I figured I’d spare you the Norman Rockwell, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” review of our last forty-eight hours of Christmas follies and get on with, what I like to believe, describes how many of us truly spent Christmas.
First up: Christmas Eve
Getting ready for our family dinner, with violin girl’s Jacob in attendance.
A lovely potato au gratin, a specialty of mine (counts as such because it’s my third year making it) made with cream and havarti and butter, about to be placed in oven for a 6:30 p.m. meal, when drummer boy gets a call from his drum buddy, Carter, asking if he could tag along with him and his family to a Christmas Eve church service half-way across town. Wrench thrown.
Being that it is Christmas Eve, I say, “Sure, go ahead. The au gratin won’t mind.” Given that I’ve got plenty of cooked, spiral sliced ham (courtesy of hubby’s employers) and a hefty assortment of frozen green beans and corn (courtesy of Aldi), I spastically run out to the front porch, yelling out an unplanned invite for all to dine with us upon dumping drummer boy at our front door.
The invite is accepted, and Kaukab’s daughter is off and scurrying about, arranging candles and gathering up chairs from various rooms to position about the dining table. There will be ten of us, and the table will allow for it, and not one more.
Send out hubby to comandeer a few bottles of sparkling apple cider, or something of that nature, which he does. He’s exceptional that way.
Meanwhile, driver/shutter boy’s attention has been kidnapped by the Ion channel’s ‘Criminal Minds’ marathon–alarming, yet somehow intriguing.
Earlier in the day, I manage to get in a truly vintage Christmas flick: ‘A Christmas Carol’ (not all the way back to the original, but the one with George C. Scott).
7:30 and all are back from church.
Nearing 8:00, we gather around the table and proceed in having a festive grand time. Why is it that the most unexpected gatherings always turn out to be some of the best?
Fun Times--Despite the Sullen Faces
Oh, and this to set the mood:
After the cheesecake (once again, Aldi), a few parting Christmas photos to remember our wonderful Evening.
'Wild 'n Crazy WV Guys'
Pre-Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans
After all, but Jacob, leave, we make our way to the living room to watch a modern-day Christmas classic–‘The Polar Express.’
12:30 a.m. Kaukab’s daughter is left to rummage among various clothing drawers–in the dark–trying to recall the many gifts she’s managed to distribute and hide so well.
2:45 a.m. Presents wrapped and accounted for.
Kaukab’s daughter is in no mood to get out of bed, shouting a stern warning to the pitter-patter of teenage feet not to open any presents until she makes her way down to the living room.
Eventually, presents are opened and all seem satisfied. We started a tradition, a couple years ago, whereby we purchase animals, or shares of them, as well as other items in each of their names, to help others around the world who have far less than they. This year, two Bibles, a share of an alpaca, and water-cleansing tablets, along with a water well, were purchased on their behalf. Fortunately, for us, they look forward to these gifts.
Oh, and I got these:
Oh, Come Let Us Adore Them...
Thank you, Hubby! Although, Kaukab would think them too much of a splurge. (I think she needs to stop having tea parties with the Grinch.)
I had planned on fixing a turkey dinner for Christmas, a homage to ‘A Christmas Story’, but the late night gifting session didn’t allow for such an endeavor. Besides, we still had plenty of leftover ham and veggies. At one point, violin girl reminded us that, like the movie, the Chinese place up the street from us would surely be open. She notified us shortly afterward that she had received confirmation from a Facebook friend, who used to live in the area. Not that we, remotely, considered following up.
The rest of Christmas day was spent nursing colds, eating ham, baking cookies, and watching ‘A Christmas Story,’ and our new family movie, ‘The Blind Side.’ Hubby was happy to get ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.’
And, the turkey will be cooked one day later. Kaukab will surely see this as a complete failure on my part. But, I’m good with that.