My Christmas & Boxing Day

Well it’s done, complete, finished,  adios to yet another Christmas.

Christmas Day left as quickly as it arrived.

Everyone wished everyone a joyful, wonderful Christmas and it was all warm and fuzzy and heart felt.

No one said “Have a stress free day – hope it goes well.”

The stress (yes I stress) and what about you may ask?

You didn’t?

Well, I shall tell you anyway, my family are use to me stressing, in fact I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t…hell it wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t.

It can over something as menial as burning the potatoes  (which I did) or burning the extra stuffing (which I did) or putting way too much alcohol in the egg-nog (which I did) that you couldn’t take a sip near a naked flame.

Then of course due to the above mentioned yours truly had a mini (ok a large) hissy fit in the kitchen…where I spewed forth many naughty words – perhaps I had sampled too much of the nog before the family arrived?

“It will be ok mum, you have so much food, we can just cut the burnt bits off” said daughter # 1

“It’s not the *bleep* point – I wanted everything to be perfect and I stuffed it up”, I hissed back.

Enter martyr Jen..

“I worked all yesterday and this morning so it all WOULD be right and now look at it”.

“It’s fine, relax”, rolled eyes from daughter #2.

Another family member started to intrude my space walk into the kitchen.

“U-Turn – U-Turn – Enter at own risk”, daughter # 1 said.

Ugh there was more than enough food, as usual I over catered and we still have probably 5 kg of meat in the fridge, copious left over salads, pumpkin, half cut spuds, pudding, trifle…the list goes on and on.

We have so many drinks left we could open our own bottle shop.

We have jars of lollies (yes I keep going and eating them) and bags of nuts.

We (ok I) so want everything to run like clock work for the timing of the meats to be just right (turkey in the BBQ) pork in the oven and the ham to be thinly sliced.

The table was set perfectly (because I fussed for over an hour folding the bloody linen napkins) there were candles of pine and strawberry burning (I know strawberry isn’t Christmassy but that’s all they had left).

Decorations hung (tinsel and knitted stockings and rather ghastly Santa hats) and Carols and Michael Bubbles singing his Christmas ditties.

The entrée was magnificent (compliments of sister-in-law) and the sweets equally so (compliments of daughter #1 and Mr. S’s mum).

We ate…and ate..and ate some more till my stomach was so distended I couldn’t breathe.  Why do we do this? We (I) don’t feel the need to gorge myself at other times of the year (ok maybe a couple). Christmas Day brings out the inner Alien wanting to be fed..give me more dammit…I want more!

My darling dad sat on the couch and started to nod off a couple of times (yes he sampled some nog) and everyone chatted and moaned about how full they were.

The family then departed by about 6pm – into the T shirt and track pants – ah I can breathe once more.

The kitchen was declared a disaster area but Mr. S was the Knight in Shining Armour and came to the rescue, washing the pots and pans, packing the dishwasher, putting the empty bottles out, collecting up the mess.

I then went on the computer to help for C4C but I think I mucked it up badly as I was so tired I had no idea what I was doing :-(.

Today Boxing Day over to Mr. S’s family for yes you guessed it more food! Surely this stomach cannot hold anymore (or had it stretched from yesterday) ..yes apparently it had and so I did.

Now I sit writing (ok typing) with the thought of all that food in the fridge… shall I go near it? No not I… not for at least an hour or two anyway. Nope it’s back to the diet (if I can stay away from the lolly jars) and step up the exercise regime…thank God (can I say that) that this only happens once a year!

 

So do tell me about your Christmas Day – did you eat too much or throw a hissy fit?

 

Credit pic – http://in.reuters.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a List and Checking it Twice & the list includes C4C

FOOD:

3.6kg Pork Shoulder for cooking in BBQ – Check,  5kg Turkey for the Oven – Check,  4kg Ham – cold – Check

Milk, butter, cranberry sauce, flour, basil, parsley, pancetta, bread, onions, cream, eggs, nutmeg, potatoes, pumpkin, peas, chicken stock, pine nuts, bread.

DRINKS:

2 bottles strawberry champagne, 2 bottles white, 4 bottles red, 3 bottles spirits – 1 for egg nog. Lemonade, flavoured mineral water, fruit juices.

EXTRAS:

New white tablecloths x 2, new red cloth napkins x 12, chocolates as centre piece in middle of napkin (as I had to fold them into a flower – which may I say took forever!). Set of new wine glasses, set of new glass tumblers, glasses to put Christmas decorations in for table, candles red, green and white. New jug for egg nog.

I am sure there will be something I have forgotten. How many lists have you made, how many times have you checked them and how many times have you forgotten things?

The tables have already been set here – 1 job done, the meats are in the fridge, the bags of ice for the drinks in the freezer, the ice-cube trays filled in the freezer. Tomorrow we vacuum the floors and wash the floors, we clean the toilet (probably not for the last time). We move some furniture for easier access for our elderly parents. We wash the front step, we clean out on the deck (just in case someone wants to go outside). We have dusted the wooden venetians inside, we have trimmed the ferns, mowed the lawn, did the weeding, empty bins (recycled and rubbish).

We have cleaned showers and vanity basins. Tomorrow I make the egg-nog, tomorrow I make the stuffing for the turkey. Tomorrow I go through every on the lists and make sure that I have everything….

It’s relaxation leading up to Christmas Day isn’t it??

On a more Serious Note:

To close,  I had reposted previously from ruleofstupid  – in case any of you have not seen this please read the below and see if you can help, you would have to let Mr. Panda know straight away if you can volunteer any of your time on Christmas Day for this worthy cause.

C4C is an idea from a blogger (ruleofstupid). RoS used to work with people separated from families, and they always struggled most around Christmas time. Being alone is much harder when all the seasonal TV and media push the image of happy families and picture postcard lives, however unrealistic a lot of it may be. People often feel like everyone is happy and together, so who wants to hear someone being unhappy?! It can be hard to reach out. So RoS started this Blog, to see if maybe some fellow bloggers would be there to talk to around Christmas for others who are separated from loved ones.

So yes, even though I have all the trimmings and the food and the creature comforts,and privileged to have my family around me on Christmas Day, others are not so privileged.

Some people do not have ones that love them or indeed care for them. Some will sit in a lonely place and hope for someone, anyone to hear their small cry for help, for some attention and for some much needed Christmas love.

Perhaps they are widow’s or widowers, or from a family torn apart, for whatever the reason being lonely is terrible enough, but being lonely at Christmas is heart breaking.

We all will be busy and run off our feet on Christmas Day, but perhaps you can devote a little time to this cause?

I will be.

Remember whilst you are having this….

Credit pic -http://www.guardian.co.uk

Others are having this…

“The psychological impact of having nobody to talk to or express concern about you is bad enough. But what has also had a profound impact on us is the medical research which shows loneliness has a major impact on physical health too. Credit Pic thetimes.co.uk

Thank you

Ramblings

180th Post

81 more sleeps …..21 easy steps….

Yes that’s right my friends. 81 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)

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 Jen.. 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…

How’s yours???

PS: Sorry for the length of this post – I swear I was stone cold sober when writing it 🙂