Merry Christmas

Even though we are celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas this year, I thought I would go ahead and post an update from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The morning of Christmas Eve was pretty quiet. Jim and I both exercised, and we had plenty of time to make all our dinner preparations before heading to church.

I was a vocalist for our Christmas Eve service and had to arrive by 3pm for rehearsals. We had a guest piano player for the evening, and it was really nice to sing many of my favorite carols with my church family. You can view the service here.

Afterward, we were able to snap a quick family photo at sunset.

Then we headed back to our house to warm up brisket from the night before, and I made a mushroom risotto with roasted vegetables. My parents brought over a cheesecake and gelato cake.

We made an effort to make Christmas more about giving presents this year (hence the kids extensive crafting), so we gave Nana and Pops their presents and the kids opened their annual matching pajamas and ornaments, as well as new sets of books.

In addition to handmade gifts, Pops received a heated Ororo jacket and Nana received a Kendra Scott necklace.
Matching jammies and new books!

The kids were in bed by 8:30p, and we were able to set up for Christmas morning.

Stocking gifts for Christmas morning
Twelve Days of Christmas activities!

Christmas morning started bright and early with everyone checking out their stockings, followed by a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and bacon.

Notable gifts: learners knives for Evie and Jack and chef outfit plus kiddie-safe kitchen knives for James

We went for a short hike at the park across the street from our neighborhood after breakfast and arrived home in time to finish meal preparations. Jim smoked filet mignon with herbed butter. I made a mushroom reduction and winter salad with warm vegetables. Angie brought twice baked potatoes and banana pudding. We also had chocolate mousse and apple pie.

Slicing mushrooms with my helper
Smoking meat
Voila!
Probably our best meal ever.

Since John and Angie are heading to Port Aransas the day after Christmas, the kids were able to exchange gifts with them before they left. Then they spent the afternoon watching Swiss Family Robinson while the adults chatted. It was a good day! Merry Christmas!

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