By Amanda Pizzolatto (Rated G)
The goose was turning slowly on the spit over the fire, watched over by the eldest son. The potatoes were boiling away under the watchful eye of the eldest daughter. The children’s mother was working on the pudding while another daughter was working on the stuffing and another son worked at chopping vegetables. The two youngest were kept busy with running for things the others needed, ingredients for their mother and sister, taking care of the trash for their brother, and setting the table.
Meanwhile, the children’s father was out clearing the sidewalk of the Christmas snow, and chopping logs for the fire to keep their house all nice and toasty. When he came in, his senses were met with an onslaught of joy and cheer. His youngest children rushed into him with hugs. They helped him carry a few logs to the fireplace, careful not to disturb the Christmas tree, all nicely decorated with tinsel and handmade ornaments. But by far, the most distinct sensation is the scent of the kitchen. The potatoes had been mixed with butter and milk, making them smell homely, but divine. The goose added a stark contrast with its smoky aroma as the fire crisps its skin to a pop and a crackle. The vegetables steamed the air with a hint of the garden in spring, a remembrance of warmer days. The chestnuts and bacon provided the strongest scents in the stuffing, with the sage and onion opting for second place, providing a nutty and warm aroma that simply made the mouth water. Finally, the warm spices of the pudding wrapped everything up like the bow on a Christmas present.
“Dinner is ready!” called the mother, and the family rushed to the table.
“This looks and smells good, everyone!” the father said. “Let’s pray, and we shall begin.” He began with the sign of the Cross, followed by his family.
The family clasped their hands and bowed their heads. “Bless us, oh Lord, and these Thy gifts for which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” The family made another sign of the Cross before the father rose to cut the goose, which crackled and hissed with steam under the knife.
“Be careful now, it’s still very hot,” announced the father as he served the goose. The mother served everything else with the aid of her two eldest children. “Now, before we eat, there’s one final thing, a toast to the Christ Child for His birthday. Happy birthday, Jesus, and a merry Christmas to you!”
“Happy birthday Jesus, and a merry Christmas to you too!” They clink their glasses before taking a sip and sitting back down to dinner. With a fire crackling, steaming hot food, and a song in their hearts, it was a warm and merry Christmas indeed.