Reclaiming the Christmas spirit

December 28, 2020

   So here’s how someone who didn’t feel the Christmas spirit handled these pandemic holidays.

   Carol popped up in bed at 7:30 Christmas Eve morning, and began whisking batter and heating grease for snowflake cookies. It didn’t go well. What should have been perfect, light, golden flaked confections actually peeled off the cooking iron like tar on sneakers in Alabama in July. Carol was nonplussed, but more significantly, unflinching. A new batter with more determination produced the perfections she always knew would happen.

   She made four batches for the family, and then immediately switched gears to create a layer cake, along with her eldest granddaughter via facetime. (At this point, I had roused myself from the couch where I’d been celebrating Christmas Eve in the only way it should be celebrated, watching pre-game commentary, and began loading the dishwasher for the first time that day, the first of what would be three loads, I might add.)

   While waiting for whatever you wait for cakes to do before decorating them, Carol then began slicing enough eggplant medallions to fill all the holes in Albert Hall, as it were. By this time the New Mexico Bowl had started, but that didn’t prevent me from filling the breach of the need for someone with the southern experience for breading and frying vegetables. We made enough eggplant to provide four families with a Christmas Eve dinner, with enough left over to satisfy any stragglers from the Sermon on the Mount.

We made enough eggplant to provide four families with a Christmas Eve dinner, with enough left over to satisfy any stragglers from the Sermon on the Mount.

   Still Carol did not take a break on the couch, as she then proceeded to convert the fried eggplant into four platters of Parmigiano, just as the second half of the New Mexico Bowl suddenly got interesting. Nearing 5:00 p.m., it was finally time for me to change out of my sleepwear, and participate in the dinner deliveries to her family.

   I know what people are thinking at this point in the story, but I insist this is not about me. In fact, during the frying of the eggplant medallions, I had to take a break to rest my back, made stiff from standing, and sit down. Carol did not feel the need to join me, in fact delicately interfacing  the eggplant preps with the facetime cake prep with her granddaughter. I kept Carol updated on the progress of the New Mexico Bowl, which she expressed a surprisingly mild interest in.

   I think I’ve painted a clear enough picture here. Carol was on her feet and cooking continuously from 7:30 in the morning till 5:00 that night without a break, pausing only long enough to announce that she had laid out the clothes I was to wear for the dinner deliveries to the family. She had made the selections in between dressing and applying makeup to herself.

   I write this only to suggest whether there is a better way to demonstrate how to recoup the Christmas spirit than what Carol showed that day?

   By the way, Hawaii won the New Mexico Bowl 28-14.

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