When the boys were young, we used a Countdown to Christmas calendar. It had a pocket for each day that held a strip of paper with an activity that would help us get ready for Christmas. Even though I haven't used that calendar for many years, I still like the concept of spreading out the holiday activities, and try to do one or two things every day to make the season less hectic.Now that the boys are grown and out of the house, many of our current "getting ready for the holidays" activities are different than the ones we did when they were young. Now, there's no need to help the boys make presents for their aunts and uncles, and it's been a long time since we've made a visit to Santa. However, some activities are timeless. Tonight Tony and I ate our dinner picnic-style in front of the tree in the living room.
Back in the day, everyone looked forward to eating by treelight. The kids liked it because they got to sprawl on the floor instead of sitting at the table and using proper table manners. Tony and I enjoyed the family activity, but I also secretly liked it because it was an easy cooking night. I'd serve finger foods like bagel bites or chicken nuggets that I just had to throw in the oven.
Tonight's dinner was a bit more elegant. I made French bread pizza from thick slices of hearth bread, cut vegetables for crudités, and got ranch dressing. Dessert was an assortment of cookies from the freezer. I spread a red and gold tablecloth on the living room floor and put out red napkins. Tony carried the food into the room, then I turned out all the lights and we sat down.
The soft glow of the tree provided just enough light to eat by. It made for a perfect meal.