This past Christmas was one for the books, for many reasons.
For one thing, my husband, Charlie, and I were invited to a very grown-up dinner party with fancy food, nice wine and marvelous conversation. We even stayed out past midnight.
For another, we had our big holiday meal on Christmas Eve for a change, and so we spent Christmas Day in our pajamas watching movies, playing board games and eating leftovers.
But the main reason this Christmas is more memorable than others can be summed up in four words: the falling Christmas tree.
Not my Christmas tree, mind you. My sister’s in Michie, Tenn. We went there on Dec. 23 to celebrate the holiday with Donna; my niece, Hannah; and my brother-in-law, Jim.
To say Donna decorates for Christmas is like saying the Pope is religious. Lights, holly, garland, ribbon, ornaments, bells and bows hang from every possible thing one can hang things from.
Her tree limbs droop under the weight of ornaments, old-fashioned glass lights, flocking and tinsel. (For some reason, half her lights decided to go out a few days before we arrived, but believe me, there were still plenty aglow.)
And, oh, the presents.
They are stacked five and six high in about a nine-foot radius around the tree. You really have to see it to believe it.
So here we were on the Dec. 23, full from our Christmas dinner and getting ready to settle down at the table for a spirited game of Partini.
Charlie had managed to get the seat at the table that’s right next to the towering Christmas tree. Jim was setting up the game and the kids were in the kitchen putting away leftovers. Donna and I had walked to the laundry room to see her new washing machine.
The next thing I heard was Jim saying, “Oh, oh no.” I peered into the den and saw Charlie’s legs sticking up from inside the Christmas tree. Apparently, in trying to move from the table to the kitchen, he had stepped on an unavoidable mound of presents, lost his balance and grabbed onto the tree.
Down they went.
I would like to say I helped him up, but about that time, I heard Hannah say, “Oh, oh no.” I hurried into the kitchen in time to see my daughter, Mary, standing in front of the refrigerator, ankle-deep in butter beans that had fallen from a piece of Tupperware she’d dropped.
We scooped up what butter beans we could salvage (15-second rule notwithstanding), righted Charlie and the Christmas tree, had a good laugh, and proceeded to play our board game.
It wasn’t long before Mary excused herself from the table to get a glass of water. I cannot explain what happened next. Suffice it to say, Mary also fell into the Christmas tree.
We had another good laugh, Mary got some water and we re-hung ornaments a second time.
You’ll be pleased to know that after our son, Patrick, knocked the tree down a third time, the two strands of lights that had been out miraculously decided to come on again.
I don’t think we’ll be invited back there next year.
But just in case we are, I’ll think I’ll take these delicious little biscuits that Ann Ballard prepared at her grown-up dinner party, where, I might add, the tree remained upright all evening.
Sour Cream Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Fill mini-muffin tins with dough and bake for 15 minutes or until brown.
Makes 36 mini-muffins.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal