There are two routes to a relatively stress-free Christmas season. First, you could simply not invite any family members over for the holiday. This, of course, would make you the familial black sheep and would earn you years of holiday season insults and ridicule. But you would avoid all the stress of talking to distant cousins, nieces, and nephews while you all feign interest in each other's lives. The second and more diplomatic option is to invite everybody in your family, all of 'em, to meet at the classy Chez Colette in the upscale Sofitel Hotel. Open for brunch and dinner Christmas Day, Chez Colette offers everything you need to make the holiday enjoyable: good food prepared by somebody else, a location that's not a family member's house (allowing for an easy escape), and, perhaps most importantly, cocktails to take the holiday edge off. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature crepes, sushi, a chocolate fountain, and omelets, among other things. The dinner buffet is served 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It's definitely a setup for a merry Christmas free of copious family time, bird-stuffing, and dishwashing. Sofitel Hotel, 5601 W. 78th St., Bloomington; 952.835.1900.
Thu., Dec. 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5:30-10:30 p.m., 2008