Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Christmas Recap

I adore the day after Christmas. The stress of the holidays is over and I can spend the day enjoying time with my family.

We didn't change out of our pajamas until almost 3 o'clock this afternoon. The house is covered in new toys and is an absolute wreck, but for today, I don't care.

This will probably be a marathon post today, as I try to recap Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so bare with me.

Christmas Eve

We were able to make it to Jim's parent's home for Christmas Eve. We were really worried that the weather would not permit us to make the trip, but the road graders went by the farm late in the afternoon finally making the roads safely drivable.

Ethan with his cousins.

Each family brings lots of goodies to share and we all graze while visiting before dinner. This year we brought the decorated sugar cookies and Oreo truffles we made, along with our signature appetizer of bacon wrapped little smokies. Holy yum these are good! We prefer to use turkey bacon for these, as it crisps up nicely and doesn't leave as much grease to deal with on the griddle. We wrap the smokies in about 1/2 a strip of the bacon and then secure it with a toothpick. Cook on a griddle until crispy, rotating often during the cooking time.

We had chili and cornbread for Christmas Eve dinner. I don't really care for chili beans, so I kept to the appetizers and goodies. Jim and Ethan both love chili, so they were in heaven.

Jim and his Mom. Aren't they adorable??

Following dinner, it was time to get down to business and open presents. Jim and I received a Wii from his parents and have been playing it quite a bit today - it's such a time suck! Ethan received a Thomas the Train set that he's been playing with all day today. He was also really excited to receive a tool set that makes him feel like a big guy. He can't wait to take his tool box with him to the farm and be a big help to Papa and Daddy.

Reading a story with Uncle Brian.

Ethan had an accident at the farm, the first one in a really long time. There was just too much excitement to have to worry about silly things like going potty. I didn't bring any back up clothes, and it was way too cold to go outside without pants. We had to improvise and I put my long sleeved shirt on his legs and knotted it up. It was a very funny sight. They kind of remind me of MC Hammer parachute pants. Maybe that's how the trend got started?

Once we arrived home, it was time to get to bed so that Santa could come. Santa was tired and had trouble waiting for Ethan to fall asleep. He ended up putting out the presents early and hoping that Ethan would stay in his room and not venture out into the living room. Luckily, Santa wasn't caught in the action.


Jim got called into work at 4:30 a.m. on Christmas morning, so we were up very early. I watched A Christmas Story on TV while waiting for Ethan to wake up.

Ethan awoke to find that Santa brought him what he's been asking for, a Hiro train from his favorite Thomas the Train movie.

I got to open my gift from Ethan, and it was a beautiful Christmas coffee mug. He must understand how much I love my coffee! Ethan picked out a hunting decoy bird for his Daddy. I don't think it's something that Jim will actually use, but we all got a good laugh over him unwrapping his birdie.

Jim and his gift from Ethan. (At my parent's home.)

Following the Santa excitement, we packed up the presents and headed to my parent's home for breakfast and more presents. I served the cinnamon rolls I had made in advance. (*I reheated the frozen rolls at 250 degrees for 15 minutes, as the cookbook suggested. The middle was still chilled, so I would increase the reheating time to 20 minutes.)

I think this year, Jim found out the joy of having a little boy at Christmas time...lots of toys that he enjoys playing with as well! I think Jim has played with Ethan's Nerf shotgun more than he has. :)


After opening presents at my parent's home, Ethan and I stayed and played and cooked while Jim had to go back into work. (The holiday and emergency weather pay he will receive will at least be nice since he had to work unexpectedly during most of Christmas day.)

We enjoyed Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner. It's a complicated dish, but one of my favorites that my mom makes. Julia Child has a great recipe, if you dare try to make it yourself. For dessert, we had a Flaming Angel food cake. It's a spectacular presentation; as you light Brandy on fire as you poor it over the cake and watch it burn off the alcohol.

If you've made it this far and are still reading, wow! You have a much better attention span than I do. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Question??: What was your favorite goodie to indulge in this holiday season? I'd love to hear your answer - leave your response in the comments section.


  1. Tara - even though I love all of the cookies and everything else sweet with Christmas - it is caramel popcorn...or better yet, cinnamon popcorn that is my favorite!


  2. Shan - We sure missed you at Christmas. Just wasn't the same.

    I haven't had cinnamon popcorn in a long time...mmmm!

  3. Tara- I am so enjoying reading your blog, it makes me feel a bit closer to home while I am over here counting down the days on this deployment! Though not very festive, I think ranch popcorn is my favorite, Mom has made it since we were smaller and I LOVE it! We will be home on 8 Jan to celebrate Christmas with the family, what day would be good to come and visit? I miss you guys?!

  4. Popcorn seems to be a popular treat around here! I'll have to remember that for next year.

    Monica: We miss you too!! I'm so glad the internet allows us to keep in touch even though we are so far apart now! You know I'd love to see you when you are back! Typically, I'm free anytime that works for you. Just let me know when you have some free time around all the other people that vive for your attention when you're back in town.

  5. Your mom's Beef Wellington is an "experience"! Is so very delicious. She is quite the host, china and all. She'd be horrified to drop by and see paper plates at some of our big family gatherings. (-:

  6. My mom is certainly the hostess with the mostess!

    She wouldn't be that horrified at the paper plates. She has certainly been served on them before over here at our house! :)