T-1 Day to Christmas – Final prep encounters snares.

Any Christmas can be Perfectly – Perfect if we decide it is so. Though, sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out the way we imagined – or we hit a few bumps in the road on the way.

Last night I hit my bump in the road. I had worked all day and Greg had been super sweet to volunteer to go to the grocery store while I was busy. I wrote a very detailed list but, alas, did not know that there is dill pickle relish as well as sweet. I wrote pickle relish, he prefers dill flavors so that is what he bought. Normally, not a big deal, but I’m making Grandma Nadine’s Ham Salad and to my knowledge no one ever put dill relish in it. Sensing I was stressed, he graciously agreed to go to the Family Dollar to see if they had a small jar of sweet relish.

While he is gone, I decide to preheat the oven to bake mom’s birthday cake (sour cream chocolate with mocha frosting) that needs to go with us on Christmas Day to her house. Her birthday is not until January 4 but we have started celebrating it at Christmas time because that is when we are all home. ANYWAY, I turn on the oven to preheat and then turn my back to it to continue grinding meat, eggs and onions for said ham salad (have I ever mentioned I’m a chronic multi-tasker? You don’t even want to know how many irons are in the fire while I’m writing this) the smoke alarm in the kitchen starts going off and I ignore it. It goes off all the time – seriously all the time. Well, a few minutes later, my eyes are burning and tearing, and I’m coughing, I turn around and there is smoke rolling and pouring out of the oven. Okay – this time it is not a false alarm.

I quickly turn off the oven, turn on the light to assess that there are no flames (cool thinking in the midst of panic I think) and then- DUMB -open the oven door! Apparently, the grease from the salami had dripped into the bottom of the oven the other day when I was making it. I did not notice it at 200 degrees but it definitely smoked up at 350 degrees. I had Hannah come running to open all the doors and windows downstairs and to close all the bedroom doors upstairs so they didn’t fill with smoke. Turned on all the ceiling fans – all the while praising God for this unseasonably warm December that here-to-fore I have been complaining about. I turned off the heater (can’t afford to heat the whole neighborhood) and rapidly called Greg at Family Dollar asking him to bring oven cleaner home from the Family Dollar because I have attempted to burn the house down – but don’t worry – it’s all taken care of.

Hannah by this point has put on her winter coat because I’m freezing her out. I’m not freezing because I’m standing between a very hot oven – now standing open so I can cool it down enough to clean it and a running dishwasher. I continue through the steps of ham salad making and, duh, remember that I have forgotten to make the white chocolate candy for Monday. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Greg brings the things home from the store, continues to try to calm me and help as much as possible. I ended up being in the kitchen for much longer than anticipated last night – but the oven and stove top are sparkling, all the food (including the cake) are done. And, my in-laws just walked in the door. So I am going to close this and head off to spend some much needed family time with them.

Merry Christmas

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