My Imagined Christmas Dinner

My Christmas Dinner was planned out in my head weeks in advance.  I had gorgeous imagery of a lush cornucopia of traditional delights and some new recipes to try out.  Alas, sometimes life does not work out the way we imagine.  The first inkling that I would have to give up the dashing dream of a magazine like spread on my dining room table came the night before Christmas.  When I put the little bubba to bed, she had a stuffy nose and wasn’t sleeping well due to teething. Christmas Eve, she woke up four times during the night.  For those Non Parent people, that means you should set your alarm for every two hours then take a cold shower and afterwards try to go back to sleep. 

I did whatever I could to get Annabelle back to sleep, I even offered to pay her fifty bucks, but she squeezed her eyes shut at such a proposition. With rolling eyes and a ragged voice, I wished that Santa would show up and with a twinkle in his eye, put my babe to sleep.   

At 7am, I woke up in a groggy fog. The turkey still in the fridge and the ham chilled to the bone.  It was going to be a monumental day for me.  Luckily, my Mom was here and took over the turkey and Dad started the stuffing.  Maybe next year, when my brain is awake and my eyes are clear I will attempt to do the grand turkey myself.  Is it worth drowning in guilt over?  No, not just yet, the apples for the pie need chopping, pate brisee must be rolled, the pie baked, the potatoes need to be chopped and stirred, the meringue requires mixing, the vegetables steamed, and the table set. 

Oh My God.  I should have made the pie and set the table the day before.  I.  Should.  Have.  Getting started, I opened the bag of apples and started to slice them up.  People were stealing them out of my bowl for their breakfast.  Uhemmm.  STOP I said, “Stay Away from the Apples”  There is a WHOLE bowl of fruit just to my right and the Christmas Fritatta is in the damn oven.  BACK OFF THE APPLES.  This is Christmas and you will not ruin my full figured pie.

Slightly burnt meringue on Sweet Potatoes

“What can I do to help?” chime in my cousin Wendee and Mom who are both experienced Christmas people.

“Keep them away from the apples.” 

I couldn’t find any carrots with the cute green tops

I stayed the whole day in Pajamas and slippers cooking for most of the day.  While I didn’t have much time to get dressed, I did manage to put Annabelle in her Christmas outfit and she looked awesome!  It is days like this that I’m so glad I was single for so long and didn’t have to participate in the madness.  It is also days like this that I have a new found respect for my Mother and how she was able to do this for so many years and make it look easy. 

My SIL’s cranberry salsa w/ Jalapeno! Yum!

“Ahem” my Mom says, “I fooled you!”.  I don’t ever remember her yelling about any apples and she always seemed prepared.  I’m amazed at the community of women in a family who pull together to celebrate and deliver the family meal.  Especially since I forgot all about the gravy and my Mom improvised at the last minute. Thank you! The dinner did make it to the table.  Lindsay did a fantastic job on the Cranberry Salsa, Dad (G’pa) did the honor of cutting the turkey & Bill said the blessings.  Christmas is all about the family anyways and not whether the dinner was perfect.  Everything tasted great and so it was with honor I entered the tradition of making the Christmas dinner.

The cornucopia of First Christmas Dinner


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