Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the calm before the storm of Christmas Day. We would always go to Mass in the evening, usually sitting with family friends, then go to Nana and Papa’s for Chinese food, and reading the passage in the Bible (you should see their Bible– it’s chock-full of cards, newspaper clippings, programs, and other family paraphernalia… Cousins E or C, want to comment?) about the birth of Jesus. Once we were sufficiently sleepy, we’d head home, where there was always one present for us kids under the tree, the only one from Mum and Dad. It was always pajamas, and Lil Bro and me would race to see who could put them on the fastest. Then it was time for bed, and Mum would watch It’s a Wonderful Life and wrap all the presents from Santa.
It’s different now that I’m not living at home. The FI and I have decided to take Christmas Eve for ourselves, before the storm of making eleventy-seven stops on Christmas Day. Know the movie “Four Christmases” that came out last year? Ours isn’t so different, except we haven’t lied to our families about doing charity work while going on vacation. And our relationship is very different, what with getting married and the expectation of having kids and all that. And our families aren’t quite as crazy as the ones in the movie. But the chaos is still there.
Last year, we opted to see Mum in the afternoon for our gift of pajamas, then have Chinese food for dinner and go to midnight Mass. It was great, except the Chinese food was ridiculously late (like over an hour late), so we were stressed out about that, and we almost missed Mass because we were in food comas and fell asleep on the couch.
This year, we’ll probably see Mum in the afternoon again (gotta have those PJs!), but I’m planning to make dinner instead of doing Chinese food. I still haven’t mentioned this to the FI, but I can’t imagine he’ll object based on the ridiculosity we went through last year.
I’m thinking of using this slow-cooker pot roast recipe, then making mashed potatoes (or maybe garlic smashed potatoes), green beans, and dinner rolls. We’ll have leftovers out the wazoo, but that’s never made a difference! Maybe we’ll go for some red wine to have with dinner, or maybe we’ll chill some of the excellent beers we’ve been gifted for our engagement. Or drink some of our newest home-brew, Dark and Stormy Dunkelweizen. The options are endless.
And we’ll set an alarm for Mass.