Holidays are a fun time to experiment. It's nice to try new things - sometimes those out-of-the-ordinary events can become family traditions. Sometimes it's best if they never return. Sometimes they live on as hysterical stories that often get funnier and funnier each year. I've had a few of these myself.
I made wassail the first Christmas after Geoff and I were married. Not the modified version that tastes a lot like apple cider, but a real, TRADITIONAL wassail with Guinness and brandy and fruits and spices. It was not a hit. Honestly, I see why we've evolved in our wassail tastes to something more palatable because this old-school wassail tasted like something Bob Cratchit would drink when Ebenezer Scrooge wanted another performance review. I think it was meant to keep people from freezing to death during the Dickens era or at least to keep them unaware that they were freezing to death. Our guests were nice about it, but I did find several nearly full cups sitting around our living room after everyone left. We've not revisited wassail again.
Another year, right after the kids were born, we decorated cookie ornaments for the tree with the grandparents. I thought this would be a fun and heart-warming activity to do each year. And it was fun. Until our basset hounds, Daisy and Claire, ate them all. We'd hung the cookies high knowing full well the bassets' noses would lead them right to the cookies if they were near the floor. We didn't, however, understand the dedication bassets have to ingesting most anything edible. While we were sleeping they jumped on the tree, knocked it over, and ate all the cookies we'd hung on it before bed. They also ate some miniature faux apples that had been coated with a sparkling sugar. They had glittery poops for a week. How festive.
And once, I made pans and pans of lasagna for Christmas Eve. We were having a crowd, and lasagna is an easy choice for serving lots of people. Except our refrigerator wasn't large enough to hold the pans, so we stored them overnight on the deck in the snow. Living in suburbia (albeit at the foot of the Rockies) it hadn't occurred to me that wild animals have a keen sense of smell and obviously an appetite for Italian because when we awoke our deck was covered in lasagna remains. It looked like a crime scene. We were were forced to take out a small loan and buy pre-made lasagna from Whole Foods. Mangia, foxes.
This photo I found on Pinterest this morning made me think of brave holiday attempts that end up in failure.
It looks very pretty, but those are actually marshmallows hanging on fishing line made to look like falling snow. And it does (kind of) look a little like snow from a distance. But I can't imagine the hysterical laughter if my entire family sat down to dinner at a table I'd jazzed up with hanging marshmallows. So much comedy would ensue. And it looks like it would take a lot of time to do - which is the case with so many holiday fails. They take effort and time, and end up becoming just a funny story. Oddly, those funny stories are often what make great memories.
So maybe we should all attempt a little something new every now and then. If it works, we look like a domestic goddess, if it fails we get a good laugh. Winners all around.
I'm wearing this today.
A sparkly t-shirt is a fun addition to any wardrobe.
gratitude: Geoff's return, driving both kids to school at the same time, wrapping up the holiday shopping, my new nail polish color (Lincoln Park After Dark)
thanks and love.