Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas #4 Recap

So after Christmas Eve with Michael's mom and Christmas morning with Michael's dad, we spent Christmas Day with my family and a couple of friends.  Paul is an old friend of my parents back from when my brothers were in Scouts.  He is a funny little fella, but he has a heart of gold and our go to guy for anything and everything electrical or home renovation.  He's spent Christmas with my family for the last few years so it wouldn't have been the same if he didn't show up!  Our other non-family guest was my friend John.  John and  I met through work and despite being laid off in November, we have stayed in touch.  His dad passed away earlier this year and he didn't really have anyone to spend the holiday with so I forced him to come to our house.  Not that I had to do much arm-twisting; John and another co-worker Beth come over almost weekly for dinner and wine at our place and John knows that I always have something yummy cooking in the kitchen.


I had spent Christmas Eve prepping a lot of things: brioche (bread) dough, a sweet potato casserole, pork tenderloin, spinach artichoke dip, and homemade mac and cheese.  When we got home on Christmas Day around 11, it only took me about two hours to cook everything and since most of it was done, all I had to do was pop things in the oven and then wait for them to cook.  It would have been only one hour had I had a double oven, but whatever.  Someday when I have my dream house!  Michael was great at getting everything cleaned up, so when everyone started arriving at 1:30, it was easy peasy.  It's nice to have finally figured out a good system for entertaining!

Uncle Phil is a wee bit too big for Billa's tent

Uncle Phil?  Can I have my tent back now?

I was so tired of turkey and ham (even though I don't eat ham) so I figured I would do something a little different.  Last year we had a Mexican Christmas with tamales and enchiladas; this year it was pork tenderloin with pomegrante mango chipotle glaze, sweet potato casserole, homemade mac and cheese, peas and corn (my one lazy dish–I figured I made everything else, I was allowed to do frozen veggies!), and brioche, straight from the oven.  It was mighty fine eats, if I do say so myself.

David, Paul and Michael talking motorcycles

Billa shows off some mad skills to her audience

Afterwards, we opened presents.  We gave John a wine aerator (which funny story, he got us one too!), my parents got a calendar and some nice coffee and a digital food thermometer, my brother David got dominoes, and Philip got travel Scattergories.  I gave Paul a loaf of the brioche since I ran out of time to get him anything, but he was excited nonetheless since he now had something to go with the homemade blueberry jam his family had sent him from Maine!  We left some presents for Billa to open so that her uncles and grandparents could share in her joy of opening presents.  I kinda wish I'd saved different presents for her to unwrap since they started encouraging her to use her new markers and 'tattoo' herself.  I also have a big blue streak on my carpet from said markers.  Thanks a lot, guys.

My parents watching Billa open her presents and Philip modeling some of the wrappings

Billa and her 'tattoo'

John colors with Billa

Laughing at some doodles Philip added to Hello Kitty...don't ask!

After presents, we sat around and chatted, played some dominoes, my dad took a nap, Michael read some, and Billa went down for a nap too.  Philip and Paul left early, so the rest of us sat down to eat cookies and watch Grandma's Boy since John had never seen it.  My mom insisted that I finish decorating the rest of the cookies, so I did, but not before she and my brother and John thought it would be hilarious to keep bumping my hands as I tried to pipe designs on them.  David also thought it would be funny to make boobies on some of the gingerbread men (yes, hard to believe he's 25) and my mom made her own improvements to them as well.  Needless to say, I did NOT get pictures of these cookies as they were just awful looking.  They tasted good though!

We had a lot of fun razzing each other and playing around all afternoon and I was sad to see to everyone go.  Mom gave Sybilla a bath before she left (apparently grandma's love to give baths, so who am I to stand in the way of their fun?) and Michael and did a quick clean up before calling it a night.

It was a great Christmas and I am so grateful that my folks came out to my place again this year for dinner and gift exchange.  Someday I hope to consolidate everyone in one Christmas...maybe next year?

Mama wearing her new hat

Billa's turn with the hat!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!


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