Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Staying Flexible

O Lord, all things pumpkin spice have disappeared from grocery shelves as if stolen during the night by elves! I’m almost down to my last bagel. But, OMG, if celebrating Your birth means switching to Christmas cookies, I think I can adjust.

Image by Silvia from Pixabay.

Don We Now Our Ugly Apparel?

Time to break out the Christmas carols. The Christmas cookies.

Time for us Christmas sweater fans to strut our stuff.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay.

I have worn them since the 1980s. No decent woman then would have appeared in public during December without one. For years, I wore a sweater featuring stripes of geometric snowmen, hearts and Christmas trees, bought during after-Christmas sales. It proved great bargaining material, as my children would do anything to keep it in the closet.

My current numero uno, purchased (of course) during after-Christmas sales, features satin poinsettias, cardinals and gold snowflakes on black background. Tasteful. Perfect with pre- or post-Christmas black pants/skirt.

Yet I doubt it’s Hubby’s favorite.

Perhaps because, when I asked him to drop it off at the cleaners, he admitted to dropping it off a bridge.

I fished it out.

Obviously, he doesn’t realize Christmas sweaters are “in.” Thanks to visionaries, including three Indiana State University students, customers scour stores and the Internet for unique finds. The ISU students, strapped for Christmas cash, invested their pooled $60 in thrift store finds, featuring them on a website. By Christmas, they’d sold a thousand, quadrupling sales the following year.

Justin Bieber shattered the Christmas sweater generation barrier by wearing a red and white snowflake number — costing $1,700 — while performing on Today. Teen girls who would have been boiled in eggnog rather than wear Christmas sweaters soon boasted similar attire, blinged with glitter, ribbons and jingle bells.

This outpouring of support seems a dream come true for Christmas sweater devotees. However, one word disturbs me: ugly.


Every advertiser describes these as “ugly.”

I researched this serious threat to the wear-a-Christmas-sweater movement for 5,000 straight hours.

Sadly, resulting data established that ugly Christmas sweaters do exist. Some display slogans such as “Get your fat pants ready,” “Fruitcake,” “Regift,” and “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.” (The last, featuring a reindeer, slandered poor Rudolph.) Sweaters that include Darth Vader and Grateful Dead teddy bears also deserve askance. One featuring a fireplace lit by a flaming-log video is downright cozy. But a similar device in which Santa’s beady eyes squint back and forth under the caption, “He sees you when you’re sleeping,” could warrant years of therapy.

Still, evidence indicates most Christmas sweaters called “ugly” are, in fact, adorable. What’s not to like about candy canes and Christmas trees? Puppies, kitties, cardinals and penguins? I wouldn’t wear flamingos, feathers and palm trees with neon lights to Christmas Eve service. But you might see me wearing it to a party. …

Especially if I find two similar ones at after-Christmas sales. After all, Hubby dear, matching couples’ sweaters are doubly in.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Is your favorite Christmas sweater ugly?

College Christmas Break

Once upon a time, colleges didn’t evict students from dormitories three minutes after final exams. Back in the Dark Ages, Hubby and I stayed until the following Monday.

Eventually, some grinch discovered that supplying extra days’ heat for 30,000 students spoiled the university’s merry Christmas. College officials also realized that multitudes of sleep-deprived, de-brained students + 24-hour blocks of free time equaled … excitement.

In the early ’70s, though, they assumed we couldn’t wait to go home.


Sure, we’d missed our dogs.

If we’d hacked with colds, cough syrup and aspirin were blocks away instead of steps. We anticipated parents smearing us with love and Vicks® VapoRub®.

We’d languished without Mom’s cooking. Meals with fewer than 500 people might be nice. Plus, a refrigerator of free food would be at our disposal.

Free laundry, too! Mom might reintroduce us to clean clothes, as opposed to those sanctified by optimum time at the bottom of the hamper.

Add Christmas magic, and most students wanted to share the holidays with family.

Just not quite yet.

Having been chained to books, typewriters and labs, we needed to celebrate. Even our nondrinking Bible study required a two-day party.

We snarfed Christmas cookies by the bucket and played Monopoly all night. Only one guy owned a car, but 13 of us jammed into it, rolled down windows, and sang Christmas carols at the top of our flattened lungs. At stoplights, we emptied the car with Chinese fire drills.

Who needed sleep?

Besides, we comrades in the trenches of academia soon would part. For couples, December and January stretched like a forever, empty tundra.

Hubby’s long-haired college days, before the Christmas Break haircut.

During that long-hair era, guys dreaded welcome-home haircuts. We girls combed bangs out of our eyes to please our moms.

We loved our parents. But they would expect us to talk to them. To hundreds of relatives. We’d repeat our majors and future plans a gazillion times. If we didn’t have any, we’d have to make them up, quick.

Worse, our families went to bed early. At the crack of dawn, they took showers and slammed doors so a normal person couldn’t get proper rest.

Parents would expect help with the dishes. Why not summon the fairies who had done that all semester?

Ditto for putting gas in the car. Whatever happened to “free”?

Sigh. How had we lived at home so long?

After a 48-hour party, though, a 10 o’clock bedtime didn’t sound so bad. Eating a nutrient or two might be nice.

With the arrival of a station wagon loaded with delighted smiles and hugs found nowhere else on earth — well, Christmas break might be worth the sacrifice, after all.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How did (do) you celebrate Christmas break?