I think Christmas exploded in my living room. There are stacks of gifts that need to be wrapped, boxes of wrapped gifts (sorted by which Christmas family event they need to arrive at), Christmas socks I bought for myself and never put away, scraps of paper and lamination plastic, leftover squares of wrapping paper that are theoretically big enough to wrap some gift somewhere (but never the one I’m trying to wrap at the moment), and to top it all off the lights and ornaments I put up in our window keep falling down at odd moments with startling plinks of sound and I’ve given up on trying to put them back up.
Also, my NOEL letters on the bookshelf currently read LEON, but that’s because of a family tradition of taking sides and sneaking around to switch the letters around when the other team’s not looking, so the only strange there is that I’ve been so distracted today that I never changed it to NOEL after my husband left for work this morning.
In light of this festive explosion, the title of this blog post is rather misleading. For one thing, I’m not digging myself out of this mountain of ribbon and tinsel to go grocery shopping any time soon. For another thing, I’ve decided not to make a menu plan this week.
Shocking, I know.
My husband was able to arrange taking extra time off for Christmas this year (partly because he’s been so busy at work that he had extra vacation days we weren’t able to use earlier in the year), so starting tomorrow he’s off work for the duration of this menu plan and a bit beyond. This means that after a string of Christmas celebrations with various branches of our families we’re probably going to do a mini staycation that includes pajama days, movie marathons, eating leftover Christmas cookies and cooking whatever’s easy to make that we feel like eating. (If the weather cooperates I’m sure it will also include sledding and other such outdoor winter activities, but the point is, we’re both ready for some time off to just crash for a while.)
I have checked the fridge, freezer and pantry and confirmed that we have enough hot dogs, hamburger patties, potatoes, cheese, frozen pizza and ramen noodles to last through next week, and that’s all the planning I feel the need to do. (Okay, okay, I also confirmed that we have squash, sweet potatoes, onions, saurkraut, homemade ketchup and water kefir to fill the vegetable and fermented sides of our diets.)
So, after a quick rundown of how last week’s menu plan went, and giving you a peek into my Christmas dinner and party food plans, I’ll be heading back to wrapping gifts!
Last week I followed the menu plan fairly closely, and without having to fall back on the hot dogs plan! I did a few food swaps like replacing rice with potatoes and leaving out the nachos from one meal. I also completely simplified the hash meal into hamburger patties with ramen noodles and garlic green beans. Saturday we went out to Wild Berries Cafe, a local restaurant I’d been wanting to try. Sadly, their coffee bar was closed, but their food was good (and plentiful!), and I would definitely go back again. Also, the leftover from our meals stretched our leftovers to the point where I really didn’t have to figure out anything besides creative re-combinations of leftovers for lunches last week.
We are attending three Christmas gatherings/parties this week. One is a brunch doesn’t require us to bring food, so if we take anything it will be a plate of Christmas cookies. Another one is mostly lighter sides to go with sandwiches, so I plan to take artichoke dip with crackers and tortilla chips and homemade cranberry sauce. The third is more of typical Christmas dinner and I’m taking roasted garlic mashed potatoes. (I may also take some sort of dip or other lighter food for snacking before or after dinner, but I haven’t quite decided on that yet.)
For our own personal Christmas celebration at home, we do a large breakfast/brunch and a Christmas dinner in the late afternoon, with snacking in between as needed.
For breakfast we will have flaming Christmas pudding. I bought (nitrate free) sausages at Costco to go with the Christmas pudding, but I wasn’t able to figure out if the spices would make for good breakfast sausages or not, so I also have bacon as a back up.
For snacking we’ll have cheddar cheese and Christmas cookies, and I’ll probably make crab dip.
Christmas dinner will be corned beef brisket (I buy an extra one when they go on sale on St Patrick’s day and save it for Christmas–yes, I even saved it through the pantry challenge this year!), mashed potatoes, cheesy onion casserole and sweet potatoes.
Merry Christmas, everyone!