Open Thread: Merry Antipodean Xmas

Thanks to commentor Joeyess. How’s everybody’s celebrations or not-celebrations going?

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39 replies
  1. 1
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m celebrating the (re-)awakening of a civic consciousness in Russia. I hope it leads to something good this time.

  2. 2
    Robert Sneddon says:

    We’re an hour into Xmas Day here in Britain. Temps right now are an unseasonal 9 deg C; last year we were under a half-metre of snow.

  3. 3
    13th Generation says:

    Having a wonderful evening with my wife, thanks for asking! Where are all the good Holiday movies on my teevee, besides the usual fare? Been looking for a Christmas Carol, nowhere to be found. Happy festivus to all!

  4. 4
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Just heard from our baby back from Afghanistan, (our sort of kind of adopted student) who is now stationed in GA, his wife is now expecting child # 3, my Dhs pseudo grandchild is chatting to him now, his namesake, grandchild #2, is throwing a fit. There are some things that make Christmas, Christmas, and this is one of them.

  5. 5
    debit says:

    I made dinner for the family at my parents’ house, then my father and I retired to watch the last half of the Vikings game. There was no fighting, and the Vikings won, so two Christmas miracles right there. Now I’m home and contemplating a glass of wine and possible a movie.

  6. 6
    Steeplejack says:

    I’m dog-sitting tonight, although one fewer dog than I expected. Dick Cheney, the elderly Italian greyhound, got hauled to the emergency vet today for an unknown but serious malady that required him to be kept overnight. So I am alone with Kathleen “Kitty” Cobblepot, the retired racing greyhound. She is dozing in front of the fire but alert to any signs that a treat might be in the offing.

    I was going to wrap a few last gifts, but I can’t find any Scotch tape. Plenty of wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, etc., but no tape. WTF?! Maybe I’m supposed to do some cool origami thing that requires no tape. Not up to it, I’m afraid.

    ETA: Dog-sitting because Kitty tends to disarrange things and tear up magazines, etc., if left alone for too long. My presence prevents that and keeps her out of lockdown in her cage. Brother thinks that it’s “young greyhound” behavior and that she’ll outgrow it. Kitty is two and a half, just off the track only six months ago.

  7. 7
    abo gato says:

    Got a fire in the fireplace and just finished a big bowl of cioppino with home made bread. It was pretty damn good, even if I say so as the chef du jour. Got a nice chardonnay with the soup. But, we’ve been imbibing a bit more than usual today so my ability to discern good flavors may be diminished. Still, the clams and mussels were great in the soup. Tomorrow I am making a venison wellington with home made puff pastry. Made the same thing for Thanksgiving and it was so freaking good I had to make it again. Last time my puff pastry recipe did not use yeast. This time it does. I think it will make the wellington even better. This dough has a much more interesting texture than the dough without yeast.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    I made it to the ranch safe and sound. I also discovered when I got here my mother LIED to me about not doing anything for Christmas. So I now have no gifts and get to look like a total dickhead tomorrow.

    My grandfather got an iPad for Christmas, and my younger brother is setting it up across the table from me. He and Siri are having an argument. Siri is winning.

  9. 9
    R-Jud says:

    It’s past midnight here so technically already Christmas. I’ve watched Alastair Sim, which is the traditional Last Thing To Do On Christmas Eve, but I keep discovering unwrapped presents that need attending to now.

    Also, I’m terrified about the tree. The kitten has behaved herself so far– just sniffed the ornaments, walked around the stand. But I have a feeling the minute I drift off, there’ll be an almighty crash.

    Anyway, Happy Whatever to all, and to all a good night.

  10. 10
    Ruckus says:

    So I now have no gifts and get to look like a total dickhead tomorrow.

    Been there done that.
    I’ve just learned to accept that this is my roll in the family. Dickhead.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @abo gato:

    Got a fire in the fireplace and just finished a big bowl of cioppino with home made bread. It was pretty damn good, even if I say so as the chef du jour.

    Mmm…Italian-American food.

    Got a nice chardonnay with the soup. But, we’ve been imbibing a bit more than usual today so my ability to discern good flavors may be diminished.

    Shouldn’t have. Tomatoes have an alcohol soluble flavouring that is greatly enhanced by wine. And seafood goes fantastic with a white wine. Unless you’re so verschnickered your tastebuds are dead anyway.

    Last time my puff pastry recipe did not use yeast. This time it does.

    You just made half the pastry chefs in France cry. But I bet it works!

    @R-Jud: I believe you’re just forestalling the inevitable. :)

  12. 12
    Perfect Master says:

    Perfect Video

  13. 13
    CaseyL says:

    Having dinner at an Indian restaurant tomorrow with friends, and friends of friends.

    Was supposed to do likewise tonight, with a slightly different set of friends, but have not heard from the organizer, who has perhaps drifted off to sleep. (She needs sleep more than she does dinners out, so I hesitate to wake her.)

  14. 14

    Just cooked the Christmas Eve feast. Wrapped presents while husband cleaned the kitchen. Now putting my feet up before starting on the apple pie to bring to tomorrow’s family gathering.


  15. 15
    Joeyess says:

    I’m currently at work and for some damn reason my iPhone won’t load the video. Just wondering what I’m being honored on the front page for?

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Joeyess says:

    Ahhhh…. White Wine in the Sun?

  18. 18
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Joeyess: Yup. Thanks!

  19. 19
    lamh35 says:

    Started off the night watching Sound of Music and ending the night watching It’s A Wonderful Life. Been helping my aunt cook for tomorrow and gave my god baby her Christmas present early:
    Maddie’s new scooter

  20. 20
    Joeyess says:

    @Anne Laurie You’re very welcome. Happy Holidays or whatever it is that heathens like me are supposed to say.

  21. 21
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @abo gato:

    You must be a workaholic. Puff pastry is a royal pain.

  22. 22
    YellowJournalism says:

    Just put two excited kids to bed. They put out cookies for Santa, and the youngest kept trying to steal them off the plate! Now the rest of our night will be a mad dash of cleaning and wrapping presents. Hope you all enjoy the day tomorrow, whether your with family or friends of both the human and non-human persuasion (pets, not in-laws).

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    Thank you and Anne for this video. This guy is great.
    Bad Santa, best christmas movie
    Tim Minchin, best christmas song
    But even more to my taste is If I didn’t have you

  24. 24
    efgoldman says:

    Spending eve virtually alone. The day before I got out of the hospital, mrs efgoldman fell down and concussed herself badly. She is having serious cognitive problems; I’m thinking after the holiday we might see about getting her inpatient rehab. She skipped church tonight (unheard of) because she needs to sleep almost all the time.
    Meanwhile, daughter and son-in-law are with his family in N. Carolina – alternate years for xmas and thanksgiving, don’t you know. They were here for thanksgiving, but I was only a week after the stroke and still very much in hospital.
    Tomorrow its drive to my brother-in-law’s, about an hour away. Yes, the racist, gun-totin’ alcoholic about whom I’ve written in previous years. I’ll use my easily-tired state as an excuse to duck out quickly.
    But my real complaint is that the most boringest bowl game in history is all I got right now.

  25. 25
    pat says:

    King crab and salad and bread for supper, opened the two books that I bought yesterday (Last Call; The Greater Journey) and a bottle of Remy Martin. Hubby is enjoying his third glass and we are arguing about the volume on Bruckner’s 8th. AWESOME music, awesome dynamics!

  26. 26
    efgoldman says:


    …we are arguing about the volume on Bruckner’s 8th.

    The only argument (especially the last movement) is whether to blow it past distortion level.
    Or, if you live in an apartment, how much to piss off the neighbors.

  27. 27
    pat says:

    @efgoldman: I’m the one with the sensitive ears, and when the windows begin to rattle, I think it’s time to turn it down a notch. But then I’m not the one drinking the Remy Martin.

    So sorry to hear about your wife. I’ve been dealing with a persistent bursitis in the right leg that has me wishing the kitchen counters were closer together so I wouldn’t have to take an unsupported step from the cooktop to the sink, but so far we have managed to avoid the worst things that happen in… dare I say it… our sunset years. All the best wishes to you and the mrs. for a speedy recovery!

  28. 28
    waratah says:

    My sister in Sydney said she was having Balmain bugs with her Christmas day dinner today along with ham and other stuff. The bugs are yummy.

  29. 29
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Just finished Christmas lunch, which was roast leg of lamb.

    Opened all the presents and now settling down to a long period of quiet contemplation of the restorative properties of a nice chilled white.

    Not very warm this year, only in the high 80s, but very windy, which meant we had to eat indoors.

    To all Balloon Juicers out there, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    And just a reminder that the only real Christmas is a sunburnt Christmas.

  30. 30

    Pat Buchanan went on pne of his classic Islamophobic rants in yesterday’s RealClearPolitics, where he basically fearmongered about how populous Muslim nations are but how their students’ test scores are low. He writes:

    Consider. The six most populous Muslim nations — Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Turkey — had a total population of 242 million in 1950. By 2050, that 242 million will have quintupled to 1.36 billion people.
    Meanwhile, Europe’s fertility rate has been below zero population growth since the 1970s. Old Europe is dying, and its indigenous peoples are being replaced by Third World immigrants, millions of them Muslim.
    Yet there is another side to the Islamic story.
    In international test scores of high school students in reading, math and science, not one Muslim nation places in the top 30. Take away oil and gas, and from Algeria to Iran these nations would have little to offer the world. Iran would have to fall back on exports of carpets, caviar and pistachio nuts

    So, he’s been fired from MSNBC, right? He hasn’t been on in a long time.

  31. 31
    burnspbesq says:

    Had a simply wonderful (and wonderfully simple) Christmas Eve dinner of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, and fruit salad.

    Waiting for spouse and kid to call it a night so I can wrap the last two gifts, then we’re good to go for tomorrow.

    May those who celebrate Christmas experience all the joys of the day.

  32. 32

    We still need to wrap the family gifts for tomorrow. I just took my pie out of the oven and I’m ready to call it a night. Husband is anxious for me to go to bed so he can wrap my presents.

    I can’t imagine how he’ll get them all wrapped in time …. or, so I told him. :-)

  33. 33
    Calouste says:

    @Southern Beale:

    If you take away gas, Nazi-apologist Pat Buchanan also doesn’t have much to offer.

  34. 34
    Bruce S says:

    No Christmas Eve without the greatest Christmas Eve song:

  35. 35
    4jkb4ia says:

    Wow, there was a sharp transition from Broken Bells to that. It got me to look forward to “Songwriters Showcase” tomorrow, though.

    Here’s a nice pious song which is the one I really appreciate off this CD

  36. 36
    4jkb4ia says:

    “Songwriters Showcase” is the “contemporary folk/progressive country” show on KDHX. It may be the longest-running thing they have on the air and has survived the death of Larry Weir, its original host. I first heard “The Road Goes On Forever” on that show. I don’t listen every week.

  37. 37
    4jkb4ia says:

    Not in this situation, and it’s early Sunday morning, but as a shot fired in the War on Christmas irresistible link

  38. 38
    PurpleGirl says:

    A friend made it to NY from LA; late for the trip (it was planned for early December) but now here. We went out for burgers for dinner and came home and crashed. I was rudely awakened by a leg cramp. Haven’t even put up the evergreen tree I bought; will do that today.

    Happy Holiday to all Balloon Juicers and the front pagers. Hope everyone’s 2012 is better than 2011.

    ETA: That Christmas video is adorable.Thanks Joeyess.

  39. 39
    4jkb4ia says:



    No Cole tweets were even thought of in the posting of that link. Thanks AL for putting up another thread so few people would see it.

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