Oy Tannenbaum

It’s a funny thing, not posting for more than a week. It feels vaguely like owing a friend a return phone call. The longer you wait, the more you continue put it off as the events in your life accumulate and you never think you’ll have enough time to adequately communicate everything on your mind. Of course by then your friend is annoyed with you. Or worries it was something she did. Or thinks you’re just too caught up in your special life to make a time for old friends anymore who might just want a simple return phone call around the holidays thank you very much you stupid bitch.

It’s good to be back.


My ideal Christmas tree: It showcases a combination of beautiful glass ornaments amassed from post-holiday megasales at ABC Carpet, sentimental favorites from my childhood, and handmade pieces gathered from travels. I hang them evenly around the tree, with the ugliest ones in back (sorry, wooden dog kicking a soccer ball). A funky, glittery metrosexual-approved silver star crowns the top. White lights only. No tinsel: Shudder.

Nate’s ideal Christmas tree: It showcases stupid joke ornaments hung three or four to a branch to make “stories,” as he calls them. The hand-stuffed William Shakespeare humps the sugarplum fairy. The ballerina straddles the pen. The black angel babies from Target protectively surround the Washington Redskins logo. And the “Keep Abortion Legal” NARAL bumper sticker that somehow ended up in the regifting bag one year gets a prominent spot right in the front, in a passive-agressive display of rebellion aimed at his devout mother who’s never even been within a 6 hour’s drive of our tree.

“Not everything has to be about jokes!” I yell.

“Why not? It’s my holiday anyway,” he always shoots back.

“Your holiday? Your holiday? You don’t believe in religion. You’re the first person to remind anyone who will listen that Christmas is pagan and that Jesus was born in April.”

“So? You’re Jewish.”

“So was Jesus.”

There is no winner here. Except perhaps the dog who ends up getting into the Christmas cookies while we’re busy reshuffling ornaments when the other’s back is turned.

This year, we did not have a tree. Various events conspired to keep us from getting one until the Tuesday before Christmas. Divide the cost of a Union Square Greenmarket tree by the number of days we’d be here to enjoy it before heading out to see the family, it would come to roughly $137 a day. Eh, I’d rather spend it on Teuscher.

However we did make the time to make Christmas cookies–in the same spirit that we decorate the tree.

Perhaps you can even guess whose is whose?

An elegant star
A gingerbread man in goggles and swim trunks
A classic Christmas tree
A candle shaped like a penis with the word “penis” on it, just in case you missed it
(Update: It’s at the very bottom. Photobucket deleted the original pic the bastahds and this is the only other one I found.)

Various trees, stars, stockings, bells and candy canes

A gingerbread man with blue balls
Also…here’s a really nice thing to wake up to Christmas Eve day (besides the penis candle): “Sanctimommy” goes national. We’re soooo ahead of the curve, blogworld, aren’t we? Read about it in the New York Times. The original Mom-101 post referenced is here.

52 thoughts on “Oy Tannenbaum”

  1. Ahhhh. .. I feel better now reading your post—glad to see that all is well and ‘normal’ in Liz/Nate-land. OMG, those cookies are hysterical and I love how Nate goes after your tree. Just wait, in a couple of years, all your ornaments will be hung no higher than 3 feet off the ground, in big clumps, and every time you try to ‘fix’ them, you will hear wails from the little ones. And there is no way Nate will get away with ‘blue ball cookies’ once Thalia is in preschool! Can you imagine her presenting one to her teacher? Congrats on Sanctimommy hitting the big time! I always knew you’d influence the world!

  2. I can’t stop laughing at Nate’s Christmas cookies. My husband says “That Nate’s a pretty cool guy!”Your cookies were beautiful. I wish I had that talent to decorate cookies! I suck at that part!Happy New Year, to you Liz!🙂Dana

  3. You are my mom-pop-culture hero for getting into the NYT as such a cutting edge word maven. The only thing that might impress me more is if you got a personal call from the editors of the OED. This is big stuff in my word-obsessed world. Congrats! And I love the cookies. They remind me of what you’d get if cookie swapping met wife swapping 🙂

  4. A frienemy sent me the link to the NYT article about sanctimommies, and my heart stopped for a minute. I am terrified she will find my secret world here! 🙂And I’m with Binky – you are my idol. Happy New Year.ps – I like the penis cookie, but then again, I have a white christmas tree.

  5. We have those tree-ornament debates too. Cookie-decorating debates would require first baking cookies, so those don’t come up so much.Welcome back!

  6. The cookies are so funny! I kept waiting for a gingerbread-style boy frosted in yellow and dressed in square pants.

  7. Sorry Liz, I’m a comic, so I’m going to have to go with Nate’s cookies. I once got a new agent in NY and sent their staff a cake with a large penis sticking out of it that said Upward and Onward. Congrats on the Times piece. Happy New Year. Send me a cookie.

  8. Congrats on showing up in the Times!! Woohoo!And after seeing those cookies, I think Nate and my husband are the same guy.

  9. glad to see you back, lady! congrats on being in the times – now i feel even more unworthy of being anywhere near your absolute awesomeness. my family doesn’t have too many ornament debates, ’cause we always just keep the sentimental ornaments that we’ve accumulated over the years. we do have a little ballerina doll with a red string you can pull to make her arms and legs move, and we all call her the tampon dancer. 😛 but we don’t do cookies – i’m not sure we could handle that level of domesticity.

  10. Sanctimommy hits the big time!As you know I fully subscribe to your NO tinsel, white lights, art directed tree … but Nate’s cookies … I am a little in love with them. I was totally cracking up that he actually *wrote* Penis on the candle just to avoid any confusion. You wouldn’t want all that hard work in a joke cookie to be wasted now would you??Happy New Year to you, Nate and sweet baby Thalia!

  11. Congrats on exposing sanctimommies everywhere, you brilliant writer. And happy new year to you, your joker husband (I have one of those, too), and your babies. xoxo

  12. Damn redskins are giving him blueballs again.Of course, I’m eating cookies baked not so lovingly by my motherinlaw.A gingerbread man with huge blue balls sounds pretty tasty right about now.And my word verification (for real):bjewHAHA

  13. They look like tasty treats, even with the “non-tradittional” decorations! It was weird not blogging for a week — holidays and a bout with the stomach flu are such conspirators!

  14. I think both types of cookies have their own charm…but I’m not putting any blue-balled gingerman in my mouth, sorry. Poor gingerman.Seeing sanctimommy in the NY Times made me strangely proud. I may shed a tear. It just confirms that you are one of the funniest women I “know”.

  15. Oh. My. God.I’m dying here, because my aunt and my cousin made gingerbread men a la Nate’s. One with crotch rot (red hots for balls and red sprinkles for the rash). One with fig leaves (sprinkles shaped like holly leaves) over his unmentionables. And one that looks like my uncle (not my aunt’s husband, but her older brother) – complete with Ohio State tattoo, earring, and cigarette in his mouth. I told my aunt to send pics – if and when she does, I’ll post them too.In the meantime, the whole “pagan/April” business sounds EXACTLY like Kyle. Those two are going to get along like a house on fire.

  16. Those cookies made me laugh–my kids would love to see them. Happy 2007. I live in a world of “sanctimommys’, thats why i love the blogosphere.

  17. This post makes me love you both so much that I am going to pray to Jesus The Jew to make you buy a house really close to mine so that we can bake Christmas cookies together next year. OMG. Blue Balls.

  18. I would like to place an order for a bakers dozen of the um, creative Christmas cookies.Not that the traditional ones aren’t pretty, and I’m sure they taste wonderful.But I like to imagine the satisfaction I would get when I bite the head off the gingerbread man with blue balls.Yes, I can be a tad passive aggressive!Happy New Year to you and yours Liz!

  19. So. Freakin. Funny.You go girl with NYT. I saw it. You rock.And my hubby loves the gingerbread men. Like something he’d do if we actually baked cookies around here.Glad to see you’re back!

  20. Way to rock the NYT!Re: The penis cookie: I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say, thanks for the clarification.

  21. You are so right. The longer you wait the harder it is to come back. You just don’t know where to begin! So I did it, I just began…and jumped back in as well. Thanks for the gentle shove. And, gotta love the cookies. But I really want to know who ate the penis cookie.

  22. I came to your blog today specifically to congratulate you on being the creator of a 2006 Buzz Word. (I finally caught up on my Sunday NY Times reading!) So, congrats! That’s so awesome!!That penis cookie did make me LOL, especially with your commentary!Happy New Year!

  23. Great penis cookie. I’m not sure which i’d eat first, mr. blueballs or the penis. Oh, penis, hands down!Happy new year!

  24. Oh Stacy thank you…but I most DEFINITELY did not originate that word. I saw it on message boards, as I mentioned in my original post. So I guess I’m a little less awesome now.

  25. Somehow I think the blue-balled gingerman needs to hook up with the penis candle. You know…just in case he doesnt’ meet a real gingerperson any time soon.

  26. Holy crap. Next year, I’m coming to your house for Christmas and making cookies. I laughed so hard I cried! BLUE BALLS! Priceless.

  27. WOW. Cookies with balls, going national…what a way to ring in the new year!And I hear you on being away from the blog for a while…my posting has been totally sporadic over the holidays and getting back into it feels weird to me right now.

  28. Wow. Awesome about the New York Times article! (and the penis cookie of course) 🙂

  29. No friggin’ way. When do you think Webster will include it in the dictionary? You stud.Oh, and I can’t wait until you get to LA because, sister, our husbands will be instant friends. The blue ball gingerbread man just plain rules.

  30. Oh, I would’ve loved to serve those cookies to my guests! Especially the penis one!Happy New Year to you and your family!!Carrie

  31. I’ve missed you, Liz!!!First, congrats on the good test news! I’m thrilled for you.Second, you are a cookie-decorating marvel. A candle penis? A gingerbreadman with blue balls? I love it.

  32. Thank you! I needed a good laugh today!Though in our house, I’m the one who makes the joke cookies and DH gets quite upset about that. 😉 I hear you on the tree, though!

  33. Earlier this evening, Strawberry was choosing cookies from your bake off and asked if we can buy the classic Christmas tree cookie. If I can place an order, I better request a dozen penises because I know they would sell out. Congrats on the NY Times reference. That rocks!

  34. I am so jealous! My cookies never look that good.< HREF="http://www.themagicaldollhouse.com/" REL="nofollow">Addicted to Doll Houses<>

  35. Jeff’s two favorite ornaments, that somehow always get put on the back side of the tree – Spider man and a gaudy orange and blue UF Gator. I do realize however that soon the tree will be taken over with handmade ornaments from the boy, so I’d better get used to it.Happy New year and I hope Thalia is feeling better soon.

  36. Oh my Gawd…this might be the hardest I have EVER laughed while reading a blog. Gaffawing! Very funny husband you got there.

  37. Your husband is too funny.And oh my GOD! The NYT? Do you know I remember reading that article and how did I not notice you in there??? Or maybe I did and forgot… what is wrong with me. Either way, very cool!

  38. Liz, I commented here after midnight last night and then went to bed and could only think, “Nate is not her husband, you idiot!”Just so you know I do comprehend what I read here. 😉 Sorry for brain lapse.

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