I hope you all relaxed and enjoyed your Thanksgiving; that the turkey was perfect; that your guests were delightful; and that the watching of football, scratching of bellies, or navel-fluff picking after lunch was all you hoped it would be.

Sir & I don’t actually ‘do’ Thanksgiving in any traditional way – we wake up in the morning, say “thank you” and then go about our day pretty much like every other day when we’re not working. Lolling about in pjs comes very high on the list; a bit of napping; a lot of reading on my part; a lot of football viewing on his part – and we dine handsomely on what we can find in the fridge. This year it was smoked bratwurst and French fries.

Now Christmas decorations are popping up all over neighborhoods, and it gave rise to a discussion on the correct timing of erecting and deconstructing Christmas.

There of course is no right or wrong, but in the Dear household in Sydney, we adhered to the British tradition of decorating 12 days before Christmas, and taking it all down 12 days after on January 6 – the Epiphany – as in “I’ve had an epiphany, I should take down the Christmas tree, the lights, the nativity scene on the front lawn, the wreath on the door, lest traveling salesmen might think I’m a target for useless stuff.”

Mum insisted on tradition, and rose on Christmas Day well before Santa had finished his Fosters and Christmas cake, so that she could get the turkey - otherwise known as Gargantufowl – into the oven so it would be cooked in time for lunch, which also consisted of the cooked ham, roasted veggies, and the brandy-laced hot Christmas pudding served with hot brandy sauce. It being in the Southern Hemisphere, the fact that it was 100 degrees outside, and no doubt about 900 in the kitchen, did not sway mother from her desire to adhere fervently to tradition.

Sir and I have developed a Christmas Eve tradition of consuming a goodly amount of 80-proof eggnog while making a traditional Croatian treat called glavana. It indeed is very tasty – the sausage equivalent of a quiche Lorraine I suppose – and Sir can very happily munch away on it for days and days – oh and even weeks – after the making of it. I’m personally bored with it after one meal, but what do I know, not having a drop of Croatian in me.

I’m all in favor of traditions though, and have made a note to myself: I must see if I can improve on the overall classiness of Thanksgiving Day food at Chez Us next year, as the old bratwurst and fries really didn’t do it for me.

I doubt Sir would thank me if I reinvented the New Year tradition – showing off my Scottish heritage to him - with the insistence upon piping in the haggis really.

I highly doubt a sheep’s stomach filled with other unmentionables will pass the Sir test at all, och aye.


-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com