Breaking tradition

For the holidays this year, we did a few things differently.

For one, I did NOT make manicotti on Christmas Eve as per usual. Too labor-intensive, which then leaves me scurrying around the rest of the evening in a mad race to bake cookies, wrap presents and then whisk cajole threaten the children into bed.

This year, we’ve played a cat-and-mouse game with the little stinkers. I’m 99 percent certain they’re onto the whole Santa thing, yet they insist on playing their usual roles. Either they’re afraid they won’t get presents if they renounce the jolly old elf or they are totally conning us.


“But Mama, if I ask Santa for a kitten, then I’ll get one for sure.”

*insert angelic smile and doe eyes here*

At what point did the little darlings start adding a dash of sarcasm to their humor? Never mind. I blame Hubs.

So anyway.

It would actually be kind of a relief at this point because that would free me from the horrors of the mall Santa experience. Almost two hours in line, people. Two hours. Luckily, there was an adorable newborn in front of us and a most huggable toddler behind.

And yes, I refrained from sniffing the newborn’s head. But I swear they could bottle that scent and millions of nostalgic mothers would buy it.

So back to breaking the manicotti tradition.

Hubs was appalled.

“What do you mean, ‘No manicotti?’ ” he asked incredulously.

“You want it, you make it,” I replied.

He sighed pitifully.

This time, I put a pork loin in the crockpot and we headed off to the Christmas Eve Service at First Presbyterian in Argenta.  The service was lovely and when we arrived home, the smell of a nearly done dinner awaited.

Christmas Day, my stepkids arrived. They are now 19 and 20. Consider: Claire, my stepdaughter, was 8 years old when Hubs and I married. Our Tootie is now 8. Wow.

We exchanged gifts, ate dinner and vegged until the kids had to leave. I know. They’re no longer kids. But until they’re in their 30s and presenting me with babies to cuddle I will continue to call them kids. Sigh.

I changed things up for Christmas as well. Instead of turkey or ham, we had beef tenderloin. With goat cheese. Yummy. OK, so I was the only one who ate the goat cheese. But the tenderloin itself went over well.

I’ll share both recipes tomorrow.

Right now, I’m enjoying what will probably be our last night with the Christmas tree.


Seems like we just put it up...



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