It’s official, Figs: the weather is getting frightful, the mistletoe has been hung, the lights are twinkling–the holidays are upon us! To celebrate, we’ve asked some of our favorite authors to share holiday memories with us. Tune in all through December to get in the holiday spirit!
Cat Patrick is the author of Forgotten, a novel about sixteen-year-old London, who “remembers” only the future, and forgets everything about her past. Every morning, at precisely 4:33a.m., she forgets everything that happened to her the day before–who she is, where she lives, who her parents are. It’s a fascinating premise and a thrilling read. Below, Cat shares a Christmas tradition that’s adorably writerly: the phrase of Christmas.
A Very Peewadden Christmas
I grew up one of four kids: I have an older sister and two younger brothers. They’re my best friends but we haven’t always lived in the same city. The holidays are our time to reconnect, bond . . . and laugh.
Every year at Christmas, when my siblings and I, and our significant others, come together, we like to play a game called The Phrase of Christmas. It’s not an official game—it just happens. Someone says something ridiculous that really cracks us up. Then we proceed to say that thing as many times as possible over the rest of our time together, which usually annoys the non-players but always makes for the very best type of laughter—the kind that makes you feel like you’ve done crunches afterward because your stomach muscles hurt.
Here are some of our Phrases of Christmas past:
Peewadden. One of our amazing grandmothers, who has since left the party, was the instigator of this phrase one year. On Christmas Eve, she was telling a story and exclaimed, “That scared the peewadden out of me!” We thought peewadden was so funny that we used it for everything—but we used it completely out of context. “Hey, Peewadden, get me a Coke!” “This is one tasty peewadden!” “I got you a peewadden for Christmas; I hope you like it.” And my personal fave, at church, “Peewadden be with you.”
Crack Me Off a Piece Of . . . Our dad is a super funny guy who makes people laugh intentionally and unintentionally on an equal basis. One Christmas in Washington, we were having hors d’oeuvres and Dad wanted someone to pass him some cheese. He said, “Crack me off a piece of that would ya?” We all thought it was funny to ask someone to “crack off” something that wasn’t really crack-able, so we dubbed it The Phrase of Christmas and used it like mad the rest of the holiday. “I’m cold! Crack me off a piece of that blanket!”
Harry Potty. I honestly don’t remember who instigated this one, but whoever it was got tongue tied and said “potty” instead of “Potter” during a book discussion. Hilarity ensued, and you can bet that it was filled with lots of “potty” humor.
Now that we’re older and we have our families of our own, my siblings and I don’t get to spend every Christmas together, but I’m thrilled to say that in one short day, the mighty foursome will be reunited and it’s GAME ON. I don’t know what The Phrase of Christmas will be this year, but I can promise you this: There will be laughter—tons of it—and a whole lot of love, too.