Some good stuff to share this second-to-last Friday before Christmas! (Crazy, right?!)
1.) Michael McIntyre - "People with no kids don't know"
Lately, trying to successfully parent two children under the age of five (one of them a baby) during this most hectic of seasons, do some work, keep the house Christmas-shiny, get to every single preschool performance-choral concert-friend's party that we need to, and do all the holiday shopping, has been exhausting. I know you're all exhausted, too. In ways good and bad. Because there is hectic-exhausted and happy-exhausted.
But I digress. Last night at a concert a friend shared this link with me to British comedian Michael McIntyre doing a stand-up routuine called "People with no kids don't know." It's absolutely hysterical. And I especially like his take on trying to get out the door.
2.) Christmas Concerts in your town
Speaking of concerts: Last night my husband and I attended the annual Brevard College Christmas Concert at the Porter Center for the Fine Arts in our little mountain hamlet in Western North Carolina. If you don't know much about Brevard College--which is a small liberal arts college with a great big heart, known largely for its Music and Wilderness Leadership programs--trust me when I tell you that whenever these students put on a concert, it's a hum-dinger.
Here's a taste of the Brevard College music students and faculty, and members of TCS, directed by David Gresham and singing an African Noel (please forgive the quality--I'm no videographer):
We make it a point to get a babysitter and go each year with friends. It's a great evening, full of incredible music generously performed for free by the College's music students and faculty, and members of the Transylvania Choral Society. Afterwards, everyone gathers in gorgeous lobby of the Porter Center for punch, cake, and time to meet up with friends old and new. This is the time of year in any town, big or small, that arts events--often free--abound. If there's a choral concert in your town around this time of year, I say get thee to it, and take friends! There's nothing like live Christmas music to put you in the spirit.
3.) Recipe - Aunt Gloria's (Adapted) Killer Dip
Everybody needs a good party recipe this time of year--one that's blessedly free of all the "frees": fat-free, sugar-free, etc. This recipe is full-fat and tasty as all get-out. My Aunt Gloria always made it when I was growing up for our annual Crawford Christmas, which basically involved a whole lot of yummy pogey bait.
Don't know what "pogey bait" means? Look it up. (Hint: it comes from WWII.)
Anyway, I altered the recipe just a bit from the original, and tend to serve it at Christmas parties, football games, and New Year's weekends at the lake. Yes, it makes a lot. Yes, it's full o'fat. Don't try to halve it. Trust me: it WILL get eaten.
Here you go:
1 lb Original Velveeta
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb sausage
1 can Rotel
Tabasco or Texas Pete to taste
Brown the sausage and drain; melt the cheeses together and stir in the Rotel; add the sausage and stir together. (I do all this on a big pot on the stove. Set on low and stir frequently to prevent burning.) Serve with tortilla chips.
I dare you to take just one bite!
4.) Christmas quotations
I'm a nut for a good quote.
"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
~ Dr. Seuss, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home."
~ Carol Nelson
"Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."
~ Washington Irving
"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow..."
~ Irving Berlin