I love this season. It's all about glitter and giving. The food is starchy, the booze is flowing, the cashmere is the creamiest, the cozy is coziest. It is also potentially so depressing that you could hurl yourself in front of a subway at any moment, but I digress.
The best thing about Christmas is the endless flow of parties, unless there are no (or not enough) parties on your calendar which could make you depressed and lonely and headed straight down to that subway. I love a full-throttle Christmas party done all-out and right, and that was Bryant Gumbel's annual Christmas Shindig on Friday night. I took Liza, who has not only met every celebrity under the sun, she's dined with them and produced them for appearances on "Rosie." But that lady will still gasp with shock and awe when walking into a room featuring Al Roker, Matt Lauer, and Jane Pauley. And that's one of the reasons I brought her; she keeps everything fresh, that Liza! (I was not too jaded to intrigue at Gayle King and Howard Stern jabbering like bff's.)
There were icicles on the insides of the windows, various forms of tartar, and plenty of gingerbread. And there was Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, with whom Liza and I promptly fell in love, which is most likely something that Jackie Stallone could've predicted, even in her recent state. The food was as bite-sized and nibbly as the Consuelos' themselves, and I indulged.
It's ok to eat as much bite-sized food as you want at Christmas, see, because it is SMALL. So the calories rarely even register because they are so hard to detect, even if you eat a ton of it. I further tested the small food theory at a Sunday afternoon tree-trimming at producer Dan Taberski's. In what other season are there daytime party options with glazed hams and freshly baked frosted cookies? I ate half-cookies all day and lots of meats on teeny crackers.
Holiday nibbles are further acceptable due to endless holiday trekking. I try to keep my shopping online and local, which is why I was thrilled to combine both when I heard from Amy Sedaris that she was having an apartment sale over the weekend. I took that as an opportunity to run to the Biography Bookstore and buy up a bunch of copies of her book, I LIKE YOU: HOSPITALITY UNDER THE INFLUENCE, which I marched to her house and she promptly signed and personally gift wrapped. This book is a great gift and for anyone who lives in NYC and wants one signed, Amy just yesterday signed a ton of them at Barnes and Noble on 6th Ave in the Village. She had a ton of items -- each for five dollars -- and many of which you can learn to make in her book. I bought some of those "eye burritos" she made on Conan (the video is up on YouTube) and several other random curios.
On Saturday I went headfirst into Christmas Country USA: Connecticut. The entire state is basically wrapped in Christmas bows. I think it would be very hard to be depressed in Connecticut at Christmas, but I can't be sure that Connecticut doesn't have the highest Xmas suicide rate of all, because the line between depression and Christmas is so wafer-thin.
Case in point: The "special" episode of "Good Times" I saw on Saturday. Willona was just about to get full, legal custody of Penny at Christmas, thus making it the Best Christmas Ever. When Penny goes to the department store to buy Willona a gift (a heart on a gold chain retailing $10.50), her wallet is ripped off and she STEALS the damn necklace, thereby ruining Christmas and my night. And teaching me (and Penny) a lesson. Nobody did "sad" like Norman Lear, is what I learned. That man knew that Christmas is kind of sad, which is why Edith Bunker got raped on Christmas as Weezy found a lump under her tree. (Not true and not funny.)
I, and many depressives, were cheered up by the very UN-Christmas marathon of "That Girl" on TVLAND. Please note that Liza's dad, Bill, created that show, and he would not dare torture any of us with a sad Christmas the way Norman Lear does. I am sure that had I made it to an Xmas-themed "That Girl" I would see AnneMarie having a GREAT Christmas and NOT get busted with smack that someone planted on her at Macy's. Thanks, Bill.
TVLAND also ran "Free to Be" in it's entirety and I was happy to see that William still Wants a Doll. I wish I'd been happier from the outcome of last night's "Amazing Race" finale, but it put me back in a "Good Times"-sized Christmas Funk. None of the final three teams were appealing to me, and I guess I was rooting for Team 'Bama the most just because they needed the money. I hated their attitude, though, and went into it with a bad one myself. I guess 2006 is all about recovering addicts winning reality shows, because the models won it handily and -- for the first time in "Amazing Race" history -- I did not shed a tear. I almost did when the product placement folks had them call home on their Sprint phones, but that was so canned and weird that I couldn't.
As I wrap up today's blog, I am going to cop to the fact that it is one of the most rambly, unconnected things I have ever written. I tried, and did not succeed, to beautifully tie in what I watched and did over the weekend with the highs and lows of the Christmas season.
P.S. I am now going to watch casting DVDs for our new Hair-reality competition series!