My paternal grandfather used to shout, "Happy, happy, happy, Merry Christmas!"
He liked to cook and he very often made Brunswick Stew for holidays or for Sunday dinners. The rich stew took a few days to make and I remember how anticipation would build because most everyone loved it.
On the eventful day, he'd duck into the kitchen now and then to "check on the stew". That really meant, have a shot of whiskey. After a couple of trips to the stove, he'd return to the room with cheeks a little rosier than normal, and in a jovial voice exclaim, "Happy, happy, happy, Merry Christmas!"
Funny the things we remember...
I never recall seeing my grandfather, holiday or not, in anything but a perfectly starched dress shirt and tie. Ever.
Our family seems so small now. No one makes Brunswick Stew.
My sister and I work to make sure the family holiday celebrations continue. We have our own traditions; to start, cheap champagne and Mom's Scallion Puffs. But despite all efforts, this year nothing is happening. Zilch. "Crazy Dallas weather," we curse out loud, comforted by strangers we overhear in line at the market, saying the same. Everyone's sick!
So, it looks like the luscious, linguine dinner I'd planned, will have to wait a few days...
I'll ring in the New Year myself, in a quiet way. At midnight I'll whisper, careful not to wake Spoke, "Merry, merry, merry, Happy New Year!"