Tag Archives: Christmas 2010

The Dude’s Christmas

The Dude Abides was up early this Christmas morning.  He reports:

Celebrating any holiday with the Philpott clan of Westport is like attending the circus.  Three things go on at the same time, and you need to sit on the edge of your seat to catch the next act.

The Philpott brothers — Brian, Ted and Rob — are infamous in Westport for their partying escapades.  One Christmas Eve, they dared each other to run naked through CVS.  It was caught on camera.  No charges were filed.

Now the statute of limitations has run out.  Like many of us, they have grown older and wiser.  Jobs.  Marriages.  Mortgages.  Kids.  Some call it “responsibility.”

The Philpotts — now flying solo, with both parents in absentia — have developed new traditions.  One is a smash-mouth, gut-wrenching, fight-to-the-finish… gingerbread house competition.

A Philpott gingerbread creation.

That’s right.  The former football stars have turned to the culinary arts to find a different way to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Everyone at their late-night party is divided into 2 groups.  They have an hour to build a gingerbread house.

There is only 1 rule:  Everything that goes on the house must be edible.

Once completed, both houses are placed on Facebook.  The world decides the winner.

This year, a few structural mishaps with one house (the “Tijuana Brothel”) enabled the two older Philpott brothers — Brian and Ted — to prevail.

We can only imagine what the Dude has up his sleeve for New Year’s Eve!

A Heartfelt Merry Christmas

Not to get all Grinchy here on Christmas morning, but one thing really frosts my butt:  “Happy Holidays!”

This is not the “holiday season.”  It’s Christmas.

For millennia Hanukkah, Chanukah, or however you spell it, was a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar.  It’s been elevated to an absurd position of importance  in America — kind of like English-Americans celebrating King George’s birthday right around the 4th of July, because, well, why not?

Besides, Chanukka — even at 8 days long — is long gone by the time Christmas rolls around.

And don’t get me started on Kwanzaa.  I’ve got a lot of some a few black friends, and they all celebrate Christmas.

This is Christmastime.  The Christmas season.

And today is Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good yontiff.


Redefine Christmas

If you’re like me, you’re basking in the glow of the wonderful Christmas holiday.  Relaxing by a warm fire, surrounded by twinkling lights and adoring family members, you drink egg nog, watch the snow fall and envision world peace.

Aw, cut the crap.

This is the most stressful time of the year.  We’re bombarded with crass commercialism, want to throw Nat King Cole into the roasting fire along with his goddamn chestnuts, and barely have time to take a you-know-what.

Chill, dude.

Join me in surfing over to Redefine Christmas.org.  A simple website with a handsome holiday look, it’s the home page for “a movement that re-imagines the way we look at gift giving during the holidays.”

The site explains:

We often feel compelled to spend money and time on gifts with little meaning.  Gifts which are soon forgotten.  Rather than giving in to the convention of giving, we can give out – by redirecting some of that money to charity.

The site urges people to give friends and family members donations to their favorite charities — in their names.  It suggests asking others to do the same for you.

“Giving this way is more personal,” Redefine Christmas says.  “And it can be more meaningful – to the receiver, the giver and the countless people and organizations who are truly in need.”

The site helps users search through nearly 1.8 million charities.  You can also purchase charity gift cards, so friends and relatives can choose their own favorite charity on their own.

How nice and warm, the “06880” cynics — and you know who you are — say.  But why is Dan wasting valuable pixels on such universal fuzziness?

As with everything else on the planet, Redefine Christmas has a Westport angle.  One line at the bottom of the website gives a local address:  Box 766, Westport, CT 06881.

Nothing else, anywhere, hints at who’s behind this effort.  There’s no “About Us” tab.  No “Founders’ Bios.”  Certainly no “Read More About The Men And Women Who Care!” link.

I could dig further.  I could ask around.

But no.  That would diminish the spirit of Christmas.  It would defeat the whole idea of giving for giving’s sake.

Besides, I’m outta here.  I have to get to Circuit City before it closes.

The joys of Christmas.

The True Christmas Spirit

”06880″ reader Adam Stolpen writes:

We are deep in the sprint that runs from the candy glut of Halloween straight through to sobering up on New Year’s Day.  It’s fun — but it’s also a time to do things for other people.

I’ve always thought that since Christmas Eve and Christmas day are so important to our Christian neighbors, that members of the Jewish community — and others who are not Christian — could pull together on that occasion and volunteer to do those jobs which they do the rest of the year.  It could free them up to be with family and friends, and celebrate their important occasion while we pitch in and do what real New England neighbors do.

I’m not talking about handling elective brain surgery, but delivering meals; answering phones for the town, hospitals, the police department, or whatever.

I have absolutely no idea how to move this forward or organize it — but I am sure you do.

Thanks, Adam — and by “you,” I am sure you mean our very wise, compassionate and creative “06880” readers.

Anyone can click the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  As Adam did, suggest a specific task.  Add details on how to offer help:  a phone number, email or website. 

Then — if readers want to help — they can contact those organizations, businesses, hospitals or whatever directly.  Voilà!

Sounds like a great idea — and a fantastic way to build community.

I have just one request:  On December 26, please let us know how it went.

Not a job to volunteer for on Christmas Eve.