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Monday, December 25, 2017

Good morning crew,

Merry Christmas folks! Are you excited? Have you been good all year? Hopefully Santa left something good in your sock drawer.

But if he didn't, I have a little holiday present for you. I dug up an interesting excerpt from Bill Bryson's book "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," dealing with an old, old Christmas tradition that I could really get behind. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be in practice any more.


One of the many small mysteries I hoped to resolve when I first moved to England was this: when British people sang 'A-wassailing We'll Go,' where was it they went and what exactly did they do when they got there?

Throughout an American upbringing I heard this song every Christmas without ever finding anyone who had the faintest idea of how to go about the obscure and enigmatic business of wassailing.

It wasn't until I happened upon a copy of T.G. Crippen's scholarly and ageless 'Christmas and Christmas Lore,' published in London in 1923, that I finally found that wassail was originally a salutation.

From the Old Norse ves heil, it means 'in good health.' In Anglo-Saxon times it was customary for someone offering a drink to say, "Wassail!" and for the recipient to respond, "Drinkhail!" and the for participants to repeat the exercise until comfortably horizontal.



So if anybody sees me out and about please don't hesitate to buy me a drink and wish me 'Wassail!' I'll return the favor.

Laugh it up,

Joe

joe@gophercentral.com

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"A new poll revealed that 44 percent of Americans think Santa is a Democrat and 28 percent believe he is a Republican. And the other 28 percent said to please stop bothering me with stupid questions." -Jimmy Kimmel

***

"We're having our office Christmas party tonight. Just like last year, I'm going to get drunk, make a fool of myself, and then go to the office Christmas party." -Conan O'Brien

***

"We are just one week away from Christmas. Which means today is that special day when husbands tell their wives, 'I give up. Just tell me what you want.'" -Jimmy Fallon

***

I wondered if I could get my husband to help me address Christmas cards, as I had so much to do. I arranged everything we needed, then hopefully pulled up a chair and said, "Come on, Dear, let's get these out of the way."

He glanced at the array on the table, turned away and went into the den, only to return moments later with a high stack of cards, stamped, sealed, and addressed.

"They're last year's," he said. "I forgot to mail them. Now let's go out to dinner and relax."




*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas 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. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic 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 Christmas 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.

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