Christmas Eve/Christmas open thread.

I thought that folks might not mind a place to stop by and say hi over the next couple of days, and so here ye be!

Below you’ll find my now-annual holiday post, an essay I wrote for the Chicago Tribune back in the day — it’s one of my personal favorites, and I love having a space in which I can give it a little breathing room.

As I say there, if you’re celebrating, I hope you have a wonderful and very merry Christmas — and if not, I hope you have a really terrific Monday/Tuesday! : )



  1. efgoldman

     /  December 24, 2012

    Are you doing the usual Xmas ritual (Chinese food and a movie)? What are you going to see?

    • The Hobbit!

      That stinking boy already saw it on Friday with his stinking teenage friends. But when he asked if I minded (since we were already planning to see it tomorrow), he said he’d be only too happy to see it twice. “That’s just more Hobbit!”

      (And yes, my 13 year old boy asks me things like “do you mind?” He’s an exceptionally good egg, is that boy).

      • efgoldman

         /  December 24, 2012

        That stinking boy already saw it on Friday with his stinking teenage friends.
        Thus with us and the original trilogy, except she was in college/grad school.

  2. Would you look at this breath-taking thing of beauty to which JH2 linked in comments to my earlier post:

    Holy wowie. I didn’t even know sundogs existed, and that is just something else.

    (To embiggen, click here: )

    • oh yeah it’s that time of the year. I’ve even seen them here in Florida, on the cold front days when the sky is clear blue and all you got is the sun and its halo.

    • JHarper2

       /  December 24, 2012

      I said this to Emily in the Blessings thread and repeat to all of you.
      To all those who celebrate Christmas, or celebrate with those who do, a Merry Christmas.
      For those who celebrate otherwise or not at all, all the best as the days lengthen.
      For those whose tables will have gaps and mourn, I hope you will be comforted.

      And for heaven or pity’s sakes, this holiday, forgo the “airing of the grievances” and may all feats of strength be for the common good.

      • efgoldman

         /  December 24, 2012

        And for heaven or pity’s sakes, this holiday, forgo the “airing of the grievances” and may all feats of strength be for the common good.
        Isn’t that why blog comment threads were created?

  3. My parents invited themselves over tomorrow for our traditional Jewish Christmas of movie and Chinese food.
    When I discovered this yesterday, I announced I was going home to clean. My mother was befuddled how the latter followed the former. My dad asked “Why?” with furrowed brow.
    I almost took them up on it and didn’t clean. Except Rob was so horrified, *he* started cleaning. (THIS NEVER HAPPENS.)
    but at least I have all the cards from the Horde card exchange to decorate my house with since five cats makes a Chanukkah bush impossible. So they will come over to a nicely clean and decorated house, even if they would never do the same for me.
    Now if it could please stop snowing? We have to get in the car and drive to giving the neiclings presents in 45minutes. And I will have everyone know that even though I bought paper that was beyond my wrapping skill set, I perservered! The girls presents are purple and glittery! TAKE THAT PAPER SOURCE COMPLICATED PAPER.

    • A) Huzzah and kudos!

      B) Speaking of “beyond my [fill in the blank] skill set” – I crafted recently. You have no idea how shocking this is, but I assure you: It’s very.

      I made these luminary thingies as gifts!

      There were a couple of other things on this list that I might try, too:

      (In fact, now that I look at the picture again, I used the very same aluminum sheet that’s in the foreground. I like the one in the middle better, but my Menards [like Home Depot, but less anti-union] didn’t have that).

      • Lise

         /  December 27, 2012

        You really, REALLY count on the fact that your family members don’t read your open-thread posts, don’t you? (thanks for the beautiful luminary thingy, BTW, I love it)

    • efgoldman

       /  December 24, 2012

      Now if it could please stop snowing? We have to get in the car and drive to giving the neiclings presents in 45minutes.
      K_ and M_ are on the way back from NC, into VA, driving in it.
      I bought paper that was beyond my wrapping skill set….
      Everything is beyond my wrapping skill set. Gift bags are our friend.

      • I had to use underpaper. It was good Rob knew this was not only a thing, but had seen it done before so between the two of us it was not a disaster.

  4. IO SATURNALIA to everyone here!

    Please stay healthy and safe this holiday time! (I’m in Florida: lots of crazy drivers right about now, and only half of ’em are snowbirds)

  5. I do apologize to the Horde: I don’t think I got out enough Saturnalian cards to all of you 😦

  6. Bookwoman

     /  December 24, 2012

    Season’s Greetings from the Bookwoman household, where the four of us are sniffling/coughing/sneezing. But at least we’re doing it together!

  7. Bookwoman

     /  December 24, 2012

    Thank you.
    /reciprocates with tea. And cookies.

  8. efgoldman

     /  December 24, 2012

    mrs efgoldman’s last present, which goes with another present, showed up today. i don’t have to give it to her as a Boxing Day gift.
    Time to dig out the gift bags, big honking one. I’ll do the “wrapping” while she’s at church. Long three days for her (she’s the soloist and choir director)..Last Advent service yesterday, Xmas eve tonight, early Xmas day tomorrow.

    Whatever and however you do or don’t celebrate, may you and yours have safe travels; may the TeaHadi uncle stay home or at least stay quiet and mostly sober; may your mother not criticize; may you remember to put the rolls in the oven and to take them out again before they burn; and may the kids play with the gifts and not the boxes, and not have meltdowns.


  9. Those wild and crazy government bureaucrats representing the US of A in Poland express my feelings.

    Happy holidays.

  10. God Jul, everyone!

    And if you’re the sort of person to do it, spare a moment’s thought for my Maman, and her purrbot who died unexpectedly this morning. Maman rushed her to the vet after she refused stinky wet food but apparently she had congestive heart failure and there wasn’t anything the doc could do. The Bear and I are heading over soon with julkaka and consolation, but saying good-bye to your kitty is a pretty lousy way to spend a Christmas Eve.

  11. koolaide

     /  December 24, 2012

    Just finished watching People Will Talk Enjoyable. I’d seen it before but not in a long time. I ❤ Cary Grant.

  12. caoil

     /  December 24, 2012

    The fire log is on the community tv channel – started at noon!

    I don’t know how well img codes embed here, so instead here is a picture from my cats to you and yours, wishing you a wonderful holiday.

  13. I think I’ll just drop some holiday music into this thread every once in a while.

  14. caoil

     /  December 25, 2012

    EMILY. We can now match – I got the ‘kill you with my brain’ shirt for xmas!

  15. More music (I was out most of the day)

    [Music nerds: listen to the chord change on the word “Deus.” Talk about chills up your spine!