Spoiler: Ralphie’s Not in This One
Today is December 17. One week until Christmas Eve.
Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate and sit back while I tell you a Christmas story about the Christmas dinner that almost wasn’t.
Let Me Set the Scene
Picture it. Sicily. 1945.
Oops. Wrong show.
No, this story takes place in Michigan, in the 90’s, I think.
I was working full time. 40+ hour weeks, suit, heels, the whole nine yards. I was doing it because we needed the money, plain and simple.
My older two were in elementary school (and after school care) and the youngest was in day care all day. So that would have been 1990 or 1991.
Our lives were a hot mess. (This was one of those times when my From Chaos to Clean system was barely working, because I had no brain cells left.)
I was lucky to make it home in time to get all the kids picked up by 6:00 p.m. so I didn’t get the stink eye from the ladies who worked there and get charged extra.
The “planner” I was using was the kitchen calendar and one of those free little things you keep in your purse. Not good. Check out this idea for planning for holidays.
Cut to Christmas Eve
In our family, we had a system.
Christmas Eve belonged to my sister in law, because she had a nice finished basement with room for everyone. We would have dinner and open presents with the whole family.
Christmas day, her family would come to our house. I had an actual dining room plus a fireplace (bonus) and I loved doing the whole big Martha Stewart dinner thing.
A little after midnight, when we were finally leaving to go home, my sister in law asked what time dinner was the next day.
“I’ll call you”, I said, as I realized that I hadn’t been grocery shopping in longer than I could remember.
I frantically checked all the grocery stores on the way home, but after midnight on what was now Christmas day, everything was closed.
I didn’t sleep much that night, wondering what I was going to do the next day. I had 10 people to feed and no food.
I think I rushed everyone through opening our presents, while obsessively checking the refrigerator over and over again.
Maybe one of Santa’s elves had snuck in with a turkey?
No such luck.
I didn’t even have eggs or milk or butter. I couldn’t have made a sandwich or a bowl of cereal for Christmas dinner.
So, I did the next best thing.
I went shopping for Christmas dinner on Christmas day.
Let me tell you something: CVS doesn’t carry Christmas dinner, on Christmas day or any other day.
I didn’t think about checking restaurants, but I doubt that they could have helped at that late hour.
Oh the Shame!
So I went home and did what I had to do.
The sister in law who always tried so hard to be Martha had to call her got it together sister in law and ask her to bring over leftovers for Christmas.
I’m sure I’m the only one who still drags this around with me and is ashamed of it.
It was a case of someone with ADHD way out of control. Not a working system in sight. No prepping ahead for anything. Just live for the moment and hope you get through it.
I admire any woman who works and raises a family and keeps it together.
And those of you who do it with ADHD?
You are super heroes!
So here’s my little Christmas gift to you: if you haven’t already, go grocery shopping. Soon.
I’ve even attached a list. Grocery List