Thanks for sending me your favorite Christmas stories. (My address is email@example.com) Reading them is teaching me a lesson. One of the biggest mouths you will ever encounter in terms of “Christmas is a party…enjoy it, don’t go nuts,” is me. And this past week was an excellent example of completely ignoring my own advice. Consider this: 1- I still haven’t found a present worthy of giving to my lady Wonder Wench. (I started looking last February.) 2- I’ve got to get about a month and a half’s worth of work done for my day job by the end of this week. 3- We have a pile of presents that need to be wrapped that seems to be expanding at the same rate as the overall universe. 4- My body is complaining about not being 21 years old any more. Not even close. I’ll bet you have some kind of similar list. And I’m going to take a tip from Wonder Wench here, and holler “STOP…HO…STOP.” HO, HO….S T O P. Because we’re all getting nuts. In my case, lots of this is ego. I’ve got to find a better gift for her than anybody else ever could…even better than what I got her last year (whatever that was.)” One of the best gifts I ever got, was an album of Christmas music, performed and produced by our son David. My favorite cut is in today’s podcast. It’s the most beautiful recording of “The First Noel” I’ve ever heard. You can’t buy it. It’s not for sale. But you can listen to www.dicksummer.com/podcast and enjoy it for free. Merry Christmas.
NO POUTING ! Remember…“You better not pout, you better not cry…”yeah…we do too much whining and not enough smiling the rest of the year. Christmas is a very good time to turn that around. One way to do that is something I put in the current podcast. I call it, “Pick a person.” Check out the podcast please. Because Pick a person is a guaranteed simple way to put your pouts away. I’ve asked you to send your favorite Christmas story to Dick@DickSummer.com, or just add it to the Comments section at the end of the blog. SO…….THIS JUST IN…a comment from my friend Paul Berge: “You have to “Grow Up” to “get it.” No wonder I still don’t “get it,” Dick. I refuse to grow up. I still want a BB gun at Christmas and even if I do shoot my eye out, at least I got the BB gun.“You have to “Grow Up” to get it.”And real Lionel trains under the tree…“You have to “Grow Up” to get it.”And screw WDM, I still have faith that we’ll eventually find Xray glasses that really work….And realize that Bosco is far superior to CocoMarsh…And the ‘59 Chevy was the best car ever…And Sandy Becker would’ve made a better Pope than that German guy…And Yoohoo in bottles…And Three Musketeers bars for a nickel…And nickels…And singing harmony on a warm summer evening out on the stoop…And nuthin’ to do…And no guilt about doin’ it.Merry All them holidays.
Looking for your favorite Christmas stories for this blog and for the podcasts. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org This one is from my buddy Al. And it’s one you’ll remember:
The first major snowfall of the season was expected within the next twelve hours and the temperature would soon be dropping into the single digits. It was getting dark and I had just finished my last in a long line of errands … buying a box of religious cards for Mom. Even with her failing eyesight, she never misses an occasion and, of course, Christmas is extra special. My marching orders were clear: They had to say both Christmas and God or Jesus in the text and must have an angel, the wise men, or the Holy Family pictured on the face. I had met all criteria for the cards but, as luck would have it, not for my lunch; I had missed that altogether. No wonder my stomach was snarling at me in some foreign tongue!
Fortunately, right next to the card store was one of those cookie-cutter submarine sandwich shops … you know, the one where the guy on TV ate nothing but subs for six months and became an individual instead of a group? It was either that or the Italian sausage place with grease-frosted plate glass windows; I opted for cold cuts. There were only a few customers scattered about the shop and a rather purposeful-looking Black gentleman standing a few feet back from the counter, carefully considering the menu just above the pictures of tomatoes, cucumbers and bread on the wall. He was probably in his fifties, wore a well-chewed mustache, navy knit cap and a respectably soiled brown winter jacket.
I excused myself as I crossed in front of him but he never broke his concentration. “Turkey, Black Forest Ham and Swiss on Italian,” I told the sandwich wench. The bread was probably a holdover from my fleeting thoughts of the sausage place. She added some ‘fixin’s’, chips and soda … then asked if I wanted anything else. She had to ask twice because by now, I was as focused upon the man memorizing the menu, as he was upon his sandwich selection. It didn’t look like this was an everyday thing for him.
A few minutes after I sat down, he finally made his choice, smiled quietly and settled-in two booths in front of me. After taking a few bites, his gaze became riveted upon the television mounted a few feet away. He was nearly unblinking during the news … but when the weather came on, it seemed to create a conflict between eating and watching the parade of maps and snowfall predictions flashing across the screen.
When my distant dining companion was finished, he carefully crumpled and tossed his trash, refilled his cup and produced a previously unseen [by me] shopping cart from behind a half-wall near the soda machine. It was full, I guessed, of pretty much everything the man owned. As he reached the door he stopped, turned around, removed his cap and placed it respectfully over his heart. Speaking through a broad, toothy smile, in a clear voice he said, “I want to wish everyone the Lord’s blessing and a very Merry Christmas. Thank you.” With that, he replaced his cap, pressed his cart through the door and was gone.
As I headed for the car I could feel the air had grown colder, with that damp chill that bites your bones just before a snowstorm. Suddenly I noticed a figure wearing a well-chewed mustache, navy knit cap and a respectably soiled brown winter jacket, sifting through the contents of his wire suitcase under a parking lot lamp. I went over to him and asked, “Do you have somewhere to stay tonight?” He smiled, the quiet smile this time, and replied, ” I have a good spot all picked out.” I offered him a couple of ‘Abe Lincolns’ together with my own Christmas wish.
Still smiling but this time speaking with a note of pride in his tone he said, “Sir, I’ll accept your kind words and be grateful for them but I never accept money from anyone, unless I’ve worked for it.” Then, looking at an invisible watch he continued, “And it’s after five o’clock!” With that he offered a wink, wheeled his cart around and disappeared into the darkness.
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Dick’s Details from today’s podcast. Dick’s Details is a bunch of totally unimportant stuff for you to stuff in one ear, so you can squeeze the important stuff that’s making you shop excessively out the other ear, and you can keep your holly jolly. It takes most Americans 6 months to pay off their Christmas credit card bills. I call that the Grinch Pinch. If the answer is “It’s Christmas Eve” what is the question? My favorite sportscaster is the NY Mets’s Gary Cohn. I’m sending him a Mets scoreless tie for Christmas this year. More diamonds are sold at Christmas than at any other time of the year. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Man’s best friend is his dog. Go figure. There are 25 guys who help the Radio City Rockettes change costumes during the Christmas show. I take it they’re all volunteers. If the answer is “It’s Christmas Eve” the question is “What did Adam say to his wife on the day before Christmas?” (Another lump of coal for my stocking.) Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind. A little house keeping here, if you like these podcasts, or the spoken word CDs at dick summer dot com, or my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot available at Amazon dot com, please tell a couple of friends, because they might like them too, and you’d be giving me a Christmas present. And please remember to send your Holiday memories to me at dick@dick summer.com. Stories about Christmas, Solstice, Hannakuh, Quanza, or any winter holiday that’s special to you.
Lovable Lara entertains four guys for Christmas in today’s Podcast.
Give her a listen, and she’ll purr in your ear.
Today’s podcast has a Christmas story from me. PLEASE SEND YOURS TO DICK@DICKSUMMER.COM Here’s one from Proud Podcast Person “John L:”
HOLIDAY EATING TIPS
- Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
Still looking for your favorite Christmas, Hanakkah, Solstice, Kwanza stories. Please send them to me at email@example.com A Christmas Calorie Count came pouring in just now from Proud Podcast Person Texas Ty It will be in our next podcast. Texas Ty says here are the Christmas Cookie Statistics:
- If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.
- If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.
- If a friend comes over while you’re making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend’s first cookie is calories free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone; and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.
- Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
- Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.
- Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five – one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!
- Cookies eaten while watching “Miracle on 34th Street” have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one’s personal fuel.
- As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
- Any cookies consumed from someone else’s plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!
These are the statistics. So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies – we only get them this time of the year.
If you haven’t yet sent a memory about Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice or Kwanza, please do it now. My address is Dick@DickSummer.com Here’s Bill’s story from today’s podcast:
Bill Says, As a joke, my brother Mike used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true, because every Christmas morning, although Mike’s kids stockings were always full, his poor panty hose never was. One year, I decided to make his Christmas wish come true. I put on a pair of sunglasses, and slinked into the neighborhood “Adult bookstore.” I decided to buy a standard, uncomplicated inflatable lady, that could also substitute as a fake passenger in my car, so I could use the car pool lane during the rush hour. I settled for a doll called “Loveable Lara.” On Christmas Eve, with the help of a bicycle pump, Lara came to life. My sister in law was in on the plan, and let me in during the wee morning hours. I filled Mike’s dangling panty hose with Lara’s legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies, and drank a glass of milk left out on a nearby table. Mike called me in the morning to tell me that Santa had finally made his wish come true, and to accuse me of having something to do with it. He said the only problem with Lara, was that she confused the dog, who kept coming over, looking at the pantyhose bark, walk away, and come back and bark some more. We all agreed that Lara should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for dinner. My Grandmother noticed Lara as soon as she walked in the door, and said, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?” My brother explained that it was just a doll. “WHERE ARE HER CLOTHES ? WHY DOESN’T SHE HAVE ANY TEETH? I considered answering her questions, but I didn’t want to have to spend Christmas riding in the back of an ambulance, saying “Hang on Grandma, hang on.” My Grandfather, a great guy with bad eyesight, sidled up to me and said, “Hey Bill, who’s the naked lady by the fireplace ?” I told him she was Mike’s friend. A few minutes later, I noticed him over by the fireplace, flirting with Lara. It was then that I realized that this might be Grandpa’s last Christmas at home.
The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Lara made a noise like you often hear from a bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the fireplace, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the TV. The cat screamed, I passed some cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran over, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. Mike fell off his chair. Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car. Later we discovered that Lara had suffered a puncture from a hot ember on the back of her left leg. Fortunately, with the aid of a wonder drug called Duct tape, we restored her to perfect health, so she can be with us to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
I am sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly black leather poppa chair in my living room, and I want to thank you for sending your Christmas/Hanakah/Solstice/Quanza memories. If you haven’t done that yet, please do. My address is Dick@DickSummer.com I’m not sure when the story in today’s podcast from Proud Podcast Participant Bill came in, but hey…It works. In fact, by the time you get to the end of it, you may notice your egg-nog squirting out of your nose. What better way to celebrate Christmas than a few moments with “Lovable Lara?”