I’ve never considered myself a cook. The daily meals I prepare for myself and my poor disconsolate children, when I can’t get away with pizza or sandwiches, are your basic grilled fish, salads, vegetables. I hate butter, and I’m only saucy in a wenchy way, not in my cooking. I’ve screwed up more than my share of simple dishes, and as such, I’d never consider having people over to eat my food. As with every rule in life here’s an exception.
I do Christmas dinner at my house. I have to. It’s my delegated holiday. The entire Addams Family as well as our Munster friends gather at my Monster House for the one time a year I go all out. There is champagne, hors d’oeuvre’s, salads, several side dishes, entree’s, wines, cheeses, fruit, fresh rolls, and so on. As pathetic as it is, this is the one day out of 356 that I entertain. I think I do it acceptably.
The shopping: food, some new glasses, this year I supplemented the desert dishes with some great finds at goodwill, the grab bag gifts, and minimal decorations, is the easy part.
This is the one time a year that I deep, deep clean my old house. The work involved is mind boggling. I start weeks in advance: shampooing rugs, cleaning out the refrigerator and oven, washing curtains, windows, floors, polishing all the flatware, glasses dishes, cups, scrub walls (sometimes fresh paint) and scrub ceilings. I decorate… minimally.
You have to remember I’m doing this while working crazy hours and juggling three teens of various sizes and weights, two dogs, (one big one small), and an 18″ bearded dragon. There is a lot of balance and strength required to hoist that load without dropping anyone.
As the lone adult, living with people who seem to revel in sabotaging my efforts at every turn, I’ve been known to buckle under the pressure. The bulk of my effort goes into cleaning. I’m far from perfect, and when the cleaning is undermined by carelessness or laziness, I have my seasonal melt downs.
This is the point when I consider what it would be like to take a long Christmas trip alone. First, I let my arms drop to my sides as everyone falls splat x6 in front of me. A big pile of revenge… I picture myself in a long floral sarong, a big floppy black hat, Jackie O glasses. A cabana boy stands by with a teak tray on which a large Mai Tai with fruit and an umbrella is balanced in hand, as I stretch out on my chase lounge that sits on a white sand beach in Fiji, a long lean leg peaking out (it’s my daydream, and if I say it’s a long lean leg peaking out, it’s a long lean leg peaking out… and it’s attached to my torso!). My imaginary british boyfriend applies liberal amounts of spf to my shoulders and back, every four hours… A girl can dream. Sometimes that’s all that gets a girl through the day… dreaming.
Someday perhaps I will indulge that daydream. To be honest, I’m almost at the point that I find the annual Christmas gathering is not nearly as stressful as it use to be, and I can have fun. I say that now, it’s March. ______________________________________________