Our Christmas tradition starts on Xmas Eve. We start the evening with a tex-mex dinner. This year, we went to Joe T's for supper.
Now, Joe T's ain't the best Mexican food around, but it's good. If we'd had our 'druthers we'd have gone to La Playa Maya, Fiesta or El Paseo - but these were all closed yesterday.
We actually go to Joe T Garcia's fairly often, but usually it's for a fundraiser for various 501c3's the Wife and I support. They have a beautiful garden and patio area. That's where we usually dine. In fact up until last night in our nearly eight years of marriage, Suzanne and I have never eaten in the dining room together. It was too cold for al fresco last night, though.
We dined inside.
Dating myself here, but the last time I ate in the dining room at Joe T's was during the Cullen Davis Murder Trials. Racehorse Haynes sat at the table next to us. Richard "Racehorse" Haynes was the Johnny Cochrane of his day. I'm sure if we'd had Court TV back in the day, he'd be a household name outside of Texas... as it is, anybody who was old enough to watch the news from '75 on down here in the Lone Star state knows all about him.
But I digress.
Dinner was nice.
As ever the nachos rocked, but the enchiladas were a bit "meh."
Afterwards, the traditions continued as we drove through various neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights and then embarked on our annual, fruitless endeavor to find a Starbucks open on Xmas Eve. No joy. Suzanne had to make-do with 7-11 coffee.
We then went on to church to sing carols just before the Mid-Night Mass. The Wife and I are cradle Episcopalians. The index of The Book of Common Prayer is written in our DNA. Christmas without midnight mass is a little like Diet Coke without the fizz.
Between hymns, Suzanne produced a tin of mints offering me one.
"No thank you," I whispered.
She provided a slight shake to the tin, further encouraging me.
"No thank you," I repeated.
"Take," She urged me with a timbre that compelled compliance, "The mint!"
Later, she would tell me that there was a decidedly ranchero quality to my breath.
After services, we stopped back in at 7-11 for a Slurpee. The Slurpee aspect of our tradition goes back to the first Christmas Suzanne and I spent together, back when we were dating. We both were fighting colds and needed the Slurpees for throat relief. It was the same the year after and the year after that. After three years of Slurpees, it became our tradition - sore throats or otherwise.
Now, just because one goes to a 7-11 doesn't mean that the Slurpees are ready to serve. Often, we have to hit more than one.
Much like the Magi travelling far from the east following a star to the birth site of God made flesh, we travel in search of Slurpees ready-to-serve. It is not unusual that we hit two or three stores.
Last night, we got it right the first time. Truly, a Christmas miracle!
Sipping on our tasty frozen beverages, we drove home.
On Christmas Day, we drink.
We started the morning with mimosas. While breaking our fast on a sumptuos Croissant Breakfast Pudding prepared by The Wife with some fresh fruit, we drank mimosas. We exhchanged gifts and... well that's thirsty work, so more mimosa.
After present opening is accomplished, Suzanne moved onto bloody marys. She is especially partial to ol' Red Eye's horseradish mix. I hads me a few screwdrivers before transitioning to beer at the noon hour.
The libations continued all afternoon and will progress through the night.
Suzanne is making a roast leg of lamb with dark beer, honey, and thyme. We'll have wine with that. And I am looking forward to a glass of port and a cigar on the porch.
It's like Suzanne says, "Anybody who believes you can't drink your problems away simply isn't drinking enough."
It's been a cozy day here at the house.
Thank God I don't have to drive anywhere!
Posted by Aron Head
at 4:47 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 25 December 2007 5:51 PM CST