Christmas this year was beautiful. It was full of faith, family, food, and friends, with plenty of laughter sprinkled atop like powdered sugar. Hopefully you’re all not too played out on hearing about others Christmases of others because this is a little taste of my family’s celebration of the birth of Christ.
Every Christmas Eve we go down the driveway and all congregate at my “Nanny’s” (grandmother from my dad’s side) house. My dad is one of five children so a good sized crowd always shows up. When I was younger, it was a huge ordeal of opening presents and trying to figure out why santa came early to this one place, but now as myself, my siblings, and the cousins have gotten older, we’ve joined the adults a bit rather than tearing open the wrapping paper on the largest gifts.
It’s always a pleasure catching up with my cousin Deanna. She’s right under me in age and school, so she, Karen, and I always have things to talk about. Plus, we just get along really well and don’t get to visit often!
For our meal we have a spread of hors d’oeuvres rather than a sit-down dinner, so we move about, catch up with one another, and constantly refill our plates. I prefer sit-down meals but once a year I’m pretty sure I can manage this.
On the menu was :
shrimp and dipping sauce
lobster dip and crackers
a cheese platter/ vegetable spread
a three-foot sub
mom’s spinach balls and bagelettes
meatballs and chicken wings
The dessert table was just as good. There was more than enough cookies and bite sized cheesecakes to go around, but I’m not particularly fond of Italian cookies (which is what the platters were), making it easier to resist especially since they weren’t gluten-free. I didn’t exactly feel like getting sick, balancing out perfectly with my disregard for the cookies. But the table looked great and everyone else seemed to enjoy them.
After a few hours of visiting and celebrating, my family headed back home where we recouped for an hour or two before heading to midnight mass.
Since the children in the family have gotten older, we’ve been going to this mass instead of the Christmas morning one. It’s always a beautiful and special mass, and it gives us plenty of time to relax, sleep in, and take our time Christmas morning.
After listening to the choir sing beautiful Christmas songs and partaking in the Christmas mass, sleep found my family as santa worked his magic.
Christmas morning was spent lounging around, listening to more Christmas music, sipping hot drinks around the fire, opening gifts, laughing, annoying one another here and there, and then getting ready to go to my other grandparent’s house.
My mom is one of ten children and we usually just have our own Christmas dinner, but this year we went to her parent’s house. It was really special and there was more than enough food, and cocktail drinks, to go around.
[Although, there was that 3 o’clock hour (where we were already supposed to have eaten by 2!) when we all found out the oven wasn’t even on and the turkey was only half cooked…YUP]
On that Christmas dinner menu was:
homemade raviolis and homemade lasagna
fresh dinner rolls and butter (as opposed to unfresh?)
green beans and a tossed salad
turkey with cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy
mashed potatoes and turnips
and a “we’re starving and should have eaten 2 hours ago” rescue plate of mom’s spinach balls
I found a hidden stash of chocolate covered popcorn where I snuck a few pieces to hold me over. Hey, in my defense, I couldn’t eat the spinach balls and I was hungry! Plus, on Christmas you can eat chocolate covered anything whenever, wherever. Come dinner time, I filled my plate up with salad, green beans, turkey, and cranberry sauce. It was a delicious meal and great to visit with my grandparents, especially since we never get to spend any holiday meals with them (other family members usually do).
We then headed back home to our house so that we could ready all the desserts for our company. For the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) my mom always opens our home up as the dessert go-to. Dad willingly complies. We baked everything from sugar cookies to candy brownies to a frozen banana chocolate cake to cheesecake to thumbprint cookies to….you get the picture. There was more than enough to eat! You could probably eat plenty just with your eyes alone! (Well…maybe not. I prefer the physical taste.)
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were beautiful days to relax with family and appreciate all that I have. I’m so greatful to be home, and right now I’m lounging about before I get my exercise on.
And by exercise I mean the physical motion of spooning myself some gluten-free cake, of course. In my book it’s Christmas all week.
This blizzard just confirms it!
Are you confined to the house because of the snow? What do you do to pass the time when you’re stuck inside? Besides eating cake, I’ve been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with my family here and there. We don’t have our television hooked up at all to get any channels and my mom rented season 6 for my dad because of his knee operation. So excuse me while I go stare at Patrick Stewart.
I’m a fan.