Have you ever done 25 cent self-therapy and tried to figure out why you are the way you are? I do it ALL THE TIME. Instead of working on patching my holes and hurdling forward, I sit and sift through memories and hypotheses like a community college archaeologist in order to trace my shit’s beginnings.
Every now and then I do unearth treasure.
I know I am a C+ at holidays and all their sparkly expectations because I was raised by a working Mom who had no time to be June Cleaver. Not a minute in the day to get stressed or feel pressure about why she should be doing X and Y and helping me glue Q to R or pulling a steaming tray of Q out of 6.
Her fucks to give were zero. Hence plates of Chips Ahoy slid into the microwave for that fresh out of the oven feel, and a Christmas branch anchored to a corner of the room with dental floss.
So, I can see why I have an inherent pushback to Normcore Holiday Traditions.
I’m not totally selfish though. Once a kid arrives, Holiday You can be reinvented. I play along, put my shortcomings on the shelf, and dust off some Holiday To Do’s because my kid deserves that effort, as threadbare and misshapen as it can be.
I’ll raid Michaels and dump some glitter and felt and glue in front of her.
I’ll buy the Pillsbury’s pre-cut holiday cookies and let her smear thick spoonfuls of icing onto them and into her mouth while Eazy E’s Merry Muthafuckin’ Xmas plays softly in the background.
(That, right there, deserves an A for Effort.)
The one zone of the holidays that I have taken the time and initiative to bend to my will alone is Christmas dinner.
As the only adult in my home who understands how the stove, oven, microwave and fridge work, the food that gets shovelled down on the 25th is completely my creation and on my slumped shoulders. So, a few years ago after back-to-back stressful and sweaty Christmas dinners, I threw in the festive towel.
The concept of this monster meal is super odd if you back up and look at it through spiked eggnog eyes.
As a regular adult who makes food over fire indoors, how often do you endeavour to roast a bird the size of your toddler ALONG with six side dishes that all need to be the same warm temperature at the same time?
Let me check my watch.
Oh, yeah. NEVER.
That is some Next Level Top Chef Cocaine Nightmare Meal.
So, say it with me, Fuck That Noise.
Every single cymbal clap of it.
You devise, shop for, prep, stir, whisk, season and serve a monolithic meal that most of the family will only eat because a) all their stocking chocolate is gone and b) they need something in their stomach to promptly induce passing out in various states of undress in front of the TV.
So you’re brining like a motherfucker the night before, up early on the 25th, rushing through stockings and presents so you can get shit peeled and potted and preheated, and then basically standing in the kitchen all day, moving things from fridge to burner to tray to mouth, while still in your pyjamas, with Baileys drying at the corners of your mouth.
After shovelling down your food that is good but not like HARDER FASTER YES good, you’re then up to your tits in dishes until bedtime when you finally lay down on top of six forests of wrapping paper, passed out with a fork in your cleavage and some stray dog licking the crumbs off your feet.
SUPER FUN MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.
Again, with feeling and gusto, Fuck That Noise.
As a delightful and super successful alternative, I am proud to present – Dipmas.
Go look at all the delicious shit you pinned on Pinterest this year and choose your four favourite savoury dips. I’m a fan of crowd pleasing 7 layer dips, and pretty much anything with mayonnaise, cheese and artichokes. (I am extremely partial to Sew Creative Blog’s Crockpot Caramelized Onion Dip and Food Retro’s Smooth as Uncle Murray’s Silk Tie hummus.)
Having a potluck? Assign one dip to each person coming to mooch and nosh.
Make as many dips as you can on the 24th. For the complex multi-mega exotic ingredient dips, buy them pre-made. That’s absolutely allowed here too. When ranch dressing is under $2 a bottle why the fuck would I feel the need to make my own?
Pull together the rest of the dips on the 25th after you bathe and rub in your new body lotion that smells like a garden fucked a citrus grove.
Pad back into the kitchen, put all your dips on the table with bags of tortilla chips, a vegetable tray and chunks of baguette, dish up and then walk the fuck away.
Everyone can help themselves all the live long day and you get Christmas Day to sit or run or play or plug headphones in and read your new book or just smash endless chocolates into your mouth and laugh at how the last minute thing you got at the dollar store for your kid is the one thing they love the most.
Oh and once the streetlights come on, for dessert you put out a fresh fruit tray alongside a dip made from equal parts plain Greek yogurt and nutella. It’s about as goddamn delicious as you can imagine.
Yes, this is totally unconventional.
Is it crowd pleasing? Yes.
Is everyone full? Yes.
Is everyone happy? Yes.
Is it a breeze to clean up? Yes.
Will there be leftovers for the 26th to munch on? Yes.
Are you happy? Yes.
As parents, we often put our holiday enjoyment dead fucking last 100% of the time and feel like we merely survived a holiday versus enjoying the nooks and crannies of all the moments.
You deserve this Dipmas, friends.
If you have followed along to this point and haven’t gotten all huffy and defensive about how good your gravy is and how you can’t possibly deny your children stuffing, hopefully I’ve inspired you.
Start your own perfectly perfect holiday traditions that when examined from all angles, look and feel good, feel right, in every way.
Oh, and Merry Muthafuckin' Dipmas!
PS - I'd love you 4evr if you leave me your favourite dip recipe in the comments below or on my Facebook page. xo