I got home yesterday afternoon, went to Brother/Sister-In-Law's house and started to help prepare for Christmas meal. We started by making sugar cookie dough, which niece Emma helped roll out dough and cut cookies. Emma is allergic to milk and eggs, so we used soy milk, but there isn't a substitute for eggs, so we had to try to keep the eating of raw dough to a minimum. Once done at Bro/SIL's house, I went home and helped dad make the dressing.
Christmas eve, I was up early and over at Bro/SIL house by 9AM, cooking and making and preparing for the meal. It's a hungarian tradition to have Lentils as a dish at christmas, so SIL made a delicious lentil salad. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, dressing, rolls, lentil salad, orange jello cottage cheese fluff salad, green bean casserole, and there was something else, I can't remember what. We cooked the turkey first, then everything else, so the turkey sat for about 1 hour before we ate it. It was SO GOOD, it was very moist and had a great flavor. My dad raved about the turkey for 3 days. Considering that it was the first time either SIL or myself had made a big meal like that, we did a good job and everything turned out very well.
My brother has a friend, Melvin, and Bro invited Melvin, his mother, his sister and her son, to have Christmas Dinner with us. Before we all managed to eat, another friend of my brother's called and dropped by with his son. Dad went to the hospital in the morning, came over at around 1PM for the meal, then left again around 2:30PM, then came back around 7PM for family gifts. After the meal, the kids did a small gift exchange, which went over very well and was a lot of fun.
The tradition in Hungary is that Santa comes to visit early in december, and leaves a few little toys in shoes left out in the house. Then Christmas eve is the family gift exchange, and Christmas day is for the church and family time. Because this tradition means a lot to
SIL, and I don't have kids, and no one else in the family has much of a preference, this is how we are doing it, and probably will continue to do it. It made a nice holiday. We merged Hungarian and American so that we do Christmas eve like SIL did it as a kid, and then Christmas morning, Santa will bring some small toys and leave them in the stockings to be opened before, or maybe after, church.
At any rate, it turned out to be a very nice day. SIL and I got along well and worked very well together in the kitchen, and Brother was in a pretty good mood, too. It was nice to see Melvin and his family again, I hadn't seen them in quite awhile.
As bad as this day could have been, it was actually a nice day. It was acceptable. Not exceptional, but given the circumstances, it was nice. Acceptable.