Traditions New


Three years ago we left for vacation early on Christmas morning.

Two years ago was the very first time in my life I believe, that I did not have to go anywhere on Christmas Day.

Back, many years ago when I was single and working in a convalescent home, I would always volunteer to work on Christmas Day firstly because I absolutely LOVED the clients which turned out to be a big reason why I decided going to school for nursing would not be for me – I just got FAR too attached to the patients/clients.  Secondly because I could avoid the whole Christmas dinner with relatives and just show up later, after work.

Then I became a mother and still, staying home never seemed to be an option. DC had little time to “play” (I use the word, play loosely) or use his gifts before we had to leave and go somewhere for dinner.

We go to my mother’s on Christmas Eve, a tradition she started many years ago for the same reasons – too much to do on Christmas Day. He gets his Grandma fix. We have dinner. We open presents. He gets to see his “Fam-ill-lee”, which he loves. So he is not missing out on any of the regular Christmas festivities.

I believe it may have been the vacation three years ago that finally allowed us to break the Christmas Day tradition for the following year and, this year became the second Christmas that we just stayed home. DC was happy. I was happy. Doug who is not really a “holiday guy” and is really only in it for the food, was also happy.

DC had time to look at and play with all of his loot. He had time to just “chill out” (his latest phrase) and like the year before, we went out for Chinese food at night for dinner. We are lucky that there happens to be a pretty good sit-down Chinese restaurant about 5 minutes away, in the next town.

Chinese Food Is a Newer Development in DC-land: We all know that DC is a picky eater. There are only a handful of items he will eat in a restaurant. You see, eating out is supposed to be fun, so yes, he will eat a salad at home, but don’t ask him to eat one in a restaurant. He will eat vegetables at home, but vegetables are not restaurant foods, so just forget it. He will eat pasta at home (another newer development) but he is not happy about it and will NEVER eat it anywhere else – correction: he did twice but both times he was at a party and there were no other options.

Restaurant food is:

Cheeseburger and french fries



Garlic Bread

Chicken Tenders


His limited menu, limits our dining out choices, especially on Christmas night when almost all one can find open are Chinese restaurants.

About a year ago, we ordered takeout and the only thing that DC would eat on a Chinese food menu was the wings, so that is what he ordered. I ordered the sweet and sour shrimp. DC saw it. It was battered and fried, so he wanted to try it. I warned him that there was shrimp inside, but it was battered and fried so he was not going to pass it up.

He liked it.

He came back for more.

We determined that this was not just a fluke when the next time we ordered takeout he ordered the wings and again took half of my ‘Sweet Sire Shimp‘.

So now our new Christmas tradition of Chinese food is something he looks forward to and not something we have to research and figure out what we can talk him into.

We went…..

There was no heat….

It was okay though….

We, along with the 3 other tables of people, ate with our coats on…

DC, in his short sleeve shirt (we just recently transitioned from his fall coat to his heavy winter coat, so the transition from short to long sleeves will have to wait a bit) did not want to wear his coat. One does not wear a coat while eating in a restaurant.

Normally I would try to avoid this argument, but IT WAS TOO COLD not to make him wear it.

He got over it when I told him he could wear it over his shoulders like a cape.


We ordered a Pu-Pu Platter, which he thought hilarious.

He ate the wings.

We had the rest.

He ordered his “Sweet Sire Shimp


Let’s just say, normally when DC is done eating – and he eats very fast – he is done. Keeping him occupied while Doug and I finish is not always easy. He has his book, but that only lasts so long.

Believe it or not, we stayed, I am guessing close to an hour after he was finished talking to the people in the booth behind us – which is what one does in an almost completely empty restaurant. He was totally included in the conversation and seemed to be enjoying it. He never once asked to leave.

They were visiting from the warmth of Arizona and staying in a hotel so unlike us who planned to be there,  I imagine that this restaurant was one of the very few options open for them.

We had a good time and there were hugs all around when it was time to leave.

It just goes to show that you do not always have to do what you have always done, just because you have always done it or are expected to. You can make your own holiday traditions and have a good time doing it.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from DC, Me and Doug too!










Please pass the garlic bread…

garlic bread

It is always funny when I realize something has occurred to DC that he did not know, until it does finally does occur to him.

For those that may not be aware – DC LOVES bread! Bread, bread, bread, bread and more bread.
Bagels, rolls, toast, breadsticks……BREAD!

He is very picky about everything else he eats – not that you would know that by looking at him – believe me he is very picky, but bread is one of the few constants on the very limited list of foods that he will eat.

One day in the grocery store, he spotted “Fried Breaded Ravioli” – but he saw “Fried Bread”. I will never forget the look on his face.
“MOM!!!! Fried BREAD!!!” – I thought the heavens would open up and the choir would sing. It was as if his life was now complete.

I tried to explain to him that it was not fried bread, but fried ravioli. He does not know what ravioli is. He does not like pasta of any kind (until recently, he would not touch it at all) so I never attempted ravioli. I explained that it was pasta. He did not care, it was fried bread. That is what he read and nothing was going to change this in his mind.
He tried it, he loved it. Still, I can not get him to understand, while trying to get him to eat pasta, that the fried ravioli that he loves IS pasta.

DC also loves garlic bread. He looks for it on the menu anytime we go out to a restaurant. He will not miss an opportunity to order it. If mozzarella cheese is  an option, better still!

The day that my friend, Tonya* had us all over for dinner while she was creating our “Beauty School Drop Out” headwear, she made garlic bread to go with dinner. DC, always around when there is food, watched the whole process. A light bulb went off in his head, although I did not know it at the time.

The next day, he got the bread and asked for “garlic bread”. At this moment, I realized that he did not know that garlic bread is not just something that is available in a restaurant, we can make it at home!!!! This type of small thing; you can make garlic bread at home or you can open your eyes in the water with swimming goggles on, are not the sort of thing I always think about. It doesn’t always occur to me, still after all of this time, that I need to tell him that he is wearing the goggles so he can see and he doesn’t have to swim with his eyes closed while wearing them.

I've got itFrom then on, bagels, english muffins, bread, anything he could use to make garlic bread, he did. Unfortunately,  he does not always understand what flavors may or may not go together – yet another thing that did not occur to me. I explained to him that  garlic on a blueberry bagel could taste pretty ‘dis-dusting’ and I went on to explain that he should use plain bagels, nothing sweet like blueberries or chocolate chips, raisins, cinnamon, sugar, etc. –  but the following day he had moved on to pumpkin spice bagels.

Although I really can’t say he wouldn’t just love garlic on pumpkin spice – I’ve seen him eat much odder combinations,

I really did have to stop him….