As I shared a few days ago, our Christmas was a bit different this year. And certainly not what we’d planned.
Of course we had a good reason for it being a bit different, because five days before our daughter and her husband presented us with a new baby boy…5 weeks early. Our tiny grandbaby was definitely the best gift we’ve ever received for Christmas.
But he certainly caused us to use a lot of creativity and ingenuity in order to create a festive dinner with only 24 hours to plan it, since we didn’t know until the day before if our new mom would be up to traveling (which she wasn’t). And although not what we usually do, we made it work.
Fortunately my best friend Karen is an event planner who specializes in creative picnics for various occasions. She was already included in our family dinner, and we put her decorating and cooking skills to work to help put together and set up a traveling Christmas dinner at our daughter’s house, complete with all the gifts, food, and even impromptu table decorations gathered up from my Christmas craft supplies.
A festive occasion calls for a properly decorated table, as well as a good presentation of the food, even if we had to improvise a bit.
Which we did.
After our preparing almost everything in my kitchen and Karen’s, we packed up two cars, one with gifts and one with food, and headed to our daughter’s home some 30 minutes away.
Trying to put together dinner in someone else’s home, even if you’ve prepared almost everything in advance, isn’t the easiest thing to do, as many of you know. Although we tried to bring all the serving pieces, serving dishes, etc., there were still things we had to finish in an unfamiliar setting, which called for more improvising, including searching for sharp knives, saucepans, and the like. Our son in law had to clean his fishing knife in order to carve the turkey, and then we had to warm up the gravy in a small fry pan, which was all we could find.
Not to mention having to use an oven that wasn’t properly calibrated, which meant we had to guess at the time it took to bake my “famous” cinnamon buns! (Thank goodness we were able to figure the cooking time out and they turned out perfect!)
Karen used a tablecloth and napkins I’d brought, along with a few candles our daughter had, and put together our dinner table. Yes, we used paper plates and cups, but it worked.
And the new big sisters pretended they were at a restaurant at their own special table and even used their “menus” to order their meal! But they did forget to leave their servers a tip. Even after having a third serving of my cinnamon buns.
But all of this just continues to reinforce that Christmas isn’t about fancy decorations, or food that looks like it came from a restaurant or the pages of a magazine. It’s about family and friends, being together, and loving each other. We were together and that’s what counted the most.
Definitely a Christmas Day we won’t forget. Especially with our newest member of the family!
Hope yours was wonderful as well!