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The Christmas Dinner...
tiki mick
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 398
From: Socal
Posted: 2004-12-03 12:54 pm   Permalink

Flounder, glad you liked it! it's all true, of course!

I told this story to my whole office unit, during a xmas luncheon one year..not a dry eye in the whole room!

I still receive "get well soon" cards from some of them!

FFFFFRRRRRRRRAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT-PLOP!!!


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3600
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2004-12-03 5:50 pm   Permalink

My uncle Jay, who was a right bastard and complete asshole but I loved him anyhow, was in an accident on a construction site in the mid-80s that left him paralyzed from the waist down. While Jay was physically capable of leaving the house, with wheelchairs & an adapted van he could drive and the whole shebang, he pretty much didn't leave his house from the 80s until he passed away last year. He collected disability, laid in his bed all day, and spent most of his time buying ridiculous things from catalogs and constantly recording movies off of each of the three televisions that were always running in his apartment.

Since Jay couldn't/didn't leave his apartment, we had Christmas at his place for a few years.

Jay's apartment was dark, cluttered, and as I mentioned before, had TVs blaring constantly. Jay didn't particularly enjoy wearing clothes, so when he had visitors, he would "get dressed" by throwing a towel across his lap. For Christmas, he'd make it a festive seasonal towel, and every year, he could be counted on to point out that he had a new "Christmas outfit."

Since the apartment was rather cramped even without the family there, a tree wasn't practical... so every year, our "tree" was a string or two of Christmas lights tacked to the wall in a rough outline of a tree, not unlike a child might make.

So we spent our holiday huddled around the outline of an xmas tree, balancing a plate of mediocre cold food on our laps, trying to ignore the three different R-rated movies playing at once (for some reason, with the volume on), hoping and praying that Jay's Christmas outfit wouldn't fall off.

It was all pretty miserable, but on the plus side, at least we didn't argue.


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[ This Message was edited by: Humuhumu on 2004-12-03 17:51 ]


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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2004-12-03 6:00 pm   Permalink


In my family, it's not unusual for someone to end up in the Emergency Room on Christmas Day. One of my great-uncles busted his knee while playing football in the street one year. All the excitement of Santa's visits tended to set off my little brother's asthma. I have been spared (so far)!



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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2004-12-03 9:59 pm   Permalink

Tiki Mick - I was laughing so hard when I read your post I was afraid my co-workers would think I'd lost my mind. Damn that's funny!!


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Shipwreckjoey
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Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 1794
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2004-12-04 9:40 pm   Permalink

For some weird reason (never fully explained to my satisfaction) my dad had this family "tradition" that dictated everyone had to eat a big bowl of oyster stew on Christmas Eve. I hated oyster stew and still do. It's like a bunch of stinky shellfish swimming around in warm milk...yuk! It took a helluva lot of oyster crackers for me to choke that stuff down.

 
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FreakBear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 15, 2004
Posts: 361
From: Springfield, Ohio
Posted: 2004-12-05 12:27 am   Permalink

One Christmas as a lad, my grandfather hauled in some ridiculously ancient movie camera rig. He was talking it up for quite a while, and i thought nothing of it. This would've been late 70's or early 80's at best -- well before the commonality of the camcorder. Coats were off, greetings made and soon it was time to open presents. My sister and I were directed to the middle of the room on the floor and presented with the grandparents gifts. I just assumed it was the normal drill, when all of a sudden the room was aflood with a supernatural amount of light. It was all I could do to squint downward into the carpet. He insisted we look directly into the camera, so I forced my squinting eyes upward to vaguely make out 2 human sillouettes and 4' wide rack of 8 or more high-wattage flood lights. He persisted that we look "up" but it was just physically impossible. This seemed to go on for an eternity, I couldn't even see and don't even remember the gift I was trying to open. Someone finally coaxed the old guy into letting up with the filming. Somewhere amungst our family's home movies is 30 seconds of My sister and I under 10-plus daylight, pleading like ants under a magnifying glass. I can still feel the heat on my forehead!
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2004-12-05 03:09 am   Permalink

Well, lets just say dads side of the family gad ancestors who fought in the Confederate Army. Moms side of the family had ancestors who were in the Union Army.

We would line up on either side of the table like Lee and Grant at Gettysburg.

The carnage was usaually total.

One year my mother made everyone sit in alternating order so the particpants weren't lined up on either side.

That one looked more like Shiloh.

Sometimes the night would end with my mother smashing plates because that was what her therapist said she should do. Some sort of primal scream thing I guess.

So shes smashing plates, and dad ( we have pictures to prove this ) is passed out on the couch. But not passed out like you or I would sprawled out. Nope. He's zonked, but sitting straight up, with a Budweiser clutched in a death grip. And you knew it was a bad idea to try and try to remove it from said grip.

Now somebody tell me why we celebrate this thing again?

TG


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-12-05 10:25 am   Permalink

Hey TG, were you being artisticly using metaphore, or were both sides of the family at odds about the North/South thing?

It's been my experiance that the southern folks hold on to the grudge of the war more, but are typically more polite.

Northern folks often have the preconcieved ideas that people with a Southern accent are thick, unrefined...

Where did all of this occur?





 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2004-12-05 12:51 pm   Permalink

Oh it was a real deal thing. There was more to it, but the North South thing was the strong foundation upon which rested the predictable results.

I have the distinction of being born in the south, but being raised by a fmily with strong affinity with the northern "liberal" tradition. My Grandfather (on my mothers side) was an organiser for the union movement of the thirties. A fact that didn't go over very well with the southern breathren.

My great great great grand father (on my fathers side) was a signator of the articles of secession of South Carolina.

The only thing that didn't enter the fray was religion. Niether side was religious.

When I go back to the south, it is my home. But every time I see a stars and bars flag on some yokels pick up, I can;t help myself from saying; "The south was wrong, you lost, get over it."

That usually would start off a good Christmas evening also.

TG

edited to claify which sides of the family the grandfathers were on.


[ This Message was edited by: tikigardener on 2004-12-05 12:54 ]


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-12-05 2:28 pm   Permalink

Any good Suth'n hoilday cookin you want to share?

Part of my Family is from the South and very periodically (like on X-mas) there would be the wierdest foods. Plum Puddings (with Suet) was one...Grits being my least favorite.

Anybody else get local wierd Christmas foods? Pone? Scrapple? Glug? Ludefisk??


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2004-12-05 3:25 pm   Permalink

Donchu go bad mouthin grits son...

One of my faves.

TG


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-12-05 5:18 pm   Permalink

Hominy based foods make my skin creep. Corn mush I don't mind tho.

Do you make em from scratch or use "QuickGrits?" (tm)

I've heard folks eat them like malto-meal sweetend, but only seen them accented with cheese and pepper.

Also do you say "Flapjack" "Hot Cake" "Griddle Cake" or "Pancake"?

Also share any insights you may have involving Hushpuppies son (said like foghornleghorn)


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2004-12-05 8:41 pm   Permalink

I'm a butter, salt and pepper grits eater.
sweatened grits make MY skin crawl.

And since I a product of Ameircan marketing, its the pancake. Yes not very southern, but when the package says it, thats what it becomes. Package, yup thats what I said. Mom was a working girl, so things had to be quick to make.

I'll ask my mom for my dads hobo stew recipe. I remember it as being quite tastey.
And he made a split pea soup recipe that was supposedly from his great grandfather.

I remember when we moved to socal, none of the stores carried grits, or yellow rice. They looked at my mom as though she was from mars. But they started carrying them!

I'll ask if she or other members of the southern side of the family have any secret recipes.

TG


 
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