I figure if I milk out the 3-4 holiday days, I can make an effort to write every day this week. A lot happened.
I went back through my head and figured that the last time I had off for Christmas Eve when it was not on a weekend was 1998. Maybe 1997. Needless to say, it’s been a while. But, I had off this year. Yippee for me.
The plan for the holidays was this:
On the 24th, we go to my parents’ house. The last thing I wanted was an elaborate sit down dinner. The past 3 years involved my brother very slowly cooking dinner. We wouldn’t sit down until at least 8 and, by then, all I wanted to do was go home and get Shmuppie to bed.
(PS…in case anyone wants to throw a pity party for me and my typing…there were 5 typos in the first draft of that last sentence. I cannot type to save my life)
So…my mother and I decided to keep things simple. We were anticipating 10 people plus the kids. So, we made enough food for 49 people. It was up to us to bring the salmon, the quiches and the fixins for the punch. Ok…shopping done, we started our day.
We had to prep the food for the 24th, cook anything that needed advance cooking and then prep for the 25th (we were hosting Christmas Dinner).
Of course, this called for champagne. At 10:30. Don’t look at me like that? You don’t have to deal with my family. Drinks in hand, we chopped, sliced, baked and cooked. All in all, it was a good time. We had everything done and prepped before lunchtime.
Now, the plan was to be up the road by 3:00. Little did we know that we were all about to be held hostage by a cranky 4-month old. She started getting pissy at about 2:30 and continued being so for over an hour. We rolled in a little before 4. All was well…at the moment. We set up the food, I mixed up a batch of awesomely rummy punch and we chilled.
Then the noise started. Chicken started wailing. She was pissed off about something. But, because she doesn’t have one of those collars like the dog in Up, we were out of luck. Was this the hungry cry? The tired cry? The “I crapped myself” cry? We didn’t know. What we did know was that she was screaming with ferocity that we’d never seen before. Just utter screams. She sounded like she was in pain. We checked her temperature…not hot. We looked her over, no noticeable broken bones or open wounds. Since JewelrySlut was tapped at the moment, we tried a bottle. Hell no. We tried laying her down. Heller no. We tried to hook her back up to JewelrySlut. Not happening. This kid was on fire and pissed off at something. This was the kind of crying that makes people with no kids solidify their decisions not to have them.
All the while, the party is getting into gear in the kitchen. I’m shuttling back and forth; getting food ready and trying to do anything to calm Chicken. Nothing is working. After about an hour of this, somehow, JewelrySlut got the kid to quiet down.
At the time, I was in the kitchen fighting with Phyllo dough. Did you know it needs to thaw for 4 hours before you use it? I didn’t. So, wrapping the salmon with it was going to be difficult. Fortunately, we had a vat of punch to keep us plugging along. M & K were there so M helped me get the salmon wrapped. It looked ugly but tasted really good.
Chicken asleep (or at least quiet) we got to enjoy the party. One of my mother’s friends was double fisting punch and chocolate martinis and postulating on anything and everything from a seat at the kitchen island. It was good times!
We cleaned up, had some dessert and then headed home. No DWI checkpoints tonight!
Chicken was starting up again, so we quickly laid her down and got Shmuppie ready. We had cookies and milk to get out, reindeer food to scatter in the yard and a sugared up kid to get into bed.
Christmas really is a lot of fun with kids. Shmuppie was bouncing off the walls all day in anticipation of her gift bonanza. For now, she still believes and comes downstairs in a state of wide-eyed wonder on Christmas morning. It makes all the shit worth it.
We got Shmuppie tucked in and told her to sleep late (Fingers crossed). Fortunately, even she admitted to being tired so we figured we had a chance at a decent night’s sleep.
We fed Chicken again (or better yet, JewelrySlut did) and got her tucked in for the night. With the 2nd screening of A Christmas Story just starting, we got to work.
There wasn’t too much to do. Shmuppie was not getting any toys that required assembly. Intentionally or not, we’d gotten a lot of small things for Christmas this year. We’re tearing the basement apart in about 5 weeks and probably figured that a lot of large toys would be a bad idea. I’d rather move out some board games than another round of Playmobil toys.
Anyway, we needed help doing this. Help arrived in the form of another bottle of Korbel. This bottle had been in the basement fridge for exactly one year. I put it in there on December 24, 2008. Of course, when it came time to pop it, someone had peed on a stick and put the champagne-fueled celebration on hold. It was still good a year later.
We set out all the gifts and I gave JewelrySlut one present…the one that comes in the pink box from Victoria’s Secret.
Then we screwed.
Then we went to bed.
Merry Christmas Eve.