Egg Nog on December 24th seems right. I must admit – I’ve never had Egg Nog. There’s something about a drink with egg in the name that just skeeves me out, especially when it looks like it could turn into scrambled eggs if I just heated it up on a skillet. Plus what’s a nog? I don’t know, but the combination of egg and nog in one drink was never my jam, so I have always avoided it. (A nog is actually a beverage made with beaten eggs, so drinking egg nog is like drinking eggs.)
It being Christmas Eve, we headed down to Connecticut to my Mom’s house for some holiday celebration with my family. My mom has been feeling a bit better and felt up for hosting (despite some concerned children protests), but she’s as stubborn as a bull, so we went along with the plan making sure we gave her some assistance. We pulled up around 12:30 and everyone was already there – my mom, my brother, his wife Lesley and their two kids (Tom and Kate) and my sister, her husband Doug, their son Zack and Doug’s mom Esther. It was a packed house. Our plan was for feasting at 3 so we began the day by opening some presents and relaxing.
We really made out on the present front too. I got an official limited edition “Today is a Holiday” apron from my sister and family so I can be properly logo’ed while working on my creations for this blog (a very thoughtful gift). I also got a gift card to Clements along with a carton of Egg Nog from my brother and family showing their support for the blog too along with an acknowledgement that it was National Egg Nog Day. When I opened it, I had already opened some kind of giant holiday beer from Anchor Steam Brewery that my sister had purchased for the celebration (it was in a magnum bottle), so I couldn’t switch over to egg nog at that moment, although I wish I had. Still, very thoughtful gift and it’s so nice to have some support and cheerleaders along this little adventure.
We had our usual Christmas Eve dinner of roast beef with scalloped potatoes which was good and all so familiar in that traditional way. My Aunt Peg and cousin Mary came over too to join us for dinner. This is the first Christmas without my uncle Doc who passed away earlier this year, so while it was joyful to see them, there was a sadness for not having Doc there as well. Doc and Peg would always come over to our house on Christmas Eve for some festivities. Mary would come by too if she was in town and in fact, Mary and her friend Pat would help my Mom wrap presents on Christmas Eve and help her play Santa for we kids who were fast asleep upstairs. It’s a long tradition of seeing them on Christmas Eve, so it was nice to see them once again.
We were on the road by 6 PM and back to Rhode Island and made good time on the way back despite the strange fog that kept lingering over the roads (Lola with her nose so bright lit the way). When we got inside, we took a moment to relax and I poured us some Egg Nogs. Lola is a fan of Egg Nog so she guided me on how to make it. She said ice, egg nog, spiced rum and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top. I put them together carefully and served them up with a little toast to the season with Lola.
I think I went a little heavy on the rum especially for these glasses which were on the smaller side. I looked at Lola and she was ready to spit it out and contorting her face in all kinds of weird ways. I asked her what was wrong and she was able to squeak out, “Too Strong!” And so it was. To me, it wasn’t bad but the rum flavor was the prevalent taste. I tried to fix Lola’s drink and I did by putting it in a bigger glass and adding more egg nog. That did the trick. All in all, it’s a nice festive drink. It’s like a sweet yummy milk and you don’t even taste eggs in any way (which was a relief). I will not be afraid of the nog and even have more on Christmas. It’s just the season for it.
Today was also the first day of Chanukah too and I wanted to mark that occasion in some small way. If I’m celebrating holidays, I should participate in the ones that have been around for thousands of years. My family on my father’s side have Jewish roots, although my grandfather (whom I never met) had to give up his faith when he married my grandmother (a Catholic). Lola’s father was Jewish and raised in the faith and although he was never the go to temple kind of guy, he was always proud of his heritage. It’s very much a part of our ancestry and we wanted to honor their legacy. I purchased a menorah at some point over the last few weeks in anticipation of this holiday and when we got home, after a quick consult with a Jewish friend, we lit the first candle (the middle candle first and then lit the candle on the far right with the middle candle). Lola found some kind of Chanukah prayer online too and played the audio of the chant while we lit the menorah and took a moment of silence to soak it in.
It’s funny, but we both felt something from this. Just a little connection to our past and the power of faith. I’m glad we participated and we will keep it up for the next eight days. There’s always room for more celebration in the world and it’s important to recognize all the celebrations out there. So to our ancestors, we raise our nog and wish them all “Chag Urim Sameach!”
Lots of celebrating on deck for Christmas day (and so much to get ready for). ‘Tis the season. So on behalf of all of us here at Today is a Holiday, we send you tidings of joy and happiness for you and all your family. Cheers!
Next up: National Pumpkin Pie Day (and Christmas)