December 20, 2016

Every day until Christmas, I’m recounting family stories inspired by my book "A Simple Christmas" and shared with me a few years ago by my radio listeners. Warning: today’s is not for the weak of stomach.

One thing everyone loves about the holidays is all the great foods we indulge in only once a year. Every family has its special dishes that simply must be on the table, from oyster dressing to yams with tiny marshmallows. But sometimes, they don’t make for a great combination.

Kevin from Maryland wrote me that he grew up in a Norwegian family that always served the notorious fish dish, lutefisk, which he jokingly called, “the piece of Cod that passes all understanding."

Kevin recalled: “My mother, a fine teetotaling Christian who prided herself on never having alcohol in the house, was appalled the day my uncle brought a six-pack of beer as his contribution to the Christmas meal. To my mother’s horror, my father graciously accepted the libation. And so, in sullen silence, the family dinner was served...the traditional lutefisk and Godless beer.

I remember the smirk on my uncle's face as he began to eat the fish dish and wash it down with beer. My father, at the other end of the table shared in the merriment, while my poor grim-faced mother tried to remain polite...though sitting next to her, I was certain that she was asking God to strike her kin with righteous retribution.”

Now, at this point, Kevin went into some clinical details about the chemical reactions of the digestive system that I won’t relay here. Suffice to say that about half an hour into the meal, his dad and uncle suddenly excused themselves and bolted from the table. They both spent a miserable night of gastric distress, much to his mom’s quiet satisfaction.

Kevin said that was the Christmas he learned that mixing fish cured in lye with beer creates a volcanic reaction in the stomach similar to mixing vinegar and baking soda. He said it was also the year he learned that God answers prayers (his mother’s, at least.) And He's not above using science in working His will.

Tomorrow, I’ll bring you a story that touches the heart rather than the stomach.

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Comments 1-23 of 23

  • Juanita Bennett

    12/21/2016 06:43 PM

    Love the story about lutefisk and beer. Who would've thought it.

  • Louise Wagner

    12/21/2016 10:23 AM

    I look forward to your daily email and this story is one of the reasons why! You never fail to put a smile on my face and share common sense that somehow eludes the liberals. Thank you for your tireless work and keep the commentaries coming! PS) Been a supporter in Iowa since 2007. God bless you Mike!

  • Linda Radosevich

    12/20/2016 09:15 PM

    Hilarious! ...and teaches one not to mess with God OR mother Nature!

  • Bill Hudson

    12/20/2016 06:51 PM

    I have greatly enjoyed your daily emails and the now added Christmas stories. You have quite a flare for humor and truth. I seems truth has been lost from the media to a great extent. They are so busy spinning the information like a high speed top that it is difficult to tell what the story and truth is as it whizzes by.

  • Kathy Simmons

    12/20/2016 05:47 PM

    Loved it. Educational and hysterical.

  • Cynthia Infante

    12/20/2016 05:46 PM

    I really enjoyed this hilarious story, I was sharing it with my supervisor at work. I could not stop laughing through out the whole reading. I hope to continue reading your stories. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  • Chip Meadowcroft

    12/20/2016 05:35 PM

    Thank you, Governor for the hilarious lutefisk story. Keep 'em coming. By the way, we voted for you in the Iowa primary in 2012. We are staunch admirers to this day.

  • Jennifer Doyle

    12/20/2016 05:23 PM

    Love these Christmas stories you are sharing! Such a cute and great idea! Everyone needs a good chuckle daily!! Merry Christmas Mr. Huckabee and to all your staff too!! Blessings!

  • James Kelly

    12/20/2016 04:40 PM

    Wife's mother came from Sweden as a baby in 1901, raised in Swedish traditions. So when we went to the Swedish festival in suburban Detroit a few years ago - it was the guy of Scots-Irish heritage who had the lutefisk. It was somewhat an effort of will to make it a one-way trip, but I did eat that translucent former fish. Guess my salvation was no beer. A more palatable Swedish tradition is having the whole family over, maybe 25-40 people arriving at random times, Christmas Eve. Lots of food, conversation & a little wine.

  • Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC

    12/20/2016 04:25 PM

    Great story! The outcome served the uncle right, with his disrespecting the mother and her desire to keep her home alcohol free. As they say, a person reaps what he/she sows.

  • Jewell Eyring

    12/20/2016 03:51 PM

    Good stores Mike, sounds one that could have happened at our house!

  • Nita Downum

    12/20/2016 03:01 PM

    So funny. It's nice to read stories that thrill the heart, especially what we all have been through these last 8 years. God is so good.

  • Cheryl Victorino

    12/20/2016 02:51 PM

    Dear Mike Huckabee,

    I loved Kevin's Christmas story. My grandmother used to fix Lutefisk on Christmas Eve. I was young enough that I wasn't compelled to eat any. I am glad I didn't develop a taste for it. Thanks for the factoid about mixing beer and lye-cured fish. Thank you for sharing Kevin's family Christmas story.

  • Judy Hartman

    12/20/2016 02:44 PM

    Ha ha, yes God does have a sense of humor. Thanks for editing the descriptions.


    12/20/2016 02:03 PM


  • Robert Rangel

    12/20/2016 01:28 PM

    I love your Christmas stories and all the great writings in your newsletter. Two years ago, our family decided to put together a "Christmas Memories" book with stories of our favorite Christmas. Now at Christmas time we can look back at 17 wonderful stories from members of our family aged 7 to 77.

  • Maria Kendrick

    12/20/2016 01:17 PM

    I did enjoy the "Kevin's story". Look forward to reading more such stories in the next week.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Maria

  • Ruth True

    12/20/2016 12:45 PM

    i think i would have named Kevin's Story to: the Beer Boomerang!

  • Pamela Tilden

    12/20/2016 12:44 PM

    I am thoroughly enjoying your Christmas stories, plus your daily emails are wonderful! I think you missed your calling. I think you should have gone into journalism instead of politics.

  • Charlotte Hill

    12/20/2016 11:25 AM

    Sure loved Kevin's Story. Am glad I am on your friend list. I so enjoy your writings, I think because of your wonderful sense of humor. BTW You were so right. The trip to Israel 2yrs ago was so great and memorable. It changes one's way of looking at the Bible.

  • Janell Watkins

    12/20/2016 11:17 AM

    Dear Governor Huckabee,
    I just want to let you know how much I enjoy the inspiring stories you share with us. I look forward to reading them each day and I even use some of them as illustrations in my Sunday School class. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas from a fellow Arkansan.
    Janell Watkins

  • Norma Clauson

    12/20/2016 10:57 AM

    Those who refrain from drinking alcohol will say "Be sure your "sins" will find you out" and those who customarily enjoy their "Forbidden" drinks might think twice before proceeding:). Both sides in this funny story eventually received a good laugh!

  • Kristine Butler

    12/20/2016 10:08 AM

    This story was laugh-out-loud funny. I could just see the whole scene and snickered through the entire thing. Mike, I love your way with words and always take time to read your e-mails because I don't have to sift through a bunch of political spin. You made my day with this story.