I committed several heresies against The Thing this season. I'll line up against the mantelpiece with them and you can fire away at all of us. But you probably won't, because like me you are Not Living in a Women's Magazine.
I never did get my two big poinsettias for the mantelpiece. (Okay, that's not food.) Although there were some available at Mr. Fixit's office, he took pity on my black thumb and remembered how hard it's been keeping just one of those ungrateful things alive over Christmases past. So our fireplace stayed slightly boring but at least we didn't have any shedding plants. I did try to snip a bit of fresh piney green stuff to dress up a bowlful of candles, but within a few minutes even Ponytails was complaining about the odor, so back outside it went. Thanks to those who made suggestions, though. I'll keep my eyes open for ways we can vary the up and down.
Christmas Eve we went out for burgers...that turned out to be very sensible considering we had to be at church at 5:45 (the Squirrelings had to get their costumes on for a play) and we didn't want to come home afterwards to a lot of dishes. And the kids were so excited they couldn't manage more food than that anyway.
I didn't bake or cook one hot thing for Christmas day breakfast. We made two kinds of muffins the day before and we had those with other regular breakfast things. Whatever makes everybody happy, right?
I didn't decide on what we were going to have for Christmas day dessert until about two days before. We were going to make a cheesecake recipe but then realized that there just weren't going to be enough cake-eaters around to do justice to something made with three packages of cream cheese. Finally I settled on a small-sized banana cake with maple icing. When we were about to ice it, I suddenly remembered that I forgot to put sugar in the cake. I
I had a last-minute can't-find-the-apricots while I was making the crockpot stuffing and everybody else was watching Arnie hunt for Turbo-Man. But I did have a bag of dried apples and they worked out great...I think I liked them even better than apricots.
I didn't decide on The Vegetable until I was making the vegetables. We had baby carrots dressed up with frozen Oriental-style vegetables (the pieces of green bean and red pepper looked pretty). (I boiled the carrots until they were almost done, then added the frozen vegetables.) We also committed the Ultimate Potato Heresy. For those who don't like it: you all can come next year and help us do the dishes afterwards.
On the plus side: Mr. Fixit's chicken turned out great. The Squirrelings ate up an entire can of cranberry jelly. And we made something pretty to go along with the cake, dried fruit, and two kinds of freshly-made Christmas cookies: a white plate with a small white bowl in the middle; the bowl was full of fresh raspberries, and surrounding the bowl was a wreath of green kiwi fruit slices, decorated with little clusters of the raspberries. (Like holly berries, get it?) Mama Squirrel thought that one up herself after Mr. Fixit put a small box of raspberries in the shopping cart...proving that, once in a long while, a last-minute-planned Christmas dinner can TOO look as pretty as a magazine photo.