Christmas Cheer

Merry (day after) Christmas! I hope those of you who celebrate had a wonderful holiday yesterday 🙂

My extended family celebrated on Christmas Eve this year due to the complicated-ness that comes form holidays falling on Sundays. Around here, we go to church twice on Sunday–once at 9:30 a.m., once at 6 p.m.–and you better believe nothing short of the apocalypse and/or an inconveniently timed tornado warning/watch will keep my mom (and thus the rest of us) from going to night church. One of my aunts is also a baby nurse and was on call on Christmas Day, which would have made it difficult to all get together yesterday as one never knows when babies will be born!

We did all of our traditional Christmas events, beginning with appetizers. After appetizers we opened our gifts while dinner cooked. My cousins and I played Ticket to Ride, a board game, between gifts and dinner, and then chowed down on all of our traditional foods: ham, prime rib, rolls, cheesy potatoes, salad…goodness all around. We played another round of Ticket to Ride after dinner (in which Bethany was sadly crushed 😦 ) and followed that with the entire family playing Say Anything, an Apples-to-Apples-esque (kind of) game my brother got earlier that day. We had dessert after Say Anything, which really was another meal unto itself: cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter pie, chocolate pretzels, peanut clusters, truffles, cranberry bark, and banket (a traditional Dutch pastry). We played two more games after dessert and finally called it a night around 10:30 p.m.

On Christmas morning, my immediate family and I went to church in the morning and then came home to prepare Christmas brunch. The last time Christmas fell on Sunday, we started a tradition of having brunch on the Sunday closest to Christmas. We always have an egg bake, fruit salad, and a Dutch coffee cake with apples and gouda cheese (which, by the way, is pronounced HOW-duh, not GOO-duh. I’m on a one-woman mission to educate the world on that fact). After brunch and a very extended and wonderful family conversation, we cleaned up and headed off to church again. When we got home from night church, we had a light supper and then opened our family presents and the presents we received from our Washington relatives my sister and I just visited.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t like the gift aspect of Christmas, but I really think a blow-by-blow list of what I got is unnecessary, so I’ll leave you with a few highlights.

Big kid toys! I squealed like a little girl when I opened every one of these. Life is just over four months from getting really real (graduation!), and I’m confident all of this will get a lot of use very soon.

You know you’re crazy in love with strength training when…haha. I actually forgot I asked for dumbbells, but man oh man am I excited about these. I strength trained for the first time in just under two weeks this morning with these beauties, and it was bliss.

I’ve gotten a calendar every Christmas for the past 13 or 14 years, but this may be my favorite to date. I have a very large place in my heart for small fuzzy critters 🙂

How did you spend your Christmas?
What was your favorite gift this year that you gave or received? 


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