The last time we had Christmas at home was 5 years ago, in Alabama, and while we enjoyed it very much, it was somewhat marred by tornadoes, which is a natural disaster I do not weather well (pun intended). Earthquake this California girl any day, hurricanes you’ve got plenty of notice, but a tornado . . . Anyhow, I made a delightful meal that tasted like ash in my mouth as I watched stalwart news reporters calmly telling us when it was time to shelter, so I’m excited to give that meal a do-over. (Knock wood, salt over shoulder, etc.)
So I’m excited to once more be holiday meal planning! Meal plans for the full week below – I don’t really get much time off for Christmas (I’m taking the first week in January), so I want it not too complicated, but still special.
Meanwhile, just a few bullet point memories to capture here:
- Jack is teaching himself how to play Silent Night on the piano. He’s really stuck with it, and it’s the first piece he’s picked out by ear after a year or two of lessons. I’m getting a video – I may even devise a duet for us. He’s so earnest, so heartbreakingly pure still, here on the verge of 10 and adolescence and Feelings. I’m excited to see who he becomes, but I love who he is right now so much. He’ll still bring me a book and sit in my lap to read it. (He’s way too big to do this.) (Of course, I suffer beneath his gangly weight and read for a while anyhow.)
- Liam is just over the top enthusiastic about everything Christmas. He just is absolutely thrilled by every tiny Christmas detail. He’s missing his two front teeth right now, which exacerbates his lisp. So basically we live with a short, excitable Daffy Duck, who shouts a very spitty “thith ith awethome!” every five seconds, and it’s pretty adorable since Liam is our little cynic most of the time. He got fully into making gingerbread houses at a friend’s gingerbread house making party (yes – and it was so cute) – he is thrilled by lights on houses around town, he painstakingly decorated Christmas cookies at home, he screamed out the names of every thing he saw at the drive-through light show we went to last night, he proposed that on Christmas Eve we sit on our front porch and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows and sing carols (which YES). He’s maybe going to be one of those adults who has a Christmas Year Round room in his basement. Everybody needs a soft spot – Christmas is Liam’s, and Liam is mine.
- This is a placeholder for a cute thing Craig did which I wrote down on a sticky note at work, and forgot there, but I’ll update and edit to add it since I’ve 100% forgotten what it was. It’s not this, but I do know that we have a giant wooden advent calendar with little doors, and when you open each door we put three small candies in (3 M&Ms or something similar), except several mornings Craig will sneak downstairs and stuff his cheeks with candy from the wrong day, and we turn a blind eye because he’s so cute.
- The Prof is our Christmas cookie maker. He’s slowly adding a new variety every year – this year it was candy cane cookies, which is a strand of dyed red peppermint cookie dough twisted with a strand of plain dough, bent into the shape of a candy cane and sprinkled with crushed peppermints. Mmmmm.
So that’s my little Christmas snapshot. The boys are going to see the Star Wars movie later today, while I finalize wrapping and cook prep. I’m desperately churning through an overdue doc review, but once I get that off my plate I can relax and enjoy Christmas Day. Then I have a chaotic week back at work, and then a week off!! It can’t come soon enough!
Here’s our menu. Wishing lots of food, family, friends, and love to you and yours –
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Christmas Adam (this is a joke, but it denotes the day before Christmas Eve – I will be at church a million hours on actual Christmas Eve, so we’re having our fancy dinner tonight)
- PW’s rigatoni and meatballs
- Salad with candied pecans, green apples, and gorgonzola
- Garlic bread
- Eggnog bread pudding
- Turkey tetrazzini – I’ll make this ahead, and the boys can heat it up without me
- Cinnamon rolls – I have a special recipe from when I worked in a bakery
- Sausage and cheese grits quiche
- Fruit and cheese board
- Herb Crusted Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream
- Whiskey glazed carrots
- No Knead rolls
- Spoon bread (basically a cheese grits casserole)
- Mashed potatoes (for the boys, who don’t love grits)
- Roasted haricot vert (green beans, but haricot vert sounds fancier)
- A chocolate cake – I’ve got to find the recipe, I love it because the cake itself isn’t too sweet, but the frosting is
- Beef nachos (with the leftover beef)
- Slow cooker refried beans (these are already made in the freezer)
- A southwest style salad