Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

For Christmas Eve we decided to follow New Mexican tradition and make tamales for our Christmas dinner. Holy cow, is that a time/labor intensive process! I’ve learned my lesson for next time—cook the meat the day before. That was the longest part. It took about five hours for our meat to braise in the oven, and that doesn’t include all the time spent actually making the tamales. They were delicious, though!



I was trying to be all festive and whatnot and bought a glass of “bubbly” (aka Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider). Unfortunately, the glass bottle broke while Aaron was opening it. I wanted to see if it was possible for us to still drink it, but then Aaron informed me that there were shards of glass floating around in the cider. So, no then. It was about 8pm at this time and we were all starving. I’m afraid the news about the cider just pushed me over the edge. I about lost it and nearly had to leave the dinner table in a flood of tears. Yes, that is ridiculous. But I couldn’t help it. Fortunately I was able to pull it somewhat together and we had a very nice, late Christmas Eve dinner, without the Martinelli’s.

After children went to bed, the real work began. Aaron and I built the kids a play kitchen for the kids for Christmas, and of course it wasn’t finished by Christmas Eve. So between finishing the kitchen and wrapping presents, we went to bed ridiculously late. But everything definitely looked amazing. Here was our view before we headed to bed on Christmas Eve:




Yes, the bar clamp came off before kids were up on Christmas.


Christmas morning came bright and way too early. We’ve got 9:00 church, which meant that we would have to wait until after church to open presents. The kids got their new Christmas outfits on and headed downstairs. They were thrilled to see everything that Santa had brought them and were fascinated with the kitchen. It was a resounding success.


Apparently Bridget hadn’t been dressed at this point. She had a pretty new Christmas dress too.




I didn’t get any good pictures of the kitchen. It’s got a fridge with four shelves (and came stocked with some felt food, thanks to Ikea); a four burner stove with knobs that turn; an oven with a plexiglass window to look inside; a sink (which was a dog bowl in a former life) with an actual faucet; a storage space under the sink for keeping pots and pans, covered by a tiered curtain with pom-poms (my favorite part); a handle to hang tea towels on; and a chalkboard for writing menus or grocery lists. It’s actually not quite finished in this picture. We attached a blue back so the food wouldn’t fall out of the fridge. I also have some cute ideas for making it even more adorable.

I made a sausage and egg casserole in the crockpot the night before so that we could have a semi-traditional Christmas breakfast before we went to church. It turned out great—definitely will do that one again. I really enjoyed having church on Christmas. I didn’t think I would, but it was so nice to be spiritually fed before the chaos of present-opening ensued.


The hula outfit for Katie’s American Girl doll, Kanani.


Sophie the giraffe. She LOVES this thing.


New outfit for her Belle doll.


Averi wrote her gift tags herself. That reads “Mom” and “Averi.”


With her new Bitty Twins. Their names are John and Julia, according to Averi.


This was a Star Wars year for Paul. Check out all that Star Wars loot! He was so incredibly spoiled by everyone. The Star Wars Lego mini-figure Darth Vader clock is my favorite.


And for Katie it was an American Girl year. Seriously, our kids are spoiled rotten. Check out those roller skates—aren’t they the cutest?

This was the first year that we stayed home for Christmas, and I’m so glad we did. It was nice to start some new traditions with our family, and our kids loved being able to play with all their toys at home. We missed everyone being with us, but loved being at home. Fortunately we were able to leave for Utah the next day to spend two full weeks with our families!