Merry Christmas.

My neighbor has outdoor speakers, and is playing Christmas music for… someone. Santa, or maybe me. I’m only hearing it on my trips in and out to the car and recycling bin, but it sounds like those records my dad used to get at the Sohio station when I was a kid — a blend of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand. Lots of strings and feeeeeeling.

Having been in one too many stores in the past week, I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with this crap, however. I’m counter-programming with “Every Picture Tells a Story.” The peak of Rod Stewart’s career, in my opinion, although obviously this isn’t shared by the rest of the world.

My back hurts, but my work is pretty much done. Alan can handle the little bit of wrapping that remains, and I’ve turned out a collection of dishes that do not go together in any way, but will serve for our Christmas fare, which will be sort of haphazard and brunchy. There’s an egg thing, a bean thing, a sweet potato bisque. And while I didn’t do a buche de noel, I did something similar — chocolate roll. It’s imperfect, nothing like the picture, but it looks more like a log than I thought it would:

The last stop today was the liquor store. I asked for a bottle of vodka and a straw.

So, the big day is upon us. I’m taking a few moments to enjoy the tree and a glass of wine. And while I don’t have much to report, I do wish you all a pleasant holiday and last week of the year, however you choose to spend it. I’m thankful for all of you who read and comment here; every day you show up is a gift to me, and I appreciate it.

Just so Bill O’Reilly hears it loud and clear, then.


Posted at 8:47 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

25 responses to “Merry Christmas.”

  1. beb said on December 24, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    For Christmas I got a copy of the “Kwame Sutra” a paperback of the wit and wis-dumb pf former mayor Kwame KilPatrick. Until Chairman Mao’s little red book, Kwame doesn’t have a lot of memorable things to say. Still it’s a fun little present for the diehard Detroiter.

    Merry Xmas back at cha.

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  2. del said on December 25, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Cheers all!

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  3. jcburns said on December 25, 2009 at 6:30 am

    That picture is vaguely disturbing…until you scroll down and see all of it. Merry Christmas Nance, family, and your legions of articulate commentarians.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 25, 2009 at 8:37 am

    “I heard the bells, on Christmas Day, Their old, familiar carols play, And wild & sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

    (RT Longfellow)

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  5. coozledad said on December 25, 2009 at 9:16 am

    In the stereo wars, you could always use a copy of Jim “Bowtie” Barstow’s Christmas album.
    When I was working at the campus radio station, they had a Traci Lords CD. The only song the FCC would let us play was “Yummy Yummy Doggy Daddy”. That ought to knock the Johnny Mathis out of ’em.

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  6. Michael said on December 25, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Coozledad, I always knew there was a reason I loved you, and now we spot it front and center, you are a fan of the inimitable Jim “Bowtie” Barstow. And truth be told, I do not have his album, but several of his greatest (?) hits are on the Annoying Music CD’s that all Chicago NPR fans of a certain era enjoy.

    Merry Christmas to all,

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  7. Deborah said on December 25, 2009 at 11:42 am

    The Las Posadas last night at the church across from where we are staying in the village of Abiquiu, NM was spectacular. In case you don’t know, which I didn’t know before yesterday, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: “Las Posadas (Spanish for “the inns”) is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain beginning December 16 and ending December 24. It is a yearly tradition for many Catholic Mexicans and some other Latin Americans and symbolizes the trials which Mary and Joseph endured before finding a place to stay where Jesus could be born…”

    It started around 10 pm, they had luminarias stacked in front of the church, when lit looked like the church itself was ablaze. It was quite windy so the fires were roaring. A man tended them with a shovel and he was an expert, you could tell he’d done it many times. A young girl and boy played the role of Joseph and Mary. Mary carried a primitive antique looking doll. The priest and a gentleman with a guitar, another with a fiddle started playing and singing something in Spanish and along with the young couple processed into the the church. We stayed outside and marveled at the fire and then went back to our place and to bed. All in all it was one of the best Christmas Eve’s I’ve ever spent.

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  8. Dave said on December 25, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    NEVER A DULL MOMENT, Stewart’s second solo album, is a good one, too. After that, I share your opinion, Nancy, straight downhill.

    Merry Christmas to all, we can’t have Christmas gifts until this evening, so we patiently wait.

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  9. Hattie said on December 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    We are enjoying a bright, beautiful and blessedly quiet Christmas Day in Hawaii. Our Prez is on another island, but it feels kind of nice to know that he is aware of our existence!
    Mele Kalikimaka!

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  10. James said on December 25, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Merry Xmas, as we say in our family. What’s wrong with “Happy Holiday,” anyway? Isn’t that derived from Holy day?

    Oh yeah… no Christ.

    But wasn’t he born in March?


    OK… how about a little good-hearted “journalism” griping:

    Just read this on AP RSS feed:

    Vatican to review security after papal attack

    VATICAN CITY – The Vatican will review its security procedures after a woman jumped a barrier and rushed at Pope Benedict XVI for the second time in two years, managing to knock him down before being pulled away by security, the Vatican spokesman said Friday.

    They should stop that woman. I mean, this was the second time she’s done this in two years… c’mon now…

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  11. MichaelG said on December 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Merry Christmas to Nancy & family and all the wonderful people at nn.c.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 25, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Deborah, i could just almost kinda sorta see it — thank you so very much for that description. I think the folklife of Ohio is underestimated, but there’s nothing quite like northern New Mexico for cultural ritual and community life in a rich mix.

    First time in years that i was so weak and wobbly i could only sit back and watch, as the mule and sheep, rough sawn boards, and straw bales came together with kids and costumes made from burlap and rope, or shiny faux silks with metallic threads, until the manger scene stood out, complete with foam core angel wings and a halo on a little girl made of pipe cleaners and glitter, gritting down into her hair.

    The Dollar General baby in old rags slept well in the corn crib manger, and i cried just a bit as my son chucked a lamb under the chin, cautiously.

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  13. Kirk said on December 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    It’s Christmas, so here I am at work.

    Must agree on Rod Stewart. His disco trash and everything since upset my intestines. For my money, he was at his best when he was with Jeff Beck’s band.

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  14. moe99 said on December 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    It’s been a wonderful holiday chez moi. I hope the same can be said for each of you. Merry Christmas!

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  15. nancy said on December 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Was killing time with an old Sopranos episode not long ago, one that featured the Faces’ “Bad ‘n’ Ruin,” with our Rod on lead vocal. I love the way David Chase used music in that series, although as I told Alan, the idea of a New Jersey strip club playing vintage Faces tunes is so ridiculous only Hollywood could even conceive of such a thing.

    In another episode, the strippers were working the pole to the “Living on a Thin Line.” Please.

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  16. coozledad said on December 25, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    If I were going to do a pole dance, I’d have the DJ use Peter Gabriel’s Exposure. Repetitive, bass driven, and primal via Charterhouse sensibilities. A girl’s got to have standards.

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  17. LAMary said on December 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    We had our Christmas dinner last night so the boys could go to the ex’s for dinner today. I consider that a gift to the ex, since the company of my sons is something I value very highly. The meal last night was great, with rib roast and Yorkshire pudding, brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes followed by a deep dish apple pie. Everyone but I got an ITouch, which is fine with me, and both sons are now armed with Flip video cameras. The sons gave me a jazzy sleeve for my laptop, some cool earrings and a replacement for my favorite measuring cup which I broke two weeks ago. The Perfect Beaker. As my son said, now I can beak perfectly.

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  18. coozledad said on December 25, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Happy crimble,LA Mary. We’re beset by rains upon slush. The mules are visibly unhappy. The Christians among you ought to put this thing back in July. Cheers.

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  19. cosmo panzini said on December 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Hope Bill O’ doesn’t see this–Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays everyone.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Wow — international news getting made in Dee-troit. CNN is just gassing now, so we’re putting in “Christmas in CT,” the only one of the classic sequence we haven’t watched aired yet this month. S.K. Sakall is such a joy, and i think he would have approved of my popovers. The fruitcake just finished last night and needs another week to mellow (and get sprayed with Maker’s Mark).

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  21. Julie Robinson said on December 25, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    We attended Christmas Eve services at a very small church/cafe with a simple, humble service and it was perfect, just one guitar with voices and the eternal words.
    This was after we went to the beach and a loggerhead turtle rescue center.

    Today we saw Avatar in 3D at an IMAX theater. This was the first movie I’ve watched in 3D–does it make anyone else a bit nauseous? It was a pretty good flick; very ambitious in creating an entire different world.

    Our trip is our present this year which made shopping very easy!

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  22. Brendan said on December 25, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    OMG, pound for pound I’d put “Every Picture Tells a Story” up against almost any rock n’roll song. Absolutely love the song – and the whole album for that matter. I’ll quickly call it an “album” because I’ll never forget that I bought it at a used record store in Ann Arbor well before I went to school there. An era when the used record store overtook the church in my life’s pecking order. I was visiting Ann Arbor with a friend, seeing his brother, going to a Michigan basketball game. The guy at the store was telling how every time he heard the song “Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time” he wanted to cry. I’ll never forget it. The death of the used record store is what makes me cry now – and the album “Every Picture Tells a Story” reminds me of that. [end nostaligic rant]

    Merry Christmas,all.

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  23. Deborah said on December 25, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) wish I could truly describe the Abiquiu spectacle. Not possible. The blaze of the luminarias was so unexpected and so amazing, all we could do was gape in awe. These folks have been doing this for ages and know absolutely how to capture the most emotion of the moment. Again, I know where I’ll be every Christmas Eve from now on.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on December 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Deborah, when my sister lived in Guatemala Las Posadas was the highlight of the year. The entire village participated and since she was considered an honored guest, her host family got to be the ones who welcomed Mary and Joseph in. What a wonderful tradition to build on.

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  25. Scout said on December 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Another transplanted Southwesterner here. I used to pine for the Christmases back east I thought I rememered. Then I went back there one year and found myself pining for the chili pepper wreaths, the luminarias, the smell of the desert on a chilly winter night.

    A few years ago my S.O. and I invented our own holiday tradition. After a big family do on Christmas Eve, we discovered we liked nothing more than to sleep in late, take our sweet time drinking coffee, opening gifts and watching the cats roll around in the catnip Santa brought. The remainder of the day is spent watching classic holiday movies. Pajamas are the dress code of the day.

    Cheers to all for fantastic New Year. May it be a little less economically interesting than 2009.

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