Christmas 2012 Recap

Hope you all had a great Christmas, and are gearing up for the New Year celebrations!

Thought to recap Christmas.

Though we had a wonderful Christmas, it wasn’t without the downside of my sister and her family falling extremely ill.  They all fell ill Christmas Eve night, which meant they were note able to attend the dinner we hosted the next day.  😦   It really left a void, but you can’t predict illness or risk others getting sick.. and thankfully they are all feeling better now!

We had a whirlwind few days getting ready for the big holiday.  Last minute food shopping, wrapping presents, cleaning, prepping food, gifts to grab, making sweets, setting up tables, making an ice tray for some apps, and everything done before heading to Mass on the Eve before hitting the family get togethers.  Christmas Eve Mass was literally insane this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one place for a Catholic Mass.  This church always has a huge attendance at the 4PM Mass. Even before we became parishioners, we would go for the Christmas Eve Mass. It would be so full that they’s open up the basement level; people would be surrounding all over the building.  A real fire hazard i.m.o. This year they figured to split the Mass out and host them at different locations.  One at 4PM in the HS’s auditorium, to seat 1200 people, and another one at 4:30PM at Merrimack College to fit a few hundred. We opted for the 4PM, and IT WAS BEYOND FULL! It was a beautiful service and it was a great idea on their behalf.

all the dishes and glasswares were washed and ready to go!
Sunday Night- all the dishes and glassware were washed and ready to go!
Christmas Eve Mass
Christmas Eve Mass- we sat in the nose bleed section!

Soon after Mass ended we scurried off to my sister in-laws for their new annual open house. We brought our homemade peppermint flavored buttercream frosted vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, and traditional spritz cookies. It was great to see my husband’s family, old and young. It’s a shame that some of us only get together at this holiday. But plans were discussed to make more face time happen.  Then after a handful of hours of catching up, drinking and eating, we drove off to my sister’s.  Where, when we arrived, found my sister deathly ill on the couch, my niece and nephew, as well. My parents told us the story that soon after their first course my sister fell ill.  We hung out there anyway to keep company, even though we kept a distance. The kids had fun nonetheless, and all wanted to open gifts. We ended up exchanging and even though my sister was so ill, it was a sweet evening together.  The girls were exhausted and we hurried home to get ready for Santa.  They passed out cold in the car before we even left my sister’s which made it easy on Santa and Mrs. Claus.

spritz cookies!
Making spritz cookies!
Made cupcakes!
Made cupcakes!
frosting made
Peppermint Buttercream Frosting Made

Christmas Day started off with the girls doing the ‘SANTA CAME’ shuffle.  It’s like the Chunk Shuffle mixed with Elaine Benis’ little kick dance. They made a bee line for the much requested bikes and then slid under the tree for all the wrapped presents. Paper was flying everywhere. They were so excited; and it was such a joy watching them all bewildered by which gift to open next.

Then the Mr. and I exchanged gifts while the girls were playing with their new toys.  Since we’ve had our first Christmas together he has requested a theme for wrapping my presents.  It’s always the best part of the present. This year was A Seinfeld Christmas.  I’m attaching a photo. It was too good not to share!  This girl got a lot of real nice presents, and can’t wait to use everything.  Right after gifts were exchanged it was time to get into hostess mode; all about setting up the tables, dressing them, getting myself and the girls dolled up, prepping food and cooking everything on time.

Monk's Diner!
Monk’s Diner!
How awesome!?  He made me Uncle Leo Wrapping paper!!  He was so clever with the wrap.
How awesome!? He made me Uncle Leo Wrapping paper!! He was so clever with the wrap.

Christmas dinner was great. In attendance were my parents and my in-laws. My girls enjoyed having some one on one time with both sets of grandparents. It was a major downer to not have my sister and her family there, but we kept them in our thoughts, prayed for their speedy recovery and the kids made them a card to get well, too.

My family ate and drank everything;  my dinner menu was a success! Yes! My beef tenderloin, which I had never made before, was real yummy. I was so nervous making it.  My parents love to eat red meat at over well done.. so I cooked the roast to medium-well.  I would’ve preferred medium (slight pink center) though. But even though it was medium-well, it was still cut with a fork tender, juicy and delicious.  Everyone hung out till pretty late which was nice. Overall, a wonderful night.

place setting.. place cards made by my oldest.
place setting.. place cards made by my oldest.
the kids table was set, though we didnt use it :(
the kids table was set, though we didnt use it 😦

Last night we had friends over for an impromptu drink and catch up session. It was all great fun and a late night again.. yearbooks came out and there were bottles of wine gone. A lot of laughing. Which was a great way to end this holiday!

I have a few recipes to share from my cooking frenzy Tuesday that I will be posting through the next few days. I got the beef tenderloin and gravy recipe up.

So keep an eye out for more recipes!

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