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Traveling for Christmas

There's nothing harder than writing a column about Christmas that you know will appear in print on Christmas Day. I mean, is there any way that I can avoid coming off sounding cheesy and insincere?

Ah, what the heck. Here goes.

This year will be the first where I'll be having two Christmases.

Allow me to explain: My parents and my wife's family couldn't agree on having a joint celebration, so we're hitting the road, and we'll be visiting both houses on Christmas Day.

Sure it'll be pretty taxing. All in all, it'll be several hours of driving on Christmas Day, which means I'll be eating lunch at Waffle House or Huddle House, which will invariably be the only businesses open anywhere.

But I'm still looking forward to the holidays, even if it means lots of time at the wheel while my wife is sleeping and/or playing Game Boy in the passenger seat.

Yea, she really knows how to rub it in.

But I'll get perhaps the most amusement out of comparing meals served at both homes. My parents were both born and raised in Ohio, while my wife's family's home base for the next billion years will be South Carolina.

As you can imagine, we're talking about two pretty distinct meals. I won't go into the pros and cons of each meal, mostly because there really are no cons. Just vernacular differences.

For example, up North you eat lima beans. Down South, they're butter beans. Up North you eat yams. Down South, it's sweet potato pie. And then there's stuffing, which is known in the South as dressing. And for the record, yes, I have heard of some Northerners who put raisins and apples in their stuffing, but I've never had it, and I can't imagine I ever will. At least I'm hoping.

And of course, there's dessert. Up North we usually have pumpkin pie. In fact, it's my favorite dessert of all-time. Down South, there's pecan pie, which is especially good when I dine with the Watsons because Aurelia's grandfather is a pecan farmer.

The bottom line is: Both meals will be fantastic, and in all likelihood I'll be rolling my way back to Thomson the day after Christmas.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, especially those who aren't able to visit with friends or family for one reason or another. I suppose that instead of looking at having to drive all over the state of South Carolina to please both sides of my family tree in frustration, I should feel happy that I'm able to see everyone I love this holiday season.

Cheesy? Maybe.

But insincere? Believe me -- definitely not.

Happy Holidays.



Web posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003











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