I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Most years we only have two Christmas celebrations, but this year we had three since Kayla and Joe wouldn't be with us on Christmas Eve.
I spent the weekend at my parents helping my mom prep for all the festivities. Sunday we had our immediate family over to my parents for an Italian Christmas. We are nothing close to Italian. Mom made a delicious lasagna, garlic bread, salad and cheese cake.
We did a small gift opening with Kayla and Joe. Everyone seemed to enjoy their gifts this year. I have so much more fun giving gifts. This year I had Kayla and Kari's gifts picked out months in advance and I couldn't wait for them to open their gifts.
Christmas Eve is when we celebrate Christmas and have done the same tradition for the last 25 years. Every year we make homemade Chinese food. Chicken wontons with a pineapple sauce, chicken and steak skewers, rice, Chinese chicken salad, rolls and of course, the ever so Chinese dessert of Chocolate Silk Pie.
It was a very small Christmas this year with just my parents, Kari and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim. It's amazing how quick the evening goes when the amount of family is half of what it is other years.
In our family we have a rotation of every other year the married couples switch which family they celebrate each holiday with. This year they all went to their in laws. Next year we will have a very full house and there will even be a baby!
After the guests left we popped some bottles of Asti and began the gift opening.
Kari and I had gone shopping with mom to pick out what we wanted. I was so excited to get my first pair of ProCompression socks and my first juicer!
I have been waiting for this for quite a while and I can't wait to try some different juices and do a complete reboot. I've felt like my body is out of whack lately, that's for another post.
We wrapped up the night with a couple episodes of Duck Dynasty and early bed times. I think this was the first year Kari and I were in bed before midnight.
Santa came bright and early. There aren't any young kids in the house but we do have dogs that get us up nice and early. He brought us some pretty cool gifts this year. Snow shoes for the cabin, head lights to wear while snow shoeing, or fishing at night, or that I can wear on early morning runs.
I'm going up to the cabin this weekend and I hope they have more snow than we do in the Cities because I can't wait to try out the snow shoes! Finally, a winter sport I can partake in! Maybe next year I'll try snowboarding?
Finally on Christmas Day we headed over to my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dick's house for dinner. This is a new tradition that we've done with them now for three years and this was the first year that everyone from both families was able to come. Danny is completely out of the Marines so he was home, safe and sound, Ari and O'Brian are living in the US now after being in Jamaica for too long, and Kayla and Joe were able to come for the whole evening too!
It's a bit more chaotic than the night before with two little ones, 3 and 2 running around and then a 6 month old, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
One of my favorite things we do is a Polish tradition (they are Polish), of breaking Oplatek. It's a Christmas wafer, each person takes one and breaks off a piece and shares it with someone while offering wishes for peace and prosperity. It's so nice to see and hear the different things people say, what they are thankful for, who they are thankful for. All the chaos and noise went away and we all were just thankful to be together for Christmas!
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas filled with family and love!