Spending Christmas Like Savages

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it, but there seems to be this truly pervasive need to celebrate Christmas outlandishly this year. Maybe it’s just me. But, there has been something so hellishly wrong about this year that Christmas needs to be embraced with everything we can give it, squeezing it for dear life.

Phillip and I have been listening to Christmas music on the record player, older songs, swankier songs. Honeychurch screams a need for a few things we do to be slightly vintage. And while Bing Crosby croons us with carols, Phillip and I start talking about all the traditions we’ve forgotten about, and others that we’ve never tried. We decided this Christmas was going to be a tribute to nostalgic fun while trying things we’ve never done.

First, we were going to try a panettone for the first time. Not familiar? It’s an Italian cake, something like a donut cake, hard to explain, but REALLY tasty. Now, I’m telling on myself by sharing this picture with you, but I didn’t realize you were supposed to slice it and serve it. We pulled this big beauty out of a pretty box, unwrapped it, pulled away the moist wax paper around its belly like it was a big fat cupcake. Phillip looked at me with this ravenous heave in his torso. “I say we eat like monkey bread.”

The two of us went at it like savages, shredding half of that luscious donutty cupcake with our bare hands. It’s good stuff!!!! I recommend the chocolate with chocolate chips. Oh! We’re going to save what’s left of the panettone for Christmas morning. We’re going to make French toast with it 🙂

I’m sending out Christmas cards! Can’t think of the last time I sent a Christmas card….can’t think of the last time I bought a stamp. I wanna have eggnog this year. I miss eggnog, but not any eggnog. Puerto Rican eggnog, coquito. God, I love that stuff. Reminds me of a Christmas Eve serving at the restaurant and my boss brought in a batch of it to merry us, just like Mr. Fezziwig.

I’ve never had minced pie, never had a fake reindeer in the front yard, never been to Christmas mass, and I’ve never waited until Christmas Eve to put up decorations. I’ve never seen the Rockettes, never stranded popcorn and cranberry, and I’ve never put up my own tree. Honeychurch is begging me to.

There is a bare corner in my living room that I told Phillip we weren’t to touch until after Christmas…because THAT is where our Christmas tree is going. The minute we walked through the front door I saw that corner and said to myself, that’s the perfect spot for a Christmas tree. I want to get a simple little artificial one, something smaller. We can put it on boxes and crates and set it up nicely with a little skirt.

I just giggled to myself, seeing that tree in my head. The traditionalist in me wants simple little white lights…..but, I just can’t shake how cool it would be try those big, giant, multicolored lights from the 1970’s. How fun that would be.

I’d love to see that tree Christmas morning, those lights casting illuminating colors, the wrapping paper on the presents catching it with a glow, while the glistening of candy canes and the dazzle of tinsel shimmer above. Chocolates hide in stockings, Matchbox cars are tucked in the branches of the tree. A bike (with a bell and a banana seat, no less!) is over in the corner ready to ride like a rocket.

I’ve never been woke by a child begging to open his presents during the wee hours of Christmas morning, but I am married to Phillip so it might be a little like the same thing 🙂

This Christmas already has a fabled magic about it, because it feels like the first Christmas in your first house. This Christmas sets the tone for how much of a heart Honeychurch really has, how many rich traditions will be remembered here year after year. There is a presence in the air that hints of mulled wine in years to come, of bombastic laughs and gag gifts, of strangely flavored candy canes and heirloom ornaments, that we’ll never want to celebrate Christmas anywhere else.

I love this picture. Great shot to end the post with….Phillip spent the morning moving the plants around so that the poinsettias were up front on the stoop. I truly loved where he put them so I took a photo. He’s been running around for a good couple of hours looking for his coffee cup while I’ve been trying to type out this blog post. In something of a frantic way, he’s been running around asking, “Where is it? Where is my coffee cup?” While adding this photo I laughed from my desk, “I found it! Merry Christmas!” (Hint: it’s on the threshold ;))

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  1. I enjoyed reading your account and reflections. I love Christmas. No matter how humble I pass it, I love it. It refreshes and restores me. It reminds me of who I am. It seems that you are pretty much the same. I’ll be looking for that Puerto Rican eggnog. Merry Christmas. May the blessings of the season cause you to be reborn, yet again, and cause you to continue to spread love and cheer.

  2. As a New Yorker, I take for granted many of the things you’ve described here (Coquito- Nuyorican style of course-, panettone, midnight mass, even the Rockettes!). This year, however, I’m yearning for none of the above. I’ve turned into one of “those” ladies who are content to have a 1970’s ceramic Christmas tree, a simple meal, a walk with the husband, a drive around the neighborhood to see the lights while listening to Christmas music. Long ago my family of three made it a point to only have 4 gifts each (something you want, something you need, something to play with, and something to read) so we could enjoy Christmas for what it is and generally be happy with less “stuff”. Ok, I’ll miss the Rockettes…This will be the first year I’ve missed them since the Carter administration… I was captivated by the story of the stowaway owl in the Christmas tree but don’t have a need this year to go and actually see the tree.
    Your post made me smile, and realize how some things, so familiar, can be exciting and “new”, depending on one’s circumstances.

  3. Is there a wishlist we can purchase things for you and Phil from? That is normally the reason you come out from hibernation! Glad you are well.

  4. You also need Scottish shortbread, Scottish fruitcake – and follow these up with Scottish oatcakes on New Year’s Eve….until you have done this you have not celebrated Christmas or Hogmanay….whatever, all the very best for Christmas and 2021 from “Downunder”

  5. I think Honeychurch is lucky to have you. Enjoy this special Christmas and make it yours. I was pondering similar feelings yesterday in my blog too. After all, ‘‘tis the season. May yours be bright

  6. I can just see a tree with those big lights on them! We had them as children. We also had those bubbling lights that had to be clipped to the branches. Last year I looked for blinking lights that you can change the setting on, couldn’t find a strand. I will have to look again this year. Merry Christmas my friend!

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