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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Christmas Hot Takes

Happy Boxing Day

In many locations, today is Boxing Day, traditionally the first weekday after Christmas, but more recently just celebrated the day after Christmas.  Where the name come from, no one is really quite sure, but there is likely some connection with boxes used to collect or convey gifts on the day, particularly to people in service roles such as postmen, servants, tradesmen and such.  It was a chance for people who benefit from the services of such workers to show a degree of appreciation and thanks for their work.

I find this a lovely sentiment, particularly in our Covid-present when so many people who have been working in such roles are necessarily exposed to greater risk.

Christmas Hot Takes

OK, so most of the rest of the Cardinal Couple gang got the share their favorite aspects of Christmas.  I thought I'd take a slightly different approach today, now that Christmas is in the rear-view mirror.

My Favorite Christmas Music

I have shared on this site, and on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast, my take on Christmas music that I like.  Christmas music that in some acknowledges that the world isn't just happy go lucky all the time.  The music doesn't need to sound like funeral dirges or anything like that, indeed some of can be quite happy and joyous sounding such as "We Need A Little Christmas", which tells the story of two kids with their aunt (from the Broadway musical "Mame") who are decorating, early, for Christmas because it makes them happy, when life otherwise has them down.

One of my all-time fave Christmas songs is "Snoopy and the Red Baron", which is set, of course, in the heart of World War I, not exactly a joyous time on the whole.  Both of these songs are about uplifting and bringing joy, but they both give a nod to the fact that life can be rough and Christmas can come in the context of some very unhappy times.

Christmas Associated Food

Maybe my most controversial take....  Any dish that has turkey in it, would be better if it were ham instead.

Turkey can be enjoyable, without a mother put together a turkey meal for Thanksgiving, on pretty short notice, and the Turkey that was quite good...but I'm of the opinion that ham is always better.

Even for iconic turkey dishes.  Have you ever had a Kentucky Hot Brown, but made with ham instead of turkey?  The only place I have found that will make a dish like this was the Boone Tavern Restaurant in Berea, KY, and oh my goodness it was so good.

Maybe I'm just a really big fan of ham in general, because I've also found the substitution of ham in place of chicken in traditionally chicken dishes can be quite good as well.  Ham Alfredo instead of Chicken?  Delicious!

Thanksgiving vs Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas shouldn't be pitted against each other, but due to their relative proximity on the calendar, roughly a month apart, and given the huge endeavor that Christmas has become over the centuries, it is somewhat inevitable.

I feel like Thanksgiving gets short shrift, getting overshadowed by the hype and commercialization of Christmas.

Maybe the Canadians have the right idea by giving Thanksgiving a bit more space from Christmas by celebrating it the second Monday of October.

I'm a big fan of Thanksgiving as a holiday.  Many people get stressed out by Christmas, and there can be a lot of pressure involved in gift buying.  It depends on how you go about celebrating these holidays, of course, but I feel like Thanksgiving brings with it a lot of the joy of being around loved ones and sharing in their company, with much less stress and pressure.

To be fair, preparing a lavish meal such as many have for Thanksgiving is not without its own pressure, but many do that for Christmas in addition to all of the extra

Regardless of your own hot takes or mine, I hope you have had a wonder Christmas celebration with loved ones based on whatever way you choose to celebrate it.  My Christmas day was very quiet with the family gathering that I am involved in happening on Christmas Eve.  And frankly, it was wonderful to just have a quiet day to spend with no pressures, no priorities, and not even any real schedule.  The Christmas Eve celebration was also wonderful with my family, so I was able to have the best of both worlds.

Louisville Women's Sports

We are all about Louisville women's sports here at Cardinal Couple, and there is, of course, no real news of note at the moment.  Women's Basketball will be back in action later in the week, on the 30th hosting Boston College, and the players will be making their way back to Louisville from their homes where they have been able to enjoy a nice Christmas break.

Enjoy your Christmas leftovers, and Go Cards!



  1. Growing up, my parents were firm in their tradition of Turkey for Thanksgiving and baked ham for XMAS. I can still smell that ham baking with a pineapple glaze and it brings back great memories. I'm no cook, but if I could ring a place or chef that could duplicate that, I'd be forever grateful. Honeybaked doesn't duplicate it and the old Seelbach Hotel got pretty close.

    Aaron Neville does a wonderful job on "Please Come Home For Christmas" go check it out.

    Nick O

  2. I like Scrooged the more I watch it. Maybe it's me?

    Curtis ," Be Kind " Franklin

  3. Hope all had a nice Christmas.

    Blue Lou


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