Merry Christmas From The Family

No, my family is not quite as bad as the eponymous Family from the famous Robert Earl Keen song (what? you don’t know that song? go here posthaste and familiarize yourself with this holiday classic!). We don’t serve bean dip or Diet Rite at our Christmas meals. And we don’t use cans of fake snow. And we don’t have relatives that drive in from Harlingen and park their motorhomes on the front lawn.

But we do have our share of holiday moments each year, being thismuchremoved from the boonies of East Texas.

This year’s festivities included a bird getting trapped inside of the house, me trying to chase it back outside and my ever-helpful husband following behind me with the video camera, giggling hysterically while hooting “This is going on America’s Funniest Home Videos!”

Great. As if I didn’t hate that show enough, now there’s the very real possibility that my husband is going to send in footage of me in pajamas, with crazy hair and brandishing a rake, tear-assing after a tiny wren while shrieking to Richard, “You’re not exactly helping, asshole!”

The festivities also included my father and brother bringing back a big buck from the deer lease. So, in lieu of the leg of lamb that was originally planned, my folks went to work preparing the deer for our big feast.  My father spent all day Monday cleaning the carcass in the backyard and carving out some venison steaks for Christmas dinner. And then my mother spent all afternoon Tuesday soaking it in milk in an effort to reduce its gaminess while making side dishes to accompany our venison feast.

For Christmas dinner, we had the venison steaks with a — for lack of a better word — confit of red onions, Maytag blue cheese, golden raisins and pine nuts, with sides of potato and leek gratin and some delicious little peas. It was a beautiful dinner. My mother had laid out the table on par with any Martha Stewart production and the food was plated brilliantly. Everything was quite posh, all in all.

As we all sat down and joined hands to say grace — our heads bowed in thoughtful reflection and the scent of venison wafting gently towards us — my father began to pray: “Dear tiny infant Jesus…” and the whole table just lost it in fits of howling, snorting laughter.

We can only keep our inner rednecks inside for so long, it would seem. Hope you and yours had a merry Christmas, too!

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