For your information, we will be dining fashionably late. The grandchildren and dogs will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be eager to share every choice comment I have made regarding the holidays, shopping, and several panicked calls to the turkey hotline. Please keep in mind that most of these comments were made at 5 am when I discovered the turkey was still frozen hard enough to cut diamonds on...not to mention the many necessary quality control checks of the liquor for the rum balls the previous evening.
As an accompaniment to the childrens' program, I will play a CD of tribal drumming. If the children should happen to mention that we don't own a recording of tribal drummimg - or that the drums sound suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.
The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fine China or crystal goblets. Since this is Christmas, we will refrain from our regular paper plates, leftover takeout napkins and sporks. If possible, we will use dishes that match...something, somewhere, and you will get a real fork.
Naturally, the dog's will be under the table to make sure the floor remains clean. Bless their hearts, they try so hard to keep up with all the floors in the house. Oh, and the litter box.
Our table centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers I had copied from a picture in a magazine. The grandchildren ate the fruit for breakfast and the cats ate and bared up the fresh flowers. Instead, we will be displaying a wet hedgehog-like decoration handcrafted from the finest quality construction paper, glitter glue and assorted pasta shapes. The artist (aka grandchild) assures me it is a snowman. The dogs are totally convinced that it is a new chew toy. With a little luck, most of the dog slobber should be dry by dinnertime.
We toyed with the pleadant image of ringing a dainty crystal bell to announce the start of the feast. We quickly trashed that idea. Kids, cats and breakable are not compatible. We will instead bang on an empty saucepan with a large metal spoon. So much easier to hear above the noise