Heloooo hello! We have returned from our holiday voyage. It was a wonderful, lovely, delicious, exhausting, delightful, cheery good time!
We wrapped gifts and baked a ton, filling huge baskets upon baskets for our journey. Packed it all into our car, plus bags & pup children, and off we went on Christmas Eve. Car bursting with goodies, we headed down to the family pad (you have been there before), where everyone has their own room, and all are welcome with love galore...
There were heaps and heaps of treats to eat. My fave were mom's beautiful, crispy, light and flavorful (handmade one at a time) Scandinavian Rosettes. She makes them so delicious, you become quickly addicted after just one bite.
Christmas Eve dinner is always something to look forward to. My mom and dad really out-do themselves, gifting such a beautiful evening. Such lovely folks, they are.
Mom always makes scalloped potatoes, creamed spinach, spiral ham, salad, beautiful rolls, and something extra. This year it was a stuffed rolled steak. Dad is a super good helper, family comes over and everyone dresses up.
The after dinner entertainment was a wig that I gave to my dad, a black Rocky Balboa wig (my dad is mostly bald, so this was a hoooooot!! and he was a grand sport). I took him to my room and put it on him, then introduced him with his new look. Everyone was on the floor with laughter. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. I have been having such huge belly laughs lately.
The wig got passed around, and it was equally hilarious on everyone. My boy cousin who is 17 quite enjoyed trying on the wig (I gave him elf shoes). Even my sis did. It was soooo funny, I can't even tell you. We all laughed and laughed until there was no more laugh in us.
I also gave my wee 11 year old cousin a long hot pink wig. She loved it, and hugged and thanked me, then we put it on her. She grinned from ear to ear. She is very quiet, so that was a good sign.
Soon we all tired out, guests went on their way, and we went to bed.
(a few of the stockings are missing from the photo)
Santa always delivers our gifts, which we eagerly make our way to in the morning.
My siblings and I do not have human babies, and feel quite like kids ourselves still. So, we are extra thankful that Santa has not abandoned us and written us off as too old for coming down our chimney. What a sport that Santa is!
(oops, Miles break, he has come nudging and looking for love)
Okay so, where was I?
Ah yes, Santa.
So generous with us kids.
Christmas morning equals coffee, chocolate gifts a plenty, trying on new coats and slippers. Opening electronics, testing things out. I love giving gifts the best. Getting them is awesome, but giving is so exciting, isn't it?
Christmas day was brisk but all sun, which is lovely. I took the pups out every morning for a walk and let Mister Lovee catch a few more zzzz's. I took them into the wilderness a little, with no leashes and they did grand. There were big black cows in the distance, and Matty and Miles went bonkers sniffing new places...
We all sat around in the formal living room, sniffles from cards my brother writes, oo's and ahh's.
Watching everyone unwrap and smile...
Instead of tissue paper I took one of my vintage sheet music books, and made sheet music paper stuffing for all of my gifts. I just used my paper cutter, but if you have a shredder, that would work great as well...
I was soooo excited to gift my crochet goodies to my sis (plus a handful of other antique store gifts). I had such a hard time parting with the ear adorned cap I made. I also made her one of my colorful scarves. I scalloped some edges and put in colors she likes. Red and pink are her fave, but mostly red.
I wing my crocheting and invent as I go, so, if I am asked for a pattern I won't know where to begin. Must look into this...
I was so careful with choosing my gifts this year, wanting to find just the right things for everyone. I wish I had photographed my moms big wooden swan. Oh well.
My sis made her signature candy cane cookies...
I made (with the help of Mister Lovee) a handful of different types of goodies that I brought with me (trays and trays for granny's house too), including my peanut butter blossoms with the Hershey's kiss in the center (I use the caramel ones), and the one thing everyone hounds me for (since I was 16), baklava. Oh, it was yummmmmmms! Wish I had stolen a few more pieces ;)
I got to celebrate my birthday again, with my sister and brother. But I got reprimanded by my sis for biting into my cake, and sticking my finger in it (several times). But hey, it was my cake!
The pups got along pretty well, especially Miles and Douglas.
Miles L O V E S other dogs.
He is a big kind lover of all, and wants to play all day.
His brother Matty, not so much.
He is leary of everyone, especially other dogs.
Umm, especially humans.
But, he did very well, with his parents there to watch his every move.
All he really wants is to be with me 24/7, dear little Matty....
On Christmas day we always head over to my Grandma and Grandpa's house (mom's parents). I feel so lucky to still have them in my life. To be all growed up and still have childhood Christmases is such a huge gift in itself.
Cousins and uncles and aunts and everyone gathers round for menudo and tamales.
There is always toasted and buttered Mexican bread aplenty, and a huge pot of beans (the only beans I truly like are made by my grandma).
Oh, and always canela, which is sweet cinnamon tea...
We gather around the old stove at a huge farm table, the past and the now fully interwoven. One day, these moments will be but memories, and so I embrace them fully, trying to hang on to each drop of goodness....
I get a tender heart, thinking about that. But, I wrap one of the loveliest birthday gifts ever around my shoulders as I type. A beautiful (cream colored) old fashioned shawl that my grandma crocheted for me. She gave it to me on Sunday...
I squish it around my face, and it smells like her, which brings a tear to my eye. I will cherish it forever, along with each memory made this holiday season.
I am such a tender hearted wimp ;)