And so it is. I've missed your spirit -- Christmas or otherwise --
around here, and thus happy for the drive-by. Loved the Three Wise Men
as Parliament-Funkadelic, and "the bastard child of a rapist ghost."

At least here in the Netherlands they celebrate a *real* Saint Nicholas.
True, he was a bishop in Turkey and they still portray him as
accompanied by his black servants (as opposed to elves), but he really
existed, so in that respect he's got a leg up on both Santa Claus *and*
Jesus.  :-)

As for coffee, putting anything into it except cream and a dollop of
sugar is heresy. And I have it on good authority that while Santa may
enjoy his cuppa with a bit of single-malt whiskey, it's always "on the
side," not added as an adulterant.

--- In, "curtisdeltablues"
<curtisdeltablues@...> wrote:
> 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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