"Clark! Audrey's frozen!"
"All part of the experience, honey." --National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
So, you may ask, what exactly does a DeArdo family Christmas entail?
Well since I've started singing Midnight Mass (Mom used to sing it when we were little, but we didn't all go together), that's the Mass we haul ourselves to. That means dinner is around 5, 6:00...mom starts the baking festivities in the am, usually around 10 or so (as I write the marble cakes have been baked and smell yum-o....mmmmmmmm). We usually have ham, a pasta bake, some potatoes (we're Irish, come on), bread (mmmmmm) and this year we have a jell-o/pretzel concoction, which I'm sure will be good (Mom's a Heilmann, and all Heilmann events must have some sort of jell-o thing. It's a rule or something.). We will also have sparkling red/white grape juice (yeah, OK, Emily can't drink the good stuff right now, give me a break) and then the cakes and cookies Mom's made over the past few weeks post-Mass.
The gifts have alredy been placed under the tree, divided into recepient piles so that no one accidentally opens someone else's gift and causes confusion/havoc in the wee hours.
After dinner, we usually watch some sort of Christmas-y movie, like A Christmas Story , which we all love. I am also partial to Meet Me In St. Louis since it has one of the best Christmas songs ever, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas , and Judy Garland looks so great, sitting there in her red velvet dress (mmm) singing it to Margaret O'Brien. Great stuff. AMC or TCM usually has it on, so check if you don't own the DVD. But we love A Christmas Story. We watch it all the time...I've probably be watching it several times a Christmas season since I was about 6. Great, great movie. I don't care what anyone else says.
Around 9 or so we'll probably start to change into our Mass clothes, and I'll get my music ready. I'm sure a nap will happen this afternoon so I don't fall asleep tonight. At 10:15, I'll leave and my parents will show up sometime before 11:15, when we will start our program with the fantastic Haydn.
Yeah, I'm excited. :) :) Good times!