Christmas break is over. I know that because I have planned, prepared and served really great and well balanced meals the last few evenings.
Over the Christmas break, I don’t cook…much. I’ve heard a few gasps and had a few questions lately about what I do for meals if I’m not cooking, so I thought I’d share about that here. Let me begin by framing my view of being “on break”..
I’ll begin with my kids, their lives immediately shift gears when that last school bell rings before break. They exhale, smile, relax and are instantly free of homework, alarm clocks and schedules. They are on break.
Our oldest returns from college and trust me….she is on break.
Then there is my husband, each year he is on vacation between Christmas and the new year, sometimes he even adds days on the front end of that. So he also shifts gears. He quits setting an alarm and his day moves at a completely different pace and…in an entirely different environment. He is on break.
Then there is me ~ the
stay work-at-home mom. My work environment stays the same, except now there are more people on my lunch break. (And I love this.) In addition, the Mom Taxi is no longer running just after school hours, it’s on call all. day. long. (Which is fine.) Plus, now I’m the head baker of all things Christmas. Oh yeah…and during this season I move to professional shopper status. (Which I enjoy.)
If you’re a mom, you might be saying, AMEN! I mean, how many extra duties do we moms take on during this season? And I haven’t even touched on scheduling holiday travel or family get togethers, work parties, friend gatherings, Christmas cards and more. Which brings me back to why I don’t really cook over Christmas break….I want to be on break too.
I manage this by heading to Sam’s Club and buying a ham, a variety of crackers, chicken salad, lots of hor dourves, and other similar wonderful cuisine. On Christmas morning I make an egg casserole and homemade caramel rolls (technically I prepare all of this the night before), and this year Kevin cooked a turkey so we could have turkey sandwiches – for many days. It was awesome. We also eat out more than usual, and I’m good for a homemade pizza or two. (Well, actually three so we can have leftovers!)
I love having a break from planning, preparing and serving dinner. It allows me to have time off as well to refresh. But now everyone is back to school and work, (except for my college girl who will be here for a few more days) and I am back to providing healthy meals for my family. The first night we sat down to eat, my seventeen year old son made a comment about how nice it was to sit around the table and eat a great meal. The second night I heard several compliments on the fish and homemade bread, and tonight the pecan chicken and I got rave reviews.
I’m good with not cooking much during the Christmas break. I appreciated the time off and now my family is once again appreciating my efforts to provide a daily dinner. We’re back into our routines and we’re all happy in the new year.