Patterico's Pontifications

12/24/2019

Christmas Open Thread

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:57 am



[guest post by JVW]

Merry Christmas to all Patterico’s Pontifications readers.

I have lots of fond memories of Christmas through the years. When I was a teenager we had amazing 70-degree weather one sunny Christmas Day, so my dad and I went out and played a round of golf that afternoon. I also remember the year that I conned my entire family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandmother, into spending Christmas in Las Vegas, because that is where Jesus was born.

Feel free to share Christmas memories here. Peace on Earth and goodwill towards men.

America Xmas

– JVW

UPDATE BY PATTERICO:

Enjoy.

54 Responses to “Christmas Open Thread”

  1. I use this excuse every year, but I sure am glad there are twelve days to Christmas because I still need to find gifts for the nieces (but not our lovable but dizzily clueless one) and nephews.

    JVW (30a532)

  2. To avoid Christmas with my completely barking nuts brother-in-law, Mrs. Montagu and the kids and I started a new tradition, going to a resort and skiing for a few days, including attending a Christmas Eve service at the ski area chapel.
    Merry Christmas all!

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  3. Merry Christmas, everybody!

    I will be spending Christmas with my daughter and her mother. My daughter is turning out to be the traditionalist in the family, and she requested ham. I will be making it with pineapple and maraschino cherries. Like this, with a couple of touches of my own. I will also be roasting some Brussel sprouts (likewise by filial demand). My daughter’s mother will make a pastitsio.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. You made me laugh, JVW.

    Today is my first day back in the land of the living as I’ve been sick in bed with a nasty head cold for 4 days, looking and feeling like something not even the cat would deign to drag in, which is unfortunate because Christmas will be at my house tomorrow. So I have 24 more hours to snap out of it!

    Paul Montagu, what a great family plan. I’d love to hear more about the “barking nuts” BIL.

    And nk, thanks for linking the brussel sprouts recipe. I was planning on doing grilled brussel sprouts and asparagus seasoned with a citrus champagne flavored marinade but your recipe sounds more interesting and adaptable.

    Dana (643cd6)

  5. My father passed away in the summer of 2013. It was a merciful death, because he had suffered horribly for two long years battling cancer. My mother was inconsolable, and she grieved for a moth, then threw herself into work. It’s what keeps her alive, and she will not stop. (80 years old now, and she keeps going and going, like the Energizer Realtor. TREC gave her a Realtor Emeritus award this year, for being a broker for more than 40 years.)

    I took her to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. We lit a candle, in memory of my father, said a prayer, attended mass, and took communion. Then when we left the church, it was snowing!

    Freak out. This was the first time it had snowed in the Rio Grande Valley in over 200 years. We couldn’t believe it. Snow in the Rio Grande Valley? I can remember Christmases when it was 95 degrees in the shade. Snow on Christmas Eve, the night we lit a candle and said a prayer. Unbelievable.

    I don’t think there’s an real significance to it. Weather is unpredictable and does not conform to human emotion. Still, it was one strange coincidence.

    Christmas Day, my mother was out taking pictures of snow to send to all her relatives and friends. It made her happy.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  6. but not our lovable but dizzily clueless one

    Giving Ms. Green New Deal a lump of coal is really adding insult to injury, isn’t it?

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. I’d love to hear more about the “barking nuts” BIL.

    It’s not a good story, Dana. We used to do Thanksgiving and Christmas with them, but felt we needed to make a change. BIL is bipolar with an extra helping of OCD and hardcore narcissism. He never held a steady job in his life, so my sister has had to support the family from Day One. He’s been emotionally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive, bad enough that my niece moved to Australia and completely severed ties. Unfortunately, BIL passed down his bipolar DNA in spades to his son, who’s on SS disability.
    Off and on, we tried to get my sister out, but we figured she’s got a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome. She’d rather live with crazy and all of its trappings than be alone. We do Thanksgiving for my sister’s benefit, but that’s all we can stomach. We didn’t want to say to Sister Montagu, “We can’t stand the thought of seeing your crap husband more than once a year, so we’re taking the coward’s way out and leaving town.”
    But I’m glad we did it. It’s been great for wife, kids and myself to have this experience together. We’re praying for more snow at Mt. Bachelor.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  8. Detoxinista has a similar Brussels sprouts recipe, involving coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a dash of garlic. The balsamic does a nice job of carmelizing.
    Dana, if you have a link for the citrus champagne recipe, I’d love to try it out. I do the meat and veggies in our household, and Mrs. M handles the rest.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  9. UPDATE BY PATTERICO:

    Enjoy.

    Patterico (2e1e5e)

  10. Most memorable?

    Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, London, 1968.

    6 ft., trees unavailable in the city. So we took two smaller, 3 ft., trees and perched one the floor and the other on an end table directly behind it and looped lights around both giving the impression of a taller, oblonged tree to the eye. Quite clever.

    The time difference between the U.S. and the U.K. treated us to the incredibly moving Apollo 8 Christmas Eve telecast from lunar orbit into early Christmas morning… and in the greyed hues of a misty dawn, vividly recall watching several becaped Royal Life Guards on horseback in Hyde Park, flashing splashes of the only color–their red uniforms– as their mounts trotted back and forth in practice– all their breaths steaming in the chilly air. Wretched events around the world were on our minds. Miserable year; magnificent day. Memorable… still.

    ‘And from the crew of Apollo 8 we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you; all of you on the Good Earth.’ – Frank Borman, Apollo 8, Christmas Eve, 1968, Moon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Happy Hollandaise to all,
    Castelavano olives sautéed with garlic, lemon peel in a 1/2 cup olive oil pour over feta cheese – toast some ciabatta and dip yourself crazy.

    mg (8cbc69)

  12. A friend of mine has a wildly bi-polar sister who is apparently allergic to lithium med. He keeps trying to help her out, sends her things she asks for, and frequently pays her bills.

    She is of course ungrateful and will complain mightily about the smallest thing. One day he called me up and was at his wit’s end. He didn’t like the way she pushed his buttons every time she called.

    I pointed out that it could have just as easily been him who got those genes, and he ought to be more grateful than angry. LITERALLY, by the grace of God goes he.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  13. This will be the 31st Christmas in a row where I am not the drunk uncle at the Christmas table. I’m kinda happy about that.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  14. FBI has announced that communist china is bribing researchers and even executives of research institutions for information on research to steal. Corrupt biden says communist china is no economic threat as chi-coms give his son hunter 1,5 billion bribe!

    asset (9688fe)

  15. You should be, Kevin!

    And good insight about the mental illness stuff. Definitely better to be annoyed by someone else’s problems than to have some of those problems and not be able to turn it off.

    mg, that sounds delicious, but olives are always delicious.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  16. My bad. 32nd.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  17. Corrupt biden says communist china is no economic threat as chi-coms give his son hunter 1,5 billion bribe!

    LOL

    Dave (66f02a)

  18. Gawain’s Ghost – wonderful story about the snow.
    DCSCA — clever indeed. If only you could have gotten a phone pic to attach.

    Memorable Christmases:
    1. When I was a kid, the road was flooded on Christmas Day, so instead of going to the relatives, we walked along the dike bringing dinner to our closest neighbors.

    2. In Munich alone, I filled the day by going around to various church services and concerts.

    3. My brother took me golfing on Christmas Day, on the Central Coast. He said I was “better than most beginners,” which was great because he tends to be candid and because I had been terrible at hand-eye coordination when I was growing up, so I had long avoided sports requiring it.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  19. A must-listen is Alison Krauss singing the Wexford Carol.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  20. Merry Christmas!

    Congrats on 32 yrs of not being the drunk uncle, Kevin.

    Bipolar is a really difficult illness, esp if it’s unmedicated or undermedicated.

    Nic (eb3e86)

  21. Way back in the day in LA there was a radio station on the far left of the dial that would play this very late on Christmas Eve.

    Took me years to find a copy and now you just go to YouTube.

    Frank Sinatra and a choir of servicewomen sing Ave Maria during WW2.

    https://youtu.be/NQVgP1VJODc

    harkin (c0ad39)

  22. I’m off to the early Christmas Eve mass. I’m too old to do midnight mass with all of the town drunks and Christmas Catholics, and I can’t convince anyone in my family to wait and go Christmas morning like any sane person ought to. So now I have my annual dread about having to hear the choir sing “Away in a Manger” which is magnified in its sheer awfulness if it is a children’s choir singing that wretched, wretched song.

    JVW (30a532)

  23. @18. Have dark images w/t lights on the two trees an ol’Super 8 movie reel someplace.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. Just found this: “Do You Hear What I Hear,” sung by Susan Boyle & Johnny Mathis. I had a chance to meet Johnny backstage some years ago, and he was very nice.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  25. Am going to my brother in laws – 3 drunk uncles – Aerosmith air guitar show at 5:00. We now leave at 4:45.

    mg (8cbc69)

  26. Oddly, Aerosmith’s members are sober, last I looked.

    https://iamsober.com/blog/addiction-steven-tyler/

    Kevin M (19357e)

  27. Drove from Tahoe to Utah yesterday/this morning cause that’s where we’re doing Christmas this year. Had some snow but good luck over all the summits.

    Merry Christmas, god bless us everyone.

    harkin (c0ad39)

  28. I bet thats a beautiful drive, harkin.

    mg (8cbc69)

  29. Kevin M. – a couple decades of sobriety has taught me when to leave. You can only quit drinking if you want to.

    mg (8cbc69)

  30. I bet thats a beautiful drive”

    Some don’t care for the desert but it really is a beautiful drive.

    We took I-80 due to schedules and weather but US 50 is the really beautiful drive. It’s part of the old Lincoln Highway transcontinental route from before WW1. The section through UT & NV used to be known as the ‘loneliest highway’ but it’s not so lonely these days. Back in the 70s you could go an hour without passing someone going the other way.

    harkin (c0ad39)

  31. I did the drive from Breckenridge to Vegas many times. See the USA in your Chevrolet!
    Merry Christmas, Harkin and Happy Trails.

    mg (8cbc69)

  32. Merry Christmas comrades
    https://i.imgur.com/6YGehQD.jpg

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  33. You can only quit drinking if you want to.

    Sometimes not even then. It’s a b*tch when people hit that particular wall.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  34. Merry Christmas comrades

    Christmas with the Romanovs, 1917

    Kevin M (19357e)

  35. 1960s. Possibly genuine revisionism, or Khrushchev’s Charm Offensive.

    Nonetheless, Merry Christmas to you too, Comrade Daverthulhu.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. And I believe the series was called “Christmas with Lenin and Krupskaya”, Nadezhda Krupskaya being Lenin’s wife.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. Well, I survived another year of battle in the War on Christmas aka retail. I submit that American business’s incessant desire to sell more and more to the America consumer endangers Christmas far more than any politically correct attempt to recognize the fact that there are a whole bunch of people in this country who are not Christians and therefore see Christmas as an OPH [other people’s holy day].

    I have seen one newish trend: Christmas gifts being returned even before Christmas. Even more interesting, being returned by the original buyer because the recipient ordered them to return it…

    Kishnevi (1b4366)

  38. Lenin abolished Christmas. Stalin replaced it with New Year’s Day.
    Two links, one replete with high Soviet photos

    https://www.rbth.com/history/329724-soviet-new-year
    And

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/12/30/how-soviets-came-to-celebrate-new-years-like-christmas-and-why-russians-still-do/

    .

    Kishnevi (1b4366)

  39. Correction: my father passed away in 2003. That was the year it snowed on Christmas Eve.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  40. Merry Christmas from Rio Rancho, NM

    Kevin M (19357e)

  41. Merry Christmas to all. He is born!

    NJRob (4d595c)

  42. I’m off to the early Christmas Eve mass. I’m too old to do midnight mass with all of the town drunks and Christmas Catholics, and I can’t convince anyone in my family to wait and go Christmas morning like any sane person ought to. So now I have my annual dread about having to hear the choir sing “Away in a Manger” which is magnified in its sheer awfulness if it is a children’s choir singing that wretched, wretched song.

    Linus Van Pelt:
    Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.

    I submit that American business’s incessant desire to sell more and more to the America consumer endangers Christmas far more than any politically correct attempt to recognize the fact that there are a whole bunch of people in this country who are not Christians and therefore see Christmas as an OPH [other people’s holy day].

    Similar to above, but additionally, one of the things I’ve greatly enjoyed about Christmas is when my Hindu former coworkers and such with whom I am friends on FB drop into a post, either one of my own or other Christian(ish) ex co-workers, and wish not a “Happy Holidays” but a Merry Christmas. But I’m wired that way.

    PTw (2ec088)

  43. Weird. I’m weird that way. But maybe wired as well. Perhaps.

    PTw (2ec088)

  44. POLITICO
    @politico
    How Trump is filling the liberal 9th Circuit with conservatives
    __ _

    Gabriel Malor
    @gabrielmalor
    ·
    “The liberal 9th Circuit.” As if it’s owed to them, or something.
    __ _

    IntegrityCounts
    @3mdive
    ·
    It’s not guaranteed perpetually liberal. Won’t be able to circuit shop much longer.
    __ _

    Art Nonymous
    @ArthurNonymous
    ·
    Elections👏have👏consequences👏

    _

    harkin (e43a09)

  45. Elections👏have👏consequences👏

    Yup. The 9th Circuit was not liberal until 1978, when a Democratic Congress and a Georgia peanut farmer expanded it by 10 additional seats. Including deaths and retirements, Carter appointed 15 9th Circuit judges, among them the illustrious Stephen Reinhardt.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. 1975 – 1980, at my Jr and Sr high best friend’s house. They were Italian and we were always included in their celebration of the Feast of The Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. In addition to the seafood, there were homemade meat ravs, gnocchi, meatballs, lasagne, sausage and peppers, and wines by the gallon.

    Matador (03e82b)

  47. CBC Cuts Donald Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2′ Cameo Out of Broadcast

    Snowflakes in Canada, who’dathunkit?
    _

    harkin (e43a09)

  48. 49: The cut was made in 2014, along with several others, to adapt the film to TV running time.
    The real snowflakes here are Donald Trump and all the Trumpsters who are viewing an utterly insignificant incident through Trump-centric lenses.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  49. Better a previously edited film than a Hillary-financed dossier.

    But I agree both were fake news.

    Have to judge which side swallowed the hook longer.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  50. I.e., the dossier of raw intelligence, gathered in the usual ways, pointing to an unusual amount of Russian connections in the Trump inner circle including Trump himself (“We have all the funding we need out of Russia”) – and then handed to the FBI for investigation as it should have been in view of the serious concerns it raised.

    Some people were wrong to treat it as though it were all corroborated.

    Others are wrong to pretend that it was all cooked up in a seditious plot against pure-as-the-driven-snow Donald, and to keep pushing the false claim that it was the only basis for opening an investigation at all, and to close their eyes to Trump’s whipped-puppy performance with a gloating Putin in Helsinki, etc.

    There are people who still think Trump is incorruptible, that he’s fundamentally an honest patriot, that he has high IQ and brilliant instincts, that he’s mentally sharp — despite abundant evidence of cognitive impairment, ignorance, routine dishonesty, gross self-centeredness, lack of moral conscience, etc.

    So who has really swallowed the hook longer?

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  51. Harkin: you forget to mention that the “Hillary financed dossier” was initiated by the Washington Free Beacon for a big conservative donor. Facts are pesky things.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  52. Harkin: you forget to mention that the “Hillary financed dossier” was initiated by the Washington Free Beacon for a big conservative donor. Facts are pesky things.

    Radegunda (39c35f) — 12/27/2019 @ 11:25 am

    That’s very misleading dude.

    The Steele Dossier was pushed by Christopher Steele who was hired AFTER Free Beacon dropped the contract with Fusion GPS.

    Stop trying to infer that the Steele Dossier has some credibility just because Free Beacon worked with Fusion GPS prior to Steele’s hiring.

    whembly (c30c83)


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