Fun Holidays


Yesterday, I came across a documentary series called On Pointe. It’s available on DisneyPlus, and it follows students through one season at the School of American Ballet. Much of the series is devoted to behind-the-scenes views of preparations for the annual performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker ballet.

I’m only a few episodes in, but so far, it’s been delightful. The young dancers are talented and sweetly watchable. The action feels sincere; there’s no reality-TV scripting of dramatic moments, as far as I can tell.

As a child, I took a few ballet lessons, but I never participated in a performance of The Nutcracker, never danced across a stage while Tchaikovsky’s music told the magical tale of a Sugar Plum Fairy and children and wooden toys come to life. My parents did, however, take me to see a live performance (not a Balanchine performance, but it was a full-fledged professional production here in our city). I have memories of the music hall and the stage, and of hearing the symphony and watching costumed dancers spin and leap and glide. It only takes a few musical notes to be back in those moments; to remember that experience.

The Disney docuseries was filmed before the pandemic, and there is no live New York City Ballet performance this year. There is, however, a streaming purchase option of the 2019 performance, which includes students featured in the series. A quick internet search reveals that there are also many other performances, produced by other ballet companies, that can be found via streaming platforms and carefully-managed live performances. The show will go on.

Today’s cuppa celebrates holiday memories and the magical world of dancing and music. These days, it seems that sadness is never far away. The world can feel cold and bleak. Perhaps a little bit of cheerful holiday storytelling, a traditional performance of imaginary fun and delight, can help to keep us warm.

Fun Holidays Pets


Today is National Ugly Sweater Day here in the U.S.

The real fun of wearing an ugly holiday sweater is sharing the experience with others, laughing at the ridiculousness and figuring out who has the silliest, most creative and hilarious attire.

I’m regretfully remembering that I got rid of my Ugly Holiday Sweater in one of my cleaning and organizing frenzies earlier this year. It won’t be possible for me to participate in National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day this holiday season.

But…Mollie and Charlie have sweaters. There’s no reason that dogs can’t participate in National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day.

Let the festive frivolity commence!

Fun People Pets


Will Ferrell is making another funny movie!

This one’s called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and will be available on Netflix in June. Rachel McAdams will also star.

Will and Rachel play Icelandic musicians. Their song is Volcano Man, and it appears to be exactly the wacky, hilarious stuff you’d expect from Will Ferrell. Here’s a link with more details, including a video clip of the song:

To accompany this news, I got out the Viking cuppa. As you can see, my choice is Mollie-approved. She’s a Viking at heart, especially when she’s protecting us from the squirrels.

Family Fun


Each time I use this cuppa cup (given to me by my sister in honor of our Norwegian heritage), my internal dialogue goes something like this:

Thorvald the Viking!

Lutefisk – ugh.
Reminds me of fish paste. Also ugh.

Who would make Cream of Lutefisk? Is that really a thing? No, of course not. It’s a joke. But maybe not?

I might have had a hard time being a Viking, not liking the dried and salted and preserved fish options. However, I like Lefse. So, I’d be the Viking eating the Lefse while all the other Vikings ate the fish options. That would work.

Except Lefse is best with butter (lots of butter, mmmm butter). As long as I had Lefse and butter, I’d have been an awesome Viking.

Except I wouldn’t call myself Thorvald. I’d be Solveig. Such a pretty name but still fitting for a Viking.

By then, I’ve finished pouring my coffee, and my internal dialogue shifts to something else, such as how much coffee creamer to use and whether to sit at the table or on the couch while I drink my cuppa.

I usually come back to thinking about Lefse, however. Mmmm, butter.