Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Residual holiday reflections

I won’t be ready to acknowledge 2013 until I catch up on holiday posts, so here you go.  
We didn’t host the Ugly Sweater Party this year, but invited ourselves over to Julie’s house because Julie knows how to organize things. Last year, I just told people to bring dessert, so that’s all we ate, but this year, we had real food: Greek 7-layer dip and piggies in blankets, four different soups (minestrone, cream of tomato, corn chowder, cream of broccoli), Adam’s not-too-sour-sourdough bread and wheat rolls, and lots and lots of cookies. Adam even made a Yule Log with mushrooms piped in frosting. It was pretty much the epicurean highlight of 2012.

We had limited time to find white elephant gifts this year, so we went straight to Ocean State Job Lot, which never fails us in times like this. OSJL is a dimly lit discount store that sells a staggering array of random commodities that might appear to have no immediate value whatsoever, but upon further consideration prove quite useful. Examples: oversized mittens for people who hold hands in the cold and can’t put their hands in the pockets of their significant others because said pockets are too small to allow for full range of motion; dust mitts shaped like bunny rabbits to inspire warm, fuzzy feelings while dusting; enormous pillow cases shaped like fish of unidentifiable species; “Jitterbugs,” or ceramic sculptures with human heads and ladybug bodies, handcrafted by Rhode Island artisans; dancing stuffed hamsters that repeat every word you say in a voice reminiscent of a child who has just inhaled too much helium; coin purses made out of baby socks. How could you go wrong with so many options?

Anyway, I ended up with the gift that everyone wanted: Poo Log: A Record Keeper.  If you read about my half-marathon, you know that Team PU would find the toilet a fitting mascot, so I was determined to have this book. Julie and Adam unfortunately ended up with the gifts that nobody wanted: the Jitterbug and the porcelain clown head with one eyebrow. 

Because my sweater had a llama juggling Christmas baubles, everyone spent five whole minutes of conversation on how I should quit teaching and open an ugly sweater boutique. I could sell home made sweaters with interchangeable symbols to represent all major American holidays, i.e., the llama would juggle ornaments for Christmas, colored eggs for Easter, shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day, fireworks for Independence Day, zombie body parts for Halloween, and clouds of smallpox for Columbus Day. I'll have to give this more thought later. 
Thank you to all who made USP 2012 possible.

USP 2012 Awards

Best Use of Rodents: Aubrey

Most Self-Actualized Masculinity: Jade

Nightmare Before Christmas: Paul

Raided My Teacher’s Closet (In the 90s): Emily

Best Use of Feline Applique: Julie

Trailer Park Sweater: Adam

Pom Pom Meister: Chris

Geriatric Wal-Mart Sweater: Cassie

Snowman Turtleneck Revival: Lori

Orange is the New Black: Pete

“I Like Red, That’s What I Said”: Jesse

You Have Way Too Much Time on Your Hands: Sarita