I decided this year (with Brandon's encouragement) to not cook anything on Christmas day. I've tried through the years to recreate my childhood Christmas dinners with candlelight and lovely table arrangements and beautiful music. Our dinners have usually ended much too late and the children are hastily shoved into bed so I can do the dishes. I'm not sure how my mom did it, but I finally realized that I'm not my mother.
So we had a nice Christmas Eve dinner instead. I spent all Christmas Eve (eve) cooking sweet potatoes and pecan pie and rolls and mashed potatoes and ham (yes, ham! Just don't ask me how much it cost to get it) and croissant breakfast ring for the next day. The children had a great time playing and happily anticipating the next day. I listened to Christmas music and looked forward to not cooking the next day. By the time Brandon walked in the door around five, the house was clean, table set, and kitchen floor swept.