I’ll make it up to her later.  Christmas just got a whole lot merrier.  But, boy will I be groggy tonight.