27 November 2012

never give a pug mulled wine

Last night, I decorated my Christmas tree while drinking mulled wine. The Mary Tyler Moore Show Christmas episode was on in the background. It's from Season 1—"Christmas and the Hard-luck Kid II"—and a couple of years ago, I decided to make watching it while decorating a tradition. {You can read about that and my other Christmas traditions here, should you be interested / want to follow-up with me to see if I actually did these this year.} Mary gets just as excited about Christmas as I do: the lights! the tree! the wrapping paper! the tradition!

Mary Richards is always prone to talking in exclamation points, but that's especailly evident in the Christmas episode. Her desk at the WJM Newsroom has a Santa and eight tiny reindeer on it; she loves Christmas and all its trappings. As she dances along to "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" in the Christmas episode, I swayed, too, as I twisted red ribbon around the tree and hung ornaments on every branch {practically}.

Who wouldn't want to work here?

My little pug stared warily at me last night. She had done her 12 very tight circles on top of a pillow before laying down and made sure she was facing the tree and me when she finally settled down.

She let out a pug sigh—those squished in noses make for delightfully emphatic-sounding sighs. It sounds a bit like she's simultaneously snoring and letting go of all the world's cares, as if she's been carrying the burden of the Middle East and credit downgrades and the effects of global warming and now finally, finally, she can relax and just be herself.

As I sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with Mary, Little Pug looked concerned that I was either going to decorate her next or replace her with the tree. It's a charmingly enticing thought—a pug with twinkle lights on her—but I took another sip of mulled wine and sat down with her in the chair.

Even though she's a very compact pug, she took up approximately 90% of the chair, and I was forced to sort of contort my body around her.

"Little Pug, it's just a little Christmas cheer. A few extra lights, a tree in the house, a wreath on the door so it smells like we live in a forest." I scratched her behind her ears. "Look how happy Mary is for Christmas! I know it's chaotic right now"—I looked at the storage bins scattered around the living room with lights and Nativity figures climbing out of them—"but it'll all be worth it, just you wait."

I idly petted her {reassurance through touch works for so many things} as I considered where to hang the Advent calendar. By the entry? Replace the K hanging in the dining room? {Another not-so-subtle homage to Mary Tyler Moore} Where would it be best?

And then into my Christmas reverie came the strangest of noises: very sloppy slurping. I looked down and the pug was practically up to her neck in my mug. Her flat face was pressed as far as she could get it into the mulled wine, and she was making her own Christmas cheer.

Photo op of a pug in a mug re-created this morning. She was rather disappointed when she figured out that there wasn't more mulled wine in that mug and that I'd tricked her for my blogging pleasure. But really, who wants to drink mulled wine at 7:30am, even when you're competing with Mary Richards for Person Most in Love with Christmas?

"Little Pug, no! You can't drink! You can't be a drunk pug during Christmas decorating—at the office holiday party, sure, but not in front of Mary and the Christmas tree!"

She pulled her face out, and I'm pretty sure she smiled. The whole sad pug sighing about the Middle East had been an elaborate ruse, I think, to get mulled wine.

I laughed as she licked her nose, trying to get every last drop, and I decided then to adapt my Christmas decorating tradition: Mary, mulled wine, and a drunk pug.

What could be more festive?


  1. I will give my pug any and all he desires. ESPECIALLY when it comes to Christmas.

  2. At least I know what to get Daisy for Christmas: More mulled wine!

    I did realize yesterday that some of the pine needles from my wreath had fallen into her water dish. She's been drinking pine-flavored water, which may have added to her Christmas craziness.



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