Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How BBQ Saved Christmas

You were born to loiter. And especially so on Christmas christmas-ballmorn. I remember as a pup, waking up at the break of day a most energetic individual, and dashing down the hall in my footie pajamas, out to the fake tree all gussied up in little red balls and dazzling lights, and quietly arrange my plunder there, so I could keep a child’s eye on them.  And I would pace the living room floor hither and yon, waiting for the rest of my family to get their Christmas butts in gear. Boy they liked to sleep late. Didn’t they know I had presents to open up! Toys to play with! Worlds to conquer! In short, I always had to wait on Christmas morning. I had to loiter.

Patience comes to those who wait…” -Elder Brother

Now loitering, as you know, is a key component to successful BBQ. And who knew my training for prolonged barbecue endeavors would start so young. Like a good brisket deckle smoking indirect over a nice bed of coals, nary can you rush things any more in the BBQ Arts, than you would with the festivities of Christmas. Like the old BBQ adage laments, “It’s done when it’s done“. Well, I’m here to say, likewise with the pleasantries of Christmas, and possibly the same with the cultivation of patience.

Patience is a fickle friend. Thing is, with advancing years, a soul tends to notice such things like Christmas are getting done with quicker and quicker. Leastwise that’s how it seems over here, and I’m not so sure that that’s fair. What once stretched eternal is now over in the flip of a heart beat. Before you can sing one round of Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer, our Savior’s birthday is done already, and your filling out your tax forms before April 15th rolls around again. What’s a bloke to do…

Well, what you can do, of course,  is loiter! Perhaps over the years, you have gotten a distorted view of loitering. It’s not a bad thing if applied correctly. In point of fact, it’s good. Loitering is just deliberate living in the face of advancing time. Loitering is soaking in the metaphoric hot tub of the present moment. To absorb what is, and nary be bothered by any thing else. Loitering proper is simply to extend the moment for the moment’ s sake. Which is also what we love to do in BBQ. And with any thing that we love, really. To make it last.

And so it may sound far-fetched, I’m sure, but as a student of the BBQ Arts, you cannot help but to notice the same patience required, nay cultivated, to smoke a 14 hour pork butt, is invaluable just the same in properly prolonging the best day of the year. Patience is an interchangeable commodity this way. Consider your family gathered about the tree here in a few days. Indeed it’s all a pup can do to keep from ripping into his gift larder, this we know, but the old, wise grand parents, if you notice, tarry back on the parameter with cup of coffee, letting the day come to them as it will. They’re in no hurry. They have a lot of Christmas’s logged under their muffin tops, you see, and know precisely what they’re doing. They are elite in the mastery of stretching a moment. For they know how fanciful and swift the ever-ebbing passage of time can be, and they for one are in no hurry to speed it up. So they wait. They purposefully loiter in the warm wake of Christmas Day. Like an ode to Carpe Diem in bifocals.

So next time you’re in a hurry to speed Christmas along, take pause and reconsider. Think like a pit jockey instead. Or your grandma. It’ll be done when it’s done.  And usually done quicker than you’d like. Would you rush a good rack of pork ribs? Of course not! For a pit master’s highest quality may be his patience, and it’s this same patience you may in turn wield at your discretion, to parlay the day unto greater and more appropriate effectiveness. To make it last. Indeed, to make it last. And I suppose that we all cultivate our patience in a great many of ways, it’s just that If I have any these days, it likely was forged pit-side, waiting for succulence. And in a round about way, very round, I guess that’s how BBQ saved Christmas. Or something like that. Now I just need some footie pajamas again. Amen.

Merry Christmas


14 responses

  1. AMEN! I’ve got my cuppa joe ready and waiting for Christmas morn.
    Mele Kalikimaka e Hauoli Makahiki hou, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year PotP!

    December 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

  2. Amen to that! Got my favorite Christmas mug on the ready. And gonna make a rum cake for breakfast. Gonna roast a goose for good measure. And most of all, going to savor the time with my family. Have a blessed and lingering Christmas.

    December 18, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    • Thank you kindly, Mrs Deerslayer. Sounds like you’re in for a good one. Merry Christmas!

      December 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  3. Well done and as they say here in the South, Merry Christmas Y’all!

    December 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    • Thank you TJ, and as we say in the north, Merry Christmas. But I do mean it. Have a good one dude!

      December 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm

  4. An excellent post! I am afraid I need more practice runs to get the loitering down. I keep multitasking my time away. maybe it’s the combo of coffee, cookies, and Christmas candies??

    December 18, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    • Thanks Gary! Sounds like you make a right fine time of it anyways. Sugar and caffeine will do that for a fellow. At any rate, blessings to you and yours, and Merry Christmas too!

      December 18, 2015 at 7:22 pm

  5. Well said. I’m continually trying to get comfortable with the idea of loitering. Since I’m a seasonal griller, I have to find other ways to relax during the winter months. I can say that I am enjoying – even savoring – this Christmas season. It’s been a heckuva year. Thanks for your words; they make a difference.

    December 20, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    • Many thanks, Todd. Appreciate that. Yeah, I suppose a good dose of cattle decapitation helps you to relax. You’re a different soul that way. Oh yes, I remember reading your post. And I suppose someone who just read this is getting concerned now, but don’t be. That’s just Todd’s way of kicking back. The acoustic equivalent of edelweiss to an old man’s ears. I’m not entirely sure I made any sense here. I’m a little tired.

      Anyways, and beside all that, Merry Christmas, Todd, to you and yours. Have a good one!

      December 21, 2015 at 9:53 am

  6. We do things a bit differently here in Ecuador. We started Christmas in Santa Teresa on Sunday, did the big party for the children of San Clemente yesterday and will celebrated with all of the adults in town tonight. Ecuadorians know how to stretch things out! Yesterday afternoon’s affair went from about two PM to almost six.

    And, speaking of footie pajamas, I spent much of that time in a full Papa Noel suit with hat, wig, beard, heavy jacket, and (yes) footie pants to simulate black boots! I can tell you footie pajamas are not advisable attire on the streets of San Clemente on a warm afternoon, but the kids had a great time and I have the next two days to rehydrate.

    May God bless you and your family as you loiter around your Christmas tree this season.

    December 24, 2015 at 6:15 am

    • Aw wow, good times in paradise, sounds like. Seems like you wore the Papa Noel get up last year too, and the children all loved it. Yes, I reckon you developed a wee lot of sweat dribbling down your back in no time flat wearing that. What a good soul you are for enduring the misery. But I’m sure you acknowledge is was worth every minute.

      Thank you kindly for your Christmas blessings, I accept! And like wise unto you and Mary and your Ecuadorian family there. Merry Christmas guys!

      December 24, 2015 at 9:06 am

  7. Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well my Smokie Brutha and all the very best in the New Year. 🙂
    Can you believe it actually 15 degrees C, here in balmy Southern Ontario this Christmas Eve today ??? GEEZE !!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    December 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    • I believe it. The earth is a goofy place these days. 20 Christmas’s from now, you’ll probably be riding your motorcycle for last minute shopping runs. On a better note, we just got an inch or so right in the nick of time for a Christmas proper.

      Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you my friend.

      Bless ya,

      December 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

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