Alone these holidays? Come on in! December 24, 2015 11:13 PM   Subscribe

I am just about to put together a keto Christmas meal of duck ceaser salad with all the trimmings including crispy duck-skin ‘croutons’. It’s a balmy 22 Celsius (@74 F) in my (east central) highland subtropical town although some in the south are sweltering under 35 degree heat (100 F) and there’s cyclone and tropical storm warnings for the north. What’s it like in your neck of the woods and at your single holiday table?

Earlier today I responded to xmas texts and emails (ok, 1 and 1 respectively), gave the cat an ounce of pure cream, fed my chickens some bonus garden greens and the duck carcass, then picked the lettuce, cucumber and salad herbs for my ceaser.

I have a blue crystal flute of champagne and for the first time ever I have purchased a movie on iTunes: Cheryl Strayed and Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’.

Whadda you doin'?
posted by Thella to MetaFilter-Related at 11:13 PM (140 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

duck ceaser salad with all the trimmings including crispy duck-skin ‘croutons’

I need to know more about this. For a friend.

the friend is my stomach
posted by Anonymous at 11:36 PM on December 24, 2015

Oh, you know, you roast a duck, and then you cool a duck and then you rip the meat out, peel off the skin and bake the skin some more basted in duck fat. Once crisp, cut into squares. Warm up some duck meat again in a small pan with duck fat, then toss onto ceaser salad. Mine had blue cheese, parmesan, achovies, picked articchokes and pickles, cucumber, onion and two colours of capsicum, plus lettuce and ceaser dressing topped with the cruncky duck-skin croutons.

Duck: the single person's turkey. Plus I am a big fan of fat.
posted by Thella at 11:47 PM on December 24, 2015 [39 favorites]

can we pet the croutons
posted by Jacqueline at 12:21 AM on December 25, 2015 [49 favorites]

What am I doing? I’m on metafilter while the children watch the new Danger Mouse on the TV apparently.

ps. The croutons sound yum.
posted by pharm at 1:22 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

(We’re having duck too! A whole turkey seemed a big big for our small family Christmas.)

Oop. I am alone in the kitchen, but failed to read the post correctly. Maybe I’ll flag my comments...Happy Christmas everyone regardless!
posted by pharm at 1:23 AM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

I am going to be stuck eating airplane food for Christmas dinner.

But then I will be in Paris for an entire week after that so SIT DOWN AND EAT THAT for a second.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:41 AM on December 25, 2015 [16 favorites]

I am staying home because of an ill cat, who is healing well, thank you (although his cone of shame is an endless source of comic indignity). In solidarity, I have developed a wicked cold. Mostly, I plan to watch movies for the next three days, and maybe binge on Xmas cookies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:06 AM on December 25, 2015 [13 favorites]

Well, as many of you already knew, any holiday plans I had were totally tossed aside when I suffered a fortunately minor stroke affecting my right side. (After failing to walk on my right leg, I called 911 and told the operator "I never thought I'd ever use this cliche, but I've fallen and I can't get up," setting a high standard for keeping my sense of humor through it all.) I spent 48 hours in an ICU where they made fairly certain I'd not experience any worsening or complications, while an MRI showed the precise (and thankfully small) area of damage, then was sent to an Acute Rehabilitation* Center for 11 days of therapy and 'retraining' my right side, with enough success and progress to impress all the therapists, then came home on the 23rd, walking gingerly up the 3 steps to my tiny apartment's front door. With my laptop at the Rehab* Center with me, I helped jharris to set up the MeFi MST3K Holiday Marathon that is going to keep me moderately distracted though the holiday. I was pleasantly surprised that very little in my refrigerator had gone bad in my absence, but none of it is "holiday food" so I will be just enjoying a somewhat less restricted diet than I was given in the hospital and clinic (but most of it was much better than I expected "hospital food" to be, including breakfast scrambled eggs and french toast better than I make for myself). I got some help from my friends/neighbors while I was away from home, but they all have families keeping them occupied while I am just happy spending more time than usual in MY own bed until a Monday follow-up doctor's appointment. So it's a very non-eventful non-conventional 'holiday' for me, which after the last couple weeks is exactly what I want. No Christmas Cards, and no Get Well Cards please. I'm almost halfway back to semi-normal, but it should take some months to get to the 80%+ my prognosis expects of me with a series of home therapy sessions and prescribed exercises (and using my right hand on my keyboard is considered an official exercise) and I'm fine with that.

posted by oneswellfoop at 3:20 AM on December 25, 2015 [80 favorites]

My Christmas eve meal this year was roast chicken and crinkle-cut french fries (doctored up with parmesan cheese and smoked paprika) while I listened to Serial. Nothing says "holidays" like frozen food from a bag and stories of people suffering torture? Or something?
posted by janepanic at 3:27 AM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

oneswellfoop, rehabilitating right hand Christmases unite! My broken right arm is – three months after I slammed it into concrete (it was the 26th of September) – now about 80% recuperated. Typing really does help. I also serious-joke with my physical therapist that I have reached Ninja Kitty stage, but not yet Maine Coon stage. The "little" one weighs 4 kilos, I can lift her with my right hand now. Coon cat weighs 7 kilos, not there yet.

I am also eating duck for Christmas. Breast of duck in a soy sauce, honey, ginger glaze, and diced potatoes cooked in the seasoned duck fat. With a bottle of Beaumes de Venise s'il vous plaît.

Saw the new Star Wars on Sunday and decided that part of my holiday fun will be (re)watching I - VI. Never saw II and III, last time I saw IV-VI was probably 25 years ago. SACRILEGE I know.

Weather has decided it's spring here in Paris. I remember colder Decembers on the Riviera, for pete's sake. Anyway! Very nice for winter walks.
posted by fraula at 3:41 AM on December 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

alexordave and I enjoyed the first use of his new aero press, a bottle of prosecco (gift from his work), and some delicious ham and other yummies. The weather in Essex is disturbingly warm and mild. We have not a stress in the world today, which is a nice reprieve from the rest of this year.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:12 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

I went to watch the new Star Wars yesterday afternoon (after eating the world's fastest meal of pad thai, because I don't like going out to eat on my own). I have just finished eating part of a baguette and some cheddar cheese, although I thankfully I have somewhere to go for Christmas dinner this afternoon (not really for food reasons; more because I need to be in a place with people who are interested in speaking to me).

I made a pumpkin pie this morning to take with me. I don't know how well it'll go down, since it's not really a thing here in the UK, but whatever. I did OK fluting the pie crust and I'm bringing cream I whipped this morning, so I figure it'll work out fine.

I have had a terrible December, balanced out with some small bits of good stuff (mostly that I got a new job I'll be starting in February), and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone at MetaFilter for helping pulling things a bit more in a positive direction between Secret Quonsar and the cookie swap and just in general.
posted by minsies at 4:34 AM on December 25, 2015 [16 favorites]

I'm pottering around in my dressing gown today eating Stilton and drinking tasty coffee. My cat is trying to lick the Stilton and also trying to prevent me from telling you about her cheese depredations, by interposing her behind between my face and the laptop.

My other concession to festivities is a set of battery powered fairy lights on the mantelpiece that cost 75p.

In some undefined period of time that I won't describe publically on the internet I am off to the Riviera to see whether it is indeed colder than Paris.
posted by emilyw at 4:37 AM on December 25, 2015 [10 favorites]

Oh and we saw loads of rainbows on the drive down, including doubles and even one full arc with touchdown!
posted by iamkimiam at 4:39 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

Not really celebrating Xmas aside from my sister visiting during her time off and the two of us going to watch Star Wars tomorrow afternoon. I cheated and watched it Tuesday, but she doesn't have to know that. Just us MetaFilter. Shhhhh, be quiet, it's a secret.

Some wine, some food, hanging about the house and working mornings during this holiday and getting paid a ton while I do so. However you choose to celebrate or not, I hope you're in good spirits and someplace warm and safe. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 4:55 AM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

My SO suffers varying levels of mental breakdown around the holidays each year due to family stress. This year that means no visiting family and absolutely zero Christmas celebration. I offered to make french toast this morning and he said no and rolled over. He's been opening up to me more and more about these issues so at least I know what he's thinking but he continues to argue against getting therapy.

On the plus: last night we went out to a fairly dilapidated Chinese restaurant/bar and had some yuks with the locals. And my mom sent me some presents that I'm about to open.
posted by bobobox at 5:15 AM on December 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

I see repeated mentions of cats, yet not a single photo. Here's mine (shown on the cat ladder where he's also currently lounging / cleaning himself).

I'm resolutely spending the 25th like any other day. I've done my run (in the rain!), my physio (glutes, not right arm), my yoga, and had late breakfast on the sofa. I might even do some work now, just to be contrarian.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:41 AM on December 25, 2015 [15 favorites]

I see repeated mentions of cats, yet not a single photo.

Caaaats (and food and local views)

Which reminded me: Christmas brass band in Paris playing Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (and where I found them).
posted by fraula at 5:47 AM on December 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

High fives fellow Christmas duck eating mefites! So much better than turkey (probably because it has approximately half the meat and twice the fat).
posted by pianissimo at 5:54 AM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

oneswellfoop, I'm glad you are doing so well!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:08 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

Good morning! It's another 3 hours before I leave for the airport, and I just repacked everything so my carry-on can be more easily smooshed into whatever random dimensions American Airlines requires carry-on bags to take (protip: get a soft-sided carryon bag, because every airline has different shaped carry-on rules). I'm making myself relax a bit with a latte so I don't spent the WHOLE time in fussy last-minute busywork.

A good friend's father is in town spending Christmas with him (that's their new tradition: my friend is an only child, and his mother died a year and a half ago so his Dad started coming to Brooklyn instead), and I dragged them both out to meet me for dinner and a drink at the magic bar a block from me, where we all split an order of Devils On Horseback and I got tomato soup and splurged on their mac-and-cheese (it has BLACK TRUFFLE in it). I'd eaten a late lunch, so I couldn't finish it - and thus I think my Christmas Breakfast will be the leftover black truffle mac-and-cheese and, like, an apple.

We also all ended up giving the waitress a Christmas gift of sorts - she was asking what we were each doing for Christmas, and when she heard I was going to Paris, and that I was also traveling alone, she got REALLY excited, because she wanted to travel alone more often and was asking how I got the courage. So I was giving her a pep talk. And then when she said she was going to Iceland with a friend, MY friend piped up with tips from a recent trip HE'D taken. Over the course of the next half hour or so she kept on coming back to our table with travel questions - which we all found really endearing, and so by the end of the dinner my friend had given her the name of a car rental spot in Rekjavik and showed her a bunch of photos, and I'd made a couple of travel guide recommendations and we all were cheering her on.

....I think I'll get her a little token something from Paris.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 AM on December 25, 2015 [27 favorites]

That would be both a lovely and awesome thing to do, EC. Also, the dinner story is great, love it!
posted by marienbad at 6:17 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Okay: I admit that deep-fried macaroni and cheese is not necessarily a traditional Christmas breakfast.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:01 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

I too am roasting a duck! Low and slow, so the entire kitchen smells maddeningly of duck all day
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

God Jul, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Wesołych Świąt, Merry Christmas to everyone, from an unusually warm Boston. I had a greatly simplified Polish Christmas Eve supper last night - baked fish, potatoes, stir-fried mushrooms, with poppy seed cake and oranges for dessert. The full version would need 12 dishes, including borscht, pierogi, cabbage, and a Christmas wafer on a bed of hay, which I skipped because I don't even have a cat to share the wafer with and wish it all the best and lots of successful treat-hunting missions in the coming year.

At supper, I watched Muppets' Letters To Santa, which is my own holiday tradition, to be followed today by more Muppets (!!!) - A Christmas Carol, A Very Muppet Christmas Movie, and Muppet Family Christmas. I have a Christmas tree that I carried in myself from the neighborhood lot like the Independent Woman Who Needs No Man that I am, decorated with assorted cheap ornaments collected over the years, and even presents under the tree! (Which I gave to myself, therefore they are the Best Presents and even the socks are totally my style.)

Today started with a late breakfast of traditional Polish salad, of cooked root vegetables, pickles, onions, sausage in mayonnaise. (This looks super weird when I type it, maybe it's one of those things you had to grow up with. It is good, I promise.) Now is time for a third cup of coffee and more cake. The traffic outside my open windows is picking up after a magically quiet morning, as people are done with their present opening and are getting on the road to visit Grandma for lunch. The weather is lovely, I'm going for a walk later on :)

(Also, the Gävle goat made it to Christmas day!)
posted by Ender's Friend at 8:24 AM on December 25, 2015 [14 favorites]

Also, I have roasted chicken for dinner, but y'all with your duck talk are making me reconsider.
posted by Ender's Friend at 8:25 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Today, I will most likely be subsisting on the giant box of fudge I bought yesterday, along with some sort of hot, spiced beverage that I will drink while sitting in front of my air conditioning vent. Because Houston.

And I'm going to watch 29th Street, as I do every year, because it's the best Christmas movie nobody ever heard of. (Trailer here. It's the true story of the first ever winner of the New York State lottery winner.)

Happy HannuRamaKwaaanzaFestiMas, everyone!
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:31 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh, and I may reactivate my OK Cupid profile today, but I'll probably wait till tomorrow, because how fucking pitiful is it to be a "new" profile on Christmas Day?!?

Also I'm going to take a long bath, and test one of the new bath bombs I made in preparation for reactivating my bath and body products business. So this Christmas is going to be a Reactivation Christmas.

Also also, I want tacos. I wonder if Tacos a Go Go is open.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:52 AM on December 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

Our middle daughter is six today, as her birthday is on the 25th, so we've been trying to figure out how to balance the craziness that is Christmas at our house — and our desire to not make it about just 'getting stuff' — with the fact that we really don't want to minimize birthdays. (We offered to get her peace on earth for a birthday present, but she wasn't going for it.) Our compromise is to make the 24th more about the holiday, and we'll spend more time today having a good birthday time with much fewer presents. We'll have a couple day respite before celebrating birthday number two on the 29th, for our youngest daughter. Anyway, it's just me and birthday girl up right now. She's watching Curious George on the TV with her new Christmas blanket while I nurse a coffee to get rid of a headache.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:59 AM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

Also also, if any other alone Bostonians want to meet up for a walk today or tomorrow, let me know! My plan is just to Wander Around Looking At Things.
posted by Ender's Friend at 9:02 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh, you know, you roast a duck, and then you cool a duck and then you rip the meat out, peel off the skin and bake the skin some more basted in duck fat.

I am just about drooling reading that. I've had chicharrón many times but never with duck, and now I know what I want my next cooking project to be.

We chose to avoid our families make other plans this year, so today is a gloriously quiet and peaceful day of rest and relaxation. Even the cooking will be low-key, with a very basic leg of lamb with potatoes planned for dinner. The biggest decision all day will be what bottle of wine to open this afternoon.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:03 AM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

It's Christmas at the facility. This clinic has five different languages and maladies, suffered by people who would really rather not be here, but I try to make their stay as minimally unpleasant as I can. My new pressure cooker (which had the officers realized what it truly was I probably wouldn't be allowed to have it) is chugging away in the break room with pork shoulder, liquid smoke and some unusual spice my sister gave me called Dragons Breath inside. I can listen to some Christmas music and not cry, others not so lucky as they remind me of love long gone and my lack of any nearby family. But my coworkers are impressed and the man yelling in Portuguese has been successfully restrained and carted to the psychiatric hospital up in the city, so Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.
posted by the bird at the bottom of the tree at 9:21 AM on December 25, 2015 [18 favorites]

Waffles and mefi. There's a sugar cookie fresh from last night that's calling.
posted by sammyo at 9:39 AM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

Mimosas. Breakfast. A walk on the beach. Star Wars.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:45 AM on December 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

I am sitting at gate D6 at LaGuardia, waiting for the first leg of my flight to Paris (I have to get a connection in CHICAGO). But the TSA stuff was surprisingly uneventful and quick, so I have 2 hours' wait before I board, and then another 3 hours in the air before I haul ass to the gate for the flight to Charles de Gaulle. I have 20 minutes to get from one gate to the next, in theory, before they board, but still...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

In honor of Christmas, I'm giving favorites to everyone. Favorite all the things!!
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:53 AM on December 25, 2015 [16 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos, I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time in Paris!

I'm watching my daughter play L.A. Noirr, which is quite good, actually. Made cinnamon rolls this morning, got an AMAZING bag from my kids, and cleaned the kitchen in preparation of making it dirty again very soon.

The cats and dog are all napping. One of the cats is sleeping on one of the sweaters said daughter received.
posted by cooker girl at 9:56 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Merry Crimmus and happy holidays to all y'all Mefites, alone or otherwise. I love hearing about what everyone's doing today, and bless y'all who are at work.

I'm leaving for Christmas dinner pretty soon, which my grandparents decided they wanted to do Out-- a mixed blessing, since I really don't like encouraging places to stay open on holidays, but on the other hand, it will be much easier than trying to cook around my sadly declined grandparents, who kept turning off the oven with the turkey still in it last year due to their dementia. It's disheartening how much further they've gone this year; my grandmother got almost catastrophically lost about two miles from home this week and my mom had to go retrieve her, and they are less and less cogent about which family members are which. I'm practicing my deep breathing and reminding myself I'm not really there to enjoy it, I'm there to give my poor mom a break, especially since this is the first year my brother will be away, which means one less person to manage my grandparents and deflect various conservative relatives.

But I've had a really nice, relaxed visit with my folks before the actual day of Christmas, and ate homemade pizza for breakfast with my dad, so it's not all bad by a long shot. And there are Christmas thunderstorms in Tennessee today!

P.S. Oneswellfoop and fraula, congrats on your recoveries! Glad you're both doing okya.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:15 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

I'm sort of alone--I'm back at my parents' house for the holidays. Last night was the hectic all-family Christmas chaos (where I only got two concern-trolly comments about my perpetually single status [note: reactivate OKC tomorrow, sigh]) and today I'm huddled up in my old bedroom watching movies and nursing a miserably sore throat that emerged overnight before I go to see some of my parents friends who are in poor health--it's been a bad year for their friends and it makes me sad to think of these ever-increasing reminders of the clock running out...

I plan to treat the sore throat and the morbid thoughts with some hot rum toddies ASAP.

Peace and wonder to you all, fellow Mefites.
posted by TwoStride at 10:16 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Super simple day for us. Cat is napping. Dog is sleeping in the bedroom. Had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and opened presents from each other and our families. Watched Die Hard. SO is playing video games and I'll call my family in a bit.

I was going to make chicken pot pie for dinner, but we have some friends we'd like to see today who are only available from 4-7pm. So I can't decide if I want to do as much prep as possible this afternoon so I can cook it when we get home, or give up on the pot pie for today and eat something simpler/quicker.

(Recovering from a torn ACL here, but might end up needing surgery next month after all, starting the PT/recovery process all over again. Oneswellfoop and fraula, hope your recoveries continue to progress well.)
posted by misskaz at 10:20 AM on December 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

We are at gingerbeer's sister's for breakfast and presents and we are attempting to bow the cats, who know something is up and are suspicious. Later we will have salmon left over from dinner last night, and something mindless on Netflix and naps.
posted by rtha at 10:43 AM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

Enjoying a mild day here in North Carolina - right now it's in the lower 70s and feels like late spring/early summer. I've spent a good bit of the day playing with my new Kindle Paperwhite (and adding new books courtesy of a gift card from my book-loving sister-in-law. Had breakfast with my parents this morning, and heading to the in laws this afternoon for dinner with her family. All in all, a very good day!
posted by Telpethoron at 10:46 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yo! I don't really have to be alone right now I guess but it is a thing that I am doing. What is up, hope everyone is doing good, etc.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:05 AM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

also thanks for posting this, Thella <3
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:15 AM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

A day to myself - and by myself - is my favorite present. A day where I don't make myself do anything I don't want to (except a little exercise so the Bad Pain doesn't come back). I have enough food so I don't have to cook, and am just enjoying listening to music, reading, playing games, and the internet.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 11:38 AM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

We're having a quiet & solitary day too, our first without cats or family, and a chance to catch up on neglected projects after a breakfast of smoked-salmon benedicts & rhubarb-syrup mimosas. It is still too warm here for December, so we have the long version of MeFite kaibutsu's timelapse movie Winter on Georgian Bay playing to set the mood.
posted by Westringia F. at 12:07 PM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

also I just ate a couple of sugar free JELLOs. I downloaded some PDFs and I think I will read them at some point, idk

I was going to go to a couple of movies and then I realized that I don't have that much money so I spent it all on sugar free jello and popsicles instead, which I now regret because they don't really have many calories and calories are sort of important in a not-being-hungry sense
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:27 PM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

(I have money I just lost my debit card and planned to replace it but forgot that banks don't send you replacement debit cards in random places so grobstein lent me $100 cash and then I spent it all on lattes and non-nutritive food products)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:33 PM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

Red chili fudge and sea salt caramel iced cappuccino. I've had worse Christmases. :)

Also, one of the TV subchannels is showing old Christmas episodes of Bewitched, the Monkees, Hazel, etc. The Monkees were singing a carol in Latin!
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:49 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

I slept in until 10 this morning, which is a luxury (I usually get up around 4am). Now I'm debating if it's worth getting out of bed to make coffee, because bed is warm, but coffee pot is not within arm's reach of bed, being downstairs in the kitchen .

Why has no one solved this vexing problem?!
posted by culfinglin at 12:53 PM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

Watching A Wish For Wings That Work, about to toast a bagel for cream cheese, lox and capers, and enjoying a first day off in awhile.
posted by Little Dawn at 12:56 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

Props to Wild.

We're about to travel across our little valley to spend the day at Mrs mule's mother's house. Traditional food: ham, turkey, pies, home-baked rolls. Some wine. Kids strewn about the house and yard. Dogs working the floor under the dining table.

Later we'll play pinochle and such, or just stupefy on the couch for a while.

We had a bit of snow here (in Southern Oregon), but today is overcast, mild with a bit of drizzle. Almost T-shirt weather if you are from the area, light jacket if you are from Hawaii or whatever.

Food, shelter, loved ones. How is this not perfect? I cannot help but let my thoughts drift to others who aren't as lucky as I am, but it's not the theme for today.
posted by mule98J at 1:07 PM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm Jewish and single and child-free and my only two relatives live in far-away cities. My Christmas has been solitary for three decades, but as it's been loudly thunderbooming for 15 hours and the lightning is pretty much the only source of light outside, I'm more content than I ever have been to be so solitary, PJammified and snuggly.

I had my Chinese food last night (prophylactically, in case it was too stormy to go out tonight), and watched It's A Wonderful Life, Pride and Prejudice (2005), and a bad Lifetime Christmas movie with Mayim Bialik. Today, I slept in until 3 p.m. and have been alternating listening to Hamilton and Tim Minchin's Christmas classic, White Wine In the Sun.

The rain has slowed to a trickle, so more Chinese food is back on the itinerary. Then it's the Doctor Who Christmas Special, followed by a DVR-time-delayed Call the Midwife Christmas Special. (Who needs a movie theater when you've got BBC and PBS?)

Happy and merry all the things. Eat up!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:07 PM on December 25, 2015 [13 favorites]

Last night was tamales, pinto beans with chorizo, rice, pico de gallo and ranchero salsa, all homemade. Tonight will be crispy-skin salmon with aggressively herbed grits and roasted broccoli. Tomorrow, when my brother and his family arrive, it'll be sous vide chicken liver mousse on toast points with green salad, then beef Wellington with carrots cooked sous vide in butter and roasted asparagus.

Mostly taking it easy. This holiday is a bit subdued as we try to figure out how the holidays will be from here on out following my father's unecpected death a few days before last Christmas and my aging mother's burgeoning memory issues.
posted by slkinsey at 1:48 PM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

Made enchiladas for Christmas Eve, leftover enchiladas for Christmas dinner, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and Dr. Who, all the windows are open. Traditional Christmas.

I would like it better if it hadn’t been storming for days and all the living things in my house weren’t so freaked out by storms and just let a man sleep though them. But apparently I need to be woken up every hour or so to be told it’s storming.
posted by bongo_x at 1:50 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

So, I guess this is a good Christmas for me, at wallabear's house with 4 generations of his family here... On Dec 3 I had a semi truck slide sideways on an icy road and sandwich me against the side of my delivery van that I was standing next to... 6 broken ribs, but pretty happy to be alive.

(I'm on my iPad otherwise I would expand on this event. Once I get home I will give the full story.)
posted by hippybear at 1:52 PM on December 25, 2015 [26 favorites]

I found $20 in the street on my way home from the grocery store this morning so all in all, 10/10 Christmas, would celebrate again.
posted by Hermione Granger at 2:01 PM on December 25, 2015 [16 favorites]

I got my Christmas present early, when my mother decided to go spend Christmas with my sister. Having the house utterly and completely to myself (and my two feline companions) is the best thing anyone could ever give to me.

This morning I went to some friends to watch their kids open presents, and made a swift getaway claiming I was meeting someone else for a movie. In truth I saw Star Wars on Thursday with my boss and her boss and a few other folks who were in the office.

I have one more outstanding phone call I'm waiting for now, but other than that the rest of the evening is for me to do whatever I want however I want whenever I want wherever I want.

Except for that pesky thing about the two feline companions. Right now I'm nailed to my easy chair by the tabby.

I was going to have pancakes for dinner but don't have any maple syrup.
posted by ezust at 2:08 PM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

hippybear: Oh my! I'm glad you're still with us.
posted by metaquarry at 2:16 PM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

It was yesterday. Cold, busy, but well fed and emboozened.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:49 PM on December 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

> 6 broken ribs, but pretty happy to be alive.

Oh no -- also very happy you're alive. That sounds awful.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:57 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

I FIGURED OUT HOW TO GO TO A MOVIE! I AM VERY EXCITED! I am going to the 70mm Hateful Eight. <3 Thank you helpful mefite!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:13 PM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

Ugh. Woke up with runny nose and sore throat today. My SO is in Florida with her grandkids. I have to work -- hey, somebody has to put the newspaper together -- and my employer in its generosity is showering us with cold cuts for Christmas dinner. I guess this Christmas is about a 4 out of 10.

On the other hand, I've declined an opportunity to work in Beijing, where the smog Friday was so bad that the airport canceled hundreds of flights. So I guess that's a plus, if not a blessing.
posted by key_of_z at 3:14 PM on December 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Christ hippybear, how scary!!! Glad you're alive.

Checking back in here as my day draws to a close. This thread has such a lovely feel to it. No strife, no stress, just people doing their thing in different parts of the globe and sharing. :) (I did do some work. And some crochet and some drawing. Altogether a very pleasant day.)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 3:50 PM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

I had a semi truck slide sideways on an icy road and sandwich me against the side of my delivery van that I was standing next to... 6 broken ribs, but pretty happy to be alive.

Holy cow! I'm so glad that you escaped more serious injury. Good luck with your recovery.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:11 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

This thread has such a lovely feel to it. No strife, no stress, just people doing their thing in different parts of the globe and sharing. :)

I don't want to spoil the vibe, so I'll just say it's been a quiet day. The cats gave me the lovely gift of getting along. (One is 11 and the other just over a year, and has been with us since March... let's just say it's been an adjustment.) In fact, they napped snuggled up against me on either side, on the sofa, for the first time ever.

That made my day, and my holiday season, right there. Even though I really wanted coffee and had to pee but there was no way I was going to move and spoil the moment.
posted by Superplin at 4:38 PM on December 25, 2015 [12 favorites]

Cold and windy in LA, and we had cheese fondue and champagne and Skyped all our far-flung relations.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:42 PM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

I spent the day with my 85 y.o. Mom even though I'd rather spend the last two days hunkered down in oblivion about the holiday. But I spent the day with her so she has a reason to believe, and so I have a memory for the future.

It was a good, unstressful day with dinner being ready whenever it was done and no time clocks or rush or deadlines.

Now I'm home, still without running water, and happy to have what I do have, and am enjoying the company of three kitties and MeFites.

May peace and kindness be yours.
posted by mightshould at 5:30 PM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

I'm on the rehab train (not THAT kind) with oneswellfoop and fraula. All the cool kids have home health teams, yo. I moved in with a friend and his family last December because my health had become more *ahem* interesting, and it's only become more and more interesting as time has passed. I managed to give myself pneumonia this weekend, though, so I made the calls wishing the therapists a merry Christmas.

So today was spent "alone" with friend's family. I participated in cheering and witty banter over the kids' and their parents' gifts. I received a fun coloring book with some awesome markers. Made phone calls to my parents, my kids, and my Mama Till, who is my only living grandparent.

Sunday, my friend will drive me 3 hours to spend the afternoon and evening celebrating with my family; my parents, my kids, and my siblings and their families. All told, there'll be 9 kids, ages 1 to 13, and counting my friend, 8 adults. We'll come back home Monday.

SpacemanStix - I think I was around 6 or 7 when my parents started doing "half-birthdays" for me. On Dec. 19, my actual birthday, we'd do my favorite dinner, with my grandparents coming over, maybe a small gift or two. Then June 19, we'd have a big party, with all my friends, and more presents. It helped me feel like I had a real birthday, not some crappy "gotta share your day with Jesus" birthday.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 6:18 PM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

The most intense workout I get every year is when I do the annual 'oh shit, people are coming to the house. CLEAN THE HOUSE NOW!!!!' thing, followed by the walking up and down the stairs from kitchen to backyard with food and other stuff over 300 times I'm sure thing. My calves thank me for firming them up like this by making me walk like a crotchet for a few days and my lower back reminds me of its importance by making me hurt a lot.

But! It was Christmas as it's been for over 30 years. Breakfast with Dad (it was raining and downstairs so he got prime position under the tarp and an escape from climate controlled living in the nursing home) in the morning, lunch with Mum in the afternoon. My great-nieces had an excellent time tormenting the dog and running around like chooks, my sons had fun chasing them. Everyone seemed happy with their pressies and there was not a hint of fighting from anyone.

I made roast beef, with a pesto, cranberry chutney and wholeseed mustard glaze and then sliced thin and served at room temperature, citrus cheesecake (lemon, lime and orange rind and juice), breakfast mini quiches, and a prawn, smoked salmon and avocado salad, and they all turned out well and were complimented and scoffed by everyone which was great. We also had ham, chicken, garden salad and the triumvirate of creamy summer lunch goodness - pasta salad, potato salad and coleslaw. Topped off with Mum's trifle which remains and will always be the greatest combination of things put into a bowl.

Today, the boys are at their dad's gathering so I'm at home, drinking left over Christmas beer and trying to decide whether I should go to a karaoke thing at a friend's house. Season's Greetings, everybody!
posted by h00py at 6:43 PM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

Taking myself to see The Force Awakes for the second time. I'm a great date.
posted by isthmus at 7:00 PM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

my family has been scary/do not want the last few months so I spent Christmas eve and morning with friends and then did Christmas Eve alone after a fight with my ex boyfriend (don't ask). I watched basketball at a bar and ate steak and then wandered crying very prettily in the rain and am watching Woody Allen's Manhattan and will soon be dreaming of a better 2016.
posted by sweetkid at 7:31 PM on December 25, 2015 [20 favorites]

I lost $20 in the street on the way to the grocery store this morning.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 PM on December 25, 2015 [15 favorites]

What did it look like?
posted by bongo_x at 8:03 PM on December 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

Same as outta town.
posted by clavdivs at 8:13 PM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

For the past 14 years, the mister and I have spent Christmas Eve at the casino. We didn't have a puppy-sitter this year, so we decided to go to the movies. Star Wars was sold out, so we then decided on the old Jewish standby of Chinese food. That didn't work either, so we ordered pizza and watched Die Hard in bed. Today, our internet went out, so I broke down the Hanukkah boxes and tidied up until it was time to go my aunt's house for meat pies. My aunt is super duper Catholic but one year, my cousin's cousin and I made a menorah of Heineken bottles, so that was cool. This year was the first year my aunt sent us a holiday card that wasn't all ultra-Jesus.
posted by Ruki at 8:38 PM on December 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Three things, sitting at the bulkhead I heard a male voice in the cockpit say, "Well, I can FLY the plane." Then he fessed up on the overhead they were missing a crew member, and he was going to wander the airport and find one. So he did. Later all flights to my final destination were cancelled. I made it to dinner by way of a 900 mile detour.

At my daughter's new house the next evening I was wondering why the danged hall was so dark, and plummeted down the basement stairs in that dark. Nothing broke.

Dinners were fabulous, Basque the first evening, Mexican out in McFarland California the next night, home made tamales and exotic Tequila, French 75's, rice, beans, salsas; then tonight Roast of Lamb, salads, couscous and green leaf with berries, potatoes, chilled asparagus, bruschetta, and I made Chess Pie, and Sweet Potato Pie. I made grapefruit ginger and champagne, with grapefruit from my daughter's tree.

My grandson loves the clothes I bought for him. I was set up to go to the chipmunk's new film. They gloated over that. Being a visiting grandma is like becoming a bit player. Good stuff though. Best to all.
posted by Oyéah at 9:14 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

This morning Kali and I had a long one sided discussion over whether she wanted chicken, or turkey and giblets, before making an executive decision and giving her the latter. After my morning walk I went out back to check on the bees. I tried to coax kitty to follow me out into the snow that fell the day before, but she sat on the deck staring at me across the huge expanse of white stuff before turning on a paw to run back inside.

For supper I made venison tenderloin rubbed with juniper berries, long black pepper, fresh rosemary from the garden, and garlic along with some roasted veggies on the side. The venison was so tender you could cut it with a fork, and perfectly seasoned. I outdid myself. For dessert I made a cranberry pie with pate brisese (fool proof!), and now trying to save the last bit for tomorow though not sure I'll make it past the kitchen on the way to bed without sneaking a nibble ...
posted by squeak at 10:12 PM on December 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

I spent the day on a bus travelling from Wellington to Paekakariki and being tortured by two different sets of companions with first a compulsory secret Santa and carols on the bus pitched too high by the retired linguistics professor while her son shrivelled in mortification. Most of those people, including the driver and guide were replaced, and my new hosts gave a hint of the day's impending frivolity by turning up wearing Santa and elf gear. The TOrtURe continued with Christmas carols on repeat for the next fucking 6 hours. In my attempt to drown out this cacophony, I ran down the battery on my phone and couldn't even come here to complain. I think I'm in Auckland now.
posted by b33j at 11:15 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

Well, I spent the day alone. Watched the Doctor Who episode and then read a breezy thriller. Now I'm going to watch the Downton Abbey episode. I also ate junk food. All in all, this doesn't paint a heartwarming picture.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:50 PM on December 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

I ate junk food too!! I had like 15 tortilla chips (the cheap kind) for dinner. My heart is pretty warmed to know that I am not the only one :) <3
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:55 PM on December 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

I cancelled my Christmas plans in Burma with friends because of my senior cat-- last week we unexpectedly lost his little sister to an aggressive cancer, and as he has a possible serious illness himself to be explored (maybe oral cancer-- small surgery and biopsies scheduled for next week), I decided to stay close to home this year. Last night a good friend dragged me out for Chinese food and cocktails, which definitely helped. For boxing day today I did a six hour hike and for tonight will have stir-fry and watch Mr. Robot. I'm keeping my vacation days this week anyhow, but will just stay here in Hong Kong and do day hikes for a week.
posted by frumiousb at 12:43 AM on December 26, 2015 [6 favorites]

Here is the King Kitty himself, wishing you all a good Boxing Day in the US.
posted by frumiousb at 12:46 AM on December 26, 2015 [9 favorites]

That sucks about your cat, frumiousb. Hope you get good weather on your awesome hikes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:28 AM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm drinking gin. Have Stacey's Mom on repeat and am contemplating the link between causality and free will.
posted by prufrock at 2:34 AM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

I have seen mention of crafty holiday doings! Would love to see pics, whether of progress or finished :)

I'll start: crocheted a blanket recently to help my recuperating wrist and cozify Christmas, which it did.

Now am using the holidays under my warm blanket to make a crochet hat for winter walks. Cotton yarn, since wool hats keep me too warm when active. It's this Diamond Ridges pattern.
posted by fraula at 4:43 AM on December 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh, yes! Crafts! I've been teaching myself to make quilts for a year or so. Behold quilt no. 5, an early baby gift for my friend who is expecting in the spring.
posted by janepanic at 5:09 AM on December 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Even the cooking will be low-key, with a very basic leg of lamb with potatoes planned for dinner.

It was low-key, but it was the best lamb I have ever cooked and I was proud of my effort. I caramelized onions and garlic and stuffed those, along with thyme and rosemary, into the space where the bone used to be, and rubbed spices and olive oil on the outside. With potatoes cooked in the fat and flavor it was outstanding, very simple and basic and perfect for a cold and dark day.

At this point I am tired of the cold and dark, and am ready for the pagans to work their magic and cause the changing of the seasons.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:16 AM on December 26, 2015 [6 favorites]

I played civilization and word streak and magic puzzle and got Chinese delivery and coddled the cat and fed the neighbors' cats and stayed up too late. It was the plan b due to air travel silliness but it was very very nice. I don't think we all have to be crafty or cooks or something. I am making them all look better and that's enough of a contribution to the world for me for now and my kitchen doesn't have feelings to be neglected. At some point this weekend I'll probably Do Things but not until I feel like it from the inside - I'm giving my super ego off for the gentile holidays.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:17 AM on December 26, 2015 [7 favorites]

I made it to Paris! I left the U.S. at about 7 pm Christmas night, and flew with a connection in O'hare so I had the chance to get a Chicago hot dog.

I did not sleep at ALL last night - I was sitting directly in front of three very hyper 20-something women who were all in the same row and all were traveling to the same places and at the same times, and they bonded over that. And then they started getting alcohol too, which made them even louder.

I try to stay awake the first night overseas so recalibrate the body clock. My airbnb host wants to come by at 830 too, to check on me. But I am going to go to sleep as soon as he leaves, and I may have to have some tea or something to even make it that long.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 AM on December 26, 2015 [11 favorites]

I am apparently the Baby Whisperer for our month-old niece, which surprised everyone! I spent Christmas with people bringing things to me so I didn't have to get up and disturb the comfy baby. Her little hands! Her little feet! And yet, I'm still just the aunt and have thus avoided diaper duty.

We showed our 7 year old nephew A Christmas Story and howled like monkeys.
posted by kamikazegopher at 8:47 AM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

Die Hard in bed.

Worst sequel ever. Or possibly worst porno ever.
posted by marienbad at 9:32 AM on December 26, 2015 [9 favorites]

well we have discovered my limit for enjoying being alone

it is 41 hours
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:15 AM on December 26, 2015 [7 favorites]

I've discovered my limit for being in a tour group - 3 days before it's over
posted by b33j at 11:21 AM on December 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

why are you doing this to yourself

does australia have no workhouses?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:24 AM on December 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

As usual I was alone on Christmas (family's all on the other side of the continent). For some reason I didn't get as drunk and maudlin as I expected to. I had just a couple glasses of scotch, put a virtual fire on the big TV, and listened to the only Christmas music I can stand. All in all a quite pleasant, relaxed, introspective evening.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:36 PM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

1. I celebrated finding a muscle relaxant that works for me, at the seemingly perfect dose. All Hail Tizanidine! After the dose kicked in, I walked 2 miles, without pain and without my ankles and leg muscles screaming at me afterwards! (I have Spastic Paraparesis, so this is an issue, and my old drug, Baclofen, doesn't play well with my Buspar - taking both together made me feel like I downed 10 shots of bottom shelf whiskey at a honky-tonk bar, and then being kicked in the head by the bassist of the house band.) That 2 mile journey led me to delicious, delicious Szechuan food, and I got laden with plenty of leftovers to nosh on during the week.

2. Celebrated the rest of the holiday by eating satsumas and drinking hot cocoa from a Starbucks Cocoa Kit I got as a gift, whilst watching Doctor Who Christmas Specials from years past - namely 'The Runaway Bride' and 'The Christmas Invasion'. I felt 9. It was glorious.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:46 PM on December 26, 2015 [7 favorites]

And today? Boxing Day consists of finishing off the turkey vegetable soup that I started last week (Made the stock by hand, let it sit, strained it, etc.), and then heading to the shoe store to take advantage of possible sales, and buy lightweight boots that don't hurt my feet. Wonder if I can get Premera Blue Cross insurance to pay for the Blundstones, as my Movement Disorders doc recommended them!
posted by spinifex23 at 12:55 PM on December 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

For some reason I didn't get as drunk and maudlin as I expected to.

You might try some Jackie Gleason Christmas music. I also have a lot of old wax cylinder recordings of holiday music. Both really set the mood.
posted by bongo_x at 12:55 PM on December 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

On Dec 3 I had a semi truck slide sideways on an icy road and sandwich me against the side of my delivery van that I was standing next to... 6 broken ribs, but pretty happy to be alive.

(I'm on my iPad otherwise I would expand on this event. Once I get home I will give the full story.)

This is sort of the short version of the event, but it covers the broad strokes. Maybe I will tell the full version to The Moth one of these days, or something. It's quite an event in my life and the story tells itself well.

So, what I do for work right now is drive from Spokane WA to Missoula MT 4 nights a week. It's a 400 mile round trip, it's a road I've driven a zillion times, but it can suck during the wintertime.

A few weeks ago, I was on my way back from Missoula, about 60 miles along the way, around 8:30 at night, when I saw there were some semi rigs and other vehicles pulled over to the side of the road. I recognized this as a warning sign and decided I needed to pull over. But when I started to try to slow down, the ABS kicked in and I realized I was driving on miles and miles of black ice created by freezing rain.

I worked with the van and got it slowed down over several miles and found a spot on the shoulder of the road with few other vehicles around and pulled over and pulled as far onto the shoulder as I could without being in the grass. My body's entire supply of adrenaline had dumped into my system, so I was shaking and a bit nauseous, but I was safe on the side of the road. I got out of the van and nearly fell down on the pavement -- the road was like a skating rink. I wandered over into the grass and had a smoke and let my body process the panic I had just felt.

Ahead of me on the road there was a double trailer semi parked in an S shape blocking the entire highway, and further up the road around a curve it looked like a serious accident involving a few vehicles including a couple of semis had happened. Truckers often park this way on purpose to block off or warn about accidents. I sat in the van waiting for State Patrol to show up, or for snowplows/sanders/groomers to appear to open up the road again.

I had sat there for about 45 minutes when a semi rig came down the highway. It was obviously aiming to park in the big open space of the shoulder in front of my van, but as it came closer, the back end of the trailer swung toward the front of my van, missing it by inches. The semi stopped a bit up the road, and the driver got out of his vehicle and was walking toward me. I got out of my van and we had a bit of a conversation "wow, that was scary for a moment", "yeah, glad nothing happened" etc.

We talked for a while, complaining about how the roads hadn't been closed, how really dangerous the roads were, how shocked we were that there hadn't been more accidents, wondering where the State Patrol or the road groomers were...

As we talked we wandered through the snow/ice on the grass off the side of the road, but then I wanted another cigarette. I walked around to the driver side of the van to get my smokes, and the other driver followed me. He was standing by the driver's door of my van and I was standing about halfway back along the van, and we were still talking when all of a sudden he shouted "LOOK OUT" and ran.

I looked up toward the road and saw a semi rig that was just coming to a stop on the road, but the grade of the road (we were on a curve) caused the semi to slide sideways toward me. I looked right and looked left and realized that I had no safe escape.

"Well, I'm dead. Or I'm in the hospital for a long time." That's all the time I had to think to myself before the semi slammed into me, sandwiching me between it and the side of my delivery van.

When it was all done, I was standing in this tiny triangle. The semi hit me right at its pivot point between the tractor and the trailer, and the front of the semi was resting on the deer guard on the front of my van and the trailer was resting on the tail lights. And I wasn't dead.

But I was in this little space. I heard a voice shout "go down and under, get out of there", and panic set in. Was another truck going to hit the truck that just hit me? Jeebus! I dove down, but in front of me were the two giant wheels of the semi tractor. So I went backward, under my own van. Tried to go out the opposite side of the van, but the grass and ice on that side blocked me from getting out that way. So I went backward again, and slid out under the back end of my delivery van.

There was a lot of disbelief from drivers who witnessed me getting hit when I emerged and seemed to be walking and talking and mostly coherent. My adrenal glands dumped into my system again, and I wasn't feeling that great, but I was walking and talking, and I was alive and not even unconscious.

It took 4 hours before the State Patrol arrived to take statements about our accident; they had been busy with many other accidents on the road that night (I heard there were 14 along that 30 miles of highway, including one fatality and several requiring serious medical attention), and since we were all alive, we weren't a high priority.

I finally got through the process of dealing with the cops and stuff, and got turned around to Superior, a town about 8 miles backward. I got a hotel room there, and managed to sleep despite my pain.

When I got up the next morning, the poor little town of Superior had semi rigs parked along basically every street. The cops had closed the highway about 2 hours after I got hit, 3 hours after I started down that stretch of road, and they were parking everyone there. They finally opened the road again around 9am, nearly 12 hours after I had gotten hit. I finally got on my way back to the shop.

The long and the short of it, I have 2 cracked ribs on my right side and 3-4 cracked ribs on my left side. And pain, but that will go away with time as the ribs heal.
posted by hippybear at 2:45 PM on December 26, 2015 [42 favorites]

Holy crap, that’s quite a story, and it’s amazing you’re alive. Well, I guess everything happens for…wait, never mind.

I’m glad you’re OK. An jealous of your story.
posted by bongo_x at 2:55 PM on December 26, 2015 [6 favorites]

hippybear, I'm so relieved you are still with us. My heart started racing just reading about it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:57 PM on December 26, 2015 [7 favorites]

Glad you made it through alive, hippybear. The MeFi campouts wouldn't be the same without you!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:05 PM on December 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Yikes, hippybear!
posted by gingerbeer at 3:20 PM on December 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Well, I guess everything happens for…wait, never mind.

I'm in "a much better place" now.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 PM on December 26, 2015 [11 favorites]

Holy shit, hippybear. I'm so, so glad you're okay. Whew!
posted by rtha at 4:01 PM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

Wow, hippybear, that's an amazing story. I'm so glad you're okay!

I feel like I've had a few "well, this is it" moments in my life, but none were as unambiguous as your experience. Ironically, the one time I think I was closest to death -- when a frightened stranger was aiming a shotgun at my chest and I stupidly grabbed the barrel with both hands and pushed it aside, saying, "don't point that at me, someone could get hurt!", even as a second guy to my left was also aiming at me -- I didn't even realize how fortunate and foolish I was until later.

I've driven an interstate with black ice like that -- where the road was closed behind me and just about every mile for nearly forty miles of my trip had jackknifed or parked semis. I was driving less than twenty-five miles an hour and just a strong gust of wind would cause my car start to slide. It took me six hours to drive what is normally a ninety minute drive. I was unbelievably fatigued at the end of it. Even compared to other bad-weather driving, that sort of severity is almost surreal. It's like you're on another planet. A planet without friction.

I think it was nineteen years ago -- the Christmas of 1996 -- that I first spent Christmas alone. That was the first time I decided that traveling to another state to celebrate Christmas with family was impractical. I had a roommate -- he made the same decision. I vividly recall that we spent much of the day playing networked Quake (on a 10BASE2 10mbps LAN). We were both a bit surprised at how much fun the day turned out to be.

Since then, I've spent a fair number of Christmases alone, for the same reason and additionally because I began to feel that since I'm not a Christian, I wasn't very comfortable celebrating Christmas -- especially as my sister became a very devout and active evangelical.

I'm normally pretty okay about it, sometimes even finding it especially relaxing because it's like the whole world sort of stops. A good time to enjoy being alone is a day when the normal routines of life are suspended for most everyone else in your culture because you're also insulated from those routines and interruptions and pressures. So it really can be an unusually quiet and relaxing day.

If you're in that mindset. This year I found that I felt quite lonely and maudlin. I was struck my Mexican Yenta's mention of possibly reactivating her OKCupid profile -- that was on my mind, as well. My OKC profile has been inactive for three years and in that time I've not made any attempts, anywhere, in any way, to meet anyone -- which is probably the longest I've ever gone just not even being interested or, if I am, trying to do anything about it. But this year for some reason I very much found that I felt the absence of someone else. I'm an introvert, mostly, and I don't like social gatherings with lots of people, and although I tend to go for lengths of time being voluntarily socially isolated, it's not at all because I'm misanthropic. Quite the opposite, really -- I like people a lot. Most individual people I've met in my life, I've liked. I found myself yesterday -- and today, to some extent -- really feeling the lack of someone I could just hang out with and enjoy.

My junk food yesterday evening was deli pepperoni on water crackers. I was very envious of emilyw's enjoyment of Stilton cheese yesterday, which is my very favorite cheese in the universe. I make do with Maytag, which I think is the best blue in the states (and made not too far from me, actually).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:43 PM on December 26, 2015 [8 favorites]

Spouse has left for an overseas business trip. We had a very nice Christmas together (family is scattered to the four winds this year), but now I am feeling quite alone. Have started thinking about new year's resolutions & am struggling not to pick on myself ("must stop X behavior," "oh man, that a big weight gain" etc.) Very nice to have this thread to read as an anecdote. Thank you for setting it up!
posted by CMcG at 4:51 PM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

These days my job description is "Southern Matriarch." So I'm crashing now after hosting four generations of family. Christmas china, champagne punch, full menu of holiday favorites, this year's most popular seemed to be cinnamon roll bread pudding. Both my elderly parents are still with us, and newest grandchild arrived three months ago. The dog behaved, as did the five-year-old twins. We are in the middle of the US heat wave, temps broke all records in Memphis today with a high of 80, so we spent a lot of time out on the porch.

Was lovely. But I'm glad it's over.
posted by raisingsand at 8:15 PM on December 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Major improvement tonight - my tent overlooks a waterfall. That's what I can hear as I prepare for bed. Plus NZ alcohol and someone else cooked dinner which was yummy
posted by b33j at 12:51 AM on December 27, 2015 [5 favorites]

I had my hippybear here for Christmas. Along with the four generations. I'm a lucky guy.
posted by wallabear at 12:52 AM on December 27, 2015 [14 favorites]

Oh, and in the midst of schmoopy and favoriting all the comments, I forgot to mention the kids have a raging case of head lice, discovered this morning. So... the troops were mobilized, the laundry room is freakin' chaos, the spray is being sprayed everywhere, and my 80 year old mother made an accidental mohawk of her hair which had us falling down laughing.

It was a special Christmas. But lice? Really? Hey, why not. Could'a been worse. So much worse.

Hi, MetaFilter. Thanks for being here with me. I appreciate all of you. I appreciate all that you've taught me. You've helped make me a better person. I see the things you say, and I usually don't have a response, but trust me, I hear you. It doesn't matter to me where you fall on any particular spectrum of any human condition, you have my sincere respect.

Fairly likely not many of you will see this, so I get to put myself out on that limb. The comment will be archived, and I can sleep knowing I've acknowledged you without it being a big deal. Much love to you all.
posted by wallabear at 1:43 AM on December 27, 2015 [18 favorites]

Hi, wallabear! I'm posting this to let you know I read your comment, and I like it a lot.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:53 AM on December 27, 2015 [5 favorites]

Heh, Greg_Ace. We should have a meetup at some godforsaken bar in The Dalles and force them to play Vince Guaraldi and drink scotch till we're hauled off to jail.
posted by wallabear at 3:08 AM on December 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

> I had my hippybear here for Christmas. Along with the four generations. I'm a lucky guy.
> posted by wallabear at 2:52 AM on December 27 [2 favorites −] [!]

Awfully dusty in here. El nino or something.

So glad you made it, hippybear. So glad for you both, and your families!
posted by Westringia F. at 6:15 AM on December 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, it bears repeating. ... glad to see hippybear's and wallabear's comments strung together.

Happy circumstances to all ye MeFites.
posted by mightshould at 6:20 AM on December 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

So it's been an exhausting few days. On Thursday, I did a walkabout at the museum I work at in my full Santa uniform: three and a half hours, handed out 20 dozen candy canes, made a bunch of kids and parents happy. Did Santa again for a few hours on Friday, Christmas morning; 70 degrees at 6:30 am! Lemme tell ya, the furry red suit is not designed for that; but I figured the kids at the family shelter were counting on Santa, they've got enough problems and didn't need Santa keeling over with heat stroke --- one of the volunteers got me a fan, that was a big help.

Went through the McDonald's drive-thru in full furry uniform on my way home, and that gave the kids working there a big laugh. Finally got to peel off my sweaty suit as I went through the door at home. Lordy, even the gloves were soaked....

Spent a couple hours zoning out to a Shirley Temple marathon; I came to the conclusion that no matter how cute that kid was, you were risking your life to be her movie parent or guardian --- is there any movie where she doesn't have them die on her?!? Topped off the evening with my annual viewing of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" and a peanut butter & honey sandwich, followed by reading in bed. All in all, a satisfactory day.
posted by easily confused at 7:16 AM on December 27, 2015 [7 favorites]

Heh, Greg_Ace. We should have a meetup at some godforsaken bar in The Dalles and force them to play Vince Guaraldi and drink scotch till we're hauled off to jail.

Now that would be a Christmas story to tell the grandkids!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:25 AM on December 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Now that would be a Christmas story to tell the grandkids!

Over a collect call costing $3 a minute while a guard watches.
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM on December 27, 2015 [7 favorites]

If you organize a meetup in The Dalles, count me in.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:42 AM on December 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

If you organize a meetup in The Dalles, count me in.

Though you might consider shifting a few miles down the road to Hood River, where the drinking and eating are much better. The Dalles may have a better city lockup, though, if that is where you intend the night to end.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:34 PM on December 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

My family's from The Dalles, though, so I consider Hood River primarily as a place you drive through on the way to my grandparents'. I understand that it's been all windsurfer-colonized since I was a kid, but I have no real attachment to it. Plus, does Hood River have a statue of an antelope in front of their city hall commemorating the the survivors of the Bhagwan's attack on their salad bars? I think not.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:44 PM on December 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

posted by hippybear at 1:09 PM on December 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

He shouted.

The best part is, he shouted.
posted by wallabear at 3:04 PM on December 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

You can't shout while drinking scotch and listening to Vince Guaraldi. It's, like, a Christmas Rule or something.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:57 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Or maybe just a Vincemas rule.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:57 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's, like, a Christmas Rule or something.

Smoking and squinting is proper form.
posted by bongo_x at 5:11 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can't shout while drinking scotch and listening to Vince Guaraldi.

Wanna bet?

OK part of the shouting is while you're doing the shoulder shrug dance. Remember kids, that's where the mosh pit originated.
posted by wallabear at 6:34 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Smoking and squinting

AND it's legal now in Oregon!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:35 PM on December 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Remember kids, that's where the mosh pit originated.

I always thought it was based more on hippy-style trance dancing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:37 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I just found this thread! I spent most of Christmas day sleeping as I was worried I was coming down with a cold (and it was nice to just have a day where I pretty much did nothing). This is my first Christmas alone as my parents are spending the winter in a sunny climate and I was worried I'd be lonely and sad (the night before Christmas Eve, in particular, was very hard for me. I put some of that down to plain exhaustion). But I found another friend who doesn't have any family in town and on Christmas Eve we watched a movie (Ex Machina - very good!) and I made a pot roast that I was very happy with. So it was better than expected and I'm glad to know that things won't fall apart if I'm alone on Christmas. I'm glad that everyone else seems to have done okay as well and am very happy to hear that hippybear, fraula, oneswellfoop, et al are on the road to recovery.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:40 PM on December 27, 2015 [11 favorites]

OK part of the shouting is while you're doing the shoulder shrug dance.

I should probably mention, in case it happens to come up, that my knees can no longer do that wibble-wobble thing that's part of the shoulder shrug dance. I think I could just about manage Shermy's zombie moonwalk. Maybe.

more likely I'd be in Pigpen's spot playing the upright bass (except without the clouds of filth)
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:21 PM on December 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

We went to see Star Wars last week and I broke a tooth on popcorn. Today I had a crown installed. I was really mad at myself for not taking better care of my teeth, but then I found this thread and now I feel warm and fuzzy and hopeful. It's the holiday gift that keeps on giving! Thanks, MeFi. Glad everyone is still here, especially those who have had close calls. Wishing a safe and peaceful New Year to all. (And your families too, fuzzy or otherwise!)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:35 PM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

Late to this post because I was in self-imposed hermit mode, that is, not going anywhere or seeing anyone and no social media (since I have nearly weaned myself off Facebook, this means no MetaFilter or Crone Island) for xmas day or Boxing Day (since I am ahead of much of the rest of the world). It was 35C and sweltering but I had the laptop set up in front of the aircon and had laid in supplies of nice cheeses, biscuits, olives, raspberries and blackberries, chocolate wafer biscuits, fresh bread and shaved champagne ham, etc. I slept in, coloured some of my new ostensibly grown-up colouring book, read, revelled in not having to go anywhere or see anyone. When my sweetheart on the other side of the world woke up, we chatted and then played Civ V over the internet. Later I think we watched some West Wing. It was relaxed and lovely and though I had worried about being lonely and sad and missing people I love who are very far away from me, I was pretty much okay. Boxing Day was a bit busier and involved some spectacular xmas present fails but also lots more Civ V with dancing water/light speakers grooving to Kate Bush and a green xmas tree donut. A++ holiday, would holiday again.
posted by Athanassiel at 10:09 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I worked Xmas and it was tragic. First fare was a guy whose wife bailed on him that morning. He is a dayshift regular and dayshift despises him, but I didn't know that until later. He said he needed 5 minutes and invited me in. Gave me a glass of ice tea and walked on down the hall and the hall is painted red and this huge guy dressed in black is getting smaller and smaller and his huge dog is just staring at me and I'm noticing all the Thai and Vietnamese furniture. There is a stack of brochures on the end table about MIA's and dog snarls at me when I reach for one and I try standing up and dog jumps at me and I flip it, hand on the back of the neck, other hand under the groin. Altered the trajectory a bit and dog hit the drywall behind me and I bailed as the fare was yelling that he had 19 kinds of pot and the dog won't hurt you. Dispatch blocked his number forever.

Usually, dispatch has a list of drivers and they assign fares in order. 1 2 3 4 etcetera and when we are slammed fares go to whoever is closest. I knew I was after Tito and he and I were catching up and I get an address and a phone number and it's Tito's turn and I query about that and both of us are staring at the I-phone and the terse text comes in. "Dad dying in hospital. Fare would like to be there before. Call her now and tell her you are coming." The dispatcher's dad died days before my mom did last year and we had some late evenings so this fare is mine.

I blew a notoriously long red light and was doing 85 in a 60 in fog when she looked at her phone and told me I could slow down. She had some music she had planned on playing for her dad the next day and she plugged it in. You throw away kisses, the boomerang misses Dad used to sing this to my mom, she said. She started singing when the song downshifted and suddenly I'm twelve with my headphones and all the Roxy albums on the drop spindle driving my parent nuts because acapella Roxy is disturbing.

I don't know what it is, but when I look at the body of someone who has just shuffled off I can't see them. It also happened with a crow I hit with my car. The space between us interferes somehow and it is like trying to spot something a mile away down a sun baked asphalt road. The seared and shimmering air. I've talked to other people who see this but it doesn't come up in conversation much so I don't have any way to interpret, no data for you.

Went up to the room with the fare. She paused at the door, took her glasses off, looked at them and put them back on. Walked to the bed and waved her hands around above the corpse. She touched the wall and the window and crouched to look under the bed. Then she put her index finger in her mouth and bit it hard and that image is burned into my gallery of things that will not be forgotten. I told her to stop that. I could see it too. So deep in the woo on that day that means little to me and so much to so many.

May none of you find yourself crouched on the floor biting yourself to check on reality this new year.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:38 AM on December 30, 2015 [12 favorites]

posted by mightshould at 3:57 PM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Now it's New Year's Eve, hot again. My peaceful evening of fish and chips in front of the air con and an early night are being foiled by next door's very loud party with very bad music. Happy new year folks, hope you get more sleep than it seems likely I will.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:04 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]

(Eventual) sweet dreams Athanassiel .

At the aged care facility where I work Christmas began early in December, tinsel everywhere and rolling parties. There was a board & residents party one week, a residents & relatives party another, a staff & their kids & residents party the next. There was copious carol-singing - live singalongs, carols on CDs in the dining-room and on DVDs in the lounge. I quite like tinsel, but if I never hear another Christmas carol again I will not complain. The parties involved a lot of extra and sometimes unpaid work and I'm so glad to see the end of them, but went in willing because of course: supplying happiness.

I worked the days either side of Christmas, and spent The Day wrapped in the sweet embrace of my couch, dozing, hurling imprecations at the crap on free-to-air TV and dozing some more.

I don't personally do Christmas apart from a gathering with some branch of the family the week before. This year's had a special component. My elderly aunt recently moved into aged care but was fetched to attend the party. Her memory is developing significant holes, so I scanned a bunch of family snaps from the 50s and 60s and made her an album.

Auntie Ed's lot weren't greatly given to photography, but my parents were snap-happy and had themselves a bathroom-darkroom back then. So when I cracked open the old shoe-box I had plenty pix to choose from. I printed the names under each photo, except for those of my grandparents, more appropriately labelled for my aunt as Mum and Dad.

I gave her the album. To my great pleasure she went through it page by page not once but twice, reminiscing and name-checking, noting who's still alive and who isn't, and everyone else joined in with anecdotes and updates. The room filled with memories. That was the highlight of Christmas 2015 for me.

And now it's moments after midnight. I wish all you fabulous Mefites a Happy New Year and add that the fireworks in Sydney as seen on telly were FUCKING AWESOME.
posted by valetta at 5:25 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]

Neighbours are still at it (nearly 2am) but my sweetheart is awesome and distracted me so effectively from the other side of the world where it is still last year that I didn't even notice the fireworks in the distance and am now just in a happy glow. Plus the fan oscillating almost drowns out the neighbours. Good night from NEXT YEAR everyone.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:50 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]

I love interacting with people who live in the future. HAPPY FUTURE!
posted by jaguar at 7:28 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]

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