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It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Our Christmas Miracle?

On our weekly family zoom chat, we talked about our scaled-down holiday celebrations. Since our family includes my nine siblings, their spouses, children, and grandchildren, in pre-Covid days this was a huge affair, with family at multiple tables and our family’s signature separate and overloaded dessert tables.

Of course, back when I was growing up, if you rang our doorbell at any dinner time and you were a cousin, knew a cousin, or correctly guessed the partial name of a cousin, you were brought in, another plate was jammed into the dozen already set up, and you got the first serving of pot roast. Meanwhile, kids were evicted from the “guest” room and you were urged to stay the night. At least.

This wasn’t our family but scary similar… As my siblings reminded me, I was usually on one of the side stools. I have no idea where they got the idea that was so I could skip out before it was time to do the dishes. Absolutely no idea…

Only a year ago on the US side, stockings were hung with care on the two-tiered double-sided stand my woodworking brother made.

This year, though, children and grandchildren were sheltering, stockings were isolated, and dinner tables were sparse.

But we still had a Christmas Miracle. It all started when I was using the immersion blender to make a crumb topping for the pie. I’d just put in the very last shreds of butter when the blender died. It was the kind with a dead man’s switch that only blends when you’re actually holding down the switch. (Anybody care to take a guess about where this is going?) So there I was with a deceased blender, the very last of the butter wrapped around its cold dead blades. I stuck my finger in to scoop up the rest of the butter.

What happened next was closer to inevitable than miraculous. The blender, with nothing remotely near to press its switch, rose from its deathbed and proceeded to blend the hell out of my poor finger. I wasted a moment gaping, and then further moments screaming, before I finally unplugged the thing.

All I could think was I could NOT afford to lose anything I was cooking for Christmas dinner because of the aforementioned butter shortage. So I wrapped a napkin, two tea towels, and a face towel from the clean laundry around my (don’t look, don’t look, EWWWWW!!) finger and noticed someone was still making a huge racket. Oh yeah, that would be me.

By now, the Hub and the dog were both there trying to help. He peeled back my gory wraps, made yuck faces, and called 911. Then he hung up, googled “emergency number in Italy” and dialed 112. The fun began as he tried to use Google Translate to convey “finger tartare”. (I’m almost positive I heard the word “hamburger”…)

Finally a lovely lady demanded to speak to me. “Do you need to go to hospital? Should we send an ambulance?”

Immediately I had visions of virus-intensive hospital air swirling around my defenseless finger. Huge invisible germs waiting to pounce.

“Um… couldn’t we just do one of those video calls where you tell us how to sew it up ourselves?”

She wasn’t in favor of that idea (although the Hub looked intrigued). Finally we agreed to just see how things went after dinner.

And that’s when it happened. The Christmas Miracle. The Hub, who in the 40+ years we’ve been married, has yet to cook anything with a longer recipe than “Pierce the film”—the man who gave his children microwaved plain potatoes and told them it was “dinner”, the same man who thinks the inventor of Ready Meals should get the Nobel Prize and possibly sainthood—uttered the immortal words, “I’ll finish making dinner.”

I had to stand there, bloody appendage elevated (and darn it all for not being a middle finger), and talk him through each step. But at the end, we had our Christmas dinner. He had to cut up my turkey for me, but it was delicious.

Mystery for the ages: we only pulled two Christmas crackers, but I’m still finding bits from them days later.

I never did go to the hospital. I’ve been squirting on antibiotic cream like it was ketchup, and wrapping it in bandages, all while trying not to look. I even figured out how to type with the bandage on. I told the Hub he could cook dinner from now on and he wondered if it was worth running a finger or two through the blender himself.

🎄🎄God bless us every one.🎄🎄