Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, ol’ Robbo’s Christmas Prep status has just been upgraded to “locked and loaded”, as I managed to get to the grock store to pick up the makings of Christmas Din-Dins relatively unruffled this morning, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the pouring rain.  About all I have left to do before the festivities get under way tomorrow evening is to switch the Advent bows and candles to red, and lay out the table (something it’s always wise to leave until the last minute because cats).

Christmas Dins will consist, as it always does at Port Swiller Manor, of the classic roast beef with Yorkshire pud and two veg.  (In this case, the two veg actually are one very large portion of asparagus).  This year I am also attempting a Julia Child cheese casserole for those weirdoes respected members of the family who do not choose to eat beef.  This will be preceded by bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, cheese n’ crackers and various other snacks, and followed by whatever dessert my cousin brings along with her.  And of course I’ve already laid in a stock of sherry, burgundy and port to accompany the various stages of the meal.

We’re supposed to go on to some friends for drinks later in the day.  How on earth I’m still even going to be conscious by that point is a great mystery.

Tomorrow evening kicks off with the Middle Gel singing one of the services at Robbo’s Former Episcopal Church.  (I hope it’s not the “family” service, because at that one the rector skips his sermon and instead calls the chillruns up to the altar and reads them some revolting kiddy book.)  Later on, I’ll push off on my own for Midnight Mass, from which I don’t get home until past two ack emma.  My traditional way of capping off Christmas Eve is to have a nice glass of cognac before crawling into bed and trying to grab a few hours’ sleep before the piranhas start circling the Tree.

Between the activities of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, ol’ Robbo ends up pretty exhausted when all is said and done, but it’s a calm, joyous sort of exhaustion.