1. Woo hoo! Break out the eggnog and crank up some tunes. Christmas #1 is complete!
2. Friday evening found me doing pre-cooking baking. Making gluten free cornbread, toasting gluten free white bread, even baking gluten free brownies because hello, chocolate.
3. Am I the only one who gets a little hinky about cross-cooking foods in the same oven? There’s just no winning. If you do the stuffing first then put in the brownies they’re baking in a weird herb/spice space. But if you do the brownies first then cook the stuffing there’s an overwhelmingly sweet and chocolaty smell in the oven. Since time travel isn’t yet possible I solved this by baking the brownies Friday night. Long after the breads for the stuffing. I find wine pairs nicely with the pre-cooking baking.
4. I can’t quite find words to describe Saturday’s nutty. At moments my kitchen resembled something out of an I Love Lucy episode, except crazier. Tripping over dogs, snatching the cat from a turkey bowl, doing a spazzy dance to avoid BrightSide’s chef’s knife on my way to the sink, cascading pepper, disappearing kosher salt, entirely forgetting a main ingredient in the stuffing until ten minutes after putting it in the oven, and more. So much of the more. My mantra was One Foot In Front Of The Other AMEN.
5. Somehow everything managed to get mixed and prepped and cooked and out before my family arrived. Well, except for that stuffing I almost lost because I’d stuck it in the convection microwave to keep it warm and then totally forgot about it until everyone had fixed their plates because BLESS IT ALL a brain can only juggle so much. But Christmas miracles abound because people came and food was had and what else can a girl ask for, right?
6. And I know I’m usually all BOO on the technology because be present and why can’t we just enjoy ourselves but FaceTime made it possible for my brother and his family to join us long distance. Ideal? Nope, having them in the room would have been ideal. But watching my two-year-old niece shove her face right up to the screen trying to figure out why these people were cheering her on from the tv was priceless.
7. Watching T-man eat fifteen Christmas cookies was entertaining, too. But really, he was just picking up my slack in the baked goods department so we can’t blame him for doing his part. Mmm-hmm. Yep.
8. Despite being a people person cat, Mia was like huge room full of people? No thanks and disappeared for the day. I guess it must have stressed her out, though, because she literally slept all day Sunday. I could barely stir her, even for meals. Contrast that with the dogs who would have crawled up inside somebody given the chance. Weird.
9. The youth group at church had an ugly Christmas sweater competition at the party on Sunday night. It was about 5pm Sunday when I realized a) I don’t own an ugly Christmas sweater, and b) I don’t own a Christmas anything. Like, anything anything. I should probably pick up some socks or something before next year’s party because I like to get down. Whoop. Whoop.
10. They also played Dirty Santa. I’ll own my crazy here when I say I can’t play Dirty Santa, the gift stealing stresses me out on all sides. I hate when someone steals a gift I’m happy with, I’m incapable of stealing someone else’s gift they love, I hate watching other people get their gifts stolen – all of it just Freaks Me Out. They seemed to have fun, though, so I gave “joyful observer” a shot. Let’s hope I pulled it off.
Look, everybody, it’s the one week countdown to Christmas Eve! If you’re celebrating soon, may your season be filled with the generosity of strangers and peace in parking lots. If you have little ones who are changing their wish lists at the last minute, may you be blessed with boundless patience and the knowledge that you’re doing the best you can.