A few years ago, Andrew and I figured out how to juggle the holidays so that neither of our families felt jilted. We would follow German tradition and do the bulk of our celebrating on Christmas eve, have breakfast (*coughbrunchcough*), and open our gifts in a leisurely manner.
In the afternoon, Andrew and I would mosey over to his family celebration and have Christmas dinner with them. It was such a simple and elegant solution; I felt like a genius for working it out.
Christmas eve dinner is always crab, and we invite our closest friends to join us. It's the BEST. Sure, it requires some planning, but it's totally worth it.
This year, I couldn't do most of the things I normally do to plan. Andrew has been running around like Buddy the Elf, trying to get everything done, and I'm directing via lists from the couch. The tree isn't up this year because there just wasn't time. But Christmas isn't about the tree.
We made our list this morning, and we went through the timeline for the day to make sure that (a) dinner went on as scheduled and (b) I didn't "overdo it" (Andrew's words). As the guests arrived, I was told to sit and direct; so I did.
Laura (the Joy of Cooking Fairy) took care of the crab, Andrew roasted a chicken (for my father, who is not a fan of shellfish), Bromantic Brandon picked up ice for the drinks, Mom did dishes, Snackary lined the table in paper, and MacGuyver Colleen cracked the eggs for the homemade egg nog. Our one-butt kitchen was a-bustling with activity.
(Side note: The egg nog recipe from The Joy of Cooking is AMAZING.)
It was a team effort, and that's really the message of the holidays, right? Nobody was stuck cooking all by themselves, or cleaning up solo. The Holiday CheerTM was abundant, the food was delicious, and we had enough egg nog to share with our neighbors.
The evening wouldn't have been the same without the company of our family and closest friends; it wouldn't have be do-able without them either. That's the sign of real friendship; everyone seems to come together when times are tough, and when times are good, we all just bask in the goodness.
I'm a little sappy about it, but this is my first year needing help, and for this type-A, control-freak, it is incredibly reassuring to know that - believe it or not - I don't have to do everything.