Curtis, if this was your one and only post to FFL, it would be enough, it would 
be got the gift man! Happy holidays!

--- In, "curtisdeltablues" <curtisdeltablues@...> 
> So you take your fresh ground coffee (preferably dark roast Sumatran) and you 
> brew it however you do, (I use one of those Bailetti Italian numbers you see 
> on the stove in every Sofia Loren movie) and then the magic begins.  Having 
> tasted versions of "Christmas" blends through the years, I always thought I 
> could do better, but until this morning never took the trouble.  I resisted 
> the temptation to drop in a soft peppermint (tomorrow I'm gunna) and went 
> right for the high grade dark coco powder, a sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar, and 
> some ginger and milk.  Christmas blend perfection. I'm sure any version that 
> includes cloves would be great too.  But it is the overly strong cloves that 
> I object to in the commercial mixes, aside from the fact that any pre-ground 
> coffee is a non starter in my kitchen. (Coffee oils are where God lives, and 
> God evaporates really quickly.) 
> Speaking of God in his various human imagined personas, I am sipping my 
> yuletide brew while gazing on a nativity baby as pump as the churro stuffed 
> Honduran neighbor's kids who stomp up and down the stairs in their princess 
> dresses, but sound more like the prince's horse. (Type 2 diabetes coming 
> right up.) It is the nativity set from my youth rescued from my Dad's house's 
> attic as we emptied it out.  It has a tiny wind-up music box that tinkles out 
> Silent Night, but slowed down by decades of mouse droppings no doubt.  It 
> plays the song absentmindedly now in stops and starts, like an old man 
> slumped over the piano in the Alzheimers unit who can only manage a few notes 
> of the melody at a time before his mental ship sails away for a few moments. 
> The song is doubly sentimental for me because as a ploy to get some Maharishi 
> darshon when he visited MIU my first Winter in '75, I put together a group to 
> sing him the song in German.  (It is surprisingly not at all Nazi sounding 
> and is beautiful in that language, check it out: 
> )  It actually worked to flush 
> out the old guru, and it was the longest time I had spent standing next to 
> him at that time.  He kept us waiting for hours till the early morning, but 
> he was really gracious about it all, despite the fact that he despised 
> Christianity and looked so tired I thought he was going to fall over.  After 
> we were done he asked for Age of Enlightenment songs.  Emily Levin banged out 
> one of her saccharine ditties.  Before he went back upstairs where he was 
> saving the world and all (banging groupies) he took a moment to look me in 
> the eye.  It was a nice steady benevolent look, not exactly kind, a bit 
> curious, non committal but prolonged.  For a guy as besotted as I was for the 
> dhotied one at the time, (or my imagination of him) it was my Christmas 
> miracle.  I thanked him, and he floated off in a shower of Jai Guru Devs. 
> Back to my nativity.  The figures are some kind of plaster and my Dad 
> repainted them in garish Homer Simpson style, no doubt accompanied by more 
> than a bit of Dewar's Scotch, so that the wise men look like members of 
> George Clinton's Parliament- Funkadelic.  There are oxen and sheep and an 
> adoring Mary, looking herself a bit sheepish, as Joseph beside her pretends 
> to believe her whopper of a tale of her divine pregnancy in a desperate bid 
> to keep his first century Courtney Stodden age-inappropriate hot wife with 
> him.  "This better be the ONLY divinely conceived baby in this house Miss 
> Missy!" 
> My eyes drift up to my walls with pictures of Santas from 1930's magazines 
> gaily puffing on cigarettes (damn I wish I was English and could say he was 
> sucking on a fag) while the copy makes claims of the throat soothing virtues 
> of Chesterfields.  Throat soothing!  I've got versions of them all over 
> thanks to Ebay, as if Santa had a walk-on part on Mad Men.
> I've got some hand carved camels made of olive wood led by a man on a donkey 
> who I can only assume is spending another Christmas in Guantanamo and someone 
> else is now leading these camels laden with the concentrated sap of the poppy 
> which I guess is the wink, wink, nudge, nudge, translation for "frankincense 
> and myrrh" 
> I loves me some Christmas.  It is an atheist version, but I don't let the 
> bastard child of a rapist ghost interfere with my nostalgia wallowing.  If 
> you really listen to Christmas songs they are freak'n maudlin aren't they?  
> That hits my blues center just fine.  I'm not even a hater of the 
> materialistic/commercial side of Christmas.  I like being coerced into buying 
> presents with money I don't have, because otherwise I wouldn't do it, and 
> gift giving is a blast. (If you prime the pump with specific requests, the 
> receiving isn't so bad either.) 
> The invention of the modern Christmas and many of its most iconic symbols and 
> traditions was pretty recently laid herky jerky on top of those wonderful 
> pagan contributions.  (Let's get plastered and bring a tree into the hut!)  
> If some people want to believe that the arrival of one fat baby will give 
> their lives meaning, who really cares?  (Oh yeah, I do when they put crèches 
> on the public courthouse lawn...) 
> So to all my friends at FFL, I hope you play this version of All I Need for 
> Christmas is You (NOT the sappy Mariah Carey puke version, but the cool Vince 
> Vance and the Valiants version)
> Brew yourself a steaming cup of your own version of Christmas coffee, (I'm 
> pretty sure Santa would pour some brandy, bourbon or scotch in his) and 
> contemplate that even though the baby Jesus story is just a human contrivance 
> meant to cover up the indiscretions of an overly hot young Mid Eastern woman 
> married by the barbaric customs of her day to an old coot with shriveled 
> olives, take heart. By the time the first crocuses are poking their noses out 
> of the snow, he will be executed for being the world's first Occupy Jerusalem 
> hippie. Wait, that wasn't the landing I was trying to stick…
> Share that enhanced coffee with someone you love, turn the song up, and who 
> knows, you might get as lucky as the Holy Spirit).  Love is my version of 
> Bethlehem's shining star that makes me get on my camel and ride into that 
> beautiful silent night.

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