A Beary Merry Christmas Eve

My family does presents and the big dinner on Christmas Eve, so today we did the traditional Czech goose/dumplings/kraut meal my grandma always used to cook. All went well. Present-wise, I got socks and a new set of Switch controllers. And throughout it all, we were accompanied by my mom’s very good boy, Bear.

As a result of the Christmas Eve preëminence, I often travel on Christmas, and indeed, I’m heading back home to NY tomorrow (I almost typed SF just then!). But perhaps some of you are staying up late waiting for/being Santa, so I figured we could use an overnight open thread. Hope your Christmas Eve was as Bear-y as mine!

26 replies
  1. 1
    Wag says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the juicers out there. Czech goose sounds amazing. Spent the evening with the family, eating a seafood risotto and drinking while wine. My wife and I stuffed the twin’s stockings with fun presents like climbing chalk, and are heading to bed. Tomorrow i’m roasting a flank roast ( the source of NY strip steaks), and hosting my oldest daughter and her fiancé, along with friends.

    Have a safe and happy day, everyone!

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    We just finished our annual Christmas Eve viewing of The Shop Around the Corner. Tomorrow we drive down to Long Beach and stuff ourselves full of handmade pasta courtesy of my uncle and aunt. (My uncle is the cook and my aunt pours the wine.)

    The Hallmark Channel has apparently finished running holiday movies and now has puppies running around in front of a Christmas tree with Frank Sinatra music playing. Best. View. Ever.

  3. 3
    The Pale Scot says:

    Bear strikes me as a very wise old soul

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    It looks like this is what we’re watching:

    A Very Happy Yule Log

    Puppies have left. Waiting to see if kittens come next, or what.

    ETA: Turned out to be “what” — a dog and a potbellied pig.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Mom (almost 91) called to let me know that – last Wednesday (!) – she tripped over the cane her friend was using as they entered a restaurant in Manhattan after attending a matinee and went ker-splat.

    Then related that after she was helped up and obvious cuts bandaged, they sat down and had their meal (comped by the restaurant owner), after which she walked to Penn Station, took the train, walked home from that station and after a bit discovered an incipient black eye and also “didn’t feel quite right.” So she walked to the urgent care facility in the center of town. X-rays showed two broken bones in her left hand (now wearing a cast), one broken rib, one dislocated rib and two cracked ribs. Then walked home.

    Tough old bird, huh?

    Apparently the new protocol is to not tape you up for rib injuries, just say try to take it easy.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It looks like they run it on a loop all night, so perfect for any Christmas Eve insomniacs who need something soothing to watch.


    Ouch! Yes, they leave cracked ribs alone now. It turned out that taping them up was causing pneumonia because people couldn’t draw a deep breath.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:


    Her biggest gripe?

    That it cost an extra $45 to have them put on a waterproof cast.

    And of course i felt a bit sheepish, as she received that pendant I was asking about a while back (they were sold out of the amethyst so went for the blue topaz) and she can’t put it on at present.

  9. 9
    Mary G says:

    @NotMax: Wow. She is almost as badass as Subaru Diane. I want to be like her when I grow up. Glad she didn’t break a hip!

  10. 10
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    And throughout it all, we were accompanied by my mom’s very good boy, Bear.

    That’sa great pic of Bear.

    Was trying to line out just what his mien expresses, and my best guess (tho am wrong a lot, will confess) suggests: “I will entertain your entreaties, to a point, but I’m not gonna take any guff from whippersnappers.”

  11. 11
    Big R says:

    Merry Christmas, or as we call it in the State of Israel, “Tuesday.”

    I’m at work here, but my desk is clear. While I wait on a new assignment, I guess I’ll work on this stupid motion for a case stateside that I shouldn’t have to file.

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    Finally Christmas here on the Left Coast. Off to bed.

  13. 13
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Big R:

    While I wait on a new assignment, I guess I’ll work on this stupid motion for a case stateside that I shouldn’t have to file.

    Sounds lot like motion sickness.

  14. 14
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Just gone Christmas here in SF, for those that celebrate. Here chez Colette, we just finished our traditional leave-me-alone-I-don’t-do-Christmas fancy roast duck dinner, this time using David Tanis’s recipe with 5-spice powder, ginger, and orange. It was pretty dang delicious.

    @Major Major Major Major: When M. Colette and I were first married, he still had his old dog Bear, a German shepherd/wolf hybrid who looked a bit like your mom’s best friend and who was also a very good boy. We still miss him.

    Happy holiday to all, jackals and bears alike.

  15. 15
    oatler. says:

    @Mnemosyne: I prefer Nick Offerman’s Yule Log video, though I don’t have any Lagavulin.

  16. 16
    J R in WV says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    I inherited a wonderful German Shepherd from my Grandma when she got to old for Grandma to are for well. We brought Captain home to the farm where she was able to watch all those bvery stupid birds we kept (laying hens and former fighting cocks now free to be roosters, V pretty birds without a lick of sense) and pretend to help herd the cow and horse. She was a really sweet dog.

    We were asleep when it turned Xmas a few hours ago, I’m up now for a glass of water, and decided to see what was up, turned out to be the odd jackal here and there, nice to see that. We usually have invitations to neighbors’ as old childfree hippies, but this year the neighbors are mostly elsewhere as next door old hippie became a mom/grandma last spring when a baby released to adoption 40 years found her birth mom next door.

    So P and MA are off to DC to visit A and her husband K and two rugrats – it’s MA’s first Xmas as the extra Grandma to two delightful little kids who spent Thanksgiving with them next door. Pretty Hallmark moment for her, she’s just so happy they reached out to her, that her kid grew up into a strong mm like her and her sister and niece, who are deceased over the past 10 years. Such a blessing to see her light up about her new family addition.

    Merry Xmas, everyone! Things can suddenly change for the way better, actually.

    Have a happy time with your friends or family. Or even feel some year ending peacefulness during these very long nights.

    Love is all around sometimes!

  17. 17
    opiejeanne says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Everything to Everyone!
    I’m tired and too full of good food and it was all marvelous. Half the family stayed the night, the rest are coming back tomorrow to open presents, and I think we’re seeing a movie afterward.
    I think I’ll take a little nap and dream of sugarplums.

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @J R in WV: Sweet story. Why is it a little dusty in here all of a sudden?

  19. 19
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    Bear is absolutely gorgeous; and if he wants a playmate you should adopt a smaller, younger dog named Twink:)

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    Not being a celebrant nor ever having attended a Christmas gathering of any stripe, really had not the slightest conception that Christmas Eve was a big thing.

  21. 21
    HinTN says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s still running. There was just a bunch of ducklings introduced. Cute, cute, cute

  22. 22
    HinTN says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Safe travels Major^4. Once, long ago, I was the only passenger on a Christmas morning flight. Treated like royalty by the flight crew, was I.

  23. 23
    debbie says:


    Yikes! Glad it wasn’t worse and hope she’s back to her feisty self ASAP.

  24. 24
    feebog says:

    It’s going to be a very quiet Christmas around these parts. The Mrs. fell in the bathroom last Wednesday and has been pretty much bedridden since. We finally went to the ER yesterday because the pain was not resolving. After a CAT scan they determined she has a compression fracture in one of her lower vertebrae. No surgical repair needed, the fracture will heal over time so long as she takes it very easy. So, today is going to be opening presents in bed with cups of coffee/cocoa, left over chinese from last night and we will figure out the rest as we go. I do know I will go insane if I have to watch one more holiday cooking contest, so a long walk with the doggies at some point today.

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    @NotMax: Christmas day was always a big deal because of Santa Claus and PRESENTS!!!, but we were also active in our United Methodist church. When we moved 400 miles away from all of our family and friends when our girls were young, we made Christmas Eve a little dinner party for the four of us. They missed their grandparents and friends and their big brother had opted to stay in SoCal.
    And we moved right before Christmas, so we made a party out of it, and it continued the 9 years we lived there, and our guest list grew as our kids brought their friends. It became A Thing.

  26. 26
    Olivia says:

    Please tell me how you make your dumplings. My family is Czech also and we have potato dumplings often.

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