I LOVE Christmas Eve.  It’s probably my favorite day of the year.  It’s always filled with baking, and family, good behavior, church, and anticipation.  I like Christmas, but it’s much more of a draining day.  Exhausting, is more like it.  I enjoy the crack of dawn present opening stuff, but the rest of the day really isn’t that fun.  First of all, I always make a big feast for dinner.  I am a good cook.  Lots of people tell me I am, so I must be.  But I really don’t enjoy cooking at all.

I am not a vegetarian anymore (I was one for 12 years), but I am also not a complete carnivore.  I only eat meat about once every two weeks or so, and I’m thinking of giving that up and going back to vegetarian land.  But on holidays I roast a turkey and every single time as I look at that raw bird I am just resentful that there is no one else in my family who will cook it for me so I won’t have to touch it.  I hate taking out the giblets and the neck.  I hate reaching inside of it and I hate stuffing it.  I do like the way it tastes at the end, and so does the rest of my family, but I am not sure I will ever do it again.

If I had to kill the food I ate, I would definitely be a vegetarian and so would the rest of my family.  I would hope that the vegetarians out there can refrain from lecturing me or grossing me out on purpose.  I KNOW all that, and still eat meat occasionally anyway.  This is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves, and this is where I am right now.

This year we were also given a ham.  I do not eat pork ever, and I’ve never in my life made a ham.  It was daunting, but I googled it and lo and behold, it wasn’t hard to make.  Just heat it through and Voila!  Ham!  After it was cooked,  I was trying to carve it with a paring knife (the only knife in our kitchen that wasn’t dull.  Time to buy some more knives!  Where’s the one that will cut through a tin can when you need it?!) and I was hacking off these huge 1/2 inch slices.  My husband came over and got completely grossed out.  “Those are some BIG ol’ slices o’ ham!” he said.  “WHO is going to want a slice of ham so big?”  As I looked at it I knew he was right.  They were pretty damn thick and …succulent.  If they were grossing out a man who loves pork, then I was definitely doing something wrong.  So we turned it around and sliced it thin from the other side and sent the leftover ham (and there was a LOT of it) home with my inlaws.  Problem solved.

Next Christmas, I am getting a Christmas pizza.  Maybe I will make it, OR maybe we will find some establishment that doesn’t give their employees Christmas off (I used to work at just one such establishment!) and order up a round of pies.  Everyone loves pizza, it’s always a treat, and I woudn’t have to cook.  In fact, this is DEFINITELY my plan.  Oh yeah…

I am already anticipating next Christmas.  The annual opening of the presents.  The annual tantrums from my autistic child who really doesn’t like Christmas much at all because it’s different, and now our new tradition of the Christmas pizza where mom gets to spend the day outside of the kitchen, and there are no leftovers and no dishes to clean… Sigh.  I can already smell its bubbling goodness…