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manger For some unknown reason my family has its big holiday gathering on Christmas Eve, and one of the great things about being Eastern European and Irish is that every holiday is a celebration. And there’s no such thing as a party without copious quantities of alcohol.

I did have a little bit of a scare yesterday morning when I woke up in the yard, and I thought I must have ticked off my wife and gotten locked out of the house. Luckily, my fears were unfounded.

After carefully analyzing the scene, and discovering the front door unlocked, there was a simpler explanation. It appears I must have fallen off the porch while taking a leak and passed out.

I do vaguely remember trying to make mulch angels while lying in the middle of the rhododendrons and my own urine, but the rigors of the day eventually caught up with me. Much like little baby Jesus nestled in his manger, I closed my eyes and slept the sweetest sleep. That untroubled rest you can only get from a clear conscience and 14 to 19 shots of Jagermeister.

After I got up and picked all the stray bits of wood out of my face and hair, I had plenty of time to take a shower, brew some strong coffee and wait for my daughter to come bounding down the steps at the ass-crack of dawn to open all her presents.

Good times.