Settling in for a quiet holiday... - une femme d'un certain âge

Settling in for a quiet holiday…

Christmas eve party from The Thin Man.

The gifts have been wrapped and dropped off, le Monsieur has completed his holiday baking (and has delighted several of our neighbors with plates of cookies and brownies). Now I’m looking forward to a few days without any obligations.

Tonight we’ll be enjoying some takeout from a local French bistro, and then watching my favorite holiday movie, “The Thin Man.” (OK, so it’s not a holiday movie in the traditional sense, but it does take place over the holidays…) This movie has it all…snappy banter, shady characters, boozy get-togethers, a precocious terrier, and of course, a murder to be solved.

A few other things we’ve been watching and that I’d recommend, though none are particularly “light”:

  • Criminal: France (there are several versions of this limited series, each set in a different country, though the same stage set and process are used in each). Only 3 episodes, so not a huge commitment.
  • Herrens Veje. A Danish drama about a clerical “dynasty” of sorts. Family ties and conflicts, but fascinating and very well done.
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Based on the play by August Wilson, this adaptation is quite theatrical in format as well. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, but was very, very compelling. Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman (in his last role) deliver remarkable performances.
  • Sanditon (on PBS) based on an unfinished work by Jane Austen. It’s a bit fast and “fluffy,” (and some of the dialog feels a bit too modern) but a light and fun distraction with pretty scenery and costumes.

Joyeux Noël to those who are celebrating. I wish you a holiday filled with warmth and love.

Stay in touch.

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  1. Val
    December 24, 2020 / 3:22 am

    I love Sanditon. In fact I’m watching it for the second time. Sidney grows on you !!!
    Merry Christmas and stay safe.

  2. Eva Cox
    December 24, 2020 / 5:00 am

    My husband has one more batch of Oatmeal Cookies to make then we will make appetizers to enjoy this evening & tomorrow (along with a nice breakfast casserole & Monkey Bread (really it’s Funky Monkey Bread). As for the movie, hmmm, it could turn out to be a crime documentary or finish up “Wild Romania” or some other horror movie. Have a Merry Christmas!

  3. Kathie
    December 24, 2020 / 5:11 am

    We watched “The Bishop’s Wife” the other night. My favorite Christmas movie. My husband had never seen it. Tomorrow is our 3rd anniversary. We will have a quiet day and that’s OK. Hope you enjoy your holiday.

    • Susan Blakey
      December 24, 2020 / 5:20 am

      Happy Anniversary!

  4. Eileen
    December 24, 2020 / 5:33 am

    We will be watching my husbands favorite, Cinema Paradisio, a Italian film, about a young boy and a movie house. Happy holidays to you.

  5. susie
    December 24, 2020 / 5:42 am

    Happy Holidays to all! I always enjoy your writing, and you are one of my “stops” on the computer every morning as I start the day. A big thankyou!!
    I myself am hidden away on the farm far from the city and crowds, amongst the livestock with few members of the family. Got a hankering for my old chef days and made some very authentic country french pates. (Dont’ worry, no goose involved) So much work, but well worth it. Recipe is the same for hundreds of years. So time can stand still for us this Christmas. Love and Peace and good health to all!!

  6. December 24, 2020 / 5:55 am

    Have a great holiday, Sue. 🙂

  7. Anna Aquino
    December 24, 2020 / 6:04 am

    I love the movie “Desk Set” with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy for the same reason you love “The Thin Man”. Great banter and it takes place over the holidays. Highly recommend!

    • Ellen
      December 24, 2020 / 7:06 am

      We’ve watched a few episodes of the The Flight Attendant and, so far, it’s quite entertaiining.

      Ooooh, I love Desk Set! Thanks for the reminder! I will definitely be watching that over the next few days.

  8. PatB
    December 24, 2020 / 6:08 am

    Thank you for your excellent blog. All the best to You and Yours.

  9. Elizabeth
    December 24, 2020 / 7:29 am

    Love the Thin Man series! We never tire of watching it. Just saw the 1952 British movie, The Holly and the Ivy, for the first time-a bit dark, but touches on so many timeless human issues.
    Susan, you looked smashing in the striped top outfit earlier this week. Keep enjoying and looking so perky in your colour palette.
    All the best and wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

  10. Diane B
    December 24, 2020 / 8:30 am

    Enjoy your Christmas now that all the tasks are done, and relax.
    I noticed someone else mentioned the Flight Attendant, and I have recorded the episodes until I finish the book later today. I hope it is as good as the book.
    We will be tucked in for a stormy cold Christmas and just as well we have to stay home. It is only one Christmas to give up after all, so not too hard.
    Best to all who read comments as well.

  11. Kathy
    December 24, 2020 / 9:03 am

    We have been watching on MHz the series Murder In…
    It has 9 episodes per season and 8 seasons total. Each episode is filmed in a different village in France with a different male/female defective pair. The scenery is spectacular, with local lore.It is fabulous. We also enjoyed the period detective Nicolas Le Floch , set in 18th Century France. The costumes are spectacular, with villains and swashbuckling.
    Also the comedy series Allo Allo, set in Resistance France is great fun.
    Hope your Christmas has love, peace, hope and joy.

  12. Eve
    December 24, 2020 / 9:44 am

    I been watching Sin Lana on Netflix. It a great series but you do need to read subtitles if you don’t speak Spanish. It will hook you on the first episode.
    I watched the Holiday specials of The Midwives series. I love that PBS show. I just can’t get into my usual cozy Christmas movies this year.

    Southern dinner, smoked ham, Chicken and dumplings, Dressing, turkey, broccoli and a green salad, candied sweet potatoes, butter beans and cornbread for Christmas Dinner. That was our Christmas dinner in times past. Not including desserts. Now we eat healthier these days since we are older. I miss the feast. The young ones even without the covid do not seem interested in traditional family gatherings anymore. But we move on. We came to the end of our rope, tied a knot and hung on.
    Here’s to a healthy and prosperous New Year for all.

    • susie
      December 25, 2020 / 5:42 am

      I have to tell you how much I hear what you are saying. To stay healthy I just cant eat likke I used to. We were a large deep south family, all the good food- especially my relatives from Louisiana!! We had big gatherings as well, but as the older generation died off the youngsters were not wired for such. I am the last tier in the stack that remembers having great-grandparents and staying for long stretches with many of my extended family. I think those days are gone but I cherish them. A good book to read to make you homesick is Jimmy Carters An Hour Before Daylight.

  13. Kris
    December 24, 2020 / 9:52 am

    Joyeux Noêl to you! And thank you for your work on the blog all year long – it’s my “must-read”.

  14. Carolyn
    December 24, 2020 / 10:59 am

    Merry Christmas, Susan!

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your blog.
    Thanks for reminding me about The Thin Man series. Love it!

  15. Claudette
    December 24, 2020 / 12:46 pm

    May you and your husband have a lovely Christmas. I loved the Thin Man movies as a kid. Wish I could find them on my limited tv stations. Thank you for all you do. our posts lighten my days.

  16. December 24, 2020 / 1:32 pm

    The Thin Man is my favorite Christmas movie, too. I never tire of Nick, Nora & Asta.

  17. Wren
    December 24, 2020 / 2:25 pm

    I’m in your neck of the woods to be with my family. We were surprised by rain today which makes it feel more like Christmas even if it did spoil our plan to go to some tide pools.
    I will add my thanks for your blog which I doubt I would have found if not for Pandemic limitations since I barely knew about blogs. It’s always fun to see you in my “IN” box. I appreciate how you keep finding topics to share or fashions to tempt (I blame you for purchases made after you alerted us to sales since, not going to stores, I would have been none the wiser).
    All best to you, le Messieur and votre fils.

  18. Christie
    December 24, 2020 / 3:34 pm

    Dear Susan,

    We love watching “Scrooge” with Albert Finney, The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov among many others.
    Thank you as always for taking the time to write this blog. It brightens my corner of the universe.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  19. Jill Ann
    December 24, 2020 / 10:01 pm

    I always watch Miracle on 34th Street (original version), and at the moment my twenty something daughters are watching White Christmas with me. Admittedly they find it a bit dated! But they’re significantly impressed by Vera-Ellen’s dancing skills, and her tiny waist.

    Agree about the Thin Man movie! I also think of it as a Christmas movie. Nora Charles was so glamorous…in addition to the snappy banter and boozy get-togethers, you didn’t mention Nora’s fashions!

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