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Dear Dawn

Dawn’s Very Special Christmas Advice for Beachcombers

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By Dawn Bright


Dear Dawn,

I love eggnog, but you can only get it around the holidays. Why is that?

– Evelyn N., Navarre



I’m with you, Evelyn. I love eggnog, too! But according to, eggnog just doesn’t sell the rest of the year. Demand follows a traditional consumption pattern that dates back hundreds of years, starting with the British aristocrat who mixed it with brandy or sherry to prevent spoilage. Eventually, less expensive rum was used, and by the 1800s, it was commonly served at winter holiday parties in America.


Apparently, it is also associated with cold weather, as sales are higher in the colder states up north than the rest of the country. And while it could be produced throughout the year, the production, cleanup of machinery, and labeling isn’t cost effective.


I don’t know if you’ve tried making your own eggnog, Evelyn, but I have, and it’s pretty darned good. Plus the more alcohol you put in it the better, because the alcohol both preserves and sterilizes, which is important when you’re using raw eggs. Very few bacteria, including salmonella, can survive in the presence of alcohol. So make your own, pour it on, and drink it up!

Dear Dawn,

Recently, I flew out of the Destin-Fort Walton Beach airport on a business trip. The woman in the seat next to me was reading a magazine and flipping the pages so loud I had to wear earplugs. She was also wearing all black with a bright orange scarf and orange patent leather high heels. I thought she was a little out there with that outfit, but it was the page-flipping that had me scratching my head. Why would she do that? And why orange? It’s Christmas, not Halloween!

Mark M., Miramar Beach



Pay attention, Mark. I mean, literally pay attention. She needed it and found little ways to get it. Did you notice her outfit? Yes. Did you notice her page-flipping? Yes. Did that cause you to reach out to get to know her? No. And therein lies the problem. There are both positive and negative ways to get attention, and it sounds like she went the negative route. Although the orange shoes sound pretty (but you’re right, I would have gone with red), inconsiderate behavior on a plane (or anywhere) is not. If you’d reached out and spoken to her, the page-flipping may have stopped, but then you’re doing something you really didn’t want to do just to make her stop doing something you really didn’t want her to do. It sounds like the best course of action was to do exactly what you did do—insert those earplugs and ignore all that negative attention-getting behavior!

Dear Dawn,

Every year I take down my working Christmas lights, carefully pack them up, and store them away. Then, the next year, I take them out and discover at least half the strands are no longer working. Why?!

– Kris from Shalimar



No clue. That happens to me, too. It could be some kind of Christmas light conspiracy thing or something to do with science. Maybe unplugging them causes more voltage to flow than they can handle, so they all burn out. I’ll bet that’s it.


So just do like I do. Wait until right after Christmas when all the stuff is on sale, buy half as many lights as you have stored away, and then next year you’ll be all set when you discover the unexpected burnt out ones. And Merry Christmas!

Dawn Bright is an eternal optimist. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about her. Email your questions to

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