Santa has left the building.
He and his merry tribe of elves have outdone themselves once again. Working countless hours preparing for one day, or in some cases, mere hours. It seems to be all worth it in the end, when he lays his weary head on his Lazy-boy recliner, all wrapped up in a comfy, cozy blanket. Smiling faces, fully bellies, and hearts all around. Makes it all worth the time and effort put into it all.
Christmas this year was spread out among the Eve and into the day after, around here. I spent the Eve with my Mom & Stepdad opening presents and chatting away. It was low key, as it usually is, just the three of us in the living room, mom and I sipping coffee and, Teach watching a Mythbusters Marathon obscenely loud since he couldn’t hear it even though he was sitting right in front of the tv. Gotta love him. 🙂 We did breakfast and lunch or more like a brunch you could say, and just relaxed.
Followed by dinner that evening of gluten free baked ziti and shrimp scampi with, David. In my family, we don’t eat meat on Christmas eve and since I’m a bad Catholic, in my own opinion, the reasoning behind no meat on Christmas eve, and or during Fridays during Lenten season is from my understanding to show respect. As a child I pretty much understood it as not eating meat because Jesus sacrificed his body (flesh) for us and therefore we do not eat flesh meat.
Not everyone practices the fast on Christmas Eve, and while trying to explain the reasoning to David, who is Jewish, I felt really stupid not having a real answer. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying a nice quiet meal and some quality time together.
Christmas Day his boys came over and we baked cookies, a cake, and had a spiral ham for dinner. But we opened presents on Saturday because David’s sister and brother in law were able to join us. We all enjoyed the cookies the boys and I baked, and the cake that David and I made as well.
I have to say the cake was ahhhhhmazing. I used a boxed Pillsbury Gluten Free Funfetti cake mix, added in some extra vanilla extract and David made one layer into chocolate by adding Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder. Although I was a little concerned David put too much cocoa in that one layer, it really came out fantastic. We filled the cake half with some Smuckers seedless raspberry jam (because David really wanted Italian rainbow cookies and I didn’t have time or energy to make those, he asked if I could make it into a cake) and the rest with Pillsbury chocolate frosting.
The kids, who normally only like vanilla, devoured the cake lol and the cookies they helped make were no match for their tummies either. Dave’s sister and brother in law were amazed by the moistness of the cake and how the cookies were as well. They liked the sugar cookies on Hanukkah so I knew they’d be a hit on Christmas. This time I also made a chocolate chip cookie that I found on Pinterest and adapted it for gluten free. They didn’t turn out like the Pinterest picture but they were really good.
My plan was to make cookies for Dave’s sister and brother in law, and the boys mom and her boyfriend as part of their Christmas present. Thankfully I packaged those up early, and gave their mom hers when she stopped over earlier in the day. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, including her when she opened the box and snuck one out to taste. If for a brief moment I thought they were just being nice to me, their empty plates, and only 3 slices of left over cake, sure told a different story.
Christmas is a time to spend with those you love and hold dear. I was lucky to spend the holiday season with many of those people.