12/20/10

Christmas Music

Being Christmas, I feel it’s only appropriate to doing something about it. I am graced with the opportunity to listen to Christmas music all day at work. I do find it strange that we play this music. It’s not just us. It’s everywhere. For being a country that is so afraid of upsetting anyone, we go around and wish people “Happy Holidays”. You can’t say “Merry Christmas”. It’s not right. You don’t want to upset anyone with another belief. But it’s okay to blare music about Santa and Jesus throughout the stores these people shop at. I’ve had a few people wish me a Merry Christmas and I have had others with me Happy Holidays. Either way, it doesn’t bother me. Maybe because I am Catholic and celebrate the season. It’s hard to say how I would react if I wasn’t. Would I get upset if I were Jewish and people wished me a Merry Christmas? I can’t say. But it just doesn’t seem kosher.

I don’t like the music playing the day after I cram a turkey down my throat. I like listening to it the night of Christmas Eve. There is something about driving around that night and listening to the holiday songs. Toss in some snow and the magic of the holiday is perfect. Apart from my rant, I like to share with everyone a few Christmas songs I love and do enjoy during the holiday. I did skip over the more rock and roll style songs. They are fun to listen to but to really feel the spirit of Christmas, these are 5 songs that do it.

1. O Holy Night

2. Little Drummer Boy

3. Happy Christmas (War is Over)

4. Silent Night

5. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

11/23/09

Turkey Day.

It is getting closer to the holiday I dread the most. I don’t dread meeting and hanging with the family. That’s always fun. It’s work. It’s 2012 everyday. What amazes me is how people seem to forget it’s thanksgiving. How can you not know? I will recieve calls the day before with someone frantic on the phone. They are all, “I need help. I forgot to get a turkey. Do you have any cooked I can pick up?” I understand if you forgot to grab the cranberry sauce (I’d forget that crap too), rolls, maybe the yams, but a f**kin’ turkey!? I wonder if they forget which door to go in when nature calls. Is it the door with the triangle body or the door with the square body? Pat yourself down real quick and there, now you know. There are even people who come in on Thanksgiving Day asking if they can get a meal cause they forgot about it.  It’s three days till the big day and some folks aren’t ready. Speaking of that, I need to buy cheese. Off topic. I like to go off topic.

Our family is assigned what dish to bring along to the family gathering. I don’t know if I should say, “assigned”. It’s a first come kind of thing. I always seem to get shafted with the dang cheese tray. My sister brings some crazy dish she saw on the food network. If Bobby Flay or that fat lady from the south can make it, so can she. We’re scrambling that morning to get it all ready. Then we put the food in boxes and travel to my sister’s house for dinner. Something always gets crushed. My mom will scoff and curse to herself about the mishap. Once, a pie fell on top of the mashed potatoes and she flipped. “Oh crud! The pie just fell on the mashed potatoes. Someone take it off and make sure the mashed potatoes aren’t smashed.” Okay, mom. Yes. Let’s make sure the mashed potatoes aren’t smashed. Cause who wants to eat smashed potatoes.

We all gather in the house. I think, if I added correctly, there will be 17 people all together. We’ll bring enough food for 50. You know, just in case we all want to go back for 5ths. Here is a complied list of what we normally have every year. Be aware, that I probably forgot some.

  • Turkey*
  • Ham
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing from the bird
  • Stuffing not from the bird
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Green Bean Casserole (sometimes)
  • Vegetable Tray
  • Cheese/Cracker Tray
  • Jello
  • Jello with fruit inside
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Pudding Dessert
  • Cream Corn
  • Potato Salad

*The Turkey is usually a 30 pound bird. You might say we can’t get a big that big. But trust me. My mom will find it. She will find the biggest bird there is. She always does. If she doesn’t and it’s like a 19 pound bird, she apologize endlessly about it. “Sorry, I couldn’t find anything bigger. I just won’t eat.”

This is normally what we always have. Every year. Before the family was at 17, it was still the same. There were 7 of us and we still made sure we were able to serve the entire neighborhood. And my mom wonders why we have so much left over. I am not saying it’s wrong. I’m one of the few (few means 2. My brother and I go back many, many times.) I like food. I like thanksgiving. Thanksgiving with the family is enjoyable. We have assigned seating. It’s sort of like X-mas morning. We have a spot we sit in every year. To this day, I still know where everyone sat. And every year, we made the youngest sibling play Santa. To this day, she still plays Santa. She’s 27. Or 28. I don’t know. I didn’t realized that other people age too. I thought I was the only one. Since it’s the holiday before Xmas, we draw names to see who buys for who. Life was so much simplier when we were younger. It’s was easier to buy and easier to decide what you would like. Now, I hardly ever know. We aren’t supposed to tell anyone who we have but we figure out who has who every year. It’s process of elimination. Us kids used to pitch in together to get our mom a grand gift. I think we still owe her a trip to Ireland. Hope she doesn’t read this. Cause then she’ll ask about it. Meh. We got her a living room set one year. That’s good enough.

Thursday is Thanksgiving. The time were supposed to give thanks. I don’t know what I am thankful for. My health? Family? Friends? I guess to sound like I am a decent person, I am thankful for a roof over my head, food on my plate and knowing that I always have someone to lend a hand when needed. Thankful for my job, for the people I work with. Be them crazy individuals or good friends. Either way they fall, it’s always room for a story.

Thanksgiving doesn’t just mean food. It means football. It’s a tradition that went away but we’re bringing it back. Turkey Bowl. A friendly game of tackle football. It’s been at least 8 years since we last played. Do we still have what it takes to play or are we all too old to play? Guess we’ll find out. Check the obituraries. If one of us are in there, then no. We were too old.