Friday, December 15, 2017

Wishing Y'all Lots of Love and Smiles

Thought for the day:  North, south, east, or west, old traditions are the best.

Hi-ya! I hope you all have the merriest Christmas ... and happiest Hanukkah... ever. Lots of love and smiles from our house to yours.

Talking about smiles, it's time for me to share that old chestnut Christmas post with you again. What can I say? Don't wanta buck tradition. So with a few revisions, here ya go... again...


Traditions don't have to necessarily be classy, you knowSometimes, they're just plain fun... or funny. Candlelight services on Christmas Eve, singing the Hallelujah Chorus with the church choir, and caroling with the neighbors... especially when it's snowing... those things are all both traditional and classy. This post? Not so much. But this is the seventh year I'm running it, so I think it has now officially become a tradition. Because I said so. And because I'm lazy it's just plain fun... and funny.


 So, here it is, my classic tale, although not exactly in the same category as Dickens, about (ahem)  inflated dreams... 

Enjoy.

****

Thought for the day: We don't stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.


No telling how many years this wreath has graced our front door.
We never made a huge production out of outdoor decorations, but every year, our kids made the same grand proclamation after we cruised our decorated-out-the-wazoo neighborhood on the way home from the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

"The best one of all!" they'd lie as we pulled into our driveway.

Okay, so maybe they weren't really lying through their braces. Maybe anticipation of the hidden presents awaiting inside added a certain luster to their perception of our decorations.

Anyhow, I'd say decorating styles can pretty much be divvied into three categories: traditional, enlightening, and inflated. Us? We're traditionalThat means, except for an occasional new acquisition, I've pretty much used the same decorations every year. For a LOT of years. Like the ornaments that hung on my parents' tree when they were first married, some of which are now paper thin, and considerably faded with age. And a slew of decades-old goodies fashioned by our children with copious quantities of felt, glue and glitter, construction paper, walnut shells, clothespins, eyeglass lenses, and even a Mason jar lid. A black spider in a golden web and a huge decorated crab shell, both made my by sister-in-law. Boxes of tinsel painstakingly applied, strand by strand, and then painstakingly removed to store in a box for yet another year. Like I said, traditional. Well, to be more accurate, I suppose we've become more traditional cum lazy, because each year, I use less and less decorations, and some of them don't even make it down out of our attic anymore. This year, very few decorations found their way out of the storage boxes. (A RED tablecloth counts as a decoration, right???)

These carolers once belonged to my grandmother.

Everybody knows the enlightening type of decorator. They're the ones with so many lights blazing in their front yards, they risk causing a blackout across three states every time they turn 'em on. Very flashy. Sometimes, they even incorporate animation and music, too, and carloads of people stop by every night to ooh and aah over their winter wonderland. It isn't at all unusual for a competition of sorts to begin when multiple enlighteners live in close proximity. (Those neighborhoods can be seen from the space station.)


                                         We're more like the house on the right these days:



And then, there's the inflatedThis is a fairly recent category. I sure don't remember seeing this sort of display when I was a kid. Nowadays, you can purchase just about any character you can think of ... inflate it ... and stick it on your front lawn. And if you can't find a particular character, for the right price, you can probably have someone make one for you. Then, all those characters can weave and bob all over your yard.











Now then, to the point of today's post. Time for a tale about a Christmas inflatable of an entirely different ilk. This story originated in 1999, and was alleged to be the winning entry to a Louisville Sentinel contest about the wildest Christmas dinner. Turns out, no such newspaper ever existed, and the writer remains unknown, but the story lives on, thanks to the good ol' Internet. (WARNING: Better put your drink down before you read it.) Now here, after a bit of minor editing on my part, is that story:




As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of pantyhose over his fireplace every Christmas Eve. He said the only thing he wanted was for Santa to fill them, but what they say about Santa checking his list twice must be true, because every Christmas morning, the other stockings would all be bulging with treats, but Jay's poor pitiful pantyhose were always left dangling as empty as ever.

So one year, I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses, a fake nose, and a ski cap, and went in search of an inflatable love doll.

Know what? They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore. By the way, if you've never been in an X-rated store before, two words: don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there for an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!" and  "Who would buy that?" 

So anyway, I finally made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane, but finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry, but I settled for the bottom of the price scale: Lovable Louise. To call her a doll required a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of a bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan, and she let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled Jay's pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. Then I went home and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning, my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy, but his poor dog was very confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. We agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked.

My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."

"Who would play with something like that?" she snapped.

 I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.

"Where are her clothes?" she continued.

"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room.

 But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"

Again, I could have answered, but why risk it? It was Christmas, and nobody wanted to spend it in the back of an ambulance saying, "Hang on, Granny, hang on!"

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me, waggled his eyebrows, and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?"

I told him she was Jay's friend, and a few minutes later, noticed Grandpa standing by the mantel, talking to Louise. And not just talking. He was actually flirting. It was then we realized 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 Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom every morning. Then she lurched from the pantyhose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants, and Granny threw down her napkin, and stomped outside to sit in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

After that, Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies, and I'm pretty sure Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

                                                     *****************

 Merry Christmas! May all your dreams... no matter how inflated...  come true.

Hanukkah is the festival of light that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, and spirituality over materialism. Whatever our religion or non-religion, these are all things worth celebrating, don't you think? Here's wishing you all much light... and love.


I'll be taking off the rest of the year, and will be back on January 3 for the IWSG post.

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


69 comments:

  1. Love your traditions.
    And duct tape.
    Dear Santa,
    I don't want much for Christmas, I just want the person reading this to be happy ...
    Friends are the fruit cake of life- some nutty, some soaked in alcohol, some sweet but mix them together and they're my friends

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, duct tape is pretty big around here, too. The general consensus is, "If it moves and isn't supposed to, use duct tape, and if it doesn't move and is supposed to, use WD-40."

      I love your Santa-wish. :) This nutty friend wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season and all the best in the new year.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for this fun post, I'm still sitting here laughing at the thought of that doll flying around at Christmas and causing such havoc and merriment - a great story! Happy Christmas to you and yours! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. I'm glad the story tickled your funny bone. :)

      And a very Happy Christmas to you and yours, too. (And a big ol' hug.)

      Delete
  3. I laugh every time I read about Louise. I think inflatable decorations have a place, but when they're overdone it's just tacky.

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    1. I'm glad this old story can still evoke new laughs. :)

      I'm not a huge fan of the inflatables, but as long as nobody asks ME to inflate them, I'm cool.

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  4. Replies
    1. You have a fab Christmas, too, and all the best in the new year. P.S. So do I!

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  5. My favorite inflatable characters are the Minions. Love those guys! (Sorry, Louise!)

    Have a wonderful holiday, Susan! :)

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    1. We're Minions fans, too. We don't have an inflatable one, but we have them in other forms all over the house. (Still kids at heart!)

      You have a wonderful holiday, too.

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  6. That is hilarious. At least it didn't happen because someone was doing more than flirting.

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  7. Happy Happy Christmas ! What a riot ! I'll be laughing the rest of the day ! Thanks for lighting up my morning ! From my house to yours ...Merry Christmas !

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    1. And a Happy Happy Christmas to you, too! I'm glad the story made ya laugh. (It's like exercise for our insides... and just about the only kind I GET!)

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  8. lol duct tape works for all. That is sure a christmas memory to always remember indeed. Our such "woman" is deflated in the closet right now haha Hope a great christmas is had at your pad

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    1. Yep, duct tape for all occasions and needs. Heck, I'll betcha they even found some flesh-colored tape to mend Miss Louise's boo-boo.

      Oh my! You really have one? By all means, hang her from the mantle. :)

      I hope you have a super Christmas at your pad, too.

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  9. I look forward to this story...it loses nothing in the retelling. And yes, a red tablecloth is DEFINITELY decoration.

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    1. I'm glad you haven't gotten bored with the story yet. :)

      Oh, GOOD. I'm glad to hear the tablecloth "counts," because I won't be doing a whole heckuva lot more.

      Delete
  10. I was hoping this would pop-up on your blog soon ! even though I know what os coming I laugh everytime.
    Thank You so much for the Christmas post.

    Have a lovely Christmas and may we all have a wonderful New Year.
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thank you for still finding this old post worth reading. :)

      Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas, too, and all the best in the new year.

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  11. That story was hysterical!! I also love the picture of the house that says "ditto" next to the one that's all lit up.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. :)

      I like that picture, too. Merry Christmas!

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  12. The photo of the house with the "Ditto" decoration really cracked me up! That's about my speed for the holidays. At this time of year I miss the fireplace that I had in Texas - but heck, it was lots of trouble to clean. I'll settle for some candles and colored lights. And I'll hope for some snow...
    Your inflatable doll story is a hoot and always makes me laugh. It's a Christmas tradition.

    I hope you had a fantastic birthday. My B Day was pleasant but I didn't have a cake. The number of candles would have terrified me.
    Have a wonderful holiday season, Susan - my very best wishes to you and your family!

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    1. We usually do a lot of decorating for Christmas, but this year, we fall more into the "ditto" category, as long as we don't actually have to string lights that SAY that.

      Good birthday here. No cake and candles for me, either. We would've had to have the fire department on stand-by.

      You have a wonderful holiday season, too, Jon. "Seeya" next year!

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  13. I laughed again. Excellent story to share. Hope your birthday was excellent and now on to Christmas. Have the merriest. Somehow I think there will be plenty of laughs with your crew.
    And the bucket list - excellent guidance as we zoom to 2018. All the best

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    1. Cool. (I bet you're the kinda person I could get away with telling the same jokes to over and over again... :) )

      My birthday was swell. Thanks. You guys have a fantabulous Christmas, too, with lots of love and laughter. "Seeya" next year!

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  14. No matter how often I see this, my insides go crazy over this story. Practically the best part of the season. (Well, that an eggnog.) What's that Anne Lamott says, "Laughter is carbonated holiness."

    Thank you for brightening my spirits. Merry Christmas, Susan!

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    1. I never acquired a taste for eggnog, but this story always cracks me up, too. Carbonated holiness, huh? I like that. I always think of laughter as exercise for the insides.

      And a very Merry Christmas to you, too! Here's to a bright and shining new year. (I'll drink to that... but it won't be eggnog...)

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  15. My favorite decorations on my Christmas tree are the ones I got on family vacations and those that were gifts from my children. I guess I'm a traditionalist. The story about Louise makes me laugh every year. Merry, Merry Christmas to you, dear one.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Understood. The most precious decorations aren't the ones with the most glitz and glamour or that cost the most money. They're the ones that come with good memories attached to them.

      Merry, Merry Christmas to you, too, kiddo.

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    2. Yes, stick with "kiddo" because I'm sooooo much younger than you are, and I'll never let you forget it, as I never let my older sisters forget that I'll always be younger than they are.

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  16. Lovely story ...
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and holiday time.
    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. :)

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas, too. "Seeya" next year!

      Delete
  17. Love the Bucket List
    Merry Christmas!

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  18. Every year I read this story on your blog and every year it is just as funny as the first time I read it. I am so happy I wasn't eating cranberry sauce.

    Merry Christmas Lady.

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    1. I'm glad this story hasn't grown stale for you yet. And I'm glad you weren't eating cranberry sauce, too. It looks soooo icky when it comes out your nose... :)

      Merry Christmas, Gentleman.

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  19. I remember this post. PLEASE run it every year!!

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    1. Thank you for WANTING me to run it every year. (I don't want y'all to get sick of it!)

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  20. Such a funny story! And thanks for the warning, I'm glad I had nothing spillable anywhere near.

    I guess we lean to traditional, and we're getting lazy. This year it's back to an artificial tree after years of buying a live one, and we've finally ditched the decades-old outdoor lights that might be an Edison original :)

    Hope you have a warm and joyous Christmas.

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    1. BTW - just saw the review you left of Ghosts - thank you so much for your generous words!

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    2. HA! I know what you mean about the bulbs being Edison originals. Ours aren't "quite" that old, but our original bubble lights are more than seventy years old... (And some of them still work!)

      You and yours have a wonderful Christmas, too. And you're more than welcome for the review.

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  21. Susan, I love the Louise Story but had repeatedly forgot a favorite line: " We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed...", and laugh aloud every time I encounter it again. All my best wishes to you.

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    1. I'm glad you like that line. I cracked myself up with it, too. :)

      Best wishes to you and your family for a bright and beautiful Christmas and new year.

      Delete
  22. I remember this story from a few years ago and it still makes me laugh. A chap in the next street has a giant inflatable Homer Simpson outside his house every Christmas. It's become a sort of tradition. He used to have Bart as well but he got a puncture a while back and we haven't seen him since. Have a great Christmas Susan.

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    1. I'm glad it still makes you laugh.

      Gee, I guess your neighbor chap didn't think to use duct tape, huh?

      You and your family have a great Christmas, too.

      Delete
  23. Greetings Susan. I enjoyed reading. My sister-in-law has a lawn and roof full of lighted decorations! Blessings to you.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Greetings back at you, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      Delete
  24. Hi Susan - it's such a great story ... and some houses are delightfully decorated, others not so. I do love your Louise story ... makes my smile sing out - such fun ... and I can see it all happening. Glad Louise was safely plastered back together - by plastered family or otherwise ... she lived to tell the tale again and again ...

    Have a wonderful time with Smarticus, and with the kids and grandkiddlies! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary! I hope you have a delightful Christmas, dear lady, and all the best in the new year. Cheers!

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  25. By now, I look forward to the hilarious story with the blow-up doll every year! You do know that now you have to run this post EVERY year. It's tradition!

    Merry Christmas to you and Smarticus, enjoy your break, and see you next year right here on the interwebs!

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    1. Super! I'm glad you look forward to this post. (Makes me feel less guilty for doing a rerun every year...)

      Merry Christmas to you guys, too! "Seeya" next year.

      Delete
  26. I do love this post. :) Here to wish you a Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks. :) And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours, too!

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  27. Such a funny story! Louise on the loose. Ha! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. :)

      And a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

      Delete
  28. Can never go wrong with a classic like that...LOL. Hope the holidays are treating you well!

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    1. Might not be classy, but it IS getting to be a classic!

      Our Christmas with the grandchildren was wonderful. I hope your Holidays are going swimmingly, too.

      Delete
  29. Dear Susan, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    And send you a big excuse: I am so much on travels this year that I seldom read or wrote blogs, sorry - meaning: I'm not losing interest, it is just that I have very little time at the moment. XXX Britta

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    1. Dear Britta,

      It's great to hear from you again. I hope you had a fantabulous Christmas, and here's to all things bright and beautiful in the new year.

      Delete
  30. The stockings hung by the fireplace are hilarious! That looks like something my husband would do.

    Hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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    1. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas, too. Happy New Year!!!

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  31. I would wrap you in a hug anytime, friend Sue ... Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year ... Me just came back from some serious island hopping in the Southern Caribbean Sea ... St Thomas, St Kitts, St Lucia, Antigua and Puerto Rico ... then met up with "the kids" in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to celebrate XMas together ... the kids are travelling North America for a year by van ... here is their address in case you are interested: @paulandleanneandavan ... Me will work on posting a new post in my travel blog ... as soon as I am sufficiently thawed out cuz, baby, it is cold outside right now ... Greetings and huggings and purrings, hmmm? ... Love, cat.

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    1. It sounds like you've enjoyed yet another exciting adventure, and I'm sure it was a "little" warmer there than it is back at home. Nonetheless, welcome back, and may you have a fantabulous new year warmed by family and friends.

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  32. Happy New Year to you!

    Greetings from London.

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    1. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, too!

      Greetings right back atcha. :)

      Delete
  33. I hope you're having a blast of a holiday time!
    Happy 2018, Sister!

    x

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    1. So far, so good! And a very Happy 2018 to you, too, kiddo. Nowhere to go but up... right??? XO

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    ReplyDelete