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December 24th

Kertasníkir – Candle Eater

The last of The 13 Yule Lads is Candle Beggar who arrives on Christmas Eve. He’s another one who swipes things to eat. This one has cravings for – of of all things! – candles. When I first read this my immediate thought was the poor fellow has pica., but then I learned Icelandic candles were once upon a time made from tallow; in a pinch they could be eaten. One wonders what treats he leaves in the shoes: I’m guessing something greasy.

So that concludes the saga of The Yule Lads; it’s been a lot of fun. Every morning I pulled out the proper ornament for that day and hung it/him up. The tree went up late, so I started hanging them from the kitchen light until they could be transferred. However they looked good enough where they were so I decided to keep them there. It a good example of something planned that didn’t turn out but what actually happened turned out marvelous: 


Harper stands guard lest they come down from chandelier and run amok in the kitchen. 

Today is Christmas Eve. I wanted to write the following:

This season I heard from a lot of patients who stated their Christmas would not be a merry one as they can not fly/travel or do their usual get-togethers. Family members had hurt feelings to be told ‘please don’t come over’.  I reflected back it sucks yet they are doing the right thing. I told them one of my favorite sayings:

‘If you can’t have tradition, have an adventure’

On Christmas Eve I’ve always been with family, first at church then at home -obviously not this year. With that said I am going to have an adventure this evening: I am going to a bar. I have never done this before. Six months ago if someone had told me I would be doing this as my Christmas Eve I would have burst into tears at the awful prophecy. Some friends we met this year (also with nowhere to go) invited us to meet them at our favorite watering hole (outdoors and apart, wearing Santa hats and matching masks hohoho) and have a few cocktails and carols. My first impulse was to say no; for months I have planned a Christmas Eve dinner. Then I thought of my own advice. I was trying to create something similar to past Christmas Eves and it would only come up short in comparison. So, after work we are off to the pub where our favorite bartender, Kat, my future-ex-wife, will lead us in carols and serve us Poinsettias.* As for the Christmas Eve dinner, I will make it on Saturday and serve it for Boxing Day when I have all day to prepare and all night to consume it.**

Years from now I suspect I will remember this adventuresome impromptu Christmas Eve better than the blur of yearly usual traditional nights.  It isn’t what I envisioned or wanted  perhaps but it will be something new and adventuresome – like the Yule Lad ornaments hanging from the light.  Auntie Mame would be pleased.

May your Christmas time be a memorable one. 

And don’t eat no candles. 


*Cranberry juice, triple sec, topped with sparking wine. 

** Planked sockeye salmon (no rubbish), rose potatoes, Brussel sprouts seared in bacon with maple syrup, and (for small chocolate cone) hummers  – chocolate mint to be precise. 


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December 2020

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