First off some general comments of mine, this was the first Christmas since moving to Michigan over five years ago that we did not have a White Christmas. I really missed that. In fact, yesterday was the first day in two and a half weeks that the temperature was not above 40 here! This is not common at all!
I also noticed this year there were many less houses decorated for the holidays. Christmas since the divorce has always been very difficult for me, so, external decorating of my house was just not going to happen though I did do some indoors for the kids, particularly Danielle. Compared to previous years I spent little on the X and just got her a funny card. No need to bother her or myself with one professing love, etc. She gets nothing out of that and it only makes me melancholy (though I must admit I did pick up such a card but common sense prevailed, so it sits now unused in an envelope with some other Christmas cards that I may use next year. Anyway, I will admit that I was not as down by Christmas this year as I was the last two. ANYWAY on to the Holiday weekend recap - Working until 6PM Saturday night, headed home to cheerful collapse on couch for some holiday shows; I was so beat I had a festive dinner of Ice Tea and Bar-be-que potato chips since I did not feel like going to the store!
Christmas Eve Day was fun...I got up a bit before 7 so I could go do the shopping for Christmas dinner tomorrow. My idea of being there right when Forest Hills foods opened was a good one, as there were not many people in the store. I was in and out in under and hour with everything on my list except fresh basil for the sauce.
I did some work from home, wrapped gifts for X and extra gifts for kids. Headed over to X's at 5PM with 3 out of 4 gifts. Mom and Dad arrived shortly thereafter and we headed off to Minados for Chinese buffet. We arrived back at Deb's and kids opened Christmas eve gifts. Then Mom, Dad, X, Danielle and I watched March of the Penguins off of DVD which was the Christmas eve gift the X had chosen. Headed home after that and checked out some additional holiday fare off of the many items I had recorded on the PVR over the past couple of weeks.
Christmas Day - I had to be at X's for the 9AM opening of the Christmas gifts (She has a nice big living room and a nice big tree, unlike the pathetic small fiber optic I tree I bought for my house simply to make Danielle happy). This was the first year we did 9AM, it used to be 7:30. Anyway I overslept and rushed like mad to get the pot of pasta sauce on the stove so I could make my 1PM target for dinner. I rushed out of my house at 9AM and as I was turning into the X's street two minutes later my cell phone went off as kids were wondering where I was. I took the usual movies of kids opening their presents and headed home swinging by McDonald's as Christopher really wanted MCD's for breakfast even though we were sure it was closed, I thought I would check. EVERYTHING was closed as I expected.
I got home and cleaned up the house and began making the coating for my Chicken Parmesan, a secret mixture of breadcrumbs and spices. I then zoomed back to the X's house as I had forgotten her heavy frying pan as I only have one, and then arrived back home. I mixed some garlic butter for the garlic bread I was making and left that to steep in its flavors, and then two frying pans full of hot olive oil later I began coating and frying the chicken and putting it in glass Pyrex dishes. When three were filled I put them int he over to bake and began cleaning the incredible mess in the kitchen. The chicken done baking I removed it, added sauce, covered with foil and put it back into bake. I then spilt two loaves of bread and spread one with the garlic butter which was threatening to escape from its tub, and the other with spread seasoned with a bit of extra virgin (how can a virgin be 'extra' virgin....can someone explain that to me?) olive oil as Mom can't eat garlic. about 10 minutes to 1PM I was ready to put in pasta but there was no sign of anyone. Called X who made excuse about being delayed by kids. Mom and Dad arrived about 1:10PM and I added pasta to water, breads to over, and removed chicken. X and kids arrived and X topped chicken with mozzarella cheese after I sprinkled them with Romano. She then zoomed out for 7-11 as Mom and Dad will not drink diet soda and that's all I had in the house plus some diet ice tea. X returned, we all sat down to an excellent dinner. This and the cleanup (which Mom and the X took care of most of) behind us we opened the last of the Christmas gifts. Deb's brother Tim called form Florida and we all took a turn talking to him, then we watched a Christmas episode of Becker off the PVR.
Around 6PM everyone left. I invited Mom and Dad back for left overs tonight, we shall see if they can make it and because the X could not I made her a plate. Chicken Parmesan is her favorite, in fact that is why I made it for dinner. From that point the rest of Christmas day was a real nose dive with the kids gone. The empty house can be bad enough most days but on Christmas it shines.... I called my brother and Dad's houses and left holiday messages. I did hear back from my brother and his wife later. Here it is Wednesday and my Dad still had not called back. He must be at his girlfriends for the holidays. Did not even get a Christmas card from him yet (it's Wednesday today). Watched some TV until bed time and that was it; time for bed.