Another Awkward Holiday Season [Christmas 2015]

Ho Ho Ho! The holidays are here! All I wanted for Christmas was a sinus infection and Santa came early, hooray! 'Tis no better place to ring in the season than the Lancaster General Urgent Care Clinic. Ok, ok, it's not that bad. I'm down at my mom's house for a few days and am fully milking my illness by reverting back to childhood, having her make me soups, bring me tea, drive me to the doctor. 31 going on 5. 

But other than this tragic ailment, I'm fully embracing the splendor of the holiday season, a time full of of joy and booze and uncomfortable inerpersonal interactions. So you know, pretty much the usual but just with more red and green.

So! Without further ado, why don’t we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this holiday season.

These Cookies:

delicious cookies

I have a confession: I am utterly transfixed by those supercut recipe videos that keep popping up on my Facebook feed. You know the ones, created by Tasty or Buzzfeed Food and shared by someone you went to high school with or your aunt, tagging a friend “def this for book club #luvcheese!” They’re always super cutesy two minute or less clips set to jazzy music with cleanly laid out mise en place and seemingly simple instructions for fun new ideas. The recipes all either involve meals made in muffin tins or 8 lbs of cream cheese or boxed pudding mix and because I’m a food snob (slash just across-the-board snob), I turn up my nose at them because I read like, Bon Appetit or whatever and at the same time I am OBSESSED with them. Whenever one comes across my Facebook transom I have to watch the whole thing at least one time and I find myself seeking out more and more of these videos, usually while I’m in bed before going to sleep, just laying there in the dark watching disembodied hands quickly whisk 2 eggs + 1 tsp cinnamon + 11 gallons heavy cream, tah daaaaah it’s a french toast casserole!

What is my life?

Anyway! Every holiday season we bake cookies for the mail guys and some other office staff (did you hear that Santa? We’re nice!) and I always half ass it to the extreme because I just do not care for baking. Cooking I adore but baking is just so technical and boring and easy to ruin. I usually end up making those slice and bake cookies with the Christmas designs in the middle because even an infant can pull that off and everyone loves them! They really do! But this year, I was inspired by my newfound secret love of these videos and decided I’d test out a recipe I’d just seen floating around for Red Velvet Cookies. They were literally the easiest things ever, so simple that I can now type the recipe from memory: mix up a a box of red velvet cake mix + 2 eggs  ⅓ cup of vegetable oil, scoop into a little ball, roll the little ball in powdered sugar, put it on a cookie sheet, smoosh a little bit with the bottom of a glass and bake at 375 for 9 minutes. Easy peezie, George and Weezie.

I followed the instructions to a T I tell you TO A T and after 9 minutes, my apartment smelled like a roaring campfire and the cookies were blackened crunchy red velvet hockey pucks. Yum!

Whatever. I tried! Next year I’m going to forget baking and stick closer to my savory, cream based wheelhouse. I’ll give them each an individual portion of beer mac n cheese or a chicken parm stuffed spaghetti squash or perhaps a bacon egg and cheese breakfast boat.

This Annual Tradition:

plaid skirt day

Six years and still going strong! If you recall, in December of 2009 my co-worker Lydia and I did, totally coincidentally, wear matching festive buffalo plaid skirts on the saem day just before Christmas and oh, we laughed and posed for photos and set a calendar alert to repeat again every winter and pretend it was an accident again...just for the attention.

We've roped in more weirdos throughout the year and I won't lie to you, it's one of my favorite days of the year. It's the little things, folks. 

This Festive Display: 

under my tree

We went suuuper overboard on our tree this year and basically had to rearrange our entire apartment to fit him inside. We usually have this cubby type thing, ostensibly for our shoes, right inside our front door, but moved it into the bedroom and stuck the tree there.  I’m always getting annoyed with Brian because he leaves his shoes strewn right in front of the cubbies instead of putting them inside, where they belong, or leaving them in the space between the couch and the coffee table and losing one under the couch and not being able to find them when you need them and creating lots of morning havoc, like I do,  which is probably actually way worse that tossing them in front of the cubby but whatever, happy wife, happy life, everything I do is perfect and I’m the best.

ANYWAY this tree maybe solved this problem, because instead of just tossing his shoes willy-nilly, Brian would line them up neat as you please under the Christmas tree every night and I don’t know why but this just cracked me up. He also had wanted to read the Ta Nehisi Coates book (YOU DO TOO, trust me, get with it, folks) so I brought it home from the office and put it under the tree as a joke and I looked over the other morning and under our tree were no wrapped gifts, no fancy skirt, no miniature train set, just a bunch of sweaty running shoes and a book about race relations in America and dudes, I kind of love it. It’s so us! I think we’ll just decorate like this every year!

This Mess:

gum shoe

DAH-DUM!!! My triumverate of bootie embarrasment is complete! First the bloody wounds, then the sidewalk tumble and then, last week, I stepped in gum. Indoors! At our holiday party. Whoever spit that there, you are SO NOT INVITED NEXT YEAR!  But at least now I can relax and stop waiting for the next shoe disaster to strike. 

Also at our holiday party...

This Doll:

Molly!

Her name is Molly. You know whose name is not Molly? My colleague Allison...because, you know, her name is Allison. So every year my imprint hosts this holiday bash at the Brooklyn Brewery. It’s a fundraiser for various charities and open to people in the industry and media. I was chatting with a friend of mine from another house and we came upon a group of four women from our marketing team who she’d not yet met, including dear Allison, so I did the intro thing, you know: “This is Mary and Abi and Michelle and…..um….and……." I came upon Allison's cute face and my brain just went completely emty and I blurted "OH MY GOD WHAT IS YOUR NAME?? Is it Molly??? ”

I knew it wasn’t Molly but something just snapped in my brain and I could not, for the life of me, remember this person’s name! And it’s not like she’s super new or sucks or I don’t know her - there are def a few of those wandering the office halls - she’s someone I talk to on a pretty regular basis, and we went to the same college (SEVEN years apart, I’m a senior citizen) so we bonded over that, and I think she’s super rad at her job and have, on multiple occaisions, found myself at work lunches or meetings with other colleagues saying “You know who’s really great? Allison!” and yet here we were, in public and my brain went completely, totally, fully blank and then I tried to salvage it by calling her a one thousand percent incorrect name. I wasn’t even drunk! (Yet.) I have no excuse! Do you think I had a stroke????

Smoother than peanut buttah right here.

Speaking of holiday parties, you've all see Mat Bellassai's manifesto on the tradition, yes? (I’m just going to go ahead and assume you all already know and love Whine About It.) 

I co-sign all of this, seasonal garbage. But I gotta tell you guys, I crushed it this year! Somehow despite a steady stream of 7% ipas and bartenders who not only allowed but encouraged double-fisting, I totally managed to keep it together and not make a drunken holiday scene! I think my worst offense was oversharing to a basic stranger about how I had a sex dream about Chris Hemsworth one time. But honestly, that’s something I would do sans beer on a regular everyday basis so I really think Holiday Party 2k15 was a smash success for Ol’ Hobags! I mean except the gum shoe situation, which totally wasn’t my fault and the Molly situation but again, that was sober and probably due to a fatal medical condition which I shall spend the next 14 hours frantically researching on WebMD so I’m still chalking it all up to a win.

And that, my friends, is that. I’m now off work through January (spoiled rotten!) and spending a few days in PA with my Schmoops before we head up to New Jersey for Christmas Eve and Christmas at my inlaws which will of course be lovely, they’re wonderful, but I am (internally) (and apparently on the internet) being a huge baby about because this is my first Christmas not spent at my momma’s house and I’m a drama queen and militant about tratidions and don’t do well with change and waaah, woe is me.

What are YOU up to?? Anything spectacular? Whatever it is I hope your holidays are merry and bright and all of your sex dreams come true.

Sorry, that’s a little creepy and weird. But not as creepy and weird as my very favorite Christmas commercial of all time, now updated in all of its fully inappropriate, Jamie + Cersie glory.

MERRRRRYYYYYY CHRISTMAS, the end!

xoxoxo Liz Ho Ho Ho-Sco