Fridge is so full it might be impossible to find the milk

If this day is true to traditional form, the fridge will be heaving.

I will open the door looking for something — a glass of milk, say — and be confronted by eight casserole dishes, six foil-covered serving plates and 42 containers of gherkins, pickles, sauces, jellies and spreadable cheese.

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The turkey will be in there, somewhere, buried beneath half a dozen bags of leftover salad, stuffing and veggies.

I’ll likely give up on the milk.

It’s very odd. We never have a massive crowd around the dinner table on Christmas, but for some strange reason, I tend to stock up as though I’m expecting a snowstorm that will keep me housebound for months. Either that, or I’m anticipating that people by the thousand will show up hungry at dinnertime.

It starts a few days prior to Christmas.

I will go to the grocery store, armed with a list of the basics. But the shop will take on a life of its own.

Oh, I’ll say, ogling a display at the end of the aisle. That antipasto looks delicious. I should really get a jar or two. That herbed cheese? I’ll toss two or three packages in the cart, along with a tin of mixed nuts, three containers of pate and two dozen cans of club soda.

Tis the season, I’ll tell myself, when you need to be prepared.

The next day, having realized I forgot something — the cranberries, say — I will return to the store.

Overnight, a new display will have appeared. Oh, I will say to myself, I really need a few boxes of those crackers to go with the pate and herbed cheese I brought yesterday. And those stuffed olives would go nicely on a charcuterie tray, along those pickled onions and roasted red peppers.

I will come home with the cranberries, and perhaps four dozen other things. Four dozen other things we couldn’t possibly consume.

Green bean casserole? You bet we’ll have it, but no idea why I made enough for 36 when there were only six of us.

I like green bean casserole, I really do, and that’s a very good thing. We’ll eat it tonight and freeze all that’s left. I may not go shopping ‘til May.

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