I love Christmas but the older I get the bigger a production it gets to be. I make plans like a Martha Stewart wanna be but always fall short. I thought I was doing pretty well when my presents were wrapped and the stockings were stuffed on Christmas Eve before I went to work for the 11pm to 3am shift.
A friend at work suggested doggie Prozac for my dog Dinah since she had just been diagnosed by her with separation anxiety. I went to Petco to buy some for that night because I knew she wouldn’t be happy to have me gone for half the night. I gave her a dose and locked the gate from the kitchen to keep her out of the mischief in the rest of the house.
I left for work with my printer and laptop planning on making albums for the kids for one of their presents. When I got to work I realized that I did not have the plug for the printer. Oh well, I thought I’ll just make the albums while the food cooks tomorrow.
Dave was working until 2pm on Christmas so the kids weren’t coming until after that with dinner planned around 5pm. I would have plenty of time to cook, clean and make the albums on Christmas or so I thought.
When I got home I found Dinah had jumped the gate and gotten into some of the stockings. She had sampled some Rasinetts and Junior Mints as well as partially unwrapping some presents. Oh well, it could have been much worse I told myself. I took my sleeping pill to guarantee a good nights sleep, but Dinah was wound up like a child the night before Christmas. The doggie Prozac didn’t seem to be working. I spent the night in and out of bed at Dina’s urging to go outside.
I woke up at nine thirty in the morning with still plenty of time to make my magic Christmas. First I had to clean the kitchen since I can’t work in a messy kitchen. I washed the dishes cleaned off the counters put the rugs in the washer and mopped the floor. I then took my shower and was ready to start making my yeast rolls. All of the sudden Dinah started barking. I was expecting my son Asa, the chef, who promised to come and help me cook. Instead it was Eli with three year old Chloe and Dane who is one and a half. Those weren’t the helpers I needed. Eli said that Christy was painting the house and wanted them out of the way. I could see that things weren’t exactly going to plan but I still had plenty of time to make my memorable Christmas.
Shortly after Asa arrived. I was happy to see him because I really needed help, as the kids were demanding more of my time. Then to my dismay Eli and Asa announced that they had planned on playing a game that morning. The kids still needed entertaining so I gave Dane one of his toys early, a popper that you push on the floor. I thought that would keep him occupied and out of my stuff for a while but Chloe took a likening to it and took it away from him. I tried to find other toys for her to play with but she wasn’t interested. I put Dane in a high chair with some play dough and Chloe decided that would be more fun than the popper so I got out some more play dough for her and toys to go with it. Meanwhile I got both kids some chocolate milk and cookies. I thought that should keep them busy for a while I thought and went on to my chores while the two big boys played their game. I decided to give up on the yeast rolls. I had store bought rolls in the freezer that would work just fine. I still had my pecan pie to make but decided a Cool Whip torte would take less time. Only thing I didn’t have the chocolate pudding. Asa offered to pick up some when he went to the hospital to meet Melissa for lunch. She was working that day and would be over later that night. I thought Asa was going to be available all day to help me cook but could see that was just a fantasy.
I started my torte by making the crust and putting it in the oven. Meanwhile I had to vacuum and clean the downstairs bathroom. Eli and the kids were upstairs out of my way in the playroom. The commotion of the vacuum and the dog barking at it and chasing it brought Eli and the kids downstairs to investigate. Eli asked me whom I was trying to impress by cleaning the house and I said no one I just like it clean. I’m not home much so our house isn’t clean as it should be anymore. Then he said “ isn’t that like polishing a turd.” Referring to the general disrepair of our house. I wasn’t insulted because that’s just how Eli tries to be funny. I’ve had years of his sick humor and I’m immune to his insults by now.
Suddenly I remembered my crust in the oven. It was quite well done. It would have to do because I didn’t have the time or ingredients to start over. I finished cleaning the bathroom and proceeded to make the second layer of my torte. I had to add powdered sugar to cream cheese and then Cool Whip. Instead of dipping the measuring cup into the powdered sugar I poured it out. I should have known better by the way my day was going a mishap was just waiting to happen. The powdered sugar spilled overflowing the cup and went all over the table. I cleaned up that mess and Asa arrived with my pudding. Only thing he bought Royal pudding not Jell-O pudding. I know Martha Stewart uses Jell-O pudding and not an off brand. As expected the pudding was not up to par. It came out lumpy. Oh well buried between the cream cheese layer and the Cool Whip topping no one would notice, I hoped.
Asa had brought some gourmet coffee to make. I don’t like coffee I had no idea how our new coffee maker worked. Neither did he. Well he made his coffee anyway. All of the sudden coffee was spilling down the counter and all over the floor. “Holy Shit” I yelled. Eli was on the phone with Christy, “Mom your not supposed to swear around Chloe” he admonished me. Holy shit is my favorite swear phrase and Chloe admires me so much she has started picking up the same language. So I’m trying to stop the leak of the coffee and clean up the mess without swearing anymore.
Finally that disaster is behind me. The torte is done but I still have the rest of the dinner to make. It’s past noon now and I’m running out of time. I decide some adjustments have to be made in my menu. My twice-baked potatoes are now going to be once baked. The rib roast only has to be seasoned and put in the oven. I have pork tenderloin but decide we can do without that. I can still pull this off with a few adjustments.
Asa tells me he is finally ready to help. When I tell him about the baked potatoes he says, “do you have sour cream, onions, cheese and bacon?”
“I don’t know” I tell him
“Well we can’t have plain baked potatoes” he retorts. “And do we have any vegetables?”
“No, we have lettuce. We can have salad.”
“That’s not a vegetable,” Asa says, his chef is coming out.
I’m starting to loose my patience when Dave walks in the door from work.
“Well you can cook any kind of potatoes you want in fact you can cook the rest of the dinner” I tell him.” We’re going to Eric and Peggy’s.”
“I have to get out of the house now” I tell Dave.
“I have to eat first,” Dave says.
“Have a peanut butter sandwich. I have to go now,” I demand.
Dave isn’t too happy with my greeting after a hard day of work on Christmas but at this point I’m about to snap so he decides to do as I say. After thirty-six years of marriage you finally learn these things.
Eric and Peggy were expecting us after dinner but they just live down the hill and I know they will be home. We exchange gifts with them and discuss the cruise I had just decided we would go on next Christmas. I calm down enough to go home and make Christmas happen for the kids at our house.
Just then Kilah, Tom and their four boys arrive with Christy. Asa had dinner under control. We exchange presents and have a chaotic but good dinner. I always serve dinner buffet style. The kids know where to find the drinks, silverware and what ever they need.
My yeast rolls never got made. I even forgot the rolls in the freezer. Asa made mashed potatoes and gravy, Waldorf salad and pork tenderloin. My rib roast turned out good. And we still had the Cool Whip torte for desert.
“I never did make the albums for the kids, but I can do it next year” I told Dave.
“I thought we were going on a cruise next Christmas” he said.
“What and miss Christmas with the kids. No way.” I said.