Troy: Merry Christmas Eve. It’s here and will be gone in the blink of an eye. Presents torn open, food scarfed down and what remains are memories. These memories are what make the holidays special. Great recipes shared with friends, disasters that over time become tales told each year with laughter, memories of that beautiful tree you worked on together, memories of family and friends that have passed, shared with tears and love and traditions that bring your group together.
Adam: Oh, for crying out loud! We’ve raced around, lost sleep, ate until I would have paid someone to put an ice pick in my gut to relieve the pressure, spent too much money even after vowing not too and narrowly avoided confrontations with several family members. Good times. OK, Christmas was fun this year. I got into it from the first moment that the Cascade Christmas crew stepped on the stage and will be totally engrossed until I slice into the bouche de noel tonight. In between, I played Christmas music non-stop in the car and I saw some of my favorite holiday movies. Thanks, by the way, for once again tolerating National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. (I secretly want to be a Griswold).
Troy: Speaking of ice picks, someone please stab me if I have to ever have watch that movie again! You, Sean and Tanya laughed through another Griswold Christmas. The worst part is to enduring two or three more weeks of movie snippet recitals and mind numbing lines like, “Get yourself something nice Clark. I mean real nice.” or “That there’s an RV Clark,” all done with a white trash twang. The one good thing about that movie is the reminder that there are more dysfunctional families out there than both of ours. Adam, if you want to get me something nice, I mean real nice, do not make me watch that movie again.
Adam: Don’t count on it. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the Griswolds or Muppet Christmas Carol. The mini-Kermit Tiny Tim gets me every time. Speaking of gifts, though, I must admit that gift-buying was fun this year. I always gripe about it until about December 15 and then I get into it. But I like our idea for next year: At least ten presents for one family member whose name we have drawn. All ten presents must fit in a stocking and cost less than $100. The creative, funny, re-gifting and thrift store possibilities are endless. It’s even more fun since we’ll have to be on the lookout for stuff all year. But I really like what you did this year.
Troy: I made quilted scarves for each member of my family. I used some old plaid shirts of my dad’s, who passed away in February 2007. As I was making them, he was so on my mind that I found myself lost in thoughts of him while I was sewing. At one point I stopped, and thought to myself, “If there are too many blue pieces, Dad will never wear this scarf.” It was so wonderful to be lost in his memory, even for just a few minutes.
Adam: Those moments that you forget someone is gone are really strange. It happens all the time for me with my grandma, and she’s been gone for 12 years. I’ll think, “Oh, I can’t wait to tell her what happened today,” or ” I’d love to have her opinion about this or that.” When that happens, I just tell her or ask her in my head and wait for some kind of answer. She and I saw eye to eye on a lot, so I often hear her voice in my head. And it’s particularly hard this time of year. She really liked Christmas.
Troy: Yeah isn’t it comforting to have them with you always? My dad visits me often. A voice, a touch, even conversations in my dreams. My dad loved Christmas. He would always help us decorate the house and put the lights on the tree. Dad loved exterior illumination. He would cover our house in lights. Mom would always turn them on so Dad could enjoy them when he got home from work. We always had Christmas at our cabin in Shingletown. I have great memories of white Christmases, a roaring fire and my grandmother’s table.
Adam: I have great childhood memories of Christmas, too. My parents were divorced, so I always had multiple celebrations. At my mom’s, we had a fancy Christmas Eve dinner, even if it was just a few of us: china, silver, crystal. It was fun. I was a weird kid (no comments) so I liked getting the table ready, folding the linen napkins, lighting the candles. I still like all of that. My step mom always had tons of homemade treats. She baked for days: cookies, her famous peanut butter balls, apple butter.
Troy: As a kid I loved my grandmothers sugared walnuts. Crunchy, sweet cinnamon goodness tucked into a handmade Santa’s boot. I ate so many one year that I developed an allergy to walnuts. My grandmother always set a beautiful table. Nothing fancy, just vintage linens, old gold-rimmed platters, water pitchers and glass star candle holders.
Adam: But now it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s: parties, hangovers and resolutions. I’ve always thought resolutions were such a cliché. I mean, the new year is a totally made-up, human construct. But I am so programmed to use January 1 as a time to reflect and make changes that I always find myself worrying about the weight I need to lose, the friendships I need to repair (or discard) and what it will take to be a better person. Mainly it’s about doing the Hollywood diet for a week before I head to the YMCA pool.
Troy: You’ve said that out loud. People are going expect you to look like Kate Moss by Valentine’s Day. Me, on the other hand, I only have one resolution: paint, paint, paint. I’d like to continue journaling and creating paintings from those journal entries.
Adam: But until then, PARTY! We’re joining forces this year with our friends at Vintage Wine Bar, some amazing artists and our good friend Jim Dyar and his band to co-host “V-10,” a New Year’s bash at Vintage Wine Bar. I’ve never hosted a public party before. It’s very intimidating. There will be a “New Year” themed exhibit of photographs, wine and food pairing, fantastic music and three guest artists creating works of art on site. But tell everyone about that.
Troy: V-10, is going to be exciting. Sean Randall (www.seanjrandall.com), Raette Meredith (www.artbyraette.com) and I (www.hawkmanstudios.com) will be at Vintage painting. We will each be working on pieces that will be raffled off at the end of the evening to anyone who does the evening’s food and wine pairing. I am super-excited at the prospects of working along side of Sean and Raette. Watching and sharing ideas and thoughts. I love to paint in public. The artists disappears to some of the viewers and I like to hear people talk honestly about that they see and feel. I’m also ready for great food and wine.
Adam: So, have a great Christmas and before your resolutions kick-in, join us for New Year’s Eve. Until then, share with us what your favorite gift was this year.