Usually Christmas falls on a weekday, which means that most years the kids wake up early, tear into their presents like cavemen into a wooly mammoth, then bid HRH good-bye as he heads off to work.
This year, as I suppose you know by now, Christmas is on a Sunday. I had initially planned on taking my brood to America for the holidays this year, but it isn’t very often they get to spend the day with Dad. So here we remain.
We went to the grocery store to buy supplies for tomorrow. I guess meat and bread alone won’t due, eh? (Though that is what we had at the German Christmas expo in Aka Renga yesterday. Sausage and giant pretzels. Me Too was in heaven. Brother was ticked that there were no French fries.)
I should have known better than to take the whole family, but I guess I was drunk on holiday cheer. Watch out for the stuff. HRH disappeared into the man department of the store where they have screws and hammers and the salespeople just grunt at you. I needed to buy wrapping paper, which was ingeniously located right beside the toy section. Good for Jusco. I’m always surprised by the poor placement of items, from a marketing standpoint. I mean, put the ladies’ magazines right there by the kids’ already! I can never get to them because they are two aisles over.
My Christmas menu isn’t very ambitious. Turkey breast, ham, steamed veggies with dip, mashed potatoes, rolls, and a Christmas tree shaped pancake contraption that may not turn out to be a very good idea. My idea was to keep Christmas as low stress as possible.
But that is not exactly working out as planned.
HRH was appalled that I wanted to buy instant potatoes. They aren’t so hard to make, he says. Well, of course they aren’t when your wife is doing it for you. And they wouldn’t be such a big deal if I didn’t have 8,000,000 other things going on, too. And if I wasn’t going to be running back and forth between our house and the in-laws since the ham won’t fit in my easy-bake oven. So I nixed the potatoes.
Same with cookies for Santa. “Don’t buy a mix!” but we already had loads of groceries that had to be carried home without adding flour, shortening, eggs, and sugar to the list. Store bought cookies were purchased and then decorated by the kids before bed.
Whipped cream? No canned stuff.
I got fed up at this point. I relented on the whipped cream with the understanding that he was in charge of it, and verifying that he understood that meant preparing it, using it, and washing up the utensils afterward. He hadn’t intended to do the washing up so he seemed taking aback and responded, “Geez, what’s the big deal?” And it wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t have to do everything from scratch because he has some mistaken notion that to do otherwise is lazy.
Besides, the guests tomorrow already know I am lazy.
So we go home with ten tons of shopping to rest a bit before going to the in-laws Kentucky Fried Christmas in the evening. And what does one do when you have guests coming over in the morning, presents to wrap, and children to care for?
If you are a Japanese man apparently you tear up the (just cleaned) kitchen, hijack all the Tupperware and make miso.
Dude, nobody makes their own miso. That’s like making your own ketchup. Except that miso has to be left out on the counter to ferment for like, months.
Then you don’t clean up after yourself.
I’m wondering if I should have asked Santa for a new model….This Hubby1976 brand is just not living up to the hype….
In the evening, we went to the in-laws and had, shock!, roast chicken instead of the usual fried stuff that Japanese people associate with Christmas for some reason. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, the kids love it. We did have fried pork, so I guess MIL couldn’t get her thoughts completely out of the box. Good for her for trying, though.
What aggravates me so much about the in-laws (and I’ll include HRH in this) is that they nag and scold and shame the children about their eating habits. It’s Christmas, for goodness sake. They can go without greens for one day. And no, I don’t really care if my son has his elbows sort of on the table. He’s eating, right? It just seems cruel to criticize them when they don’t eat, and then go at them for their manners when they do. I also think telling children they are no better than monkeys when they use their fingers to eat is a bit extreme, especially at Christmas.
But anyway, the obligatory Christmas sponge cake with white cream dressing and strawberries has been consumed, so now we can get on with doing things my way.
They had just assumed we would be spending tomorrow with them, since they assume we spend every non-school day with them. But honestly? I need a Christmas celebration that is closer to what I had growing up. Except that there will be champagne. I guess I don’t think out of the box, either. I just dress it up a bit.
In other news, Me First has gotten into the habit of calling people “idiots.” He got this from the book The Foxwoods Regatta, which except for the idiot business and a few other choice British insults, is a lovely book that the children like very much. Too bad he couldn’t have picked up on something else instead, like calling bread “buns” or saying things are “lovely.”
But anyway, have a lovely Merry homemade Christmas, everyone!