Sunday, November 30, 2008

Figgy Pudding Extortionists and Other Holiday Thoughts

Phew. Thanksgiving weekend is drawing to its quiet, Sunday close. We made it.

That isn't to say that it wasn't a very nice Thanksgiving here at the Last House. It was fairly fabulous, in fact, what with the company, the smoked turkey, ham, pies, cookies, Brussels sprouts and leeks, and all. The leeks and sprouts were an uncharacteristic menu item here. They were brought by our visiting English friends, who insisted on contributing something. Delicious. Shackleton asked for thirds of the "ball thingys". Our friends also brought along their other friends, Mo√ęt et Chandon. We had candles, I laid out the China - lovely.

But it's nice to decompress and not to have an dishes to wash for a few minutes. One must catch one's breath before the next big effort. Oh, wait. Christmas is already upon us, isn't it? The local radio station switched to all Christmas music last week. I took The Understudy and Shackleton to Burlington today for a birthday party (an hour and a half each way in the car). I got two solid hours of Christmas music on the journey. The kids can't seem to get enough hackneyed Christmas hits - I heard no fewer than three versions of "Do You Hear What I Hear" on the trip.

This reminded me of my very brief stint as a child chorister. I remember very little about the experience except that we sang "Do You Hear What I Hear" in poofy white robes, and that the kid singing next to me threw up and his vomit splashed my anklet.

Of course, the radio also played "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" every few minutes. Can someone explain why the carolers in that song demand Figgy Pudding and why they won't go until they have some? I have always wondered about that.

Now I am watching the Lord of the Rings, Return of the King on TNT and bossing the kids into their pajamas and blogging. This is how I relax.

While we are on the subject, I just wanted to share that I love LOTR. Not in a role-playing, weird "get-a-life way" (I hope) but because I think J.R.R. Tolkien was a true genius and because he used his powers for good. I like the Peter Jackson movies too, more than I thought I would since I felt the books were practically sacred. Every time I see them, however, (and I bought all three) I find myself wondering how the Elves and Kings and such would cope today.

Picture this: Legolas, Aragorn, Galdriel and Gandalf at a Sbarro at a rest stop on the New York State Thruway. Would you want to be behind them in line?

"Can you not bake that on a Lembas Bread crust?"


R. Sherman said...

I always found Tolkien fascinating from a linguistic perspective. It's as if he created a family of languages and then developed an entire mythos for it. Jackson did a good job with the stories, and like you, I was pleasantly surprised.


KSV Woolfoot said...

Hi R -
I didn't get to Tolkien til I was all grown up when I got the whole LOTR on CD. The production was fantastic and I remain prepared (practically) to worship at his altar. I think you feel all that scholarship and knowledge backing up everything he wrote.

R. Sherman said...

In light of the above, I thought you'd enjoy this link, about a guy who built a miniature "Bilbo Baggins Hobbit House."


KSV Woolfoot said...

Hey R- I checked out that link. Isn't the world full of interesting (strange) people? There ought to be a Macarthur Genius Grant out there for them. Isn't it great that the builder says she (he?) "loves making tiny food"? Thanks.

uphilldowndale said...

Please take all the sprouts, we'll send them par boiled

Lulu LaBonne said...

I am dying to be in the US for a thanksgiving one of these years, it sounds a lot ike the way we do christmas. Is christmas a different thing for you guys?

PS - sorry I horrified you with my pig story

KSV Woolfoot said...

Hey Mrs. UHDD and Lulu - Thanks for swinging by.
The few remaning sprouts are still in a plastic keeper in the fridge. I don't think you, or even our dog, would want them now. I just forgot about them - but they were beautiful last week.

Lulu - so glad you are back on the internet. I have been eagerly awaiting the follow up to "Catnapping", which was brilliant. Everyone, immediately rush to Lulu's website and read that post! And I was not horrified by the tale of your pig. Au contraire! We have a farm here, you'll recall. OK, no animals, except for one year when we raised our own chickens for meat. WHusband invited a local farm wife and her daughter to help slaughter them. I didn't participate, but the kids looked on with interest. I did participate in the eating, however. We let them grow too long and they got nearly as big as turkeys and kind of tough - but we ate every last one of them - even "Pee Wee" and "Wanda" whom I had written into a little children's story for the Understudy that year.

The English visitors to our Thanksgiving comparing the festivities to Christmas over on your side of the pond. We didn't have any "pudding" though. Do you all eat figgy pudding over there? It is one of those English foods that make Americans smile at your eccentricities (though not in the category with spotted Dick).

Nan said...

Your chorister story reminds me of Dave Barry. Have you read his Christmas book of a couple years ago? I'm not a big DB reader but I love that book. Early in my blog life, I wrote about it:

Tom just read it to his students and they cheered!