Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Christmas. Since Ms. Stewart had another engagement, I’ve deviated slightly from her suggestions.
Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.
You will also notice the entry hall is not decorated with swags of holly and pine, as suggested by Ms. Stewart. Instead, I’ve gotten grand-dog, Daisy, involved in the decorating by having her track in colorful autumn leaves from the yard. The mud was her own idea.
The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Our centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers. Instead, we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration, handcrafted by granddaughters, Adaline and Emma from the finest construction paper. The artists assure me it is a Christmas tree.
We will be dining fashionably late. Grandson, Zachary, will entertain you with magic tricks while you wait. As accompaniment, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen ham in a clothes dryer, it is a mere coincidence.
We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We’ve also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit wherever you like.
Now, I know you’ve seen pictures of a person carving the ham in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not occur at our dinner. For safety reasons, the ham will be carved in a private ceremony. Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen. I have an electric knife. The ham is unarmed. It stands to reason, I will eventually prevail. When I do, we will eat.
I would like to remind diners that “passing the rolls” is not a football play. Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice of twelve different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and very possibly decorated with tiny grandchildren fingerprints.
MERRY CHRISTMAS DINNER!!