Saturday, December 18, 2010

tis the season reprise

(also intended to post this much earlier)

Because of this over-abundance of holidays and celebrations in five short weeks, I am somewhat of a holiday scrooge. I don't adhere to any religious doctrines so the religious aspects of these holidays have no meaning to me. As the years progressed and the children grew up and my parents passed away, I let more and more of the trappings go. I am mostly non-observant. I buy gifts for my grandkids, kids and sister but that's about all. I don't decorate although I enjoy seeing others do so and I don't do any holiday cooking although I will happily consume anything anyone wants to share.

I wonder how much of what people do in this season is generated out of a real desire on their parts or a subliminal product of the carefully cultivated and programmed script created by capitalism of what we should be doing, should be feeling? We are inundated during this time of year with the image of the perfect family with the perfect tree in the perfectly decorated house opening the perfect gifts (that actually make your loved one cry with happiness) and eating the most perfectly prepared food. No wonder depression skyrockets this time of year. I'd be depressed too if I had to endure all that perfection. ba da boom (that's a joke, Ah say, a joke son.)

Not to mention the frenzy they whip up over the shopping and the bargains and the whole Black Friday thing with the news reports consisting of how full the parking lots are. It's a horrifying spectacle, like a train wreck, watching those masses of people streaming into the stores after standing in line all night as if they won't have another opportunity, fighting over merchandise (lady, it's just a TV!). One woman they interviewed on Black Friday started listing the stores she was going to after she left wherever it was she was. I don't know what kind of a job she has but I sure would like to know if they're hiring. hee hee (That's another joke.)


All four grandkids are going to descend on us on Sunday for three or four days so perhaps I will indulge in some holiday cooking. Maybe we'll try cream puffs with real vanilla pudding of the cooked variety and not that white whipped stuff you get now. I've never made them before but they were always a favorite when I was growing up.


  1. Do you have ESPN or something? Have you must be reading my mind.
    I've got my eye on you missy.
    Merry Christmas.....sort of :)

  2. Inquiring minds want to know.....Are the masses really as precitable as the media portrays them, is black friday any different than say wordless wednesday and finaly who the hell thought all of this gotta give mess up to begin with?. And this reporter would like to comment......the stuff from ellen's head is scary logical, quite profound and is the thinking person's stand at this time of year.
    Funny how sometimes we are singing the same song different verse. Without the grands living here...the ho ho and all the other crapee I have hung onto from my "part of the masses" time would be still in the dark in their containers in the garage, ready for a garage or estate sale. It woulld be perverse of me to inflict my "quiet, introspective passing of the seasons" time on small children but on the other hand they also don't see us "doing the insane shuffle" at this time of year. I hope you are doing well, The Olde Bagg, Linda

  3. Ellen, I say ... Do the holiday your way. Whatever that may be. From hanging a wreath, to sending a few cards, or maybe just walking through the evening neighborhood, looking at the decorated houses. Put your blinders on to the rest, and keep it easy. It works.

  4. This is another reason I like not having children. All the "stuff" we do is just for us (we like having a Christmas tree - but don't put it up if we're not in the mood). I do try to get appropriate gifts, but mostly I buy gift cards. AND we go see family over the holidays so no need to cook. Not a bad gig, to me.

    Of course I AM religious (to a point) so some things are imbued with more meaning for me...

    P.S. As soon as I opened your blog I started drooling...

  5. I love Christmas and everything it involves, including the true meaning of Christmas, which is celebrating the birth of Christ. But, I know what you mean about the commercialism. Enjoy your time with your grandchildren! Those cream puffs sound fab! Happy Holidays!

  6. Is it possible to watch this beautiful picture without getting the calories??

    P & L


    Ps. I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.... Shirley Temple. Ds.

  7. The cream puffs look amazing. I love homemade custard. My mother made it for her banana pudding. No comparison to the instant pudding. Have a Merry Christmas your own way.

  8. The cream puffs looks so delicious!! They will love them!
    I thoroughly enjoy this time of year...but I enjoy anytime I get to spend with my grands and/or family. It is such a blessing.
    And I like that we have special traditions and recipes that we have just a couple times of year. Fun times!

  9. No gift can compare to spending time with your grandchildren. Make those cream puffs and be sure to scribble the recipe down for each of them. Years will pass, but they will make them with their grandchrildren one day and be thinking of you when they do. Is that the spirit of Christmas?

  10. LOL @ the Foghorn Leghorn bit!

    As happens so often, I agree with you 100%, Ellen.

    I consumed, though, cos I had to. My old comp died!

  11. I believe it's all conditioning. And nostalgia.
    It never was as good as 'they' make out and it never will be the way 'they' advertise it.

    we should all be gown-up enough to do it our way, whatever that is.

    This damn season can make me very depressed and nostalgic, yet when I examine my feelings closely, or actually ask what it is I want or miss, I have no answer.

    Sod it all! (not a joke)

  12. Thanks one hell of a lot, Chrisi, for showing a hungry man such a photo.

    What happens to environmental concerns around Xmas time? Seems like that's something that our society barely gives lip service to the rest of the year, and then we show where our real values lie by forgetting them altogether during this the most commercial and materialistic season of the year.

  13. I agree with you 100% though this year I've given in to the call for revelry. It's a nice way to pass the time until the new year.

    Happy solstice, Ellen. May the light return! Shalom.

  14. Hi Ellen,

    When I lived in Japan, 98% of the people around me were Shinto and Buddhist but they loved Christmas! Gift giving is a huge part of Japanese culture. Christmas decorations and Christmas songs and Christmas cakes were all over the place. However, when the actual day arrived, it seemed to be missing something...Oh yah, Jesus.

    I love Christmas, and I love that people make a little extra effort to think about someone other than themselves at this time of the year. I love the parties and the friends and sending cards and baking bread for my neighbors. We shouldn't really need a reason to be nice or to get in touch, but it is an added little kick in the tush. Religions aside, the gifts should come from the heart not from the obligation.

    Got to go! Caroling awaits me. Fa-la-la-la-la

  15. Okay, so I'm just catching up from chickens and your brother in law to Christmas. First of all, my sincere condolences on your brother in law. 63 is just not old enough to pass on these days. I'm so sorry for your sister. It must have been completely discombobulating in only two weeks.

    We are not exchanging gifts, nor do we have a tree, nor do we miss it this year. Of course we are lucky enough to change the venue, but I'm not sure we are going to go back to celebrating they way we used to in years past. Something has shifted. It just doesn't feel the same to me. It was never a religious holiday for us, and now it just feels commercial. Maybe it should go back to being a religious celebration and the rest of us do something else more fitting to our spiritual beliefs.

  16. If enduring perfection depresses you, you're definitely on the road to joy making cream puffs. "Drop by well-rounded spoonfuls and smooth tops..." my fanny. Then you watch the oven anxiously for signs of levitation inside, then you have to peel the suckers back looking for pockets, then spoon in the custard, which is not standing up. Nope, if it's perfection you're not looking for, you're not looking in the right place.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.