Usually for Christmas Eve we have dinner at my house, but since I'm cooking for Christmas day I said that I would not do both. Someone else could do it this year. mother in law said that she would cook for it, but sister in law insisted that we should go out for dinner. Of course, my kids loved the idea, but I had my reservations. Christmas Eve is a big night for people to eat out, restaurants get crowded, sometimes there are long waits. It just seemed like it was not a good mix for a difficult child child. But, everyone jumped on sister in law's bandwagon, so I said fine, we'll go out for dinner, but I told her that we had to go to a place that was taking reservations and we had to go early, and by early I meant I wanted to have a reservation no later than 5:00 pm. I knew that my kids would get hungry and I could not risk having to wait for an hour for a table with difficult child. It just would not work. So, at first sister in law e-mailed me to confirm the time for the reservations. "7:00 pm is okay, right?" Ummmm...no. I said early. Fine. She finally agreed to go early and got a 5:00 pm reservation. We got seated right away, but we were a party of 10 people and the service was s o s l o w. difficult child was starting to spin. "I'm hungry. Where is the food? Why it is taking so long? We've been here an hour already. The food should have been here by now. Find that waiter and tell him to bring me my food." Telling easy child to "shut up" when he tried to talk to him. Nasty to me. Nasty to husband. It was starting to get ugly. And it wasn't like he had nothing to eat before that. He shared the appetizers that were on the table. Anyway, just then, the waiter starts to bring out the food and much to my delight, difficult child's dish was the first one put on the table. Thank God for good timing! After that he was better. Not great, but better. We went back to mother in law/father in law's house for dessert and presents. After he was there for a while he asked if he could go home because he was getting bored there. mother in law lives around the corner from us, and no one minded, so husband brought him home and then came back, which was better for the rest of us. Then husband, easy child, and I could sit and talk with everyone else without difficult child asking every five minutes when we were going to go home. All in all, we made it through dinner. We're home tomorrow, which always makes things easier. Have a merry Christmas!