Eat and Eat and Eat: A Christmas Story

IMG_4601 Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year because it combines two of my favorite things in the world, family and food, and yesterday certainly had plenty of both. I’ll tell you all about it. For as long as I can remember, on Christmas morning when I’ve been at my mom’s house, we’ve always had a big christmas brunch. Now, there’s nothing inherently christmas themed about the brunch, but I call it a christmas brunch because of the day on which that meal occurs. Moving on. Yesterday after waking up and exchanging and opening gifts with my mom, grandmother, wife, and two younger brothers, plus a stocking for my mom’s dog, coach, which was kind of odd because Santa didn’t fill a stocking for our dogs, Jack and Mocha, maybe because they’ve been bad dogs this year, we all settled around the table to enjoy brunch. As many pictures as I take, I know you will find this surprising, but for whatever reason, I didn’t snap any of the breakfast food, but you can take my word for it, everything looked delicious, except of course for the poppyseed muffins, that only my brother Logan eats, despite the fact that that is one of the worst and most vile tasting foods I’ve ever tasted.

The spread was huge and I loaded my plate with breakfast casserole, a delicious blend of sausage, egg, and cheese baked to perfection, biscuits and gravy, a blueberry muffin, as well as sausage and some bacon. Everything was really good, and if you’ve never had breakfast casserole, try it sometime, because when you’re having a terrible awful no good very bad day, you can take solace in knowing that there is something as amazing as breakfast casserole in this world, a thought that should brighten your day instantly. My plate was so full that I didn’t have room to put any cinnamon roll on my plate, so I went to get some of that, and figured while I was up there I might as well get some more bacon and another muffin as well. It was a great decision, possibly the best I’ve ever made. The cinnamon roll that my mom makes is easily the best I’ve ever had, with a sweet icing and pecans on top for a nice, soft crunch.

After eating brunch at my mom’s in Searcy, Arkansas, my wife and I hit the road and got back to Memphis in time for christmas dinner at my grandparents house last night with my dad, aunt Kathryn, uncle Jimmy, and cousin, Bailey. Again, there was nothing christmas themed about the dinner, and I only called it that because of the day on which we ate. I’m not going to explain this anymore. If you can’t figure it out for yourself from now on, get off my blog! Anyway, that spread, like the brunch in Arkansas, was enormous, and it too looked delicious, which you can see for yourself since I did remember to take a picture at dinner. For the second time that day I loaded up my plate, but instead of breakfast casserole and biscuits, I filled it with green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, ham, and last but certainly not least, a dinner roll. My cousin Bailey (which when said aloud reminds me of the great movie titled “My Cousin Vinny”) made the sweet potato and green bean casseroles, and she, a reader of my blogs where I sometimes write food reviews, asked me to give an honest opinion of those two dishes, so I did.

My first bite was of the sweet potatoes and they were delicious, my exact words, I believe, were “so good.” Next I put a bite of green beans in my mouth, and for some reason, I hesitated and failed to give a response with as much gusto as I had for the previous bite, so she thought I didn’t like them. I actually did enjoy the green bean casserole, but as much as I tried to convince the audience of people around the table of this fact, it didn’t seem to sink in. I messed it up even worse for myself later in the dinner, when it came back up again, and again I tried to explain the hesitation. I started by saying, “normally green bean casserole is my favorite dish” and would have continued to say that the hesitation was because I was judging it against others I’ve had so I could give an honest answer about what I thought of it, but I didn’t get a chance, because my wording made it seem like I was saying “normally green bean casserole is my favorite dish but this is horrible.” It was all in fun, but for the record, Bailey, I did think your green bean casserole was good, and I actually ate some leftovers from lunch today (not pictured).

The mac and cheese and mashed potatoes were really good. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the mashed red potatoes but it was a nice change from the traditional mashed potatoes and I really enjoyed them. Some people spend lots of time cooking turkey or ham for christmas, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it seems like a wasted effort when you could get a ham as delicious as the one we had last night which my dad got from One and Only BBQ in Memphis. You could taste the smoky flavor in each bite, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that that pig came from a barbecue restaurant. I haven’t been to One and Only yet, but I’ve heard good things, and if their barbecue is anything like they’re ham, I’m going to love it. Yesterday was a full day, full of lots of fun with the family and lots of really good food. It’s a good thing Christmas only comes once a year, because I’m going to need a solid 365 days to work off the weight I likely gained yesterday.

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The Airing of Grievances: A Festivus Tradition

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Most of you probably think of December 23rd as just another day while some of you might think of it as Christmas eve eve, but not me, because for me, this day holds a special place in my heart. As any other faithful follower of the TV show Seinfeld knows, December 23rd is the holiday known as Festivus. Created by George’s father, Frank Costanza, Festivus is one man’s rebellion against the commercialism of Christmas, the origin story most beautifully told in the Seinfeld episode titled “The Strike” which is season 9 episode 10 for those of you who would like to be enlightened. There are several rich Festivus traditions, but my absolute favorite is the airing of grievances, where, after dinner, you gather your family around the table and tell them all of the ways they’ve disappointed you throughout the year. While I’m not going to speak ill of my family, I do have some grievances to air about the past year, so gather around and get comfortable, because this may take a while.

While sports have always been one of my favorite things in life, this year the teams that I follow have disappointed me quite a bit, so this first grievance is dedicated to them. The St. Louis Cardinals, who have won multiple World Series over the past decade failed to make the playoffs this year for the second season in a row. There were ups and downs throughout the season, but it ultimately got so bad that I completely lost interest in the Cardinals midway through the summer, one of the things I can usually count on to carry me through those long, hot, and miserable months. This year there was no solace. The Dallas Cowboys, my favorite football team, gave me hope last year after finishing 13-3 and making the playoffs, hope that this might actually be our year, but a three game losing stretch midway through the season dug a hole for the team that is probably too deep to climb out of. Statistically there’s still hope that the Cowboys can make the playoffs, but they have to not only win their last two games of the year, one against the best team in the league, but must also depend on other teams losing multiple games, so my hopes aren’t too high at this juncture. The Memphis Grizzlies, my hometown basketball team entered this season with an air of mystery, as nobody really knew what to expect after losing two of our longtime favorite players in Zach Randolph and Tony Allen, the heart of our team. They started off hot, winning games against the best teams in the league, even at one point rising to the status of a first place ranking in the NBA, but ultimately it was a false hope given. Since one of our top players, Mike Conley, went down with an injury more than a month ago, the Grizzlies have only one two game, and if that hasn’t been painful enough, we fired our head coach, David Fizdale, who I really liked. Maybe things will turn around in 2018 for my teams, but as for this year, they’ve all been major disappointments. Shame on you all.

Next on my list of disappointments for the year is our president, our fearless leader, Donald J. Trump. I was disappointed last year in the American people for electing someone to the most powerful office in the world, who clearly shouldn’t have even been considered for the position, but that was last year, and I hoped that once he took office that maybe he would tone things down, but sadly, he has done quite the opposite, tweeting too much, insulting various countries and world leaders, proving what I and many others knew last fall, that he isn’t competent to be president. I fear, and I’m sure that I’m not alone in this, that his harsh words, seemingly spoken without thought, along with rash actions, will lead us into a war at some point during his ridiculous presidency. I’m very disappointed in you Donald J. Trump. I hope you can accept your grievance with dignity, something I’m afraid you have very little, if any, within you.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I would like to air my grievance against the apartment complex where my wife and I live. There have been little things that have disappointed me, such as raising our rent this year and maintenance workers parked in our assigned parking space, but there are other things that have taken place, that are a lot more difficult to overlook, like for instance, all the times the water has been shut off this year. These apartments, use as a selling tool, the fact that they pay for all of the residents’ water, which is nice, but is it really worth it when they shut the water off so much? This past week, the water was shut off four out of five days, which is absolutely absurd. Maybe I could look past all of the other things, maybe if that was all that was wrong at this apartment complex then I wouldn’t be so disappointed, but sadly, there was the squirrel incident. Earlier in the year, I woke up to a hole in my bedroom wall, a hole made by the squirrel that was living inside of it, the squirrel that I on multiple occasions spoke to the office about after having to listen to its incessant scratching on the wall at all hours of the night. They did nothing, and one morning the hole appeared. Someone should have been sent over immediately to fix the problem, really it’s the least they could have done, but it took them more than a week to send somebody over to nail a board up over the hole, and a month longer to actually get somebody in here who could actually repair the wall. I’m very disappointed, and frankly can’t wait until my lease is up so I can get out of this poorly managed apartment complex. Shame on you.

That does it for all of my grievances this year, and I’ve gotta tell you, it feels pretty good, almost cathartic, airing them on this Festivus holiday. My hope is that 2018 will be a wonderful year full of wonderful things, where nothing bad happens and nothing is disappointing, but I’m a realist. There hasn’t been a year in my life where that has happened, so I’m fairly confident that the streak won’t be broken in the coming year, so come back next December 23rd, and I’ll be more than happy to tell you about all of the things that have disappointed me. Happy Festivus everyone!

Secret Santa

Have you ever done secret Santa at work? If you are one of the lucky ones who is oblivious to this unnecessary festive tradition, it’s where everyone draws a name, and you begrudgingly buy a gift for whichever name you pull. It’s not that I’m opposed to giving gifts to people I work with, but secret Santa just seems so forced. You drew my name, therefore you owe me a twenty-five dollar gift. It’s ridiculous. And the way we’re doing it at my work this year, everyone wrote down three gift choices for whomever drew them to choose from, and most everyone just asked for gift cards, which basically means that we are all just going to be exchanging twenty-five dollar gift cards, so we might as well have just kept the money for ourselves.
 
Anyway, the work Christmas party is today, so naturally I waited until yesterday to get my gift contribution to the secret Santa portion of the day. I nearly forgot about it, because Christmas really has kind of snuck up on me this year. It didn’t sneak up on me in the sense that I didn’t realize that it fell on December 25th again, but this month has seemed to pass very quickly. I can’t believe we’re four days away from Christmas, because it really doesn’t feel like it. The coworker whose name I drew requested gift cards or something from Dixie Pickers, a store that I’ve never been to, so I combined the two ideas and decided to get him a gift card from that store. Yesterday on my lunch break I set off to do just that. Although I’d never been there before, I’d passed it quite a few times, so I knew the general area where it was located, but by the time I saw it on my right, I didn’t have enough time to pull over and into that first entrance, but it didn’t bother me. I would just turn down the next street and enter the parking lot from the other side. I turned down the street and into the Wendy’s parking lot that sits right next to Dixie Pickers. Unfortunately, I realized that I couldn’t enter the Dixie Pickers parking lot through Wendy’s, because for some stupid reason, the two parking lots were separated by a big fence.
 
I would either have to walk through a vacant lot, a gas station parking lot, and down a side street in order to navigate my way around the fence that for whatever reason encloses Dixie Pickers, or turn left on a really busy street during the lunch rush hour in order to get back to the actual entrance. I decided to walk because it would be quicker. As I started walking through the abandoned lot, it began to rain. The sky was dark, but I being the eternal optimist, I just assumed the rain would wait for me to get back to the car. I was wrong. I began rushing, trying to avoid the little droplets of water that threatened to melt me. When I got through the gas station parking lot, instead of walking on the side road because cars were flying by, I walked on the side of the road, which happened to be really muddy, I realized too late. I slipped, but luckily I didn’t fall, which was the only good news about the whole ordeal. My dress shoes plunged into the depths of the earth, mud covering both sides and even a portion of my pant legs.
 
I went in looking like some hurricane survivor and purchased the gift card. I didn’t browse the store, but it seemed like a pretty neat place from what I could surmise from the line I was standing in. On the way back to the car I threw caution to the wind and walked in the street, not caring if I got run over or not, because at least I wouldn’t have to show back up to work with muddy shoes and pants. No such luck. I arrived back at my car unscathed, though wet and muddy, all for a secret Santa. I hope he likes his gift card, because that’s what Christmas is all about, bringing smiles to the faces of the adults that I work with.

The Perfect Gift

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the real meaning of christmas and I must admit that I myself have become so wrapped up in the commercialization of it all that I’ve forgotten the true cause for celebration on December the 25th, and if I had to venture a guess, I’d say that I’m not the only one. I mean his name is right there in the holiday title, Christ, yet over the years we’ve turned the birthday of Jesus into a holiday where we selfishly spend time with our families, swapping gifts and stories, rather than at church worshipping the birthday boy. In an effort to get back on track with the true meaning of the day, I’ve been thinking about what birthday gift I can give to Jesus this year and redeem myself for the twenty plus years of not getting him anything.

How old is Jesus now? He’s got to be getting up there in age, an important factor to consider when figuring out what to get him for his birthday. For instance, I would be thrilled to get a brand new macbook computer, but he, like many elderly people, might not be able to figure out how to use modern technology and get frustrated pretty easily, something we don’t want given his ultimate power to destroy the earth and everything. What about a good pair of binoculars? If his eyesight is anything like my grandpa’s I know he’s struggling to see the faces of all the sinners here on earth, making it much harder to identify who he thinks deserves to be tortured and burned for eternity. Maybe he would like the complete box set of “I Love Lucy”, but then again he might find Lucille Ball as annoying and repulsive as the rest of us, given that we’re created in his image and all that.

I wonder if a hover board would come across as disbelieving? I mean he did walk on water so is it safe to assume that he can glide through the clouds as well? I saw a Lexus commercial the other day and that seemed like the luxurious type of vehicle that the savior of the world deserves to drive, but I just don’t know if I’m willing to commit several years worth of paychecks on a car that isn’t even for me. Surely he can understand that. When someone is particularly hard to shop for, I tend to take the easy way out and get them a gift card, but I’m not even sure if they have Olive Garden in heaven, or if that particular location would be very good any way. The quality of food at the Olive Garden seems to vary from franchise to franchise and I would feel just horrible if my gift card spawned a terrible dining experience for the son of God. That would probably be an automatic ticket to hell, I would imagine. Maybe I’ll get him a framed copy of “Footprints in the Sand” just in case this annoying poem in which he is featured hasn’t made its way through the pearly gates yet.

Perhaps Jesus just wants to be like his dad, and it that case the Sims video game would be the perfect gift for him. But then again we run into the age thing and the fact that he might not know how to work a computer game, which as we all know would in turn lead to frustration and the destruction of the earth, blah blah blah. Maybe I could search through the biblical archives and put together a highlight reel of his best miracles and have Scott Van Pelt count them down on the late night edition of Sports Center. Unfortunately, I don’t know SVP, plus there’s a chance that Jesus will be out celebrating his birthday and will miss the late night Sports Center and thus have no idea of the special gift I’d assembled for him. Like “The Calzone” episode of Seinfeld helped me realize, it’s not really worth giving something if the recipient doesn’t see and acknowledge that you gave the gift, or in the case of Seinfeld, a tip. I guess I’ll have to settle for one of those shaving sets that are on the front table of every department store for the inadequate gift giver like me. I’m sure it won’t be the perfect gift, but I’ll sing extra loud in church on Sunday in an attempt to bring him at least a little joy on his birthday.

Weekend Getaway: Holiday Fun in Branson

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When you were younger, did your parents ever load you up into the car on a cool December night and drive you around to look at christmas lights while holiday music played on the radio? Neighborhood after neighborhood you would slowly drive through while your mom, with her head on a constant swivel, called out to you which way to look to see the lights, as if the brightness of them didn’t automatically reveal their position. It was a special night, but before too long, you probably got bored, and might have even started to complain, ready for the ordeal to be over. Now imagine driving more than ten hours to look at Christmas lights. That’s what I did this weekend, and I managed to have a good time, so until you do that, I don’t want to hear your whining about half an hour in the car looking at neighborhood holiday displays, no matter how excruciating you build them up to be. Yesterday my wife and I went from Memphis, Tennessee to Branson, Missouri, where we met my mom, grandmother, youngest brother, and his girlfriend at Silver Dollar City, an amusement park that CNN ranks as one of the top 7 places in the country to see christmas lights.

We arrived around noon, a time of day my stomach likes to think it is entitled to lunch, so we walked around the park browsing the food options for a few minutes before deciding on sidewinder fries. If you don’t know what they are, sidewinder fries are kind of like potato wedges that are not as thick, and twisted into the shape of grooves on a screw. If you’re the boring and unimaginative type of person, you can certainly get them plain, but if you want to live a little and attempt a little fun in your life, you can do what we did, and get the fries topped with bacon and cheese. The word that best sums up my order of bacon and cheese sidewinder fries would be “fine.” They were fine, not great, and not bad, but somewhere in between, a few ticks past edible. If you ever find yourself at Silver Dollar City and are starving and desperate for something to eat, the sidewinder fries will certainly assuage your hunger, but it’s not something I would ever make a point of eating again. IMG_4562

After lunch we rode a few rides, then decided to watch a show, the It’s a Wonderful Life musical. It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic christmas movie, one of my favorites that I try and watch every year, and I generally like musicals, so I thought it would be great, combining two things that I like so much. I was mistaken. The show wasn’t terrible, but I found my concentration waning through the performance, not completely being sucked in to the story, wondering just how much longer the show could go on, and was happy when it finally ended. I couldn’t believe it only lasted an hour and ten minutes, because it felt like at least twice that. It wasn’t nearly as good as the movie, and thankfully they left out quite a bit of the story, keeping the audience from having to suffer through any more time than was necessary. There’s a reason those actors aren’t on Broadway.

When we left the theater it was starting to get dark outside, and by the time we met up with Landon and Maggie, who had wisely chosen to skip the show, the christmas lights were turned on. There is a train in Silver Dollar City that goes around the whole park, so it seemed like a neat idea to ride around on it an look at the christmas lights rather than having to walk through the crowds of people that, like us, had gathered to witness some holiday magic, but the line for the train stretched probably a quarter of a mile long, and suddenly walking didn’t seem so bad. So we walked, around the whole park, and looked around in awe at all of the thousands of lights hanging all around us. I can honestly say that I’ve never in my life seen anything like that, not even in christmas movies. It was nothing short of amazing, which is probably why so many people were there to witness it, and get in the way. IMG_4568

Leaving the park we were literally in stand still traffic, and I don’t mean in our cars. The amount of people trying to leave the park at one time was so many that it took us over ten minutes just to walk out of the front gate, while from the other direction, people were rapidly pouring through the gate having just arrived at the park. We got on the bus that would take us back to our cars in parking lot 5, but unfortunately, less than two minutes into the ride the bus stopped. There was another bus in front of us, and in front of it, was somebody lying in the road, surrounded by paramedics. The driver announced over the intercom that somebody was in the road and that the bus would have to stay stopped for an indefinite amount of time until the situation could be rectified. I thought about singing “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” to lift everyone’s spirits, but given the situation at hand, it seemed a bit inappropriate, so I refrained.

After a few minutes the bus driver announced that he was opening the doors to allow anyone who wished to get off and walk back to their cars, the opportunity to do so. Everyone in front of us got off the bus, so it seemed like the thing to do, so we followed suit. As we stepped out of the doors and into the cold night, the bus driver yelled out to follow the walking path straight across the parking lot we were in, and it would lead us directly to parking lot 5, where we needed to go. We followed the walking path until it dead ended into a truck, which as I’m sure you can surmise, was not parking lot 5, but luckily behind us were some locals, who made a point to tell anyone within earshot that they lived in the area and visited the park four or five times a year and claimed to know exactly how to get to parking lot 5. We listened to them, which turned out to be a mistake. We followed them under a bridge and ended up in a parking lot, a deserted and desolate parking lot 6. We could see lot 5 across the busy street, but it was separated by a big fence and speeding cars hurtling down the road. At least we weren’t the only idiots who followed the “locals” to the wrong parking lot. We eventually ended up running across the street in the few seconds when no cars were coming, and walking along the fence until it finally ended and we could get into our parking lot. The lights were great, and although the end of the night wasn’t the most fun, it will certainly be an experience that I remember for a very long time, and that has to count for something.

Weekend Getaway: Up and At ’em

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5:09 am- I wake up. My body doesn’t seem to care that my alarm clock is set for 5:30, just like how on weekdays, no matter when my alarm is set for work, or how late I stay up, I always manage to wake up, to my dismay, earlier than I need to. I normally wouldn’t get up this early on a Saturday, or any day for that matter, but I’ve got a full day ahead of me, making the early start imperative. My wife and I are going to Branson, Missouri, traveling the five plus hours from Memphis to meet my mom, grandmother, youngest brother, and his girlfriend to spend the day at Silver Dollar City. After spending fifteen or so years not going to Branson, this will be my second time going since September, and I’m pretty excited about it. It might seem like a long way to drive only to make that same five hour and eighteen minute drive the next morning, but I think it will be worth it. We’re getting on the road early enough that we’ll arrive in Branson before noon, so it won’t seem like we’ll be spending most of our day driving, plus, once we get there we’ll be at an amusement park, which is obviously more fun than anything I would be doing at home, so between a day of fun and excitement, or a day sitting on the couch watching college football bowl games that I don’t have any interest in, the choice cannot be any easier to make.

The rides and everything will be great, they were last time, but the park closed at six, and although we had a lot of fun, we weren’t nearly ready to go yet, and tonight we won’t have to. Once six o’clock rolls around tonight, the fun will just be getting started, because Silver Dollar City, much like many other parks this time of year, has a christmas lights displayed throughout, meaning the park will stay open until nine. I’ve been to six flags, universal studios, and even disney world a couple of times, but I can’t think of a single time that I rode amusement park rides after dark. That’s what makes the fair so much fun. I’m not huge on fair rides, but there’s just something comforting and exciting about the atmosphere of being at the fair, surrounded by all those lit up rides at night, so I’m very much looking forward to experiencing that in Branson, only with christmas lights, which are like, a billion times better than boring, regular lights.

I’m going to go ahead and wrap this thing up because we’re about to get on the road, and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but it’s kind of difficult to drive and type at the same time, not that I can’t do it, but it’s just an unnecessary distraction that I don’t need to have in the early hours of the morning. Make sure to come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about Branson and Silver Dollar City. Until then, be well.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

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With less than two weeks until Christmas, I thought it was probably about time that we decorated our Christmas tree. The tree had been up for several weeks, the boring and monotonous part out of the way, with nothing but the fun part of decorating the tree looming ahead, yet for some reason we kept putting it off. It’s not like we had anything better to do, we watched TV and read most nights, nights which could have easily spared an hour or so to decorate the tree, but it just didn’t happen…until last night. The boxes full of decorations had been sitting in the living room for nearly a month, so all we had to do was open the boxes and begin decorating the tree.
 
We started with the lights. It seems like a lot of people are opting for “white lights”, which are actually more yellow than white, on their tree, but personally, I love multi colored lights. Sure, “white lights” are nice if you’re trying to make your tree look perfect and extravagant, if you’re in some kind of contest or having your tree photographed for a magazine, but it’s just not as fun as the different colored lights. “White lights” are more grown up, mature, but blue, green, red, and yellow lights are more relaxed, taking you back to a simpler time, when you were a child and Christmas was full of childhood wonder. My wife and I wrapped two strands of multicolored lights around the tree, spacing it out as evenly as we could, my wife often correcting and redoing my poor work, because some things never change.
 
One by one, my wife and I placed ornaments on the tree, trying our best to space them out, both so that it wouldn’t look too cluttered, and also to distribute the weight more equally so our fake tree wouldn’t topple over and make a real mess. Each ornament tells a story, like the mouse ear ornament that says “Happily Ever After”, the ornament my wife and I got at Disneyworld on our honeymoon. Okay, so it’s not the actual ornament we got on our honeymoon, because our box of ornaments mysteriously disappeared when we were living in Florida with my in-laws, but it’s a replacement that looks exactly the same, so it’s still special. There’s the Dallas Cowboys ornament with Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, and Marion Barber, all celebrating after a big play, which takes me back to some of my happiest times watching the Cowboys play.
 
Of course there’s all the Christmas ornaments we’ve collected from different vacations. There’s the wooden bear from Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota, the globe filled with sand and seashells from our trip in Destin, and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse from my trip to North Carolina’s outer banks eight years ago. There’s one from Orange Beach, one of my favorite places in the world, as well as an Eiffel Tower, commemorating my two trips to Paris, which is my favorite place in the world. There’s ornaments with all of my favorite teams, the Grizzlies, Cardinals, and of course the Cowboys, which probably outnumbers all of the other ornaments. Decorating the Christmas tree is a fun Christmas tradition, and even though we waited longer than usual, we still had a good time putting up the ornaments and reliving some of those vacation memories that we’ve shared together. Now we only have to get some of our presents wrapped and put under the tree, but we still have twelve days to get that done, so maybe I’ll put it off a little while longer.