Tag Archives: Holidays

Christmas Cheer at Winter’s Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas

Christmas Tree at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, TexasBecause I’ve married a persistent man, we attended Winter’s Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas, on Saturday, December 10, 2016.  Honestly, Mr. Carter wasn’t going to let me get away with not driving to Wimberley on this particular night, and I’m so glad that he persuaded me to go.

The night air was heavy with drizzly rain and, in the outlying areas around Wimberley, light fog obscured our view as we drove down the winding roads. Neither the rain nor the cool weather could stop the festivities, however. Townsfolk and visitors lined the streets as people walked from shop to shop, sipping wine and hot cocoa.

Winter’s Eve A Christmas Festival is an annual event hosted by the Wimberley Merchants Association. The festival’s been in existence since 2007. The cool thing about the festival, and the premise from which the festival springs, is that you can shop until 10:00 p.m. that night.Metal Reindeer at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festvial in Wimberley, Texas

The only shopping we did was window shopping, I’m sad to say, as there were so many lovely wares to be found. However, my husband, Dave, and I had a blast looking at the various wares in the shops that were open.

It truly was a winter wonderland with the misty rain and surprises in every shop we stopped to browse in. Our first stop was for coffee at Sip! on the Square. Dave and I ordered spiced Mexican mocha lattes that were absolutely delish! The lattes warmed our insides while we walked the streets and took in all the sights and sounds. (We’ve visited this coffee shop in the past while on the road for business, and it’s such a delightful place. Please give this merchant your business as they will surprise and delight you with all kinds of yummy drinks!)

Laura Townshend Carter and Dave Carter at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas
Laura Townshend Carter and Dave Carter

Every corner had a band or solo artist performing. There was also so much food and drink to experience; it was far too much for Mr. Carter and I to swallow in one night.

We’re total goobers, I know. It’s easy to see from the photo that my husband and I don’t let a little rain stop our plans. Wet hair? No problem! Just keep on with the fun and smile, smile, smile!

The truth is, fire pits were strategically placed around the square so Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas.it was quite easy to warm up. If you stood still for more than a couple of minutes, someone associated with the festival would offer you $2 in Wimberley bucks (play money that was equal to real money at participating area merchants) to purchase or put towards pretty much anything your heart desired. We also participated in a raffle which was a nice way to donate a little money. Congrats to the person who won!

Because Winter’s Eve A Christmas Festival has had almost a decade to improve and refine the event, everything ran smoothly. The festival even had…wait for it…drum roll…belly dancers! The two women who danced were spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed photographing the ladies. See for yourself!

Belly Dancers at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas
Belly Dancers that ROCK!
Green Belly Dancer at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas
Green Belly Dancer
Red Belly Dancer at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas
Red Belly Dancer

 

Aren’t the ladies beautiful? Each one had colored light to dance within, which made for a surreal effect. Swaying to the music, I was captivated by the dancers’ charm. In the crowd, many of us photographed and videoed the experience.

Do you remember making cartoons on the edge of your second-grade writing pad, then flipping the pages quickly to watch a horse canter or a fish swim? I have so many photos that I can run quickly through them on my iPhone and make the ladies dance. (Yes, I’m  a bit of a creative nerd.)

But I digress. Walking on through the night, Mr. Carter and I stumbled upon the following merchants on the square. Here is the story of our experiences.

Aunt Jenny's Attic at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas
Aunt Jenny’s Attic

Aunt Jenny’s Attic sells creative gifts and European collectibles. We didn’t go into this marvelous shop, but it looked quite enticing. From what I understand, lovers of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces easily fall in love with Aunt Jenny’s Attic. Looking at the outside of this boutique, I must admit that I love Christmas soldiers and royalty, so Aunt Jenny’s Attic got top marks from me for the decorations. The red and green outfit for the King, combined with a sweet, bearded face deserves a photo (even if he is just a seasonal decoration). The garlands and large wreath were also photo-worthy.

Kiss The Cook at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas.
Kiss the Cook

Kiss the Cook features bakeware, cookware, tools and gadgets. They also do wedding registries and recipes This is another shop we didn’t enter, but it sounds like quite a bit of fun. As an avid foodie and wannabe chef (not really, but I dig cooking and experimenting with new recipes), Kiss the Cook sounds like it could be tons of fun to peruse.

Upon seeing the sign, my first impression was that Kiss the Cook was a restaurant. (What a darling name, right?) I did my research, however, and found exactly what the shop does. Had to say I was a little disappointed, but only because I’d love to kiss the cook who feeds me exceptional meals!

Cottage on the Square at Christmas Eve A Winter Festival in Wimberley, Texas.
Cottage on the Square

Cottage on the Square is a quaint bed and breakfast that lies within the Wimberley town square. I’m sure the building holds many old secrets and history we may never know. Not only does the downstairs serve as a vintage shop, but this B&B consistently receives high ratings from its guests.

The structure of the old home engaged me and I wanted to follow the stone path inside and never come out. Dave and I will revisit this little bed and breakfast, neatly tucked into the middle of Wimberley, when we come this way again for business. Who wants to stay in a hotel when you can have a B&B?

Life Inspired at Winter's Eve A Christmas Eve Festival in Wimberley, Texas.
Life Inspired

And our last stop as we walked the Square was Life Inspired. At this store, you’re seeking a gift for a special person. To quote Life Inspired, “This is inspired gift giving.”

Truthfully, I can’t tell you much more than that, because we were making our way back to where we started at this point, and we did not enter this shop, either. However, looking at the careful way the entrance and sitting area is decorated, I think anyone would be more than happy with the wares Life Inspired offers. Check it out, and come back here or to the Big Grey Horse Media Facebook page to talk about it.

The Bazaar at Winter's Eve A Christmas Festival in Wimberley, Texas.
The Bazaar

Course, if you know me, I’ve always got one more surprise up my sleeve. As we walked back to the car, I noticed The Bazaar. What could be more fun than dressing up as a sexy Santa and Mrs. Claus?

The Bazaar is conveniently located in both Wimberley and Austin. I’ve visited the Austin location, and it’s a fun journey through various costumes, lingerie, and more. It’s something everyone should do at least once in their lives. Even better if you’re shopping for that unique costume to take you through the Texas Renaissance Festival, Halloween, or a very sexy Christmas.

We had a blast at Winter’s Eve A Christmas Festival! It was tons of fun and we encourage you to participate next year. If you go with an open pocketbook, all the more fun, I’m certain. We thank the Wimberley Merchants Association for hosting the event and putting on such a good time. Quite a bit of thought went into the festival and we really appreciate all the hard work that went on behind the scenes. What Dave Carter and I experienced was seamless.

You can’t ask for much more than that.

All of us at Big Grey Horse Media wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas From Big Grey Horse MediaMerry Christmas and  Happy Holiday Season.

May your days be merry and bright –

And may all your Christmases be right here in Texas!

 

Takeaway

Visit the Wimberley Merchants Association to keep up with next year’s Winter’s Eve A Christmas Festival.

Wimberley, Texas, is a mecca within Central Texas. If you’ve not been there before, check it out. Should it ever happen that Dave and I are not able to live where we do, Wimberley would be the next stop for us.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year from Big Grey Horse Media!

Happy New Years FireworksHappy New Year from all of us at Big Grey Horse Media!

Did you start 2014 on the right foot? Have you jumped into this new year with both feet? We’re very excited about our plans for the company this year. Things continue to get better and better – our growth has been phenomenal. We’re happy to have you with us as we grow and develop.

I think that’s the key to running a successful company – you continue to grow and develop. Like life itself, a business that stagnates dies. I see Big Grey Horse Media as an entity that will always seek to improve and move into new areas.

We’ve got quite a bit on the plate for this month. You’ll see healthy recipes prepared in our kitchen, we’re eating out at four local eateries that serve healthy food, and the blog will be filled with business tips, resolution posts, and more.

We’re very focused on providing what our audience wants, and so far, you’ve told us that you dig foodie reviews and recipes, business articles, and tips for writers. If you’d like to see anything else, be sure to let us know.

See you soon!

 

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Review

Collin Street Bakery Logo Collin Street Bakery on Foodio54

Collin Street Bakery on Urbanspoon
I ordered a tempting, luscious Collin Street Bakery fruitcake for a review. I learned about the company from my writer, Danny Gallagher. He suggested Collin Street Bakery as an ideal Big Grey Horse Media feature story (and yes, Collin Street Bakery, you’re on the editorial calender for 2014).

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. This fruitcake is excellent and I recommend ordering it for Christmas parties and as Christmas presents for the special people in your life.

It’s sad that no one else in my family adores fruitcake the way that I do. I guess the upside of this is I get the fruitcakes family members receive as presents but don’t want. Remember Afriel’s re-gifting humor? In this case, freshly made fruitcake is an excellent thing to pass on to me!

When you order a Collin Street Bakery fruitcake, you can request to have it sent immediately or you can ask that the fruitcake be sent as soon as it’s been baked. I opted for this. Fresh fruitcake is one of my favorite Christmas desserts. And what arrived was worth a few extra days’ wait.

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Plated

Given that I requested my fruitcake be baked fresh and it’s the holiday season, I figure the order came within a reasonable time frame. I ordered online December 6 and had the cake by December 17. The fruitcake was nicely packaged and lovely to unbox.

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Tin

Inside the Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Tin

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Wrapped

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Unwrapped

Impressive, eh? This is one rich fruitcake, folks. Certainly up to the standards I hold for a fruitcake. I’ve eaten fruitcake since I was a tiny child. Every Christmas, someone in my mother’s family made a homemade fruitcake. My mom’s family is full of great cooks and bakers, so I am quite the snob when it comes to how I judge the holiday cake.

Collin Street Bakery fruitcakes are moist and not very cake-like, which I think is the hallmark of a quality fruitcake. The Texas pecans Collin Street Bakery uses brought back plenty of good memories of my hometown and old friends. All of the ingredients in this fruitcake were fresh and tasty. It’s as if the fruitcake is encouraging you to take another bite. Or two. Or three.

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake Plated Close UpBecause of the fruitcake’s richness, however, I can’t eat more than one small piece in a sitting. But I think that’s the beauty of a good fruitcake. You eat a little at a time, every day, and before you know it, the cake’s gone!

I ate this fruitcake as it came, meaning I didn’t douse it with alcohol. I’ve had fruitcake both ways, and I think that when done properly, an alcohol-laden fruitcake is out of this world. If you want to age your fruitcake with a bit of hooch, Collin Street Bakery’s website offers instructions.

Collin Street Bakery didn’t return my phone call regarding a media kit or sharing additional information for a product review. Sad to say, because I hoped to speak with someone about this order. The website does say, “And our Bakery officers still personally handle every order the Bakery receives.” Remember customer service, folks. When people reach out to you, especially those who are reviewing your company, be available to answer questions and provide information.

Merry Christmas, ya’ll!

Takeaway

Collin Street Bakery is located at 401 West Seventh Avenue in Corsicana, Texas 75110. The phone number is 800-292-7400. You can visit their website to order products and obtain details about the company and their history.

Festive, Fresh, Delightful Broccoli Con Olives Recipe

Broccoli Con Olives RecipeIf you’re looking for an easy, tasty recipe, this broccoli con olives recipe delivers. If you’ve seen my other recipes on this blog, then you know I’m all about food that’s quick, no fuss, and delicious. Broccoli con olives has been one of my favorite dishes since way back when I lived in Houston.

This recipe came from Houston Home & Garden. As of today, I’ve absolutely no idea what that means. Probably a magazine, but who knows. I copied this recipe onto a little recipe card many, many moons ago (I was around 18-19 years old), stuck the card into my recipe holder, and forgot the source except to write down the name. If any of you know who and what Houston Home & Garden is, or was, let me know.

There’s not much to this recipe. Don’t let the list of ingredients fool you, however. You’re getting plenty of good nutrition from the fresh broccoli, olive oil, garlic, and olives. The combination of spices and lemon add that special something that tops off the taste.

I dig eating this dish by itself, but you can pair broccoli con olives with a pasta entree, seafood, fish, a side salad, or even a hearty soup. The best time of year to serve broccoli con olives, in my opinion, is during the holidays. The colors are so vibrant – the fresh pimento, broccoli and black olives are quite festive.

Steamed broccoli for the broccoli con olives recipe.
Steamed broccoli.

My tweaks on this recipe include adding more garlic and steaming the broccoli. I used two cloves because one isn’t enough for my tastes. If you’re not a garlic freak, or are feeding others, I recommend going with one clove. If you don’t want to steam the broccoli, simply cook it in water over medium-high heat for about eight minutes. The main thing to remember is the broccoli should not be mushy. You probably could stir fry the broccoli and get good results, too.

Cooking the Broccoli Con Olives Recipe
Cooking the broccoli con olives. All that’s left to add is the pimento!

Once you get going with this recipe, you’ll find it cooks quickly. The key is to have everything prepared and ready to go. Enjoy, happy holidays, and let me know what you think. Cheers!

 

Broccoli Con Olives

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh broccoli

1 clove garlic, minced

4 T olive oil

1 lemon

1/2 cup chopped, pitted black olives

salt and freshly ground, black pepper

Pimento

Cut the broccoli into medium-sized pieces. Julienne the stems. Steam the broccoli until it’s tender, but not mushy. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute the garlic in olive oil for two minutes. Add the juice and zest of the lemon. Add the chopped olives. Add the cooked broccoli and season to taste. Gently toss to combine.

Garnish the dish with strips of pimento. Serve hot. This recipe serves four.

5 Ways to Ruin Christmas for Your Family

Cute Christmas OrnamentWant to ruin Christmas for your family? Here’s my top five ways to ensure your family has a really good time this holiday season.

Re-Gift. Just don’t do it. Especially if you have a small family or social circle. If you do, there’s a good possibility the gift will recycle and everyone will find out how cheap you really are. The best thing you can do with a gift you don’t like is donate the gift to charity. Keep in mind, however, that if the gift is poor quality, or is ugly or old, that’s not an excuse to give it to the needy.

Buy everyone the same gift from the dollar store. It’s a super big no-no even if the gifts are different colors or designs. Cheap-o gifts that are basically the same thing, given to everyone on your gift list, isn’t the true spirit of giving. All that shows is either a) how much you don’t care or b) how little you are involved in people’s lives. If you aren’t sure what to buy your friends and family, give them cash or a Visa gift card. If money is an issue, make something. Preparing a loved one’s favorite dessert or treat shows that you care. And if you don’t cook, share a family heirloom.

Stress out and act like a freak. If you know the holidays stress you out and your family tells you, every Christmas, that the Grinch has nothing on you, then maybe you should step back as the Christmas party host. Can’t do that because you’re a control freak? Well, maybe you should, for the sake of your family, refrain from all holiday events. No one wants to be the reason why Christmas was ruined. Give your family a break, okay?

Share old candy. This doesn’t go for just Christmas, because it can be applied to Valentine’s, Easter, and Halloween, too. Don’t give out candy you’ve had for five years. That’s not saving money and it’s plain, old GROSS. Nothing is yuckier than biting into stale, oxidized candy. Red Christmas Ornament

Make Christmas be about you. Guess what? Christmas isn’t about you! It never has been, nor will it ever be. It’s about the birth of Jesus (at least for practicing Christians). And while I know that you may be thinking, “Hey I’m still walking this Earth and according to my awesome self, I’m the bees’ knees. So take THAT Christmas,” let me remind you this attitude will get you nowhere in life. Your family came together on this holiday to be in the company of their loved ones and have a good time.

A Family Favorite: Lou Percy’s Shrimp Dip Recipe

 

Lou Percy's Shrimp Dip Recipe with ChipsI am proud to share this family favorite with you. My family’s eaten Lou Percy’s shrimp dip recipe since I was at least a teenager, and maybe before that. It’s one of my mom’s recipes.

Who is Lou Percy? That’s the mystery! Did she (or he) give my mom this recipe? Or did my mom find this delish combination of shrimp, spice, and cream cheese in a cookbook? I’ve searched high and low, but have no answer. And you know what? I dig mysteries. Sometimes it’s better that way.

Lou Percy's Shrimp Dip Recipe Ingredients
Some of the ingredients that make Lou Percy’s Shrimp Dip recipe flavorful.

My mom began making this recipe for holiday festivities throughout the year. When she’d have parties, Lou Percy’s shrimp dip was one of the guests of honor. My first husband and I, along with one of my favorite cousins and her husband, used to clean up as soon as my mom put this dip on the table.

I didn’t make this dip for years. It was a part of my distant past and something I didn’t think about until Christmas rolled around. My mom continued to make the dip for her annual New Year’s Eve party, however. I’d know the holiday season was coming and ask my mom to be sure and make some to share with me, too. My kiddos never took to the dip, and that was fine, because it meant I could have Lou Percy’s infamous shrimp dip all to myself.

Boiled Shrimp for Lou Percy's Shrimp Dip Recipe
Boiled, fresh shrimp.

My mom’s growing older and I’m transcribing all of her recipes as quickly as I can. A few years ago, Afriel and I sat Mom down and made her share the best of her recipes. I say we made Mom sit down – if you don’t know my mom, then you aren’t aware of this 80-something ball of fire. In spite of a serious back condition and two rounds of cancer including two rounds of radiation and one surgery, my mother remains a force to be reckoned with. Getting her to sit still for more than five minutes is next to impossible. The lady is always busy!

Lou Percy’s shrimp dip is a great addition to any party. The recipe can be used throughout the year, too. I love the dip at Christmas time, because it’s my favorite time of year. Having a shrimpy-cheesy-spicy treat while you’re partying with friends under the Christmas tree is something you shouldn’t miss.

Shrimp and Green Onions for Lou Percy's Shrimp Dip Recipe
Chopped shrimp and green onions.
Preparing the Veggies and Fruit for Lou Percy's Shrimp Dip Recipe
Preparing the veggies and fruit.

Everyone – and I mean everyone – loves this dip.

I’ve had another version, and that person used more ketchup than my mom does. My mother said that dip was frightful, but I disagree. It wasn’t a knock-off that could hold a candle to my mom’s shrimp dip, but a bit more ketchup adds a rich, red tone to the dip. And a bit of tomato taste isn’t so bad. What I’m conveying here is you can definitely spice this recipe up your way.

As with all of my recipes, feel free to improvise. I always do.

What’s not negotiable: Don’t use canned shrimp. For heaven’s sake, that stuff is nasty. The shrimp should be fresh, fresh, fresh. It’s the base of this recipe. I use green onions and probably more spice than others may like. That’s how my mom always made it, but you can cut back.

It doesn’t take long to make this recipe, either. Like the majority of what I make in the kitchen, this recipe is easy, quick, and delightfully tasty. Serve with tortilla chips, Ritz crackers, or Keebler butter crackers. We’ve used each of these and the results are spectacular.

Lou Percy, whoever you are, thanks for a mighty yummy dip!

 

Lou Percy’s Shrimp Dip

Ingredients

1 lb. peeled, deveined, boiled shrimp

1 large package cream cheese, softened

6 to 8 green onions

1 dozen stuffed olives

1 cup mayonnaise

Fresh lemon juice

6 T ketchup

12 shakes hot pepper sauce

6 T Worcestershire

Garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper

Chop up the shrimp, onions, and olives. Mix the cream cheese with mayo. Add the remaining liquid ingredients and blend. Slowly add the shrimp, green onions, and olives. Add garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper to taste.

 

Black Friday Online Shopping Deals – Are You Ready To Save Money?

Black Friday Sales
Image courtesy of lamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s time to take advantage of Black Friday online shopping! Are you ready to save money?

We love a good sale. We appreciate Black Friday shopping that allows us to save money. We know you like saving money, too, so we’ve compiled some kick ass sales links just for you.

These links have been specifically curated for you, the online shopper. We’re recommending the best merchants and products.

Check out our list of Black Friday iPhone apps, too. They are free, fun, and incredibly handy when you’re organizing your shopping lists.

We dig Black Friday online shopping…it rocks! Let us hear about the deals you get. Saving money is easy when you’re smart shopper.

Have fun!

 

 

ModCloth

 

 

Layla Grayce

 

 

Tea Collection

 

 

Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Big Grey Horse Media

Happy Thanksgiving from Suki!
Happy Thanksgiving from Suki!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can’t believe that we’re already in last two weeks of November. Christmas arrives in four weeks! This year has been a great one for Big Grey Horse Media, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

In 2010, when this was a fledgling blog, I wrote a little post about gratitude. I also asked readers what they were grateful for. Today, I’m feeling even more grateful for my business and how far we’ve come since Thanksgiving 2010.

Do you take time to reflect on all the wonderful things in your life? I do – every day! Thanksgiving is a touchstone, for me, to dig even deeper and quietly ponder about all the things that have been given to me. All the things that cross my path and further my goals. All the wonderful people I’ve met, and the terrific, supportive family that I have.

What do you think about on Thanksgiving? This holiday can be stressful, and I know many of you are busy cooking and spending time with the people you love the most. Remember to be good to yourself and not worry about things being perfect during the holidays. What your family and friends really want is time with you.

Afriel recently wrote a humorous post about families and Thanksgiving. Be sure to read it for a chuckle or two.

And if you’re struggling with recipes, I’ve made it incredibly easy with my Thanksgiving recipes.

Happy Thanksgiving from Champagne!
Happy Thanksgiving from Champagne!

And if you’re wanting someone sweet tonight, dig this cup of hot cocoa!

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY – Black Friday shopping. Check out my list of iPhone apps to make online and in-store shopping e-a-s-y.

Ya’ll have a wonderful day. We are tucked in and spending quality family time at Big Grey Horse Media. We wish you many blessings as 2013 closes and 2014 begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Free Must-Have Black Friday Shopping Apps

Black Friday Specials Sale
Image courtesy of lamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We know you love shopping as much as we do. True to the holiday shopping spirit, we’ve made a list of four free Black Friday shopping apps. That’s right – free apps to use on your iPhone. You’re probably familiar with a few of these online shopping sites. Not only are they huge brands, but several have been around for more than a decade.

iPhone apps make your life easy. I love using iPhone apps to simplify and organize my life. Being an entrepreneur, mother, and equestrian keeps me busy. I need all the organizational help that I can get.

Another thing that I love? Free!

Black Friday can be a hot mess if you’re not prepared. My suggestion? Always organize before you begin shopping.

iPhone apps help you get on track. Download the app and begin searching for deals. Choose the deals you like and organize from there.

Whether you prefer shopping online (I do) or are brave enough to open your wallet in the stores, Black Friday is one of the best shopping days of the year. Get organized and prepare for the BIG day!

Get busy and have fun shopping!

 

Slickdeals

 

Brad’s Deals

 

Sazze, Inc.

 

FatWallet, Inc.

 

 

10 Ways to Ruin Thanksgiving Dinner for Yourself and Your Family

This is a humorous look at all the ways families can drive each other crazy during the holiday season. Afriel’s “10 Ways to Ruin Thanksgiving Dinner for Yourself and Your Family” should give everyone a good belly laugh!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Image courtesy of nongpimmy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 10. Let your toddler run around naked while you’re in the middle of a diaper change. Be sure to let the kiddo run naked long enough to poop on the floor, too. For extra kicks, ask your teenage sister (who doesn’t like little children) to check out the “present” the toddler left, and wants her auntie to clean up.

9. For the manly men in the family, pile your Thanksgiving plates high with food. Then go back for seconds as the party’s hostess cheers you on. Course, you’ll  realize you really didn’t want that second plate of food when you hear about the desserts. So, be a good guy and throw the entire plate of food in the trash.

8. For all the moms with young children: Time your arrival so you walk in the door holding a kiddo who’s diaper is soaked with pee and/or filled with poo. Hey, everyone in the family is eager to hold your kid and sure, family members are dying to change those dirty diapers. This is a great way to make a grand entrance and leave lasting impressions upon your family.

7. Instead of eating what your Thanksgiving hostess prepared (and spent hours in the kitchen making), walk in the door with a salad from Sonic. We know you’re watching your weight and hey, those Sonic salads beat out a homemade dinner any day! Nothing like hurting the feelings of the person who prepared your meal.

6. Now this is something I think everyone should already know. Don’t be late. Especially if the hostess is a stickler about being on time. You know the entire family wants to hear her griping throughout the meal. All that bitching aids digestion, right? What’s the holiday for if not to hear the hostess complain, non-stop, about how Thanksgiving is ruined?

5. This goes if you’re the hostess of the party. I know the holidays are stressful, but don’t confess, after everyone has eaten the majority of their food, that you made it ahead of time – like six months ago – and were keeping it frozen until that morning when the meal was reheated.

4. Want to set your family on fire? Decide that Thanksgiving is the time and place to reconcile differences. Or fight. Or be rude. Or pick on the people you love. Just be pushy enough to force others to talk to you about the subjects you think are important and necessary. Especially when others simply want to have a good time and keep it light.

3. Talk about current events even though you have no idea what you’re saying. There’s nothing like making others feel uncomfortable and embarrassed for you. An example: The Bluebonnet Plague does not, and will not, ever, exist. However, the Bubonic plague was a real world event that happened in the late middle ages in Europe, also known as the Black Death. See how easy that was?

2. Take out your snuff pack, grab a pinch, and shove it into your mouth. Be sure to bring your spit cup! Course, the ideal place to do this is at the table while your family is eating. Why excuse yourself when others can partake in the greatness of your disgusting habit? Nothing else could make such an awesome statement of gratitude for family and the holiday.

1. Once you’ve married into the family, by all means behave as you please. Stretch out your legs and swing those cowboy boots onto the coffee table. Pretend to be asleep on the couch while your kiddo is screaming and getting into things they shouldn’t. Roll your eyes at the senior citizens in the family, thinking they didn’t see your face. Mock others behind their backs. You’re part of the family, now, so there’s absolutely no need to pretend you’re not rude, or that you like us. We love you just as you are!