Martha Stewart and a Redneck Christmas
Some people say that Martha Stewart is the expert on holiday food and fun. I beg to differ. On her television program she often shames guests for their lack of expertise concerning all things “Martha.” I believe she would look Condoleezza Rice straight in the eyes and say, “Condi, what do you mean you don’t know how to use a glue gun?” I recently decided to do an in-depth comparison of Martha’s Christmas ideas and that of the average American redneck. You be the judge.
Martha recommends you make and decorate homemade gingerbread cookies for your annual Christmas party. I recommend you follow a glorious redneck tradition. Buy Little Debbie Christmas trees. A box of five is only $1.25. Unwrap the beautifully decorated trees and place them lovingly on a paper plate. A dollop of non-dairy whipped topping can be added to each tree as a delightful garnish. (Fork optional.)
When it comes to savory treats, Martha believes that people at your party want to eat fish eggs and a paste made with goose liver. I know. Ridiculous. A much tastier redneck recommendation would be the cheesy bologna roll-up. Unwrap a generic piece of processed American cheese food product and place it on top of a generic piece of bologna. Roll carefully and place a toothpick in the center. I know what some of you are thinking. Some high-brow folks are thinking, “Do you know what’s IN bologna?” No. And I don’t want to know. I do know what’s NOT in bologna. Fish eggs and goose liver.
As to the beverages being served at your party, Martha and I agree that eggnog is a Christmas staple. She would suggest a lovely display of tiny china cups for the eggnog. I would recommend that you buy each guest their own quart of nog. Nothing makes a guest feel more at home than knowing that you expect him to drink right from the paper carton.
Some of you may be wondering what to do for the dieters at your party. Martha would offer sliced yellow peppers (sliced by a staff member), broiled shrimp appetizers and some sugar-free sparkling cider. What about the redneck party? Are dieters expected to eat Little Debbie trees and drink eggnog from a carton? Of course not. They’re expected to eat one slice of American cheese food product, drink water from the faucet and stop complaining about every fat gram they’ve eaten over the course of their lifetime. But of course, it’s doubtful there would be any dieters at a genuine redneck party.
Decorating is another important task before you entertain friends and family this Christmas. Martha thinks you should soak pine cones in lavender oil for 36 hours and use a glue gun to put together elaborate wreaths of scented pinecones and hand-woven fabric bows. But I believe you should think green. Waste not, want not. Take the used Styrofoam coffee cups from your home or office and put them together with duct tape until you have attained a beautiful circular wreath. A stylish and shiny bow can be made with used aluminum foil.
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to elaborate on yard decorations. Let me just say that nothing says “festive” like a yard dwarf wearing a Santa hat from the Dollar Store. Other redneck joys? A truck tire filled with plastic poinsettias. Vienna sausages for Christmas dinner. Elvis on black velvet for Grandma. The list goes on and on. Martha, congratulations on your worldwide success. But when you’re ready for adventure, we have your Wonder™ bread and Spam™ sandwich ready. (Moon Pie dessert optional.)
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger on 12.12.07