Sunday, December 01, 2019

Brinner heralds the Christmas season

Two or three years ago a small group of friends got to talking about how good it occasionally was to have breakfast foods for dinner—pancakes, fried potatoes, bacon and sausage, and so on. The upshot was we had a pot-luck meal we christened “brinner.” Everyone brought a breakfast food to an evening gathering.

But then we all got busy, got together less, and no one mentioned brinner—until recently when someone suggested we should revive the tradition. So tonight, there was brinner with Jordan and Christian hosting.

One of the problems with such a meal is that everyone tends to bring sweet or starchy dishes. We had cinnamon rolls, that wonderful hash brown potato casserole, pancakes and syrup, carrot cake, and a cranberry cake. But one person balanced the meal by bringing bacon and sausages, and someone else contributed an egg-and-green chili casserole.

Wine flowed and so did conversation as we caught up with each other, discussed neighborhood doings, speculated about new neighbors who will be moving into our tight little area. We even spent time on changes in local traffic and parking regulations. No wonder one person, who will remain anonymous, broke into bars of “God  Bless America.”

A fitting way to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Jordan and Christian have their Christmas decorations throughout the house and a fresh green tree still in its wrappings, where it will stand in full splendor when decorated. Christian takes great care with decorating the tree, a project that sometimes takes him a week.

In the cottage of necessity I have a small artificial tree and am grateful for it, even though I have spent a long life railing against artificial trees. This year, when my tree came ou of the attic, I realized it has over the years grown scrawny, with a big gap in the middle. Plus half the lights no longer work. A new tree is on order and should be here soon.

Meantime I have touches of Christmas. When I was making the cranberry cake today, I reached for the salt on the shelf where I keep it over my work space and saw that Jordan had put a up Christmas plate, on a stand, that has special memories for me—probably at least forty years old, it pictures a family of mom, dad, three kids, and an infant in a carrier decorating a tree. It is of course me, the children’s father, and my four children. Jordan is the infant.

A glass brick with Christmas lights inside—how did they do that?—sits on an occasional table, a Christmas tree pillow and a soft, stuffed bunny in a Christmas outfit are in a chair (Sophie has a problem with that because it is her chair), and Santa Mac, a Scottish Santa, shares a bookcase top with a folk art Saint Nicolas. I feel very festive, and it’s wonderful to be surrounded with decorations that all carry fond memories.

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, it is Advent, a time of anticipation, of hope, of gratitude. A special times of the year.

“God bless us, every one.” With a tip of the hat to Tiny Tim.

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