Today was the Christmas in the Country parade and festival in our town. It was the first one we’ve had since we moved back to St. Francisville. Let it be said that Your Working Boy invented a valve-stimulating spicy shrimp creole dish that he prepared in a black iron skillet on a charcoal grill — and it was damn good. Mrs. Working Boy concocted a fantastic vegetarian chili. We had three semi-kegs of beer from Tin Roof in Baton Rouge, and people in and out all afternoon. It was just right, though honestly, is there anything more December-in-Louisiana than one’s priest having to catch a menacing yellow jacket in a beer cup?

I also invented a delicious seasonal cocktail, the Smiling Lemon Ashley, named for a friend. It involves vodka, dark rum, Chambord, fresh-squeezed Meyer lemon juice, and soda water. You’re thinking, “Seasonal?” Again, this is Louisiana; a mosquito bit me on the cheek last night as I lay in bed reading. It was shorts and t-shirt weather today.

Alas for us, this is the first Christmas parade in years that has not been graced by the presence of our local drag queen, Ginger Snap. La Snap skittered out of town earlier this year, allegedly in the wake of a mysterious jewelry heist. She denied all to me on the phone. One never knows, do one?