Christmas II was celebrated in the Hyphen Household this past Saturday – the last Saturday in February being the traditional day for it.
We had such a great day – it was just the carefree silliness I needed after a couple of cold, dreary months of winter (I’m really beginning to dislike watching steam rise off of dog poop in the frigid air, but it’s still better than working for my boss back at The Agency).
The festivities actually began on Friday night, Christmas II Eve. We lit up our Christmas II tree along with the lights we’d wrapped around our bookcases and the downstairs glowed with yuletide warmth. While Darl was off attending to certain secret errands, I attempted to whip up two holiday projects: a festive apron for myself, and a Yule Log. On the one hand, I really impressed myself by cutting, piecing, and stitching up a custom apron in red and green in less than an hour. On the other hand, however, I failed at my perhaps too ambitous goal of creating a festive desert with which I had no prior experience and for which I had no set plan. I really didn’t even get out of the gate as the flat cake, which was to be rolled into a log shape and filled with creamy goodness, fell apart as I tried to un-pan it. It was then I decided to cut my losses and concentrate on relaxtion instead of baked goods. That was when Santa Darl arrived with mysterious packages, anyway, so it was time for kissing. Winding up our evening watching Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman and Father Christmas was icing on the cake, so to speak.
Christmas II morning, we got up and bounded downstairs in our jammies to see what Santa brought. But, like all good kids, we had to eat first and savor the anticipation. Darly made us a delicious Christmas II breakfast of roast beef hash with eggs accompanied by pineapple juice (I made the toast). Very traditional. Then, gifts were given and received. I don’t usually like the brag, but I’m feeling sassy, so I’ll just mention my favorites. Laura Ingalls Wilder (by way of Norway) got me The Little House Cookbook which I absolutely adore and cannot put down. I’ve had to set a rule that I can only read it at night, in bed, so that I don’t abandon my schoolwork to spend all day frying up salt pork and baking corn cakes.
The Home Ec Department at Iowa State College sent me the Fabulous 50s Advertising Calendar, which is too awesome. March is all about Bisquick™!
My Darling got me a great big box of sweets, which made up for the lost yule log (next year I’ll order the damn thing), and a brand new purple hair dryer with patented Ionic Action! I really needed one (the old one was literally scorching my hair) and, though he didn’t know it, it’s the exact model I was going to buy for myself when I got up a little extra cabbage. I love the psychic marriage connection.
After all the wrappings were strewn about well, and sweets devoured, we settled in to watch A Christmas Story. This showing was the first time I was able to watch it in its entirety, from beginning to end. I’ve seen all of its bits and pieces during the marathon on cable every year, but have never managed to see them all in order before. What a perfect Christmas II treat. Is this just not the best movie? We watched all the extras on the DVD, and then finally got out of our pajamas to get cleaned up and go for a Christmas II stroll. Later, I made our holiday dinner of Spanish rice (which I’m certain wasn’t really Spanish at all as the recipe came out of my circa 1964 Better Homes cookbook) and pork chops. We toasted our good fortune and happiness with glasses of milk.
And soon, it was time to settle in for a long winter’s nap. I imagine everyone could feel a little bit of our joy last weekend, because it was pretty huge.
Sadly, I learned Monday that little Ralphie’s Old Man had died over the weekend.
Rest well. You gave us a lot of happiness.