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Friday Slide Show: Between Holidays Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

28 December 2018

There's never quite enough time to get everything done before Christmas and never quite enough time to recover after before the whirl starts spinning again. But in the week between Christmas and New Years, things do slow down.

Many people are fortunate enough to have the week off. And a few this year were unfortunately furloughed.

At the magazine that employed us for 30 years, this was the one week we didn't publish as we assembled a year-end double issue full of guest articles from industry luminaries analyzing the past year and predicting the future.

Today, of course, everyone is an industry luminary (aka influencer) who can say, "Hey, guys!" while taking a video selfie. More battery power to them, too.

The one thing we felt we had to do between the holidays (and especially after our elaborate porchetta dinner on Christmas) was get out of the bunker to take a long walk. Fortunately we had some bills to pay.

But after we'd walked down to the village and exchanged holiday greetings with the teller, we kept going.

If you have a red wine stain, the surest way to remove it ...

We passed the West Portal Lutheran church which has had a manger scene on the grass outside for years and years. We'd never looked at it up close, so we did. And just as someone was leaving the office. She encouraged us to enjoy the decades old figures, nearly life size.

It's funny how these figurines in manger scenes just don't have very convincing faces. We've spared you Baby Jesus who looked horrified on his straw bed. Apparently there's been a rash a Baby Jesus burglaries that have caused some of them to be chained with bike locks. Not this guy.

When we made it to the corner we saw the big tree lot being taken apart. Not a tree left. The lights ringing the chain link fence coming down. The banner signs flapping listlessly in the wind.

We continued our hike up 19th and along Taraval to Kensington and Ulloa snapping shots of various decorations in the middle of the day, the sun shining brightly on them.

Then, too, there were the signs of ordinary life persisting. The workers tossing stones in the middle of the roundabout that has been being rennovated all month. The stairs being replaced at a house whose disabled front door nevertheless sports a wreath.

The build-up to Christmas is always so exciting that the day itself is typically a disappointment and the days after a recovery. But Christmas should be the beginning of the festival, not the end of it. And the week after should be celebrated with all the lights on and the music playing.

Especially after all the relatives go home.

Just kidding. We always have a lot of fun that is over too soon (boy, do we hate to see people leave). Traditions are great, we've learned, but a little flexibility goes a long way. And skills in disaster recovery are indispensable.

Which reminds us to leave you with this little tip. If you have a red wine stain, the surest way to remove it (almost instantly too) on any colored fabric (even white) is to 1) mix equal parts of clear Dawn dishwashing soap and hydrogen peroxide and 2) soak the stain. It will turn dark and disappear.

We have tried everything else. Salt, baking soda, baking powder, spot remover, repeated launderings. And on the same stain. Nope. But a little of our magic sauce and the spot disappeared.

That's just one of the rituals we enjoy between holidays.

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