Every night before bed. (Please).
Believe it or not, this is the first time I have gone to bed since before Christmas Eve with the dishes DONE. You remember how down I was about Christmas? Well, I dragged my energy together enough to clean for Christmas Eve dinner and make the tortiere (which is a bigger deal than it seems cause it means cleaning every single dish to roll out the pastry and finding a home for every scrap of paper so I can set the table).
And what happens is what happens every year, though I usually forget. My mother arrives 20 minutes before Church service. This year we had actually decided not to bother with Church--the decision had been made for all of 5 minutes when the husband got home, rushed inside and demanded why we all weren't ready. So, we went. Mom took the kids in her car (including the birthday boy, my one year old-that-day nephew) and the husband and I hoofed it the few blocks through the iceberg.
After service, Mom picks up my sister and returns for dinner. We eat. We have the ice cream cake she brought for her son's birthday. They leave. Mom offered to help with dishes--she even told me to let her pack them up and take them to her place so she could put them in her dishwasher.
She gets points for effort.
So, it's over. It's finally over.