The Day After Christmas

Charlie Brown treeOkay, Christmas is over, passing in a blur of laughter, food, friends and family, wrapping paper, and cranky, over-stimulated children. It was totally glorious, but I’m so tired I can hardly move. I’m so worn out I’m even thinking that next year I might BREAK SOME TRADITIONS!

Gasp! What horror! How could you? We’ve always done it this way! Yeah, well, my reply is I’m doing it out of self-preservation. Here’s the schedule; see what you think of it.

On Christmas Eve morning we go to my sister-in-law’s house for breakfast. It’s such a lovely gesture on her part. We don’t have to bring a thing. We just go and enjoy eating and being with the family. But we can’t stay as long as we’d like because we have to have to meet our best friends at lunch time to exchange gifts. We can’t visit as long as we’d like with them because we have to get home to cook for the Christmas Eve dinner.

We’d like to take a little nap, but we can’t because if we deviate from our schedule even one little bit we’ll be up half the night catching up.

We have dinner on Christmas Eve with my husband’s family, but we can’t stay as long as we’d like because we have to hurry home to cook for tomorrow morning.

On Christmas morning we have to get up by six o’clock because we have my family coming for breakfast. All we have to do this morning is make coffee and tea, bake a casserole, and warm up the things we cooked last night. The breakfast isn’t fancy, but we do have plenty of it. We’d like to have some more coffee after we get the presents opened, but we can’t because we have to get the house straightened out for dinner. We also have to bake and carve the turkey.

By three everyone is arriving. We eat too much, open some more presents and just generally have a good time. This is the one gathering during the past two days where we don’t have to hurry. After everyone leaves we have to take out the garbage, wash the dishes, scour the kitchen, sweep up the grass and dirt tracked in, and finally we’re finished.

And I haven’t even mentioned washing the Christmas china, pulling out linens, and advance baking I did before Christmas Eve rolled around.

As I said, it’s glorious, but I’m wondering if maybe next year I can cut a few corners. I have to use the Christmas china. I love it so there’s no compromise there. Now about the food… Who says that I have to bake the turkey? I have a friend who does turkeys for people; I’ll get him to do it. And who says that I have to bake all the desserts? I know a lady who owns a bakery. Why not buy some baked goods from her?

And that breakfast. I love it dearly, but why not simplify the menu a bit? I mean, do we really need four different desserts? I wonder if our friends would be willing to do our gift exchange at a different time, a time when nobody has to rush off.

We’ll see. Maybe I’ll remember for next year, but maybe not.

Hope all of you had as wonderful a time as I did.


About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
This entry was posted in Christmas, Elaine Cantrell, Family, food, Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Day After Christmas

  1. Janet Glaser says:

    Oh my, I’m worn out just reading your schedule. Yes, I think simplifying your plans make a lot of sense. I think a Danish, some donuts, and fruit would be a fine, fun breakfast. And I’m sure, friends would enjoy spending time with you on another day. Now after the festivities, take some time for yourself!
    JQ Rose


  2. My mother put me through a very rigorous schedule for every holiday and I continued working myself to death every year. Last year I cut back a bit for health reasons, this year the same, but I was feeling so much better that I wanted to DO.
    I broke a lot of traditions.
    I have cut way back.
    I still want to make myself happy (Christmas china here, too), but As much as I thought I would miss the rest, I didn’t. I have fewer people around,so expect for two or three absolute favorite necessities, I will rotate goodies.
    I went with just a turkey breast and wing portions on the side, too.


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    sounds not only exhausting, but — to someone with my constitution — nearly unbearable. I need some peace and quiet and time to re-charge. Too many people (and/or animals) about me in confined spaces, and I’m itchy.
    This year, I’ve actually been alone much of the time. Wife visiting our son, daughter (and family) visiting in-laws — both of those out-of-state — which left me. My primary charge was my daily visit to Mom, age 96. Also baby-sitting daughter’s dog, checking on their cats, checking on the house they’re renovating, collecting mail… and feeding my wife’s goats and chicken.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Wow, that’s a lot in two days! No wonder you’re exhausted. We’ve made a lot of adjustments as our kids and grandkids get older. No one complained when we started ordering pizza for our family Christmas gathering, so we’ve been doing that for the past several years. But even with all the adjustments, I crashed at around 8 pm last night and slept all night! Hope you’re able to find a good balance that works for you.


  5. That sounds exhausting! I don’t think I could keep to that schedule. I would have taken a nap and skipped a few things just to recharge.


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