A Little Personal Journaling To Reflect:
Christmas is over and I can't say I'm terribly happy about it. This Christmas was as perfect as one could wish for. I'm not looking forward to taking it all way, I mean that in the most literal sense. The end of Christmas and the New Year bring on just as much work. The tree needs to be undecorated and everything put in its place carefully for next year. The decorations stored away, and the food eaten and some recipes not even to be thought of until the years end. I'll miss the glow of the tree's lights, the stockings adorning the fireplace, and the holiday photo cards hanging throughout. But I will find comfort in the unexpected turn of events this Christmas brought. Especially because it may be our last Christmas in California if things go as planned in 2011.
We broke tradition in a big way this year. For the better part of the last 20 years I have always gone to my Aunts on Christmas Day. We enjoy exchanging gifts, and family come and go throughout the day and night feasting on homemade tamales, menudo, pie, cookies, etc. This year one of my aunts and one of my cousins were recovering from surgeries, so there were to be no tamales and visits on Christmas Day were to be short. Other deterring factors including a personal matter with my family and another family member were possibly preventing me from attending at all. After much consideration my family decided to skip the events at my Aunt's house on Christmas Day.
My husband arranged for some family to stop by and see us that day and we decided of course to provide food for our guests. To take us back a day we had entertained my brother's family on Christmas Eve, for it is as close as we could get to celebrating his 40th birthday which was on the 22nd. We knew we weren't going to get a chance to see him on Christmas Day since we had opted out of going to the general meeting place.
However, Christmas morning arrived and with tons of food cooked and cooking, I received a call from my brother asking if they could come over for a bit. That's 5 people. Shortly after, our expected guests, a family of 6 arrived! After brunch, my brothers family left, and I later served an early dinner to my guests. During dinner my cousin and his fiance entered in a surprise arrival. I was so pleased that even though we weren't able to spend Christmas with all of my family, that people cared enough to spend it with us. I think everyone left fulfilled and full! My kids got to spend two days with so many of their cousins in their own house. They're always asking for that, so it was a real treat! And my cousin asked Chloe if she would honor them by being a flower girl in their wedding. By doing so she has to wear a pink dress! This is way out of her tomboyish comfort zone. She said she'll think about it. Stay tuned to hear what she decides...
Here is a glimpse at some of the food I cooked over the past week:
Christmas Eve Dinner:
Chocolate Birthday Cake
Christmas Sausage Casserole
Crudites and Veggie Dip
Gnocchi Mac and Cheese (courtesy of Plain Chicken Blog)
Prime Rib Roast
Post Christmas Feast: