By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

        A jolly man indeed


Christmas is a lot like golf.  We have visions of greatness and perfection but the reality is often closer to a bogey.  Some years maybe even a double bogey.  As we get older the holiday season can be more difficult, remembering those who are no longer with us or who we no longer see.  I think many people become sentimental about Christmases past when life seemed simpler. Personally, when I’m in the midst of the Christmas fray I long for the Christmases of my childhood when all I had to do is show up. No shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning – just act excited about the gifts under the tree.  I say “act” because there were a lot of years when I found my gifts in my mother’s not-so-secret hiding place and knew exactly what I was getting.  Mostly what I miss are the fun family gatherings, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  There are people who are lucky enough to live close to their families, thus avoiding the packing and mailing of gifts and – worse yet – traveling to see loved ones, but they are becoming fewer and farther to find.  I hardly know anyone anymore who doesn’t deal with some sort of hassle or drama around the holidays.

Which is why this is a good time to reflect on those things in which we can take joy and perhaps be a bit kinder to one another.  It’s often said that we never know what problems people have from looking at the outside.  I’m sure we’ve all known people who appear to “have everything” and yet in reality have significant problems.  And that includes the person who cuts in line at the supermarket or honks their horn in traffic.  Maybe they’re just jerks.  Or maybe the holiday season is particularly difficult for them – the loss of a loved one, illness, a lost job – seem magnified right now.  Throw in all that’s going on in the world, and life can become a bit overwhelming. Which is why a little kindness can go a long way in making someone’s day just a bit better.

In my effort to be a bit more kind I don’t have to look far for an example.  Our dad was the kindest man I’ve ever known.  Coupled with his hysterical sense of humor, he was a force to be reckoned with.  He was in his element at Christmas, with his children gathered around him and hosting friends and family.  I miss him all year long but most especially this season.  So in his memory, I once again provide you with his famous Christmas Ice Cream Fizz recipe.  He served it every Christmas morning and it gave a roseate hue to the entire day. We share his recipe in the hopes that it might help you all enjoy the holidays just a bit more.  After all, ice cream and gin – how kind is that?


Fill a blender 1/4 full with ice cubes
Add 6 jiggers of gin
Add 4 scoops of French Vanilla ice cream
Add 1 small bottle of soda water (the size you get in a 6-pack)

My brother Bob adds an egg so the white adds some froth, brother Jack doesn’t add an egg. Personally, I’d add it just because you can then claim it’s a protein drink.
Just blend it well and – voila – you have a concoction sure to put a positive spin on everyone and every thing!
Our mom served them in a wine glass with a dash of nutmeg. As we got older we conspired with Pop and ditched the wine glass for a chilled beer mug from the freezer. Saved having to go back for seconds…or thirds.

Wishing all of our subscribers a very happy holiday season! Cheers!


    • Thanks, Pam! Wishing you, Lee and the grands a wonderful Christmas – hopefully you’ll be singing somewhere! Happy 2020!!

  1. Ahh so timely and to the point of it all, Suz! I, like my Mother, don’t mind talking to strangers and this time of year I try to emulate her gracious, outgoing spirit. It lightens the mood and makes us feel more connected. I’ll be making Mom’s lasagne on Christmas Eve, and raising a “taste” of Jack Daniels to honor Dad. Thanks for the annual reminder of what’s truly important. Wishing you, Al and all the Sparrow Family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • Marge – I love that memory of your mom. Wish I was over there to sneak by and grab some of that lasagna! I hope you, Bob and your family have a wonderful Christmas and joyous 2020. Hope to see you again soon. xoxo

  2. Knowing you and Bob (Bob, not so much) I would have bet that your dad had a great sense of humor!
    Most of us need a reminder to be a little kinder. My grandmother always said ‘always be a little kinder than you need to be’ probably not original, but stuck with me.
    She and our grandfather helped raise us. They lived on a farm and we all gathered there on Christmas and many other holidays. The people I miss most are Mammy and my twin.
    Each Christmas I try to do something that would have been important to them!
    Merry Christmas and love, Jan

    • Janet – that is such a wonderful memory. And I love your tradition of doing something to honor them. I’m going to copy you next year! Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Wonderful! xoxo

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