We’re pleased to offer a new feature to our newsletter! Senior Delomary Trust documentarian, Vivian “Viv” Van Tussle presents Q & A with the Delomary family, friends and others as part of her InFocus Monthly vlog. In her role, Viv documents the Delomary family as part of the Trusts mission to preserve the past.
In Viv’s first installment she met up with Elijah and Barn, Austin, April and Kevin to ask for their thoughts on the holidays.
Hi Elijah, What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas means spending a lot of time doing interviews with various influencers, magazines and TV shows to promote the Delomary family as the face of the younger generation. It’s a busy time, but I get to wear different outfits and go to a lot of parties, early in the evening that is. I’m still in school!
What is your favorite part of Xmas—when me and my mom volunteer at the soup kitchen on skid row in downtown LA, serving meals to the unhoused. It’s one of the few times my mom lets her guard down and it’s easy to talk to her. And we enjoy helping those less fortunate. Seeing how grateful people are for the meal we serve is rewarding. Knowing I’m doing my part to give back to the community is important to me. I love LA!
What is your least favorite? When Christmas is over. I miss all the holiday decorations and the feeling of excitement in the air. January is a total letdown.
What’s your favorite holiday food? The traditional roast beef Mrs. Singh makes every year for Christmas Eve dinner served with her famous sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, creamed peas, luscious gravy and Yorkshire pudding. I actually dream about Christmas Eve dinner year round!
What’s the worst gift you ever got? Well, one year Grandma’s favorite Corgi died and I guess she had a sort of crisis. She decided to fly back to where she grew up in Pennsylvania or “God’s Country” as she called it. She grew up on a farm. She would tell us about feeding the animals, chopping wood and cleaning out the barn (Mom would remind me that the farm was actually a large operation and Great-Grandpa Phillips, her father, was a gentleman farmer. I guess that meant he didn’t farm but rather ordered around people while pretending he farmed). I’m digressing. Grandma goes back to Bucks County and has this epiphany. She ditches her helmet hair and mask-like makeup and pantsuits and comes back wearing what she calls dungarees or jeans. She wears her hair in pigtails like she’s twelve. It’s really odd. And at Christmas she cancels the big Christmas Day fete and instead we have Christmas in this barn she had built at the back of her estate. We’re all sitting on bales of hay and Grandma hands out gifts. Farm gifts! Mom gets a milkmaid outfit and earthenware milk jug. Tory gets a shovel, pitchfork and scarecrow (she ran out crying!), Aunt Christine got a loom, Aunt Lisa got a butter churn and I got a box of nails and some seeds!
I mean, I guess it was the thought that counted—she was trying to connect us to her youth— but man, I really wanted a PS4!
Any Special Traditions You Have? On Christmas Day, Grandma Delomary throws a big party, where she invites all her friends including world leaders, celebrities, influencers and politicians. Well, it’s not a lot of fun, but I always sneak out with Barn to get tacos at this hole in the wall taqueria on Sunset Boulevard. No one ever notices we’re gone!
Hi Barn, merry christmas!
Happy Cristmas to you, Viv.
What does christmas mean to you? Too many bleedin’ twinkling lights, blow-up Santas, and everyone shouting happy holidays at you for a month straight. Anywhere you go there’s some sign wishing you a happy holiday and offering you a sale or something. Christmas is supposed to be a time of reflection, but it’s just some big excuse for a sale here in America.
What is your favorite part of Xmas? Getting tacos with Elijah after that insufferable “party” his gran hosts every year which is really an excuse to figure out how to make more money to stuff into the old Delomary family coffers. Elijah and me escape the chaos, pull off our ties and hike down to Sunset where we gorge ourselves on tacos and nachos. We usually get sick. Then we’ll sniff around and if there are some monsters up to no good we’ll go for a little hunt and save some ordinaries. Yeah, that’s it. Saving ordies on Xmas. That’s my favorite tradition.
What is your least favorite? See above, Christmas at Gran Delomary’s….
What’s your favorite holiday food? Egg Nog! You can’t get that stuff back in Hong Kong. God,it’s velvety and yummy and amazing. And Dad let’s me have a little rum in it……
What’s the worst gift you ever got? A pink skateboard from Aunt Christine. Look, pink is okay, just not for me. Barnhard Wong doesn’t do pink.
The best? A vintage black Member’s Only jacket. Aunt Christine said they were all the rage at her boutique so she got one for me and Elijah last year. We’d wear them with matching jeans, vans and shirts then go to the mall and when people asked why we dressed alike we’d tell people we were twins. Oi, the looks we got! Best time ever.
Any Special Traditions? Watching Aunt Christine and Dad get buzzed off spiked egg nog on Christmas Eve after dinner when we’ve retired to the drawing room. Dad plays the piano and Christine will sing show tunes and she’s not a great singer at all but it’s bleedin’ hilarious. Her familiars, Pinkey and Agamemnon, two cats, will sometimes morph into background singers just to cover up her shrieking and I can’t stop laughing. And then, Dad and Christine will get all loving and you know, it’s nice to see them being so sweet to each other. Then we all sing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” because I love that song and well, yeah that’s the best time, Viv.
Hi Austin, merry Christmas to you!
Happy Holidays, yeah?
What does Christmas mean to you? Christmas means being with my parents. We having matching pajamas and we are that family that takes pictures of us in front of the fireplace—usually with our PlasmX’s and we send them to everyone we know! I love being with my parents, which is not something you tell other kids my age. So, if you leak this, I will hunt you down, VIv.
Point taken, Austin! What is your favorite part of Xmas? The gifts! I’m an obedient and devoted son so I expect a lot of gifts. Good ones too. None of this pants rubbish. I expect expensive electronics and gadgets and stuff for my car. Like, this year, I’d like to have LED lights installed under the car so when I drive there are blue or red or gold lights whizzing around with my car. Hint, Hint to my parentals, please.
This is a very interactive interview, Austin. Moving on, what is your least favorite? I have to clean up all the wrapping paper after we open gifts. And there is so much paper! I get angry and rant a little, yeah?
What’s your favorite holiday food? Cheese. Anything with cheese. I don’t remember eating cheese back in Hong Kong and yeah, well that’s all we do now here in California. Eat cheese. So yes, give me cheese and crackers, a cheese log, cheese fondue, baked brie with jam, grilled cheese……
What’s the worst gift you ever got? A book titled “How to Be Humble” from my Mum. I was so mad. I am humble! Aren’t I?
I can’t say, Austin. Moving along, so what’s the best? The ultimate u2 collection, on vinyl. Best gift ever. Buy vinyl, Viv, no bleedin’ streaming rubbish. The sound is compressed, no good, yeah?
I’ll keep that in mind. Any Special Traditions? Dad and me go for a hike up in Homer’s Glen. We always talk of the things we are grateful for. What we hope to accomplish in the coming year and then, we share the many ways we are glad we’re father and son. Mum says we’re a mutual admiration society, whatever that means.
Viv laughing loudly
Okay, and now we’re with April Elliston, Merry Christmas!
Same to you!
What does christmas mean to you? Christmas Carols! I love to sing holiday songs all December long. And on Christmas Eve I love singing with the choir at Church.
What is your favorite part of Xmas? Besides singing? Being with my family—my extended family. And we have a big family. Mom has six brothers and sisters! So our house is always full of family. I love it.
What is your least favorite part? When we have to throw out the Christmas tree. Mom insists we take the tree down the 26. She says it’s bad luck to keep it up after Christmas. I get depressed seeing the dried out tree by the curb. In one instant, all the cheer and goodwill of the season is over. I hate that.
What’s your favorite food? Lechon! Lolo gets the best one he can find at the Philipino grocery store and brings it to our house for Christmas Eve dinner.
What’s the worst gift you ever got? Braces. Lola’s gift for my twelfth birthday. I wanted a Barbie Dreamhouse.
The best? Barbie Dreamhouse the following year.
Any Special Traditions? We sing karaoke on Christmas Eve with the whole family and, well, my cousins and aunts and uncles can really sing. It’s like a competion. But good natured.
And finally to Kevin Kwan.
What does christmas mean to you, Kevin? Slowing down, two weeks off, sleeping in. Relaxing.
What is your favorite part of Xmas? See above, sleeping in because there’s no school.
What is your least favorite part? When it ends.
What’s your favorite food? My favorite holiday food are sugar cookies. My mom makes the best!
What’s the worst gift you ever got? My grandpa got me a rock set. Supposedly a geology kit but let’s face it, it was a box of rocks. Awful.
The best? The new Jordans!
Any Special Traditions? After church on Christmas Eve me and the fam go to K-Town for Korean BBQ. We are all obsessed with Korean BBQ.
Devlina…wait, you’re not supposed to be part of this. This is for Delomary Family and friends only!
Devlina: Try to stop me.
Viv: This is highly irregular.
Devlina: Would you like to be turned to stone?
Viv: No, fine, okay so what does Christmas Mean To You? Awful ordinaries pretending to like each other for one month of the year. Talking about peace on earth and goodwill to all when they don’t mean it. And once the New Year comes it’s time to hurt each other again.
What’s Your Favorite Part of Christmas? Dry, christmas trees going up in flames and ruining the holiday for some fool….
What’s Your Least Favorite? Christmas music, any kind. Always ushered in by that pop star who doesn’t sing so much as gasp for breath…
What’s Your Favorite Food? Whiskey
What’s The Worst Gift You Ever Got? Ziddy decided to get in the spirit one year. He got me a puppy. I hated it. I gave it away and gifted myself a dozen piranha for my bathtub. Who doesn’t enjoy having one’s skin torn off at least once a week?
Any Special Traditions? Stealing toys from kids, summoning blizzards so families can’t spend the holidays together….
Viv: That’s terrible.Devlina: I’m a Malevolent, it’s what I do, hun.
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