It looks like Mother isn’t going to home any time soon. Lord willing she will get out for one day at Christmas. I fly home the weekend prior to Christmas so I have 3-4 days to do whatever she needs to have a good day. I suspect the house wants attendance for I cannot imagine Father has kept up with the housekeeping.  I will tidy things and put up some decorations for her sake as well as the day’s. Niblings #1 and #2 were dears at Thanksgiving: they hauled up from the basement the tree so it can be decorated by Urs Truly in time for her homecoming.

Traditionally Mother organizes the “Secret Santa” drawing and tell us who has whom. She also cooks the cookies and prepares the Christmas dinner. She isn’t able to do any of this. As the elder child I take on the role (again) as time-keeper, whistle-blower, and referee to organize the relations and get things done.

Spos are ADHD-wired; one may as well keep a clutter of cats still for a photograph. This week I am sending out a series of emails asking Brother #3 to organize the SS and Brother #2 (or 4) to count noses for 12/25 attendance.  If this is not done promptly I am giving all Ritalin as stocking stuffers and telling people what to do.

Over the weekend I asked Mother to think of she would like at Christmas. Not only am I the oh-so-practical elder son I am the gay one. As my friend Martin says: “It takes the fag of the family to put on the show”. I would love to cook up a dinner the type The Ghost of Christmas Present sits upon.  However this is Mother’s day, not mine. If all she wants is mush I will make oatmeal.*

I do hope she isn’t going to be too ‘Midwestern’ and feel guilty for someone doing the work and end up saying: ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what we eat so long as everyone is home’. Oh the pain. On the other hand Spos are not into new and adventuresome foods at Christmas time. What they want are traditional eats. These dishes aren’t complicated or spicy but they are full up with nostalgia. Mother usually makes a sort of crockpot beef stroganoff (bland) that is served over noodles and there is a Christmas birthday cake for Baby Jesus.  On Christmas morning there are eggs for days and bacon.  Dinner is usually a honey-baked ham with cheesy potatoes followed with “S” cookies for small chocolate cone.  We shall see.

I am curious to hear from Spo-fans if they cook at Christmas time and what traditional dishes are ‘must-haves”.

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*Proper Scottish oatmeal no rubbish made with real oats and not the quick cheap Quacker stuff.