Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Took the Easy Way Out on Christmas

For years I've cooked a big Christmas dinner. Then two years ago our church decided we would provide a free Christmas dinner for anyone who wanted to come. We put out flyers and had a big sign on the main street about the free dinner.

Everyone brought tons of food, we had plenty of turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, green salad and rolls. All the hot food was in big roasters and other pots that could be kept heated easily. We set up everything on a buffet table, but the volunteers took turns dishing up. We also had another table with all sorts of desserts already dished up on plates.

I cooked and brought food (It was actually easier to do this than have the dinner at my house.) Plenty of others did the same. Since we didn't have a big rush at the beginning, all the volunteers sat down to eat. It wasn't long before all sorts of people started wandering in and it was great fun serving them.

We also had calls from our local low income housing (once a TB sanitorium) from seniors and the handicapped asking for food. To-go plates were set up and one of our gals and her husband delivered them.
Everyone who worked on this project loved it. It was a lot of work but rewarding. The church even got some new members from this effort.

Last  year we did it again. Only this time we didn't get anyone off the street--though plenty for home delivery. What we did have was all of our church members decided to come there for dinner--which was fun, we had a good time visiting. Some of the folks who hadn't brought any food jumped in and helped with the clean-up.

This year, because Christmas was on Sunday, we decided it would be too difficult to get the food cooked and teach Sunday School and attend church. Most of the volunteers are people who are busy with other jobs on Sunday morning, so we didn't do the dinner at church.

So I was presented with the dilemma of what I personally should do for Christmas dinner. I don't have any kids around to open up gifts, but the pastor is my son-in-law, daughter is in charge of the praise team, and my granddaughter and her husband and three kids are all involved at church, so I offered to have the dinner.

I still had the dilemma of how could I cook and be at church at the same time? In the mail came a catalog advertising those wonderful hams that you don't have to cook just bring to room temperature. As I was perusing the pages trying to figure out what size ham to buy I saw whole dinners you could buy. Two large side dishes and two desserts along with two kinds of bread. That's what I decided to do--I had to put the side dishes together the night before and cooked them after I got home from church.

Because my guests always have to run kids and others without cars to their homes and lock up the church, everything was ready to eat by the time they arrived.

I'm afraid I'm getting lazier and lazier, but I was still a Merry Christmas.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, no matter what they celebrated or had to eat.

And now it's time to say, Happy New Year! Hope you have a most wonderful 2012.



  1. You're not lazy, Marilyn, you're smart! I've made the holidays easier on myself with each passing year and you know what? Everyone has just as much fun. It's about being together, as you so well know, and that's all that matters. Great post! Maggiexo

  2. I'm with Maggie. It's very smart to find new ways to do things sometimes...which gives you more time to spend with the people you love. My mom still goes all-out for Christmas Eve dinner. Ed and I, on the other hand, just go with the flow. This year with all that's going on, we didn't even get a tree. I only put out a few decorations. It was extremely low-key and kind of nice. :-)

  3. You're right, Maggie, it's being together that's important.

    Susan, our decorating was minimal too, and sure made life easier.

  4. You have plenty to keep you busy. It sounds like you had lovely, easy Christmas Day. Happy New Year!

  5. That's not lazy -- it's good planning... There was good food and everyone enjoyed themselves... what more does anyone need?

  6. You're absolutely right Girly Girl and the older I get the less work I'm going to do. I just want to enjoy my loved ones.