1. Sleep in that morning. Everyone. Very very late. Just because you can! (ok and because your daughter called way past her curfew last night because boyfriend's car wasn't operable for driving her home, long story, and so you got your tired parental behind out of bed, dressed in mismatched clothes and drove to fetch her which is fine but not good news at that hour...ha!)
2. Did I mention sleeping in? That is a GIFT in our house!
3. Leisurely have hot tea and make hubby breakfast. Daughter still sleeping in...
4. Leisurely shower and dress and talk about...what else??....land ideas. Take care of a little miscellaneous business...mail, stamps, etc. Teach daughter how to pay one of her first bills. On time.
5. Leisurely head to the grocery store that closes in four hours, for things we simply need for the week. Chuckle at the timing of going grocery shopping four hours before pre-christmas shopping is shut down.
6. At the store, hum and smile and marvel at the really great sales and the overabundance of cream of mushroom soup. Wonder how many people across the world are making some version of grean bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup. Stay out of the way of desperado shoppers who are careening precariously down the aisles as if their lives depended on getting the last box of stuffing mix. Continue to hum and smile. Pick out weird fruit I've never seen in hopes of trying it and if liking it, saving the seeds to plant later.
7. Leave store.
8. Hubby calls to ask if he can take me out to eat. Is the pope catholic??
9. Arrive home and unpack groceries. Daughter is cleaning kitchen because she is having friend over for the evening....to cook. WHAT???
11. Hubby takes me to dinner. Waitress is new. We don't get what we order. We're very nice about it. She looks at us as if we ordered wrong. We are kind. We are happy. We don't care what goes wrong. We're together and not rushing around for any reason. We sit and chat through two pitchers of iced tea.
12. We arrive back home to daughter and friend looking through recipe books. Hubby heads to work. I curl up with seed catalogue and listen to the ongoing dialogue of what sounds great and what ewww would not be tasted with a ten foot pole. There are far more ewws than ahhhs. Two shelves of cookbooks later, they decide on the first recipe they originally discussed. Broccoli cheese casserole. My daughter wants to cook it because it's something she loves from family gatherings past, and her Aunt Peggy always cooks it. And she wants to take it to the dinner at her boyfriend's tomorrow. And she wants some for at home.
13. The girls decide to triple the recipe. (this is where I start chuckling in earnest, silently)
14. My daughter has bought some of the ingredients in advance. Such as the plastic cheese and the frozen broccoli. The recipe calls for a few cups of cooked rice. I hear clattering in the kitchen...a lot lot lot of clattering. I decide to stay out of it unless asked for help. The kitchen is theirs tonight, and they're learning.
15. They learn the difference between a few cups of cooked rice and using a few cups of uncooked rice and ending up with enough rice to feed Thailand. They learn this lesson with my good Basmati ;-)
16. The friend is the official onion chopper. R's eyes swell and tear so much from onions she can hardly be in the same room. I hear here in there, sauteeing them....sniff, sniff, sniff. She weeps great onion tears of desire for this broccoli casserole.
You can't see her tears, but here she stirs...and weeps...and stirs some more...
17. After much cooking, and thankfully, washing, the chicken timer dings and hearty comfort food smells waft from the oven. There is enough broccoli casserole to feed somebody well through the new year. And it tastes good. All are happy! Casserole is snacked on, dishes packed up for tomorrow's dinner, and movies cracked out to watch. They huddle in R's room for girl talk and a chic flick and I get a serious chic flick A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, the five hour version, and settle in. I weep for the first time in forever at a movie. I am happy and weeping and sucked into Jane Austen-ness. Then I wonder if I'm hormonal. Then I miss my husband and call him and we chat. And I finish the movie, hours later, with intervals of calling hubby for friendly conversation. And I glance at the clock and discover it's no longer christmas eve...
18. So I no longer wonder what in the world to do on Christmas Eve! It came, it went, we had a great time!
19. And so now I wonder ...what to do...on christmas day....when we don't celebrate christmas day...
Hope everyone out there has a wonderful time during their breaks with friends and family! And great green bean casserole, the kind with cream of mushroom soup in it, and Durkee onions on top.
Or broccoli cheese casserole cooked for someone you adore!