Friday Flotsam

Fra la la la laaa la la la LA.

The other day I was wrapping gifts and I needed something to watch while I wrapped. To have on, ya know. And truly, other than Christmas movies this time of year, I barely glance at a TV show. BUT! I’ve been reading and hearing and hearing and reading all about WhiteLotusWhiteLotusWhiteLotusWhiteLotus EVERYWHERE. So why not, I turned it on.

Two episodes in. I like it! I think? Actually what I like is the mix of Coolidge (legend), Britton (hello, Friday Night Lights!) and Zahn (hello, Reality Bites!). Those teenagers suck, but I know that’s the point. I also like the coloring of the show. That sunny, warm golden haze. It’s pretty! I’ll keep going when I have the time. Should I keep going? Have you watched? Should I put the soundtrack on right this moment?

This is what really did it for me – RACHEL. But like, RACHEL FROM PARENTHOOD. Did you recognize her?! I was trying to figure how why I got instantly mad when Rachel (same name in White Lotus) appeared on screen for the first time. I was like, “I know that girl. She did something bad. She . . . she. . . she kissed ADAM BRAVERMAN! IN THE RAIN!”

You don’t mess with the Bravermans. Poor Kristina.

Which of course made me want to immediately abandon White Lotus and watch Parenthood. And Friday Night Lights. And Reality Bites. And Best in Show.

I’ll keep going! I think? Do I need to?

I’m dead serious when I ask this, so get ready. And no, this is not some Better Homes and Families and Gardens and Garages junk.

I truly, truly want to know your holiday traditions. But more specifically, what you grew up as a tot doing, that carried over into adulthood. And is present either in your single life or family life. Because I feel like the word “tradition” is so loaded, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be super simple. And I want to know! Everyone does something sliiiightly different, and I always find it so fascinating to know what has to happen or else everyone will combust.

For Aaron it’s oranges in the stockings. His dad always put them in, so he does. And I think that’s cute. We’ll always have oranges in the stockings. And petit fours – his granddad bought them every Christmas back in the day, so each year we rotate with his family and send boxes of petit fours back and forth.

For me it’s Peggy Lee. My parents had her Christmas Carousel album on vinyl, and every year I would spend houuuuursssss looking at the bright red and pink cover with her face and the carousel on it. I’d stare at her hair, her eyes, her sparkling earrings. I remember being in complete awe of how beautiful she (and that album cover) was. So we listen every year with the kids. It oozes nostalgia for me. And you know how driven I am by nostalgia. HOWEVER, it’s on Spotify, so they’re missing out on the album gazing. So tragic.

Also Amahl and The Night Visitors. I grew up listening to that opera on vinyl every single Christmas as well (Um, I really need a record player that works), and it’s something I listen to and cry to every single year. It’s mandatory for my life. I can still picture my young mom in Hot Springs standing her blue bathrobe singing along in the kitchen, bowing down when the kings enter the scene. Memory hoarder, it’s me. Hi. I’m the problem, it’s me. (different thing, never mind.)

For me today, the little things are dried citrus in the windows, gathered pine from the park for our mantel, and making chocolate babka the day they get out for Christmas break.

Tell me your traditions! Big or small, I desperately need to know.


Okay, are we really into eggnog?

I ask because my friend Anna was drinking some the other night while cooking dinner and I saw via the Instagramz and immediately texted her all, “Wait, you’re drinking eggnog?” She’s like, “Well yeah! It’s sweet and delicious. Add brandy. That’s the traditional add-in.”

EGGNOG. All I can picture is Cousin Eddie with his dickie showing through his white sweater (his real-life wife’s idea, btw) drinking eggnog out of a clear reindeer glass and Clark Griswold spitting his out when Cousin Eddie announces he’s staying for a month. Arguably one of the best moments of that film.

EGGNOG. Should I give it a go? It’s been years. I’ve probably had it once. Lit-rally once.

Eggnog! Haha!

Poinsettias are something else I’m on the fence about. I know they’re classic. I know.

But they have this in-your-face abrasive look about them that I’ve never quite settled into. Besides churches and the set of SNL, there’s really no good place for a poinsettia.

Try and convince me otherwise. I dare you. “I triple dog dare you!”

Weekend plans?

So it aaaaaaall begins! It’s a very festive weekend and I’m aching to get started. An estate sale this morning for me, then Chat ‘n Chew at school today (don’t ask me if Nat melted something on the very first book, destroying it. don’t ask.), some reading this afternoon and the Favorite Things party tonight! I can’t tell you what I’m giving because I think some of the moms read this blog. If they know I have a blog. I’m not sure actually.

A basement to finish cleaning tomorrow (yes, still), and another festive dinner with some besties on Sunday night. BETTER GET MY SANTA HAT OUT. jk. (maybe)

From this week! Creamy Rosemary Chicken with Linguine. Divinely simple. And another Creamy soup with Potatoes and Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach! Get in both. Stat.

I may or may not be back next week. Maybe next Friday. Let’s plan on that. In meantime, your holiday traditions, I need them. And White Lotus? Should I keep at it?

xx. (<–i never do that. was it odd?)

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23 Responses to Friday Flotsam

  1. Rebekah S December 16, 2022 at 7:52 am #
    Poinsettias are meh, in my opinion. We don’t really have legit traditions, just an overall feeling of same decorations being used year after year, same movies being watched, etc… Eggnog= triple yes! I have no idea about White Lotus but I’m interested to see if you end up living it like the rest of the world.
    • Rebekah S December 16, 2022 at 7:52 am #
  2. Diane Turley December 16, 2022 at 8:53 am #
    Yes!! Watch White Lotus!! Season 1 is good too!!
  3. Nan December 16, 2022 at 10:11 am #
    My dad actually played in the pit for amahl and the night visitors when I was a kid. One year I got to perform in it as a shepherd child! The live animals in Alice tully hall always impressed me, they even rode the elevator backstage. Did not realize this was a well known Christmas thing outside NYC so this makes me so happy. :)
  4. Amanda December 16, 2022 at 10:55 am #
    Our traditions now are very different from when I was a kid, but they each are special. Christmastime years ago was spent at my grandparents house and my aunt always showed up with a big tray of homemade candy. That’s when it all became real! My grandparents had a giant tree with multi-colored lights and the kids would sit around it playing and talking and changing the lights from steady to blinking, etc. Now we celebrate on a much smaller scale (people wise) but have traditions like: new pajamas on Christmas Eve, lottery scratch offs in stockings, and a super low key Christmas Day. But I’ll always be the little girl at Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw’s house looking at that magical tree covered in the most random ornaments and tons of tinsel listening to all the aunts and uncles and cousins.
  5. Sarah Fortune December 16, 2022 at 11:12 am #
    My grandma always wrapped up a box of those cheap chocolate covered cherries & put them under the tree, so I do that every year too. And also, my siblings & I always laid out our stockings overnight where we want Santa to leave our gifts. The next morning, the stockings are full & hanging back on the fireplace. Iris does this every Christmas now too!
  6. Erin December 16, 2022 at 11:30 am #
    Rich Farts. Bwah! I'm dead! Can that be my Christmas card, please? I recommend watching Bad Sisters. Christmas traditions? Mom's sticky buns Christmas morning.
  7. Peekiesmom December 16, 2022 at 11:50 am #
    I am actually shocked that anyone would have anything against poinsettias. I guess it’s such a part of my tradition that I’d never think someone wouldn’t like them. I think they’re vibrant and festive and they’re flowers for heaven’s sake. They bring a brightness to my otherwise beige and grey home.
  8. Mimi December 16, 2022 at 12:34 pm #
    Keep watching the white lotus! Season 2 is better than 1!!!!
  9. Joanne December 16, 2022 at 12:52 pm #
    I enjoyed The White Lotus.. in that train wreck, can't look away, must know what happened kind of way. We've watched both seasons by the way and they're equally riveting and annoying! LOL I get so annoyed when characters are just plain stupid and I feel that way about quite a few of them. We have lots of traditions I carried over from childhood; decorating sugar cookies, buying ornaments for the boys each year, watching some of the same movies, listening to the same music (it was Kenny Rogers for me!) and decorating the house together. We always had ribbon candy around (I don't do that yet because my mom still buys it!) and jubilee rolls from Friendly's.
  10. Jess December 16, 2022 at 12:53 pm #
    Laughing at "the set of SNL" White Lotus is so great! Keep going. I am working through season 2 now and loving that too.
  11. Kristin December 16, 2022 at 2:09 pm #
    I avoid poinsettias because if I keep the darn thing alive through the holidays, what then? Do I trash a living plant? Too much angst. I still have the stocking my grandma needlepointed for me, but we've mostly created our own traditions. As I told you in a message, live Fraser Fir...such a good tree. I am not an eggnog fan BUT, last year, my daughter suggested we make Coquito, and it is delicious! The blogger calls it coconut nog. We made the version on I leave out the nutmeg and cut back a bit on the rum, but it is DELICIOUS. We are making a double batch this year and had to laugh/roll our eyes when HyVee insisted on carding us when we bought the cream of coconut. Apparently you get carded when you buy ANYthing from the liquor section, including plastic shot glasses...or so says the cashier.
  12. Nicole December 16, 2022 at 2:52 pm #
    I am struggling to get through White Lotus. I do love Bad Sisters!! Egg Nog Lattes are pretty yummy. Our tradition is New PJS on Christmas Eve. Our boys are teens now and its not as fun as it used to be. I wish I could make them toddlers again, even just for an hour.
  13. Tracy December 16, 2022 at 7:14 pm #
    Poinsettias - never. They're toxic for pets :( Christmas traditions - watching all the Rankin/Bass specials on DVD and reading Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve.
  14. Ranelle December 16, 2022 at 8:00 pm #
    OK, hear me out…Eggnog and 7Up. . It is a family tradition from my husband’s family. About 1 part eggnog to 4 parts 7 up. Pour in the pop slowly while stirring…sorta the same idea as a root beer float.
  15. Kristy December 17, 2022 at 12:37 am #
    My just haves are poppy seed strudel and star sugar cookies from the Polish bakery a few towns away. I look forward to them every year at my parent's house. Can't wait to have them next weekend! Btw, how is it possible that Christmas is a week away already? Didn't we just Trick or Treat?!
  16. Danielle December 17, 2022 at 5:22 am #
    As kids we always had Sees Candy lollipops because our Grandma worked there for decades and would always buy us a box at Christmas. I sent my family a box this year to keep the nostalgia alive. Other traditions include cinnamon rolls AND strata on Christmas morning and the order is very specific: stockings -> cinnamon rolls -> some presents -> a walk -> strata -> the rest of the presents. My husband and I keep this family tradition of mine alive because it makes the magic of the day go a little slower!
  17. Kim December 17, 2022 at 4:13 pm #
    Ok 1st eggnog. We had our simple version as kids made in our 1 speed Waring blender. About 2 c milk, 1 egg, vanilla and enough sugar to make sweet. Blend till frothy. I'm old so we didn't worry about raw eggs back then. 2nd, I got an autograph from Peggy Lee when I was about 10 yrs old at the LAX airport. She was in a wheelchair and the grownups coerced me to go get it. !!!! I loved white lotus, got it from the library so it'll probably be another 6 months till they get in season 2. Happy Holidays
  18. Susan December 17, 2022 at 5:34 pm #
    White poinsettia in an old white crock will change your mind.
  19. CeeCee December 18, 2022 at 5:12 am #
    White Lotus - I just don't get it. Bad Sisters, tho? LOVED it. Tradition(s) - at least one full watch of both White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life, Dirty Santa on Christmas Eve, and filling stockings with the silliest/funny things.
    • Irene December 18, 2022 at 9:52 am #
      Don’t really have any Christmas traditions (except always the same food). Christmas during my childhood was celebrated with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandma, but as my cousins have now families of their own, that stopped. I’m single with no kids, so celebrating with my parents this year (nice and chill and I do like it a lot tbh). We do decorate the tree “little Christmas Eve” (direct translation from Norwegian, lol), usually watch the same movies Christmas Eve morning (I think people would riot if that exact tv channel stopping airing them). Poinsettias - don’t like them, and as other have noted, very toxic to pets. But white or purple ones look better than the red ones usually. Really enjoyed the first season of White Lotus, couldn’t even finish the first episode of the second season, but might give it a try.
  20. Ariel December 18, 2022 at 5:54 pm #
    Christmas traditions for us also include oranges in the stocking and we always stuff them into the toes. Christmas morning as a kid my mom would cook this amazing breakfast and we'd drink fresh squeezed orange juice and we would eat off her fine china. I do this now with my family minus the fine china. We also have a notebook of Christmas stories and a correlating specialty ornament and each night one of our children gets to pick which story and ornament we read and add to the tree. Finally, Alabama's Christmas Album is constantly on repeat during this time of year. I love our traditions and the feeling we have in our home this time of year we can truly feel our Savior's love in a special way. Merry Christmas!!
  21. Tif December 20, 2022 at 9:59 pm #
    Ah, the traditions. I start listening to Christmas music right after I vote on Election Day (it's *MY* tradition), so I'm all in on this time of year. National Lampoon's Xmas Vacation + Home Alone are mandatory, plus I watch Love Actually alone while I'm wrapping. We take a drive to see the lights and stop at Culver's to get frozen custard (In Michigan. In December. I know...) Xmas Eve is Mass then dinner then gifts with the extended family, same as it always was. Xmas Day no one can get up until 8:00 am, then presents, breakfast bake casserole, and special Polish kielbasa that I have drive 90 minutes to get. In fact, I have to go tomorrow to avoid a massive winter storm coming this weekend. 'Tis the season!

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