Emily Post-Christmas Rundown

I really need to stop adding someone’s name to the rest of my titles.

Christmas is over!! It was the first happy thought I had when I awoke. “It’s over, Edsel!” I said. Eds was actually in the bed, resting on the other pillow, when I woke up today. Ever since my mother gave him that really good dog bed in November, he hasn’t deigned to sleep with me.

Edz bedz toooo gud, mom.

Anyway, Christmas. It’s over. Did I say that already? It’s just so wonderful! However, I’ll run down what I did, and maybe you can tell me what you did, and be sure to use lots of names I never heard before. “Well, Johnson and me, we went to the chapel with Barf and Jojo…”

If that’s your Christmas story, you might want to look into new friends in the new year.

In keeping with my idea of trying something new in Greensboro every day this week, I went to a little boutique in my marginal neighborhood on Xmas Eve. Since this hood is, oddly, rich-people adjacent, there is a street of cool shops that never quite stay in business, but are great while they exist. I didn’t buy that bird necklace but I liked it.

Gee, why don’t these shops stay in business?

I was also out because I’d threatened to kill my mother. I was planning to make my traditional Xmas lasagna and I couldn’t find where I’d unpacked my recipe box, so I called old mom, there, for the recipe. Old Reliable.

I bought all the ingredients, PER MOM, on the 23rd, and then?

On the 24th?

I realized she’d failed to tell me that it called for oregano, lasagna did. Careful readers will note back in 2010 when I cleaned out my spice cupboard and had, like, 47 jars of oregano. Isn’t it ironic. Don’t you think.

My blog post in 2010. God I’ve done this forever.

Aw. That post was about Peg. Everyone’s dead. MERRRRRRY CHR–oh, good. It’s over. I don’t have to pretend to be cheerful anymore.

Anyway. I called my mother and threatened her life (“Isn’t oregano something everyone just has on hand?” asked mom, who has never met her daughter, it’s the oddest thing), then WENT TO THE STORE ON CHRISTMAS EVE, and?

Is there some goddamn oregano fest in town? Jesus.

Fortunately, I found some, like, organic $700 oregano in the $700 organic aisle. Also, at the store, I saw four groups of people recognize each other in the store, and there was much hugging and “I can’t wait to tell mom I ran into you”-ing and it was all very Dan Fogelberg.

In the evening, I headed over to my friends Ian and Adriana’s house. We here in boring America pronounce it “EEEE-YON,” but his family says it “Yon,” which sounds better.

Careful readers (who hates me at this point? Answer: All of you.) will note I spent Christmas Eve with YON and Adriana two years ago, as well. That dog was found by Ian late one night back in Puerto Rico when he was a puppy. The dog was a puppy, not Ian.

Anyway, he woke his then-new bride up to say, “I found a dog.” Ian did, not the puppy.

Now their oldest kid is 15, (Ian and his wife, not his wife and the pupp–oh, never mind) if that tells you how old that poor dog is. I was glad he was still there this year.

“Are you and Ned on or off?” asked Adriana. The way we got to know them, see, is not only did I use to work with YON, but he and Adriana also used to live right next door to Ned in his downtown apartment. So we double knew them.

“We’re off, but I am meeting Ned and his mom for dinner tonight,” I told her.

“I know it’s politically incorrect, but I prefer it when you two are on,” she said. I’ve always like Adriana and her boldness. Also? Her mother, who was there, is to DIE for. Just one of those charismatic women you want to be best friends with, and it turns out she’s good friends with my pal Kit! (Who isn’t? Everyone loves Kit.)

Genetics

After that, I headed to the nicest hotel in town (George Bailey, the richest man in town), where Ned and his mom had decided to go eat, and one thing I can assure you is no one else had that idea. Good GRAVY. I overheard a waitress saying 600 people had made reservations there that night.

Aren’t people supposed to be at home with family, and aren’t restuarants supposed to be empty and dismal, with only lone truckers at them on Christmas Eve?

Ned’s mom has the good hair. I wonder if Ned and my child would have had my bad hair or a nervous condition.

After Ned’s mom left, Ned and I had champagne in the lobby. There was a young pretty girl with another party in the lobby, and she had on this backless champagne-colored velvet dress, and THREE TIMES I saw her breast as she leaned over, and every time I’d alert Ned, he missed it. “I had a chance to see it when I walked past her, and I turned my head to be gentlemanly, and right after thought, ‘What the hell is wrong with me?'”

Ian (YON) and I took one picture and it’s beautiful. I took 407 trying to get Ned to look NOT like a murderer and this was the best I could do.

Christmas dawned with me asleep because I don’t have any damn kids to wake me at dawn. Christmas 9:30’d and I was up, opening some perfect gifts.

My Aunt Mary told me my uncle saw this and said, “Oh, this is June.”

This year, I got three robes, pajamas, a coffee cup and two bedspreads, because everyone has finally accepted that Ima stay home.

Also, why do I have a goddamn kitten every goddamn Christmas?

Milhous was obsessively leaping from box to box, and finally Lily thought, “lileee leap two” and she hoisted herself off the couch, where she’s been since September, tried jumping into a box but could not lift her girth, fell backward like an otter and went back to her spot on the couch.

@%$&#%.

I had Christmas dinner with Chris and Lilly and their other friends and family, and their home is so lovely and they’re such grownups. See below.

The food was delicious, and one of Lilly’s friends is a baker, and I got to take home some of his chocolate caramel popcorn he made, and I’m sorry to tell you half of it is mysteriously gone. [UPDATE ONE HOUR LATER: popcorn is gone. Someone alert the authorities.]

Anyway, that was Christmas, and OOOO, lemme show you my gift bag that my gifts from Chris and Lilly came in.

Oh my god, I love that gift bag. I saved it in the closet like an old lady. “Like” an old lady.

WordPress’s new editing feature doesn’t tell you how many words you’ve typed, but I feel like the answer is four thousand ninety-two.

However, just as I was wrapping this up, so to speak, Eds started barking, and I realized, right then I knew, a package had come for me. It’s from Faithful Reader Paula! Let’s open it together, shall we?

Ohmygod, look how tidily she wraps. The bottom of the deer lines up with the top. In a million years I’d never achieve this.

!!!!!!!!

Some of my romance magazines! Oh my god, I adore these. Now I won’t go anywhere or do anything till I’ve read both cover to cover. I can’t wait to slip on my herringbone bikini and read how to satisfy boys.

Merrrrrrrry Christm–whatever.

XO,
Juan

47 thoughts on “Emily Post-Christmas Rundown

  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful day! We began on the 23rd of December, with just the 5 of us. I made the traditional lasagna, and we opened presents. There was (of course) a hockey game over the dinner hour, so my daughter took on the lasagna. I had made the sauce already, but it had to simmer for an hour and a half. She made the cheese filling and did all the layering. It turned out great!

    Monday we finished up the Christmas cards, delivered the cookies to the neighbors, and went to my sister’s house with my mom and her in-laws. She is very fancy, so it was very fancy. My husband and I did dishes for what seemed like hours after dinner.

    I read The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express to my teenaged children, and then “Santa” came.

    Christmas morning, I made egg bake and chocolate chip scones and we had cookies for breakfast. Then I cooked for my husband’s dad and my mom.

    And now, it is DONE! Yippee!

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  2. I know I am commenting a day late (and most likely a dollar short), but felt the need to contribute. The 26th is our wedding anniversary and we were going to go to a fancy expensive steakhouse but that will wait for another day. I lounged around in my gown and robe all flipping day and did nothing. That was due to me doing everything for the last 2 weeks (and Thanksgiving before that!) I hosted my annual Tamalada where all the family come over and we make enough tamales to feed Santa Anna and his army. I also host Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner and make a Christmas breakfast in between. So the anniversary on the 26th I just said Nope and did nothing.

    I loved seeing your version of Christmas this year, June! Oh! And I adore that rose embossed robe you got there. That thing is too pretty!

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  3. My husband had an unexpected change in plans, as opposed to an expected change of plans and my family and I ended up in a cemetery looking at my grandparents graves. There was no where to sit , finally we saw some benches to give them some gifts but then we noticed the benches had um, remains in them and didn’t feel right sitting on deceased folk on Christmas and all.

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  4. So do Ned and his mother read each other the menu? Is it like responsive reading? Do they read in harmony like Ebony and Ivory? Do they debate the pros and cons of each possibility? Do they just stare at it silently for the 2.54 hours it takes for them to order? Menu angst. It’s real.

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  5. See, I used to be all Christmasy, but now I just feel sad-ish for much of the holiday season. Not because I am sad but because so many people, this season, it’s hard for them. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and know more people who have lost someone important or a relationship or a job or a pet this year. Sadness abounds. I can honestly say for the first time in all of my life, I woke up this morning after Christmas feeling hugely relieved. This season can be hard on people and I am trying to be more mindful of that.

    Your header pictures crack me up! Z cracks me up, she IS our people. Is there room in Edz’s bed for me too, it looks awful darn comfy. You’re so pretty, Joooooob!

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    • Yes, I noticed that too. I am a fat woman who had fabulous sex dreams most of my life. They have tapered off the last few years. I hope the ones in the article don’t go on and on about whipped cream and sundae toppings as sexual enhancements.

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  6. I am back to say the description of Lily doing her Milhouse imitation was the funniest thing I have read and imagined in a long time. I laughed aloud for a long time. Poor Lily.

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  7. I don’t do holidays, so mostly just was a couch vegetable with my dog and cats. But I did head over to a friend’s house in the evening (she’d said, “Don’t worry, we’re done with Christmas by the evening.”) just to hang out. That was nice and mellow, and I had several Jack Russells (canine, not homo sapiens) nap on me while I did my couch vegetable impersonation upon my friend’s couch, and that was lovely.

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  8. I made the usual holiday dinner, plus an eggnog cheesecake, no more cheesecake baking for me! Although it was good. Son and DIL came over and daughter called in the evening. All was good, and now it’s over!!!! Hooooorayyyyy!

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  9. I’m also glad over.
    Saturday I hosted a huge family Christmas party. We had over 60 people here and
    as much food as we had, it all went. That lasted from 5 until about 1 A.m. I totally drank to much.
    Sunday I babysat my granddauaghter for a few hours.
    Then Monday I had to run out to the grocery, apparently everyone else also had to go to the grocery. Our Christmas dinner plan was to go to the casino and eat. I was so looking forward to that, that I picked up and put right back down a ham. Well come Tuesday my husband is sick and we aren’t going out to eat. So I figure surely a grocery store is open and I can go grab some steaks. No, nothing is open and I thankfully had some steak tips in the freezer. I hate cooking on Christmas day. So I ended up in bed by 9 so that I can hit the stores today at 5, my favorite day of the year. I honestly buy more after Christmas than before. Now I’m waiting for my step daughter to bring the grandbabies over so they can open their gifts and I can get rid of any Christmas remnants.

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  10. For reasons I don’t know, yesterday, Christmas Day, was the longest day in the world. It just dragged on and on and on and I was bored to sobs. We didn’t go anywhere and nobody came over so it was just the 4 of us watching the Mythbusters marathon and eating way too much. I’m glad it’s over.

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  11. Please note even my freaking wrapping paper is BEIGE.

    At my old job at the hateful bank, the HR Whore had a niece who lived in Columbia (I think? somewhere in SA. IDK.). Oy the stories she told of their house having only three walls so the niece constantly had to watch that the baby didn’t crawl out and get lost in the rain forest or whatever. Never heard of a playpen, APPARENTLY. OR A FOURTH WALL. And it was like a B&B! People paid to stay in a three-walled, baby-escaping house! I’m getting to my point. And, AND, when said niece was coming to NY for a visit, it was a huge production. She couldn’t just hop on a plane. She had to walk out to civilization, then catch a ride on the back of a dilapidated truck …. IDK, but it took at least a week for her to get anywhere near an airport. But MY POINT is the baby’s name was EEBON. EEBON this and EEBON that. And then one day I saw it written down and it was Evan.

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  12. I am also glad that it is over. It was great, but very stressful, which makes me hateful. Hateful is not a good holiday look. Today I am doing NOTHING. Don’t even look at me with your “What’s for lunch/dinner/snack?” look. I will kill you dead. Go to Sonic. Go to Brookshires. I don’t care because I have filled my holiday obligations and am now a blob until Friday when we fly to NYC!

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  13. I am still in my pajamas, and I ate rum cake for breakfast. I’m living my best life on December 26!
    We had a wonderful Christmas, but it was drawn out. The previous three days were a complete whirlwind beginning with us hosting a family party for about 20 people on Sunday. Monday was last minute wrapping followed by church in the afternoon followed by another family party about an hour away. Yesterday was Christmas morning fun with just the 3 of us, then another lunch party here for 9 people. Two more family get togethers after that and finally collapsed into bed about 11:00 last night. Very lovely and fun- no weird family strife, but it’s a lot of driving around for days, which is why I’m still in my pajamas. Eating rum cake for breakfast.
    I loved reading about your Christmas, June. You have delightful people around you!!

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  14. That was a lovely Christmas, Juan.
    I also had to fight the masses on Christmas Eve day. Dashed in for garlic and poultry seasoning.
    Ooh this looks good.
    40 billion later I finally escaped.
    I’m dog sitting my little buddy Calvin so we had a nice relaxing day. Long walk, crackling fire on TV, Elvis and Tony B crooning Christmas tunes.
    Cooked a small turkey and thoroughly enjoyed my dinner and wine.
    I was so looking forward to sleeping in today. Wide awake at 5:40. Carp.

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  15. So your picture just changed at the top of the non-blog since I posted and now it is the 1960 soft porn semi-topless girl in a mink stole. Where on earth did you find this picture? And her hair is silver and blue? Hilarious!

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  16. Spent the day with my husband’s side of the family in Chapel Hill at his brother’s house Dec. 8th. They have two beautiful labs, although my poor daughter spent the whole day and evening sneezing. Then on Christmas Eve, I host my Dad, (lost Mom two years ago) my sister and her family. My sister and I both make lots of different things to eat and we always serve buffet style. Very Informal. The tv is always on, lots of separate conversations, then at some point we all are together in the living room having the same conversation. Then after everyone leaves I ultimately graze on more dessert and stay up late watching stuff on tv. Although my daughter is a senior in college, I still wait until she goes to bed to put her presents under the tree. She sneaks out in the morning and puts mine out. My husband never wants any gifts so he always gets his favorite candy (Dots) in a stocking. Then we have Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls. I really like that it’s the same and predictable for now!

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  17. Happy Christmas is Over Day, Juan! It does seem Z is your people. She will be a second generation Pie Peep.

    We are fairly low key over Christmas. We used to run hither and yon and host a big family but now it’s just my little family, my sister and my in-laws.
    On Christmas Eve we saw Mary Poppins Returns and had potato soup for dinner. We woke up around 6 yesterday morning because I had to pee really bad and I roused the family. We opened gifts, took naps and then had dinner with my sister and in-laws (who think my sister and I are ridiculous and they glance at each other and try to make little jibes aimed at us, which only succeed in making my sister and I act more ridiculous). Finally everyone was gone by 6:30 and my girls and I watched Bird Box on Netflix. All in all it was a wonderful life.

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  18. Sounds like you have a very nice Christmas. Chris and Lily’s kids are so cute, it’s amazing how much they have grown (why are we so surprised?!).

    We had guests on Saturday night, simple meal, but we had a great visit. Christmas Eve we had our neighbors over for an early lunch, it was nice. That evening we went to our good friend’s mom’s house. We had the most delicious German food! Then we had dessert, oh, my goodness, they were all fabulous. Heidi, yes her real name, made about nine different desserts, mostly cookies, but she added a spice cake, pecan pie and apple pie. They all were wonderful. Why so chubby (TM June)? She also made a beautiful gingerbread house from scratch, not a kit, but she wouldn’t allow that to be cut until after the new year. We waddled home from there and got up early Christmas morning and drove 60 north to my niece’s house for breakfast, which was delicious, as well. She had a breakfast bar with all the traditional foods, but had a pancake bar with all sorts of goodies to add to the batter. She did an outstanding job on all the food. We left there and managed to take a walk, because the weather was perfect. In the late afternoon we went to friends who was having prime rib, however, it took that hunk of meat a lot longer to cook than they had anticipated, so we waited and waited and waited, but eventually we ate and the dinner was delicious. Today, I’m not eating. I don’t event want to see any food. I’m drinking some water, but that is it. We had a nice Christmas, but I’m glad it’s over.

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  19. Oh yes, yesterday. It all seems so far away now. First, we opened the Harry and David Tower of Treats before the young ones (in their 40s) arrived and took out and ate the baklava because we get the tower to share but love has its limits and the baklava is one of those limits. I have nixed the big Christmas dinner because whooooo care anymore . They all celebrate on Christmas Eve and come in waddling and over fed so I changed it to a Christmas “tea” and we have Prosecco and open a Harry and David etc. Exchange a couple of gifts, tell the old stories and laugh and wrap it up about dark. Works for all of us.

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  20. Our Christmas was pretty quiet but that’s ok. My husband grilled beef tenderloin also. This coming Saturday we go out to visit oldest daughter and grandson. Today is a great day because I got to have my port removed! Although it hurts right now, I’m glad to be finished.

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  21. Has anyone else noticed how much easier it is to breath today than it was yesterday and the 3 weeks before that?

    Merrrrrrrry Christm or whatever to you, too, June. Lovely post.

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  22. Oh, I forgot to say what we did. 48 hours of chaos and then it was over! No really it was good – when you have five kids and they all have spouses and some have kids and most of them bring their dogs, it’s gonna be chaos. But it’s so wonderful that they all want to be with us, so I am happy for every minute .

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  23. December 26. The VERY BEST DAY OF THE YEAR.

    Every time I see Ned gazing at a menu, I get all anxious. My husband is a menu gazer. I make my decision in the first 15 seconds after sitting down, if I haven’t already decided before I got there. He just thinks and imagines himself eating something and then changes his mind and so on ad infinitum. And nauseam. Then he gets annoyed when it takes the server too long to return to the table. I try to explain the rhythm of being a server and when you send them way for the third time so you can think some more, you get out of their rhythm. Then the rest of us suffer. I’ve also tried to train him that you want to make sure that you are not the only one ordering soup or salad so the rest of the table isn’t sitting around waiting while you eat. He says “HOOOOOO CARE?”

    Was there more than one magazine? We need to see all the headlines!

    Lovely lovely post lovely June!

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  24. See, Christmas isn’t so bad – it sounds like you had a nice day despite your hatred for the holiday. We managed to grill a pretty good beef tenderloin for dinner on Christmas Eve, watched many hours of the puppy/kitten/duckling/pig/rabbit Yule Log on the Hallmark Channel, went to my Mom’s yesterday and I was home on the couch fast asleep by 8:30 last night. All in all, not a bad time.

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