Yes that’s right my friends.
81 11 argghhhh!!!!! more sleeps till the jolly slightly ’rounded’ man in his red suit awkwardly alights onto the suspension robe hanging from the slay to jump onto our roof, stealthily making his way across the tiles or tin & jumps feet first down our chimneys (for those that have a chimney that is).
For those of us who don’t, well sshhh we have to pretend.
It’s Christmas at my place this year, the family takes turns (well individuals do within said family) which got me thinking….
How does everyone’s Christmas Day pan out…how does it start? How does it end?
I already have beads of perspiration on my forehead just thinking about it. This is how mine goes.
Whoever has the blessed event at their home does the “Mains”, then one is usually in charge of sweets and the entree . The veg is distributed to whoever puts their hands up.
1. Lists that have been written a month or so prior are finally disposed of.
2. Either time has been taken off work to shop (usually 2-3 days before the big ’25’) with the hoards of other totally maniacal Christmassy folk in the Supermarkets, grocers, butchers trying to get their hands on whatever is on said lists (yours truly included) or I leave EVERYTHING to the last minute and panic ensues.
3. Everything purchased (don’t be silly of course you need double or triple the amount you actually end up eating!) and as for the alcohol list (being the most important) half the bottle shop is purchased. Then it’s onto the table setting – do I buy nice linen serviettes this year? Or stick to the bright coloured paper jobs (yep they’re cheaper and only used for wiping grubby mouths on anyway). There are the obligatory bon-bons, again the cheap version where you are lucky if they actually to pop when pulled apart and you may get a nice poem or something not too nasty inside (or the cheaper ones where you get the ridiculous paper party hat, plastic toy and jokes (yep you guessed it the party hats win).
4. Do I have enough wine glasses, champagne glasses, beer glasses? Do I have the full set of white crockery (heaven knows you can’t serve Christmas lunch on a patterned plate!) Did any of these break during the year and forgot to replace?
(More beads of perspiration)
Twas the night before Christmas…
5. The table is set, table cloth pristine & ironed, serviettes, glasses, Clean SS cutlery (without left over dried food) bon-bons, candle Christmas centre pieces. Stand back admire, move fork to the right a bit, towel dry the water marks of any glasses. Nods head…smiles.
The big day…..
6. Ah yes up at the crack of dawn, nerves already kicking in, hoping that I time the cooking of turkey, chicken, pork correctly. Usually turkey done in the BBQ (turns out a treat it does by the way).
Is it too early for a drink?? … 6.30 am yep possibly.
7. Prepare the rum egg nog (they did so like it last time) though note to self careful about how much I consume before meal is actually served.(Of course I have to do the taste test – something to calm the nerves).
Pacing….I do a lot of that I pace, I re-check, I pace.
8. Ok so all should be good, veg is being brought, salad too and sweets. All I have to do is put the meats on and dish up the nibblies.
Sounds easy?? Pace ..pace another try of the egg nog (just to make sure).
9. Ok nibblies now out – checks the time I do that a lot also checking the time and pacing.
10. Meats in, chicken in the oven, turkey in the BBQ (you did remember to fill the gas cylinder honey??)
11. Ham glazed wrapped & in the fridge.
The moment arrives….
12. Hi Hi, yes yes Merry Christmas my other half greets at the door. My family knows I’m a stress head, so I hear them cautiously walk into the kitchen. Hi Hi Merry Christmas, yes yes kiss on cheeks, hugs, yep same to you (how’s the turkey going?)
13. Egg Nog anyone? (Don’t mind if I do) whoops slight case of vertigo there…
14. Right good the gangs all here (the day has begun). Champagne and strawberry time (yee-ha I say). “Please go sit in the lounge get comfy” (in other words PLEASE get the hell out of my kitchen why I have my panic attacks).
15. Pace – go out to BBQ, lift lid, cooking nicely. Inside check oven yep yep chicken doing well. Take ham out to get room temperature (champagne gulped). 5 minutes? I have that..into lounge so how is everyone etc, my look at all the pressies under the tree (our tradition is to open after mains). Then there’s the weather talk in Australia we can have 40 deg C or we can have rain and hail..(be prepared for either).
16. Right entree time (can relax for another 5). Yum yum, fresh salmon or trout or antipasto platter or prawns whatever head Entree Chef prepared.
Back to kitchen pace pace timing it’s all in the timing.
17. “Won’t be long I yell” (another champagne gulp). Meat retrieved from BBQ, looking crispy and golden and delicious. Chicken from oven also looking yum. Veg have been re-heated or crisped, gravy made. Other half checks in on me and does a U turn seeing my expression.
18. Sit down (wait for the compliments of how beautiful everything looks) ..what come on..someone has to say it??
Ah there we are, thank you- thank you it was nothing (bloody hell it wasn’t nothing do you know what time I’ve been up?)
19. Onto the presents – the giving out by the selected party, the unwrapping, the oooh and the aahhs and the you shouldn’t have (no REALLY you shouldn’t have).
20. Then a small break (more alcohol consumed) before the sweets. Usually consisting of a huge bowl of fresh berries in season or pavlova or christmas pudding or all 3 (do not think of your waist line Mumsy.. not today).
21. The day comes a close. Our bellies sated our chatter drawn to a close. Another Christmas passed.
IF we are lucky there will be no family tiffs or tempers or words raised (usually due to the nog and other drinks). We shall talk about whose turn is it next year, what the weather will bring and slowly one by one (after I’ve had helped cleaning and washing up that is) each family member will bid their goodbyes.
aaah yes Christmas in our household …it’s a day full of prior panic..it’s a day of nerves, time checking and pacing, a day full of hoping all goes well, a day when all said and done passes with smiles and laughter and maybe some tears…
PS: Sorry for the length of this post – I swear I was stone cold sober when writing it …possibly 😉