Be My Guest

Already the prime holiday rush is upon us, giving close to no warning before settling in and now not even a week remains until Christmas day. For many people, that means an onslaught of family and friends, sometimes people you only see this one time of the year. Such joyous reunions to look forward to, touching stories saved up for this very occasion… And so much to do to keep everyone happy. This means cooking, cleaning, and entertaining for days on end. Personally, I can’t keep up that sort of facade for more than 12 hours, so I don’t know how the rest of you do it – Any one who can host an event for an extended period of time has my deepest respect.

With this thought in mind, I was bustling around the kitchen as per usual, banging out a few trays of cookies to be handed out at school later in the week, when the doorbell rang with loud inpatience. Who could it be, I wondered to myself? Although we do spend time with the relatives throughout the handful of days alloted to Hannukah, most everyone lives amazingly close, so we don’t usually have anyone stay at our house. Abandoning the scorching the oven, I cautiously opened the door and glancing around quickly so as not to invite some mad sales person in by accident. What a surprise I saw; It was Uncle Billy, here to celebrate the holidays with us! …Invitation? What’s an invitation when you’re all family? Ohh, clearly nothing at all…

Not a moment had passed upon walking through the front door before Uncle Billy had caught a whiff of my baking and was hurriedly moving toward the source of the scent. Struggling to hoist his excessive luggage in behind him, it was a few moments before I could catch up with his rampant sweet tooth. By the time I made it into the kitchen with an inviting smile plastered on my tired face, he was already making short work of my ginger snaps.

Try as I might to explain, Uncle Billy couldn’t grasp the fact that these cookies were not gifts for him, but destined for friends at school… Well, they were… With crumbs caught so very unattractively in his goatee, he polished off the sizable stack of sweets in front of him and began looking around ravenously, seeking out other goodies that had clearly been prepared in anticipation of his arrival, despite the fact that he had failed to even give us fair warning. Thankfully, while he was busy scarfing down my latest tray of cutouts, I had time to stash the rest before he could claim them for himself.

Disappointed by the lack of edible delights available at the time, he resigned himself to the television in order to watch some football, no doubt. Or so I thought…

Searching around for a quick dinner idea to throw together that would keep us all fed, I decided to scavenge through the pantry for inspiration. Apparently Uncle Billy had the same thought as well! I have no clue how he managed to get by me into the other room, but the damage that he had already done was nothing short of impressive. Full boxes of crackers and packaged cookies were laid to waste; Only plastic wrapping and cardboard skeletons to indicate that they had once contained food.

Seeing him making eyes at even the canned pumpkin sitting beside him, I thought it might be best to hurry him out of there so that the rest of us didn’t go hungry that night. Attempting to keep him busy and out of my hair (And food!) for long enough that I could cook a real meal for us all, I set Uncle Billy to work on a mission to program the VCR. Nobody can do that, so I figured that should give me atleast an hour or so before he realized the futility in his efforts and gave up.

Finally having a minute to breath, I thoroughly enjoyed the warmth of the stove and quiet tick of the clock, stirring a thick stew and simply appreciating the calm. Seeing that my concoction was nearly done, I went back to the laundry room where a few herbs were set to dry, and where I could gather some other seasonings ready to go. What I walked in upon was so disturbing, I very nearly spun around on my heel and closed the door without a word…

It was Uncle Billy, at it again, but this time he was munching on a sprig of raw sage. I kid you not. No one could be so hungry, not even if he had multiple stomachs! Maybe it’s time we invested in some locks for the cabinets, atleast for the time being…

I can’t believe there’s still so many days until Christmas. Now the stretch of time seems agonizing in comparison. I’m just hoping that we aren’t eaten out of house and home before then… Good luck to everyone else and your insatiable house guests!

3 thoughts on “Be My Guest

  1. Good grief. I read this whole thing thinking that there really was an Uncle Billy, and that he needed a talking to. And that the cute little crocheted sheep ( I know, I know) was just “scenery.” *shakes head* Must be the holiday stress.

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