Dh last night suggested that we simply not bother with Christmas dinner this year. TBH I kind of agree with him but it feels so wrong. It'll just be us and our 2 ds's as eldest dd is at her dads. Ds1 has asd and can't abide a roast, whereas ds2 loves it. Last year I slaved away and it is just so much stress knowing that ds1 really doesn't enjoy it and by the time I've cooked it I don't find it all that special either. We're trying to learn from previous years to take the stress off us all, as ds1 finds Christmas so hard to handle. We generally put out loads of food in the dining room on boxing day where it pretty much stays for the next few days as a free for all buffet, so I'm considering just doing that instead. But I just can't stop thinking that I'd miss sitting round the table together. Argh. Help me separate the lovely idyllic picture I have in my head from the very different reality! What do you eat if not Christmas dinner?
When our oven broke two years ago we had steak and ready made dauphinoise potatoes for Christmas dinner. It was fantastic, only took ten minutes and very little effort so DH and I had time to enjoy a bottle of champagne beforehand, and DS much prefers steak to turkey so everyone was happy.
It was so successful we have it every year now, except I make my own dauphinoise potatoes a day or so in advance.
We have been known to do a meze/tapas type affair for Christmas dinner. Sometimes I spend time cooking some of it (making nice bread, potatoes etc) but last year with a new baby I ordered in lots of nice bits from Ocado and laid it all out. So breads, olives, dips, cheeses, meats, salmon etc. Really easy and went down well
We do the dutiful family Christmas with all the oldies - traditional. Realised last year how much the kids detest it so on Christmas Eve we had the Christmas Day they would want. Pyjamas all day (wrapped up new ones & put them under tree). Party games (also some new board games also under tree). Big dog walk (yes coats on top of pyjamas) They also planned the food - croissants & pain au chocolate for breakfast, then party food for lunch & tea - sausage rolls, mini burgers, chicken skewers, crisps etc etc all from M&S. Was fab & we are doing same this year.
To be honest if one of your DS loves it, then it’s not fair on him to have it permanently off the table just because the other ds (and your dh) dislikes it. And Christmas should be a bit special. Just do a roast but maybe without all the trimmings, and something simpler for your elder son.
There are just two of us so I can’t be bothered with the faff of a roast. Over the last few years we’ve had variations on steak - one year it was venison, most years it’s fillet - with some form of potatoes and veg. It’s no hassle and is done in less than half an hour including washing up. It means we don’t have to manage timings and can have a lovely relaxing morning.