A Spaghetti Christmas

A Spaghetti Christmas

Crazy ..crazy.. crazy busy, no tree, no presents, and no real free time to shop. Fast food take-out meals for us .. up early, fall into bed late. A day off to regroup and pick up everything not being delivered or last-minute add-ons. No time for friends or family unless we rooked them into working for us in the busy Christmas season.

So many jobs and so many changes. Way too many allergies and who the heck is allergic to garlic anyway?  No time for a Christmas party, do we have to have one?  Okay, who is going to cater it, AND MORE IMPORTANT .. WHO IS GOING TO SERVE IT? Do we have to have a Christmas party? Darn, okay let’s just order some subs or something. Well alright, we can go to a nice restaurant and have a nice meal and hand out Christmas bonuses. Well, we can do it after Christmas, can’t we? Or we can … hmmm always a dilemma, what to do for the staff for Christmas.

Do we invite all the temporary workers and bartenders and.. how to define temporary? How often should they have worked? Do we invite the spouses too or just the staff, hmmm. Well, we should also send out something to our best clients and why do we always think about this at the last minute? What should we do for them and who is going to do it and more importantly who has the time to spare to look after this? Let’s give them all dinner theatre tickets to the one we are catering to, darn how can they be all be sold out?  Next year we’ll buy them early.. and don’t we have any pull with them?

Ok most important, what are we having for Christmas dinner, that is if we get the tree up and do the last-minute shopping? We should really phone and invite some friends? Ah well… I have been meaning to call you, I know I seem to always leave it to the last minute.  Our Christmas dinner was never turkey or ham, lordy, lordy, we have been catering that meal for fifteen years every night for sixteen days before Christmas feeding three hundred guests a night. We not only DO NOT want to see turkey we don’t even want to smell it! NOT A CHANCE.

A beautiful crown roast of pork or a nice filet steak and lobster and fast forward to now, and we are too tired for even that.  We phone all the Chinese food places we know to see if we can order in for Christmas day, fat chance of that happening, darn! It is the only day they ever close..hmmm. I answer the phone and find out a whole bunch of nieces, nephews, and out-of-town brother is going to be in and coming over.. well, we did invite ourselves over the year before to their place so okay.. we are on! “What’s for dinner,” they ask, the only thing I can guarantee is that it WILL NOT be turkey or ham!

So Chinese food is out and nobody and I do mean NOBODY wants to cook.. we are a family-based business and we are wiped out, tired and seriously just don’t have another meal in us. Potluck is ok but you still need to cook something and we can’t ask guests to bring food.. they didn’t ask us when we went to their place. Inspiration strikes me in the middle of the night.. everyone loves spaghetti and most really like mine, or say they do anyways. We already have everything needed in our kitchen and I will make the sauce the day before, how did I not think of this before?

Once the dinner question was resolved everything else fell into place, that is if you call shopping with the men on Christmas eve and putting the tree up a few days before Christmas ‘normal’. The Christmas spirit always eluded me until all of our events were over anyway.

Well it ends up I did make the sauce the day before and I made extra just in case. I can’t even remember if I did a salad but I’m sure we did. I do remember it was such a relief not having to fuss and cook all Christmas day. Relatives added on some friends and brought them last minute as well, good thing I made extra sauce!

So okay it was just a little embarrassing.. because of the non-relatives. I didn’t want them to think we were amateurs at catering and cheapo at entertaining! You know, in the end, that whole day was just so enjoyable, everyone got lots to eat and said they were sooooo happy they didn’t have to eat yet another turkey meal. We got to visit and drink and play cards and games.

All I had to do was boil the pasta and warm up the sauce, oh my that was one of our best Christmases. We always remember and talk about the year we had spaghetti for Christmas dinner.  …as do certain relatives and probably their friends…

December 2014