as a kid, my brother and me used to have this favorite movie, actually a christmas movie, that we would watch over and over again – and not just during the season… we had it recorded on vhs and that tape was treasured like some precious stones in the queen’s palace.
we knew all the lines by heart. sometimes, i almost felt like i morphed into randy or ralphie myself. we thought it was the funniest thing ever when their dad (as i recall he was simply referred to as ‘the old man’) has entitled the christmas tree selection on the market as ‘ugly green pipe cleaeners’ or when ralphie had to wear his aunt’s christmas gift: a onesie, pink, fluffy, rabbit pjs set, with matching ears and feet attached, looking totally miserable. or when the mom ‘accidentally’ breaks dad’s treasured leg-shaped lamp, whereupon he storms out of the house, totally shattered. or when randy is covered in layers and layers of winter clothes, scarves and hats, so that he can hardly move and when he falls isn’t able to get off the ground on his own anymore because he’s so immobile. of course, that was also a helpful technique when school bullies tried to harress the kids on their way to school. the line: “randy lay there like a slug! it was his only defense” is a classic in our house. and the way the family sings ‘jingle bells’ (it’s not nice) stuck forever.
there are a million little things in this movie that make me laugh and smile to myself even long after the movie was over. the parker family’s christmas accompanied me through my childhood and adolescence, from winter to summer. i’d even say it probably shaped my character (for the better, naturally – if not only for a refined swearing technique). so much so, that were i ever to throw a christmas party (or any party, really), it would probably be themed after that movie. or, okay, maybe morphed with an ‘ugly christmas sweater’ dress code (a secret dream of mine). we’d serve mashed potatoes, red cabbage and meat balls, of course.
anyway, so i can’t wait to watch the movie again this year. i’m planning on making it a whole day program; with nothing but buttery popcorn, this candy cane hot choclate here, old school knitted socks and probably an xl blanket wrapped around me. ’tis the season to be jolly, after all.
candy cane hot chocolate
100 g dark chocolate, chunks
1 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 candy cane (mine was a cinnamon flavor, but peppermint works, too)
additional candy cane or straw for serving
heat the milk in a small saucepan. add the chocolate chunks and stir until melted. add the sugar and season with cinnamon. crush and slightly grind the candy cane stick in a mortar. whip the heavy cream. assemble: fill the hot chocolate in a mug, top with whipped cream and garnish with candy cane sprinkles. serve with a candy cane and or a striped paper straw to stir.
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