This one may be a stretch of the definition but I enjoyed it.
“I’ll Say Yes,” with Gospel Rhapsody.
I should have shared this earlier but as I mentioned it earlier but one of my personal Christmas tradition (though it’s a good general winter tradition too) are good steaming batches of mulled cider or wassail, as my mother’s old Crockpot cookbook which I originally got the recipe from calls it.
It’s really very simple what you want is
Mix this all together, bring to a boil, and simmer for at least three hours. You want to squeeze all of that flavor out of the fruit and spices. Trust me on this anything less and all you’ll get is warm juice.
There’s room for variation here. You could add booze… or a guy who sells cider at my local farmer’s market tells me if you use the good stuff you don’t have to add sugar. I’m sure he’s right but to know for sure i’d have to experiment and the good stuff is pricey.
Either way this basic version will do you right.
Well Christmas is gone for another year.
Mine went as well as could be expected. Generally Christmas is very low-key for me being the only member of my family in the northwest and most of my friends bugging out to their own family gatherings I generally found myself alone for the holidays. My first couple of years out here it generally hit me with some pretty severe seasonal depression to the point I would darkly joke that my traditional way of celebrating Christmas was locking myself in my room with a bottle of cheap hooch. It got better over the years. For a while I threw a potluck dinner party for my fellow transplants and things got really better after I got the worst out of my system by getting a proper New England Christmas with a few visits home at the appropriate time.
Since then I’ve found my best way of observing Christmas has been doing the Rhapsodies Christmas story. The one downside of that is that I’ve streamlined the process over the years so technically for me Christmas is over around the fifteenth, which feels a little weird since it’s going strong for another ten days.
And while it’s tempting to blow it all off I’m old fashioned enough that I feel a need to observe the rituals. There’s a small bundle of them reading “Night Before Christmas.” A proper dinner, a walk in the woods, going to Christmas Mass etc… the only one on my check list I haven’t been able to do is watch the Great Performances version of the Nutcracker starring Mikhail Baryshnikov I haven’t found that on television for years. (Sooner or later I am going to have to find a copy)
Anyway this year went well. I had made a batch of my mulled cider recipe (I’d learned the hard way it’s better to make it the day before and reheat it at whatever party you’re making it for.) I started my day with going to University Friends Meeting’s Christmas meeting, or more accurately I went to University Friends Meeting to help with the finger food potluck that happens after that meeting. It wasn’t the biggest turnout we’d ever had but it was nice. The cider went over very well.
Afterwards I did the next thing on my Christmas checklist, the walk in the woods, this involved going to Discovery Park. It was very nice and the view of the Olympics looked like a study in blue pastels. The one downside was it seemed like everyone else had had the same idea so it was a little hard to do the commune with nature thing but that’s not something you hold against people.
The final thing on my list was the nice dinner. I did a chicken with giblet gravy that came out very well (though making the gravy was more time consuming and tedious than expected.)
Anyway a very pleasant Christmas and I hope you all had a nice one as well.
To finish off this year’s Christmas playlist we have “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.
If I do a countdown of Christmas specials I would put this one close to the top. As I’m a huge fan of Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones and of course Boris Karloff. I even like the movie version of it make no mistake I agree with all the bad stuff said about it but it’s a nice bit of world building and creates a good “Real” version of Mr. Geisel’s world.
Anyway… Merry Christmas and enjoy.
As a fan of the Birds I’d played around with designing him many times but generally went more anthropomorphic making it more of a man wearing a bird costume rather than an actual talking bird.
For today’s contribution of Christmas cynicism and mockery we move on to Stephen Colbert‘s “A Colbert Christmas: A Colbert Christmas”. It’s a fun show that directly spoof numerous annual celebrity specials with the usual cameos that are all fun (I especially like the Feist as an angel who leaves a recorded response to God’s prayers) But the best part is Stephen and Willie Nelson as the “Fourth Wise Man” spoofing the Bing Crosby/David Bowie “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth” Duet with “Little Dealer Boy” I am absolutely amazed how they both kept a straight face while doing this.