Last Jolly Monday of 2017!!!

Good Monday Morning, friends, and welcome to the last Jolly Monday post of 2017. Next Monday will be Christmas, and I expect to be otherwise occupied, and so, I’m certain, will you. So we will celebrate the holiday together today. I won’t ask how your weekend was, for if it was anything like mine, it was busier than you might have liked, and you are now looking at your bank balance and scratching your head, looking at the mound of gifts in the closet to be wrapped, and scratching your head some more, and asking yourself how in heck all this stuff is going to get accomplished in under a week.  Take heart, for you did it last year, the year before, the year before that, and every year since you reached the age of consent, so it will get done this year too.  And what doesn’t get done, for there are always a few things that don’t, isn’t that important anyway and you won’t even remember it by next year.  We set our own selves up for this every year, so we have only ourselves to blame.  Might as well laugh about it, yes?

And now, let us enjoy a few special moments together before we all enter that last minute fray, let us have a few moments of peace, a chuckle or two, and a nice warm beverage (sorry Steve, I just didn’t have time to bake goodies this morning) to begin this week, shall we?

The Cow Who Didn’t Believe in Christmas

Not everyone likes nativity scenes, probably least of all any live animals involved. A cow named Storming recently hoofed it from a Philadelphia church’s long-running seasonal nativity scene. She escaped from her holding pen and took to the streets before police were able to round her up and return her. But you can’t keep a good cow down, and she escaped again just hours later, essentially dragging the pastor into a nearby parking garage as he tried to lead her back. Of course Storming was once again returned to her pen, but maybe it’s time to give her what she so desperately wants this Christmas: FREEDOM!


A Life-Sized Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses tend to be associated with either the holidays or the gruesome story of Hansel and Gretel. If the fairytale witch of lore left her forest cottage for the city, she might build a house such as the one displayed in the Fairmont San Francisco hotel’s lobby, most of which is edible.

gingerbread-houseEvery Christmas, the hotel’s engineering and culinary departments team up to produce a building on a Hansel and Gretel scale. Flat gingerbread bricks line the house’s facade, and smaller pieces curve to line the windows. Each brick is attached with snow-white royal icing. The hotel’s culinary team also uses the icing to pipe in the cracks between bricks, sealing them firmly together. This sweet cement is made of egg whites, vinegar, and sugar.

The house’s entire footprint is thirty-five by ten-and-a-half feet, and it’s 25 feet tall. The bottom floor has a a toy-filled workshop, where children (and the occasional adult) press their faces against the glass for a look inside. Another nook houses a six-foot tall nutcracker. The second floor is off limits to visitors, but features a spinning Christmas tree. Modeled after one of San Francisco’s Painted Lady Victorian homes, it’s a structure that visitors can both wander through and peer into.

For the last five years, the gingerbread and candy has decorated an ever-expanding wooden frame. Each year, the candy covers a new (and larger) layer of Masonite siding. Though competitive gingerbread house makers and purists might object to non-edible substances being used, it’s necessary to support the combined weight of 10,250 gingerbread bricks, 3,300 pounds of icing, and 1,650 pounds of candy.

gingerbread-house-2This is executive chef Oscar Gonzales’s second year working on the house, and chief engineer Richard David’s fourth. It started out small, Davis says. Its first iteration was as a display surrounding the entryway to the hotel’s Laurel Court restaurant. Since then, the house has expanded each year. The most recent addition is a dining room for 12 guests.

OH WOE … Those Tangled Lights

tangled lightsFolks seem so flummoxed by their knotted piles of holiday lights that a Tesco supermarket is launching the UK’s first ever Christmas light untangling service—and currently hiring for the position.

While it is too late to apply for the job this year, exceptionally gifted cord untanglers should keep the job posting in mind for next year. (I won’t bother to apply, for I cannot even keep my headphone cord untangled!) Job description details for Tesco’s designated “Christmas Light Untangler” are provided on the careers page of the British grocery chain.

“Located in Wrexham, Wales, the part-time position offers a “competitive salary” and a 36-hour week.

Responsibilities include manning and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand as well as being knowledgable about the service being offered. The ideal candidate should be able to untangle three meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes. They should also be passionate about Christmas.”

tangled lights-2If you can’t afford a Christmas Light Untangler, online detangling tutorials might be able to help. Either way, the most important thing to remember when untangling lights is to put on your favorite holiday music and pull up your comfiest armchair.

Looks like demand for this service extends far beyond Wrexham. Take television chef Rachel Ray, who recently admitted (while revealing a fantastic Christmas light trick) that she’s gotten so frustrated with tangled lights that she’s thrown out perfectly good sets and bought brand new ones.

Rachel Ray is undoubtedly not the only one guilty of this. Untangling lights is clearly a challenge that overwhelms countless well-wishers eager to celebrate the holidays. All things considered, it’s really about time that stores started hiring staff for Christmas Light Untangling.

World’s Largest Gingerbread City …

In the center of the town of Bergen, Norway, the sweet smell of cloves, cinnamon, and allspice emanates from an old public swimming pool arena. Inside is a massive baked and sugar-coated city made out of gingerbread—claimed to be the largest gingerbread village in the world.

Every year since the Christmas tradition began in 1991, Bergen’s community comes together to construct the miniature wintery wonderland. In the video above of this year’s Pepperkakebyen (Norwegian for “the gingerbread village”), you can take a virtual tour through the rows of delicious houses, towers, trains, cars, and ships that are almost entirely made from real gingerbread. The city contains over 2,000 gingerbread houses flanking a mountainside and dotting around a lake.

Building gingerbread houses has been a holiday pastime since the early 1800s. It’s said that after the publication of the Grimm’s fairytale Hansel and Gretel, German bakers began creating ornamented candy houses out of gingerbread. The city of Bergen has taken the tradition to a whole new level.

Even though the inedible components have prevented it from beating New York’s Gingerbread Lane (a 1,020 gingerbread structure) for the Guinness World Record, Bergen’s Pepperkakebyen is still an enormous and impressive feat. You can see the Gingerbread City on display at the Sentralbadet from November 19 till December 31.

And with that, my dear friends, we should all get busy on our appointed tasks.  I hope your week is wonderful, even if busier than you might wish.  And I have a special request.  Please take a few moments to remember those who may have less than we do, who may be alone and sad, some may not even have a home.  Give a smile, give a hug, give a few dollars if you can spare it.  I love you all … Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukah!  Joyous Kwanza!  Happy Holidays!

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18 thoughts on “Last Jolly Monday of 2017!!!

  1. What a lovely Christmassy post Jill. And I wish you, and all your readers a lovely Christmas from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.🌲❤🎅🎄❄⛄🌍🌏🌎

    I thought this short YouTube Video on Kuala Lumpur was fun, and while not mine, it shows all the places and some of the events that we have seen here (except the aquarium as I don’t like to see animals caged). This is such a nice place…I recommend it and Malaysia as a lovely holiday destination.

    We will be travelling back to Thailand soon, but wish everyone a really happy, peaceful holiday.


    • I just had to share one more beautiful YouTube video on the Petronas Towers and the Symphony Fountains (The water and lights are set to music in the evenings). Our hotel is so close to these towers that we go into the park below them every evening.


  2. Can’t believe it’s almost Christmas, AND almost 2018! Wow. Thanks for the fun snapshots today. Although, I have to say, if a gingerbread “house” has inedible components, it’s not a gingerbread house, man…crazy! And also: people pay to have people untangle lights? I’ll charge less and come over to your house after Christmas to put your lights away so they don’t get tangled. Kevin was a sounds engineer back in the day – we NEVER have tangled cords!! Just give me a shout and we’ll talk price then 🙂 Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I may just take you up on that offer, if you will also pack away all the decorations, ornaments, holiday dishes and put my house back to normal for me! 😀 😀 😀

      Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year dear Emily! Thanks for all the kitten joy you share throughout the year, and for being such a wonderful friend. Love ‘n hugs to you, Kevin and the kitties! 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like gingerbread but I suspect there’s a little too much of it in the Fairmont and Bergen.
    Where did 2017 go? One minute it was New Years, and now we’re just a week from Christmas. I think I’m getting old.
    Jill, have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
    Lots and lots of Love.
    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, a bit over the top, but still nice. I kept wondering what they would do if people started breaking off bits of the one at the Fairmont and eating their house?

      Yes, this year has truly flown … in many ways I am not sad to see it go, but then, January 1 is naught but a day on the calendar and we do not get some magical ‘reset’, so the same issues will be waiting for us in 2018. And I know I am getting old … 2017 aged me by at least a decade, perhaps more.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you also, my dear friend. I send you many hugs and lots of love! 🎄 ❤


  4. Delightful finale to 2017….with all its ‘stressful moments’. Gingerbread Morning to you…..May the Festive Season be full of Joy and Peace for you! Take Care! Be ‘seeing’ you in the New Year! Love and Hugs! 🎉💕🎅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merry Christmas to you and yours, my dear friend. I am hoping for a better 2018, but not holding my breath. But, I take great comfort in friends like yourself and others here on WordPress, for I never feel alone, but feel a part of a family I didn’t know until about a year ago. Have a special holiday filled with love and laughter. 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes, busy weekend…. BUT we will be flying to Austria on Saturday, and everyone is looking forward to that! So even this Monday is good, in a way. Need to think of what to pack, and need to think of what to wash before … and there will be the Christmas concert at school this week, and the Christmas dinner at school…. but still, HAPPY! – Do you know that we celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th in Germany and Austria? Of course the 25th is also Christmas, but the magical evening is 24th, with the candles lit on the tree (the tree that only gets decorated on the 24th, not weeks before, by the way), and some people go to Church (the ones with young kids in the late afternoon, the others late in the evening), and early in the evening the presents appear underneath the Christmas tree! 🙂
    So … have a great week of preparations! Cheers and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to say that your way sounds so much nicer … less commercialized, somehow. I hope you have a great time with your Mum, as I’m sure you will. Don’t wear yourself out too much, for it sounds like you are one busy lady this week! Have a wonderful holiday, my dear friend. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I am this year resolving to get back on track with our emails, for I miss them!!! Hugs and Merry Christmas to you and yours! 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

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