Before the kids came along, there was a Christmas that just didn’t work out well for anybody.
My then-wife drew the short straw and had to work on Christmas. My parents were out of town. My sister-in-law was out of state. So when my brother Jerry called me a few days before, he seemed just as out of sorts as I was.
“What are we supposed to do?” he wondered.
This confused me on a number of levels. Despite being the older brother, I wouldn’t say I was ever much of a “big” brother to Jerry. For one thing, quite literally, Jerry has been bigger than me for most of our lives. I’m a fairly big guy, topping out over 6 feet, but he’s at least 6’6” and actually built for it.
More to the point, I don’t have any sort of big brother expertise. He got married before I did. (Though I beat him to divorce! (He’s still happily married, so hands off, ladies.)) He moved out of state. He is physically fit instead of physically fat.
So I did the one thing I’m good at: being very lazy.
“How about you come over?” I asked. (That way I wouldn’t have to leave the house.) “We can hang out.” (No firm deliverables.) “We’ll just make sandwiches.” (No cooking necessary.)
Little did I know I was creating our newest family tradition.
The Elwells are lazy bunch, down to our genetics. When it became clear that we could both celebrate Christmas and do absolutely none of the grueling prep work that usually comes with holidays, it was a hit.
I love turkey. I love ham. Roast beef? So, so good. And while preparing these isn’t that difficult, putting them together as part of an enormous meal is stress on top of stress on top of stress.
People coming over means cleaning up. Getting out the fancy china. Decorating. And at Christmas, you have to deal with buying and wrapping gifts, adding psychological and monetary strain.
Instead of adding a big, stressful meal to a big, stressful day, Sandwich-mas means you do minimal prep work for maximum sandwich eating and just sit around being suuuuuuper lazy. Would you like to enjoy this lazy, useless holiday for yourself? It’s easy!
Just head to the grocery store and pick up the following items:
For dessert, I like to grab a package of graham crackers, some large marshmallows and cheap milk chocolate for s’mores. You can broil the marshmallows on top of the graham crackers in the oven if you don’t have a fire going. (I never have a fire going.)
If people want to bring stuff over, that’s fine. Usually someone has received a gift basket or two and can bring over extra cheese, snack mixes, or some juicy pears. Always better to share the bounty, right?
Do you have a lazy way to get around holiday meals? Share your tips in the comments, please.