The Shot

Chick-fil-A to the Rescue

A sanity-saving Sunday supper; Louisiana sets the bayou on fire; and remembering the fallen

It’s the homestretch of the holiday season, G&Gers, and while you still have presents to wrap and meals to make, we hope you’ll get a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet the season can bring.

Just kidding! As we say in the South, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. And you don’t look remotely overdone yet. To help you finish what you started, we’ve prepared a special Christmas edition of The Shot, with traditions, good tidings, and words to celebrate by.

Miracle on Peachtree Street 

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, and boy was it dark in Atlanta Sunday night, when an electrical fire threw Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport into pitch-black chaos. Escalators froze, flights were canceled, and passengers were stranded with nothing to nourish them but those Biscoff cookies they give out on Delta flights.

Into the misery came Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based poultry purveyor that is as famous for its crispy chicken sandwiches as its six-day work week, with Sunday always a day of rest. Except last Sunday, when company employees arrived at the airport and an overflow convention center with hot sandwiches for all. Twitter fans declared it the “Miracle on Peachtree Street,” with some wishing that they, too, could have been swept up in the abject dystopia in exchange for a Sunday supper from Chick-fil-A. #WorthIt


Bonfire of the Levees

If you come from southern Louisiana, you know all about one of our favorite Southern holiday traditions—the Bonfires on the Levee. This spectacular Christmas Eve display includes fireworks, gumbo, and a 40-mile stretch of roaring bonfires along the banks of the Mississippi River just outside of New Orleans. Cajun legend says the bonfires do double duty—illuminating the way for Santa Claus and keeping the lights on for people traveling to Midnight Mass.

Either way, how could Papa Noel arrive in anything but a good mood after a flight over the blazing bayou?

photo: New Orleans Plantation Country

Bonfire in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

Wreaths of Remembrance

Another very meaningful holiday tradition has taken root in Arlington, Virginia, where thousands of volunteers gather every December to place fresh Christmas wreaths at the graves of American service members in Arlington National Cemetery. The tradition began in 1992, when Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester decided to drive his surplus wreaths to lay at Arlington. More than 20 years later, Worcester has founded Wreaths Across America, which places wreaths at more than 1,200 cemeteries around the world, including 245,000 wreaths at Arlington last year.

Worcester says his goal is to someday place a wreath for, and say the name of, every American service member and veteran laid to rest, believing that saying a person’s name is one small way to honor their sacrifice and keep their memory alive. Thank you, Mr. Morrill Worcester, from all of us.

photo: Courtesy of Wreaths Across America

Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.

Lilly Says

Whether you’re taking a vacation or a staycation at the end of the month, the new year is always a chance to clean house on the inside and out. Our resolution is to be more like Lilly Pulitzer, the Palm Beach patron saint of barefoot dinner parties, start-ups, and being an “influencer” before that was a thing.

To ring in the new us, we will be sprinkling these Lilly quotes into casual conversation in January. You should, too.

1. “I was a gypsy, living a carefree life of ponies and tennis.” (LinkedIn profile?)

2. “A budget? How embarrassing!” (Always appropriate at work.

3. “It’s always summer somewhere.” (When someone asks the time, obvs.)

4. “I just wanted to do things my way.” (Evergreen for staff meetings.)

5. “There’s no describing the fun I had.” (Wrap-up declaration, every single day.)

Parting Shots

This week, the team at The Shot is: Remembering that Rob Lowe is just a nice boy from Charlottesville after he cooked dinner for the firefighters who saved his neighborhood from the fires in Southern California. … Reservering tickets for The Post, the Spielberg-directed movie about the Pentagon Papers and Kay Graham, the famous hostess who was an even more remarkable newspaperwoman. … Passing along Ike’s famous White House Christmas party egg nog recipe that everyone in Washington is talking about. Guaranteed to create world peace, or just make it feel that way, if only for a night:


Merry Christmas, friends.