Christmas in the Bubble

We haven’t been ignoring Christmas in the Bedrossian bubble, even if the family doesn’t celebrate Christmas until January 6. The house is all decorated inside, since it had to look Christmassy for the show that’s going to air tonight, but it’s not really going to be a Christmas show. I think they’re going to show how to make an Armenian Christmas on the show that airs on January 6; tonight’s show is more about decorating the house…and tamales. (I’ll get to those later.)

Maya ordered the Christmas trees online. There’s a hugeass one in the entry hall when you come in the front door. Everybody helped decorate it (with the cameras rolling), and the boys paired up to put the star on the top, leaning over the banister to reach the tree, with me holding onto Jacob and Richard holding onto Matteo. If y’all watch the show, you’ll see that it looks real nice…but it was kinda nerve-racking holding onto a kid leaning off-balance over the banister about 10’ off the ground.

The Bedrossians have a whole eclectic collection of ornaments, which reminded me of home. Don’t get me wrong: the ‘theme’ trees I’ve seen out here – the masterpieces Joyce and Adam and Allan turn out, Keaton’s all-animal tree and my baseball tree – are all pretty amazing, but it’s also cool to have a whole history of the family in Christmas ornaments. The only thing that I didn’t love about the Bedrossian tree was that they used clear lights, but Maya’s very insistent that she prefers those.

Someone was listening when I said that I liked colored lights, though. I found several boxes of them on the table the day the trees got delivered. My tree’s narrow, so it fits in the pool house living room, and it’s a little taller than I am. The boys helped me decorate it using the popsicle stick ornaments we made. There were a few boxes of multicolored balls and some strings of gold garland for us to use as well. And I reckon I was telling the boys how much I liked A Charlie Brown Christmas when we watched it, since they asked Sandy to order some Peanuts-themed ornaments for my tree too. It was a pretty eclectic tree when we were done, but, like I told y’all, I’m all for eclectic trees.

I wasn’t the only one who got his own tree. Maya offered to get one for anyone in the crew who wanted one for their room. Ethan and the cameraman took her up on it. Ethan wanted a tree that was all white and gold and Sandy ordered the decorations he wanted. It looks very good…although pretty dang gayass too lol. When I told Ethan that I was going to write that, he laughed, looked at the tree and said “you know…you’re right.”

Because Maya didn’t want people working on the property, the crew she usually has come in to decorate the front of the house didn’t come this year. On the other hand we did get some decorations up out back. We’re always filming out there, so there had to be something. Sandy asked me if I knew how to put up Christmas lights outside, I said of course I could, so I got put in charge of hanging the lights on the back of the house. I had help from Robert, Ethan and the sound man (who’s super tall, which came in handy), and it looked pretty nice once we were through. Nothing too special, just a lot of icicle lights, which are actually a bitch to hang. Maya wanted all clear lights on the house, of course, but she made an exception for the pool house, where me and the boys (I let them help, but I didn’t let them go climbing on no ladders) got to put up a ton of colored lights. I don’t know what happened, but Sandy said that they double-shipped her on the lights she ordered. She said she could send half of them back, but I said heck no, let’s put ‘em all up. It made for a shit ton of lights – I’m not kidding when I say you can read a book outside of the pool house by the Christmas lights – but I think it looks great. Y’all can judge for yourselves: there’s a really sweet segment on the show tonight showing me and the boys decorating the pool house.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I missed home like I always do this time of year. I miss my baseball tree and putting up the red and green lights on Joyce’s house, too, but I haven’t been without Christmas. And all the Christmas blu rays and DVDs I’ve been watching with the boys have certainly helped. I got the boys to listen to some country Christmas records, too. They didn’t think much of George Strait (Keaton would have something to say about how I’m not learnin them right lol), but they did like the Reba album I streamed for them. They sat on the couch and listened to the whole thing. There’s a new Dolly Parton Christmas album this year, too, which I heard for the first time with the boys. They liked that, too, although I wish that Dolly’d chosen a few more religious songs. (That’s what I like about Reba’s album.)

Look: I know it’s not too popular to be one these days, but I am a Christian, and I believe in the story of Christmas. It’s a wonderful story, Baby Jesus and all, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not just a story. I mean, it’s pretty cool: God sending Someone to save us all. That’s why Christmas is important…and all the other stuff is important only because of that. I already said how awesome I think A Charlie Brown Christmas is…because it says don’t be afraid to be religious even when everything is so commercial. I’m with Charlie Brown when he says that it’s nice getting presents (who doesn’t like getting presents?), but there’s got to be more to it than that. You can take the presents in one of two ways if you’re one of us what they’re now calling ‘people of faith’: either it’s because of the presents that the Wise Men brought to Jesus…or it’s because Jesus was a gift and we want to give each other presents because God gave us all a gift at this time of year.

I didn’t get into it too deep with the boys, although I know that they go to an Armenian church in Glendale at least on Easter and Christmas and the boys were getting some kind of religious education before COVID. So it’s ok to talk about the real meaning of Christmas with them. That’s good.

Since all the Armenian dishes are being held until their Christmas in January, the Christmas menu for our viewers tonight is going to be tamales. Of course, for it to be on TV on the 23rd, we had to eat the tamales last week, but I’ve kind of lost track of time (I was surprised waking up this morning and realizing Christmas was day after tomorrow), so it didn’t seem too weird having Christmas food on December 15th and sitting down and making it look a little like we were having Christmas dinner.

And, besides, tamales aren’t exactly part of Block Christmas tradition lol.

Belen was in charge of the tamales – that’s Belen the housekeeper here, not Belen the court-ordered nurse who takes care of Adam’s sister, although the other Belen brought us tamales for Thanksgiving last year. It was a 2 day process getting them ready, and I don’t know how many all she made. There aren’t that many of us in the bubble, but I think Belen only knows how to make tamales for an army. She had the hugestass pot I’ve ever seen in my life. And she had 2 of them.

Mrs. Bedrossian helped Belen out (on the show Belen says that Mrs. Bedrossian is an ‘honorary Mexican” for how she makes tamales), but I got a little look at the process before Belen chased me out saying that she didn’t want any men in the kitchen. From what I saw, tamales are a complicated process. You gotta make the dough and you gotta make the fillings, and then you gotta put them all together in the corn husks and then they go into the hugeass pots and cook for I don’t know how long.

Y’all are gonna get to see a long segment on tamale-making tonight, which will probably come out pretty cool.

Belen and Mrs. Bedrossian made three different kinds: pork, chicken and cheese. So you can see Baseball Boy on TV tonight stuffing his face with all three – and having Belen and Mrs. Bedrossian compliment me on my appetite lol. The ones we had last year at Adam and Allan’s were good, but this Belen’s were totally bombass. She says it’s because she makes her own dough, which is something that most people who make tamales today don’t do apparently.

We even got permission from Matteo’s dietician for him to have some, although I understand there’s lard in the dough so they’re probably kinda high in calories. I think it means he had to give up all his wheat toast for the day, and so he was probably starving after breakfast, but you could tell from how he was eating the tamales that he thought it was worth it. I know the tamales were 10 days before Christmas and the Bedrossians don’t celebrate Christmas until 12 days after our Christmas, but, still…it’s the holidays. I don’t see why they can’t put the diet away for a few weeks, but I think everyone’s afraid Matteo’s gonna gain back all the weight he’s lost. I didn’t say that much to Matteo, but I kinda sounded him out about it. He said that he’d just rather keep going with the diet – the sooner he loses the weight, the sooner it’ll all be over. That’s pretty mature of him, although I don’t know why a 9 year old boy needs to be mature.

So y’all don’t have to worry: it’s plenty Christmassy here in the bubble. I’m looking forward to going to dinner at Joyce’s…although Dr. Peterson apparently got a very nasty case of bronchitis from COVID, so he’s nowhere near coming back to work with the boys. So, although Maya’s letting us break training for one day – she made us promise to be careful and not associate with any more people than we have to – it’s going to be back to the pool house for me on the 26th.

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