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December 9, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Stubborn diners. Musical chairs.

Cozy holiday restaurant scene with Christmas decorations and elegant tables. (©  image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Stand really, really close to the cozy picture on the big screen TV and be transported there. You can hear the music and almost make out the conversations from the booth next to you, right? (© image)

Heard the phrase “Fake it until you make it”?

Going to just throw a white table cloth over a small table, shove that right up next to the big screen tv, and suspend all belief for a short while.

It’s just like being there.

(Except the cat will recognize me without the fancy clothes or real shoes to confuse.)

Determination and imagination will make sure one Christmas holiday tradition continues:

For decades, we have driven into the Big City for Nutcracker ballet (No, amateur performance, this. Former Bolshoi guest artists have leaped among snow flakes, fought mice, and “Pas de Deux” with the Snow Queens in the past)

After the performance, we’d stroll leisurely down the street (or dash like reindeer if raining as usual…) to a long time, favorite place: an Irish-Italian bar and restaurant, Birraporettis. Reservations a must as it is always packed. It is the place.

Holiday quota filled, we’d then snuggle into the heated car seats and jingle all the way home.

Forget about all that? NEVER!

Of course the COVID Grinch canceled all ballet performances:

But we have a plan B

  • Nutcracker dashes across the internet somewhere. Pull some comfy seats in front of the big screen TV and pretend our seats are better than usual. (and a big plus with refreshments being closer, cheaper and there’s no line for the bathroom during the intermission). There’s also a lovely CD set of the ballet’s music if necessary. We pretty well know the visuals if prompted by music.
  • Afterward, the joy of the “Your table is right this way” with no waiting. (For once music will be at just the right level – not too loud or too soft.)
  • It’ll be just like being there: Warm cozy atmosphere, jazzy Christmas music, and holiday decorations – all to enjoy… Oh, OK I’ll remember to take off the fleece-lined slippers. (But that doesn’t mean there will be under the table snacks for any short fur people.)

Want to do the same?

Here’s the holiday jazz restaurant scene video pictured above. 

Prefer sitting in front of a crackling fire with classical music for Christmas ambience? Try here.

A Starbuck’s aficionado? Relax with their 2019 snow and holiday background music. or the Starbuck’s 2020 music playlist here.

There. Now don’t you feel better?

(Go ahead. Take selfies by the TV. We won’t tell.)

No stinking virus is going to steal all the holiday magic!

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Keep the merry and jingle on. One way or the other

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Santa in plane. (Image: Lone Star Museum, TX)

Talk about vintage. “So much for a sleigh, Santa arrives in a Stearman” COVID social distancing, you know, making his stops in all those malls very difficult. Landing near here for photos and spreading cheer. Story here. (Image: Lone Star Flight Museum)



Leave a Comment
  1. marina kanavaki / Dec 9 2020 7:16 am

    It looks like we’re heading to the first ‘virtual’ Christmas! Lets hope it’ll also be the last! 😉
    Perfect title btw!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 4:46 pm

      Just think. Since it’s going to be a “done with mirrors” Christmas, we can design it to be totally virtually perfect! No annoying traffic to slow down travel trying to get someplace on time, no annoying guests irritating other guests, you can dish out the first and best portion of dinner for yourself ( or Hera…that cute doggy face..) and you can wear fuzzy slippers and no one will know! Lots of possibilities for smiles. Thanks for dancing along.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Dec 9 2020 7:25 am

    You can always make do to celebrate! Pros and cons. Just don’t get too comfortable. My biggest fear is that when this is over, I won’t want to gad about again like I did. Hermit status isn’t bad but I need friends and fearless shopping to help.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 7:48 am

      I have a (much younger and much more elegant) friend who says it would be smart to invest in upscale restaurants and designer clothing companies because everyone is so tired of being stuck at home and wearing sweats that once the coast is clear, there will be a huge rush to any nights out. Everyone is missing those so much….really miffed about Dec fun being so out of reach. Usually I get all the shopping and wrapping and decorating down early in order to really enjoy all the festivities….at least we can dream with the music? (Thought of you with the drive-thru image of Starbucks playlist HAHA!) Thanks for tuning in. Jingle on anyway

      Liked by 1 person

  3. easyweimaraner / Dec 9 2020 8:41 am

    I still can dance the part of the sugarplum fairy, if you want I can help you out via skype or zoom….(better not you will get belly aches with laughter LOL)

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 4:37 pm

      Molly is rolling with laughter…warning: she’s giggling about emailing the Dancing with the Stars show that you are available. Santa says “Thanks for the laughter” – his belly shaking like jelly, you know.Jingle on!


  4. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Dec 9 2020 10:12 am

    The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and Messiah Sing-along… will go virtual this year; traditions on a tablet…. Also, watch for (skies permitting) the colorful meteors peaking the night of the 13-14th & conjunction of Saturn w/Jupiter on the 21st. Love flying Santa for events, but we all know on Christmas Eve it is Rudolph & crew 100%!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 4:34 pm

      Be honest. You’re really a lucky elf living in a for real Christmas card. All the virtual music and celebration has some great benefits: you can sing along as loud as you want and no one will scowl if you decide to dance along. Fun wrapped and delivered!
      Santa heard so many parents wanted pictures with him this year, but worried about malls and indoors…so what can be more fun than running up to Santa in a magical plane, yelling your wishes and then getting a picture on a landing strip by the plane in NASA’s shadow? Santa not going to disappoint…the reindeer are resting up for the big night. Thanks for loading a comment into this holiday sleigh


  5. belocchio / Dec 9 2020 10:17 am

    What a performance. We applauded and cheered along with you and the rest of the audience. We could not pass up our yearly evening with The Nutcracker. We did make reservations for our favourite bistro . No problem finding a quiet table for two. To you and all you love. Your family and friends. Merry Christmas and we so look forward to a much much better New Years. XXXX Virginia


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 4:26 pm

      We all need to hear the music and dance brightly into the new year. No harm in enjoying some hidden delights let in this one. Know that old “grow where you are planted” phrase? Can we update that to “Party where you are heart-y”? Thanks for the smiles and Jingle on!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. disperser / Dec 9 2020 11:46 am

    Might want to correct the Grinch’s name.

    Not much for ballet or dining out even without pandemics raging, but I can understand people missing traditions they have followed for years.

    I’m assuming originals traditions will resume (eventually).

    I’m not sure I’d be satisfied with a copy . . . I’m more prone toward looking to start a new tradition . . . “Danse des Masques Jetables”, perhaps?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 12:12 pm

      Cuckcoo for covid flubs…the virus is THE excuse for everything these days. Thanks for the catch and heads up. Far too many rewrites for this one ( and for what, I always wonder)
      While growing up, each Christmas season one of my grandmothers – in her attempt to civilize us – hauled us to the Nutcracker every year (and a few symphonies during the year). Just kept the tradition…besides the downtown lights are nice most years. This was the 3rd year of this choreography and set design – while I prefer the old production, these sets are worth multiple visits if interested in set design. I built sets for summer stock and university performances and later did Display for big stores windows/ledges/ nooks and crannies…facade construction is quite fun – magic without mirrors….but eventually you have to earn a living/need to save money for ancient car replacement.But missed watching people be amazed and children wonder at sets/display creations.
      A new year on the way and new adventures/adaptations. We’ll see. I do think a Masque is quite appropriate- either out of mandates or not so fond 2020 memories. Thanks for masking up a comment to leave. (And I will visit the “U’s”…really)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sustainabilitea / Dec 9 2020 1:44 pm

    We have the crackling fireplace courtesy of Netflix is we want. We can watch “White Christmas”, “Elf”, “Christmas in the Wild” (new favorite), and the first “Die Hard”, a Christmas movie, right? We can have appetizers, good food, good wine a/o champagne. What’s not to like? We’ll Zoom with family and have my parents here for a time on Christmas Day. Best of the possible circumstances. 🥰.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 4:22 pm

      What no “Kill Bill 2” on the play list?…oh, ok New Years? Always love the crackling fire. Stumbled across the falling snow on the Christmas jazz restaurant scene on You Tube – if you squint it looks like a window into another room…and more rooms would be nice to have by now HAHA. Red Rider Rifle story, White Christmas, the original Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Woods and the entire non-cut Holiday Inn movie. Plenty to set the holiday mood…in my short sleeve Christmas T-shirt. Pretty normal: beach on Christmas! Yep, whaat’s not to like? Thanks for the bubbly comment

      Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres / Dec 9 2020 3:15 pm

    I think I’m going to designate this week as my Christmas week — visits with new friends and old, feasting on the best patty melt I’ve ever had, picking up a bottle of wine at Lost Maples windery, and…. having Santa bring me a brand new alternator for the car. Believe you me, landing exacly 1/10th of a mile from a place who could fix me up made the event much more tolderable. I may end up finding my way home after dark, but at least I’ll be back ont he road. Holiday crises were a tradition in my family too — I’m just doing my part! Greetings from Bandera, Texas, Baby!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 4:16 pm

      Shoot. Was afraid I’d have to send Rudolf after you! Sounds like a Christmas miracle …hmmm Hallmark is always looking for warm Christmas stories…I think you’ve got a good start on one! Yeehaw and thank you, Santa. (Elves appear more out West). Squirrel waves and encouraging (contented) chirps from the locals here.Jingle already in gear there.


      • shoreacres / Dec 9 2020 5:39 pm

        There’s more to the story. I’m in a B&B in Bandera, awaiting the delivery of the RIGHT alternator tomorrow. The good news? There’s a $ store two blocks away for toothbrush, etc. and I got a great burrito bowl across the street. I do have my camera, so I may walk down to the courthouse tomorrow and a.m. and take a photo — except I don’t have a jacket. Sigh. I did find the identity of the guy who set me up with the B&B lady — superintendent of schools. I think my guardian angel deserves a day off!

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2020 5:57 pm

          Like a said. A real Christmas miracle…script needs to be started for Hallmark ASAP! The story has all the elements….
          No day off for another 48 hrs, angel ones!


  9. Spinster / Dec 9 2020 8:06 pm

    Under such extraordinary circumstances, making different/new traditions might be the 1 thing that helps this year.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 11 2020 1:58 pm

      I think you’re right. A run to the beach may be just as entertaining….and you don’t have to wear shoes. We’ve been in the 60-70’s so that’s just about right. In college we all wanted to go back after Christmas break with a tan…how many chilly windy days were spent behind self-constructed wind blocks pretending not to be cold? HAHA. Onward to the end of the year and past the Saturn-Jupiter sky meet up! Always something going on if you look for it?
      Thanks for sitting in to chat.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Anne Mehrling / Dec 9 2020 10:27 pm

    I love your suggestions. Our daughter was lamenting the fact that her ballet ticket was no good because things were shut down in Copenhagen. I’m going to suggest she read this post. Marvelous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 11 2020 2:01 pm

      Those were some holiday treats I stumbled upon. Happy they might jingle on to cheer someone else, too. Thanks for dancing along!


      • Anne Mehrling / Dec 11 2020 4:03 pm

        Danish daughter said she was putting the Nutcracker on her agenda for this weekend. You have added a lot to her enjoyment of Christmas.


  11. Anne Mehrling / Dec 10 2020 9:00 am

    I read your post again before sending the link to daughter Lise in Denmark. This time I clicked on the links and enjoyed the results.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 11 2020 2:06 pm

      My parents always said that there’s always entertaining stuff out there – just to go and look for it. That’s probably good habit to develop early? Technology can be pretty annoying sometimes (the constant communication was a tad annoying when working), but it offers some pretty nice time fillers too – and we can all use those right now.
      Thanks for tuning in and hope your holiday season is warm and bright!


  12. Kirt D Tisdale / Dec 14 2020 2:20 pm

    Love your post….Have a great Holiday Season!!


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