December 23, 2016 Last Updated 8:06 am

The holiday break has (mercifully) arrived

TNM will take the next week off, unless something big comes up. Assuming no one tweets about expanding the nuclear arsenal, or some such wackiness, TNM will return on Jan. 2

The weekend is upon us, and the start of the Christmas holiday weekend, as well as the start of Hanukkah. So, TNM will take a break, or at least plans to, through to January 2.

But, as this is a news site these days, should something come up we’ll include a post. Also, there may be a guest column or two published next week, as they are always welcome (you, too, can contribute if you like).

So, from TNM, here is wishing you and yours a happy holidays, and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Now, time to break out the bishop**:

Yo ho, my boys!” said Fezziwig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer. Let’s have the shutters up,” cried old Fezziwig, with a sharp clap of his hands, “before a man can say Jack Robinson.”

You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. They charged into the street with the shutters — one, two, three — had them up in their places — four, five, six — barred them and pinned then — seven, eight, nine — and came back before you could have got to twelve, panting like race-horses.

“Hilli-ho!” cried old Fezziwig, skipping down from the high desk, with wonderful agility. “Clear away, my lads, and let’s have lots of room here. Hilli-ho, Dick! Chirrup, Ebenezer.”

Clear away! There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away, or couldn’t have cleared away, with old Fezziwig looking on. It was done in a minute. Every movable was packed off, as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore; the floor was swept and watered, the lamps were trimmed, fuel was heaped upon the fire; and the warehouse was as snug, and warm, and dry, and bright a ball-room, as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night.

– Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

** Recipe:

  • half dozen oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 20 or more whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (more, if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1 piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 bottle ruby port

I’d throw in a cinnamon stick or two, as well. Then gently heat the punch up and ladle it into mugs. It’s quite delicious, but I again warn you, a nasty headache usually occurs soon after the second or third mug of the stuff.

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