December 27, 2004

Apres Moi, Le D'OH!

We had a really nice Christmas dinner on Saturday, just the Missus and I and the Llama-ettes.

As I may have mentioned before, our present to ourselves this year was putting a new set of French doors in the dining room. And because these projects have a way of snowballing, we also wound up putting new molding around both the dining room window and the doorway into the kitchen to match that around the new doors.

As I knew was going to be the case, Christmas Eve found me hurridly doing the touch-up work - a little spackling, a little sanding, some priming and painting, redoing the covers on the light switches and all - and then vacuuming, scrubbing and dusting the room to within an inch of its life.

And because all of that took so long, it threw the schedule for all the other preparations. (For example, we didn't get around to pulling out the good linen until midday Saturday - and ironing a tablecloth is a cast iron bitch of a job.) But in the end, it was well worth it. Saturday evening, when the table was laid and all the candles lit, the room looked terrific.

The Llama-ettes all got new dresses from their Nonny and Pops, so of course they wore these for dinner. We also decided to throw caution to the wind and let all of them use the good china and silver this year. This very evidently made a big impression on them, because they all behaved beautifully, even the two year old lunatic. They all said a blessing they'd apparently been working on and then insisted on doing a complete round of holiday toasts.

As to the menu, well, as far as I am concerned there really is only one choice: roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and two veg, Britain's greatest contribution to culinary culture and one of my very favorite meals. This was preceded by some Tio Pepe sherry and accompanied by a 2003 Beaujolais Morgon which, btw, my spies tell me is shaping to be a wine that, already pretty good and quite cheap, will improve with age. The only thing lacking for completion was some port and Stilton afterwards.

We wound up talking a lot about Santa, but the drive of the discussion was not all the stuff he had given to the girls, but rather, that the reason he gives presents to children is to set them an example of the kind of selfless goodness that Jesus taught. The girls, even though they tore into their loot Christmas morning as greedily as any buccaneer of the Spanish Main, glommed right on to this concept and seemed quite delighted with it. This was easily the high pont of the evening - I know that when I was six, something like Santa's agape simply never occured to me.

The low point of the evening occured at about 1:45 AM when, full to the Plimsoll mark with holiday cheer, and having just staggered into bed after watching way too much Monty Python, I was gently reminded by the Missus that I was supposed to be taking care of the neighbors' dogs while they were away and I had not yet let them out for their evening run. It's a good thing the Fairfax County police didn't happen by as I groped my way next door in sweater and pants hastily thrown on over jammies because they undoubtedly would have jugged me on the spot.

Posted by Robert at December 27, 2004 08:57 AM

Do you know something scary... Your Christmas Dinner and my own were the same. Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, veggies. But I did finish with Stilton and Port. Then moved on to cigars and Scotch on the back porch. Alas, I wish I could have had some good wine. I am the only wine drinker in the bunch of us... Come to think of it... My dad and I are the only drinkers in the bunch of us.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader at December 27, 2004 10:26 AM

Excellent! Actually, I'm more or less the only wine drinker, too, the Missus being, shall we say, a very cheap date.

Posted by: Robert the LB at December 27, 2004 10:35 AM

We also do the traditional British Christmas dinner of Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding. We added mushy peas to the mix this year with the green beans, carrots, and whipped potatoes. (Yes, more than 2 veggies, but we have a toddler who won't eat meat, go figure).

Posted by: jen at December 27, 2004 10:40 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?