Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve

Let's start with a preview of the eve… my favorite day of the year (and a big photo overload)
 Christmas Eve Eve
I kicked off the day by making my chocolate M&M Christmas Pretzels.. Recipe: here

Additional Notes:
I never have paid attention to portions in the past few years, I always just bought a bunch of supplies, hoped it worked out and had extra so, this is as close as I could get…

Makes about 150 or so pretzels (I accidentally lost count)
1 bag butter snaps pretzels
3 bags hershey kisses (you will have a few left over)
1/2 (or less) bag red and green M&M's 

I usually double but this year I didn't need as many, singled or doubled the recipe doesn't take long at all!
Luckily I was able to stay home from the office to be able to pack - it's not the easiest task to pack to be away for the holidays for 4+ days, but I filled my car to the brim minus some gifts that I had previously sent home (Derek had already packed his suitcases and gifts for New Jersey) and was beaming with happiness as I headed home for the holidays!!!

I parked myself in my "little room" (the sitting room off the kitchen) curled up on the couch with one of the tree's lights twinkling, cheer in hand and watched Christmas Cupid.  All this while smelling and waiting for my favorite meal to be ready.. beef tips and noodles!  There is no place like home and I'm so glad Derek and I decided to go home on the 23rd instead of the 24th it was much more enjoyable and relaxing and not rushed.

How cute and festive does Mom look in the kitchen

It was a casual Christmas Eve Eve meal
Mom and I whipped up the sugar cookie dough for our tractional Christmas Tree Cookies - it needs to chill over night so we got the hard part out of the way and were ready for our baking the next day!
*Recipe to come in early January*
Every once in a while we get what we call a "blockage" in the cheer containers - since you put in all the fruit pieces sometimes they block the spout.  At this point my hands were sticky, I had cheer on my feet, I'd removed the cheer from the garage into the kitchen to try to be more successful (no such luck) and finally I had to call in Steve for back up to break the blockage
Since Santa Mom always has a lot of wrapping to do, Davey and I usually wrap the presents for Grandmom and Uncle Steve and we got this out of the way early this year so we could more enjoy the Eve!  Derek had to go into work for a couple hours Christmas Eve morning so he had already gone to bed but Mom and Steve (and Nash) kept us company watching the bowl game in the basement as we wrapped.. it was a late night for some of us!
Luckily we had Nash to guard the stockings
 Like I've said - I've been obsessed with Christmas since the day I was born (maybe its the birthday 5 days before thing, I don't know) any way we dug out my old "Christmas Box" circa maybe 1999/2000
(Note: I now have multiple tubs of actual Christmas decorations, clothes, ornaments, etc. now that don't look like this)
Davey and I always reference my "Christmas Cheer Code" and can never remember all the levels - we'll problem solved, we found the code and it is as follows: Christmas Tree Green, Candy Cane Red, Jingle Bell Gold, Frosty the Snowman White, Raindeer Brown, Coal Black
Note: We always thought Candy Cane red was first and that it was raindeer poop brown.

Christmas Eve
Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast will always be our usual meal and it's something we all crave and look forward to and Mom's "thing." While Derek is joining in on some of my traditions, we've been working on creating our own as well!  I started my "thing" this year which will be an annual Christmas Eve breakfast!  I woke up early and made everyone Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls and Quiche! It was a hit and I've found my new tradition for me to do each year. Kelly & Michael's Christmas Eve Show was of course on in the background
*Recipe coming in early January* Serve with Spode plates, optional
One of the most relaxing Christmas Eve's I've had - I spent the morning on the couch, in my pajamas, not showered or wearing makeup, watching the grinch before I did my yearly task of stuffing all the stockings, including new ones for Grandmom and Grandma this year! (Mom does mine - but a couple years ago Santa Mom passed the stocking stuffing down to me and I absolutely love it!  I love making everything fit and putting them together). We do stockings big and each person has to buy a couple things for each persons stocking - anymore people and it would be overwhelming but we go great and mom places a bag with each person's name on it throughout the first floor and everyone puts their stockings stuffers in, I gather the bags and stuff!! This is a task that's usually saved for Christmas Eve night, after a few glasses of wine/cheer so this year it finally clicked to do it during the afternoon when things were quiet - Hallelujah! Perfect idea. After that I made our traditional Christmas Tree Cookies
 We did our usual Christmas Eve dinner at Fellini's this year but of course a couple photos in front of the tree before.
Enjoying our first Christmas together :)
 Our Fellini's dinner was fantastic as usual.  We went a little bit earlier this year because each year it seems to get more and more crowded - it was extra nice this year because the new side was open as well so people were more spaced out, it was quieter and less cramped!

Such a special treat - we got to enjoy our "First Christmas Eve" wine from the bridal shower since Fellini's is BYOB
 Church was fantastic as always, always a huge highlight of Christmas Eve especially when we sing Silent Night by candle light.  We also sang a ton of other great Christmas songs.  It was very nice to have Derek there this year as well as Grandma for the first time in a while!  Mom, Steve, Davey, Aunt Gini, Ryan, Grandma, Derek & I packed into two pews together
After church, I helped in making our traditional Christmas Morning Casserole this year to learn how to do it so I can make it for Derek and I sometimes throughout the year since it's one of my favorites
Nash got plenty of attention, of course
Davey enjoyed his usual Christmas Eve Cookies and Milk
 The hubs requested to watch the Christmas Story, one of his favorite traditions! Then we put on the Santa Clause Two but most of us (especially the girl that requested it, fell asleep quickly)
and with that we we're off to bed!!

Christmas Day Activities & another photo overload tomorrow


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