Many years ago, when we had lived in this neighborhood for less than two years, we were preparing for a very cold Christmas when all the children would be home and the families were going to gather for the holidays. Late on Christmas Eve, our power went out, so on Christmas morning, we were invited to the next-door neighbors home to shower and cook our family dinner. Just as my son got into the shower and soaped his head with shampoo, their water lines burst and their power went out also. None of us had any cooked food and back then there was never a restaurant open on Christmas within 200 miles.
We had no idea what to do and luckily, one of our other neighbors, who had not lost power because they were on another grid, invited all of us to join them at their home. There were 9 of us (in two families) and 4 of them - so 12 in all. I had a ham and the other family had a turkey - with all the trimmings, of course. We put the meats in the oven and set about to cook the side dishes as best we could - bumping into one another in the kitchen - but having a lot of fun doing it.
After dinner, we sat around talking and laughing while the children played with their toys, and I reflected on how it was the very best Holiday dinner we'd ever had; cooked under a bit of a hardship, but with good spirit of cooperation and lots of fun and laughter. I still think about that day and that meal - when this Methodist, who is married to a Catholic, had dinner with a Baptist, who was married to a Lutheran, at the home of Jews (one of whom was Canadian and who - luckily for us - both ate ham) though they didn't usually celebrate Christmas. Talk about an eclectic celebration !!