In Which there is a Party involving Egg Nog, a Possum, and Santa Claus

And this is the honest truth. I couldn’t even make up stuff this good. We had the First Annual nogfest tonight.

The backstory: So our friend Greg and I were chatting about something the other day, and he mentioned that he likes to sit down after decorating his tree, in the quiet of the house, and have some ‘nog (with cinnamon. He also does this alone, because his kids are allergic and his wife doesn’t go in for the ‘nog.) I was like yeah! We do that too, except our ‘nog is in a milkshake!, and everyone in our family (except Elliott) likes it.

So a party it was, and we set the date. Our house. 6 p.m. Bring soy ice cream for their kids, and we’ll supply the nog shakes and gingerbread men.

Then this morning I got a call from a friend of ours who is back in town just for a few days visiting friends, and so of course they all got an invite to the NogFest. Which now can be spelled in capitals and has an official name, because more than four people would be there.

So we ended up with 7 adults and 5 kids, some eating soy ice cream, most drinking eggnog milkshakes (even Heather, the non nog-drinker! I was so proud!), and a few just passing altogether and going with lemonade. There was much laughter.

Greg stepped out into the backyard with his camera (yeah, in the dark) to take a quick photo back by the playset where he’d like to film in January.

He came back in, and said, “So I was walking out by the fence going behind the playset, and I had this feeling like SOMETHING was right by my head.” Jared and I both said, “Oh, it’s the neighbor’s dogs - they are huge!” And he was like, nope. I turned my head, and came face-to-face with this.”

And he turned on his camera (as a filmmaker he knows it ain’t true unless he can prove it on film), and it was:

So there was a possum! Hanging on the back fence. I think it was pretty scared, too, because when Jared and Greg went back out to have another look, it was still sitting there frozen.

So Jared had to get a pic with it. Close but not too close.

They came back in and we were totally joking about the possum getting ready to leap on Jared’s face in a Tommy Boy moment, but they went back out, and the possum was gone.

Being the non-southerners that we are, we were totally awed and charmed by the fact that there was a possum! in our backyard! and how COOL! was that. Greg and Heather, who are from here, just kinda grimaced and stayed quiet about the charms of possum.

And then our other friends arrived, and they were AMAZED by the decorations on one neighbor’s house, about 6 houses down. Every year he puts up this HUGE (probably 30 feet high) star on one of his trees, with light strands coming down, so it looks like a giant Christmas tree. And he dresses up as Santa Claus and sits in his garage.

Man. This is sounding pretty Southern right about now, right?

Seriously. For the two weeks before Christmas every year, they decorate their garage to look like a cozy living room, with a train set, a TV playing that oldschool claymation Rudolph movie, and they collect cans for the food bank, give out candy canes, and you can tour all the decorations in their back yard as well. Our street, which is pretty quiet most of the time, becomes totally clogged with cars, and people come from all over the place to visit Santa at the Santa House. So we all 7 adults and 5 kids) put our coats on and walked down and visited Santa. It was a huge hit with the kids, who were really good and sat on Santa’s lap.

Rowen said, “Santa, I would like to have a robot.”

Elliott said, “Santa, I would like to be a planet when I grow up.”

And then he got a candy cane, and ran back over to Santa and demanded that he open it for him. It was awesome. We all got home a little shivery, but totally laughing and keeping our eyes peeled for the possum, who decided one appearance was enough for an evening.

Perhaps he’ll be down at Santa’s with some ‘nog for NogFest next year. And they say the Spragues don’t know how to throw a party.

Jessica Sprague21 Comments