The girls spent the afternoon of Christmas Eve building a gingerbread house. The house wasn't one of those off the shelf at a hobby shop kit. Princess A whipped up a batch of gingerbread dough and I had a ceramic stone baking mold that had never been used--for about 20 years. It was a "learning experience," but I think it turned out pretty darn good!
Christmas Eve evening we went to church, as we always do. Sat in the fifth pew pulpit side, as we always do. Sang Silent Night to a sanctuary aglow with candles, just like we always do. It was peaceful and faith filling.
D sang Ave Maria as the prelude to the 6pm service. It was beautiful. Anytime we get to hear D sing it's a gift that fills our hearts.
When we returned home from church, Princess A's Prince Charming joined us for a feast of surf-n-turf and champagne. Then I asked Prince Charming to place the wisemen into the nativity. It's our tradition that they travel around the house till Christmas Eve, and after church are placed by baby Jesus in their place of laud and honor.
Princess A, the family's principle baker, whipped up some Bailey's chocolate mousse for dessert. It doesn't get much better than a boozy chocolate treat to top off a night's already high caloric meal.
Once the (grown) children were tucked all snug in their beds...Santa came. He filled stockings and placed three gifts for each of us under the tree. Jesus got three gifts, we get three gifts.
When morning came the gifts were divided up, opening tree space for the search of the pickle ornament. It's always a friendly, sisterly race.
Our tradition is the sister that finds the pickle gets an extra gift (this year it was a $10 Cane's gift card and an R2-D2 Pez, and gets to open the first gift. D was the winner. Again!
After our gifts were all unwrapped revealing hiking and snow boots, leather purse, new bedding, professional grade standing mixer and waffle maker, cast iron Dutch oven, perfumes.... We had a champagne breakfast while Uli had a tin of doggie prime rib.
It was time to prepare for the next round of festivities. We loaded the car with gifts, ten pounds of mashed potato casserole and a triple batch of the-always-requested "Lucy Corn," then we headed to the cousin's house. We gathered twenty-six strong...we only had a few missing family members.
D master mind and orchestrated this adorable Brady Bunch-esque style cousin picture. It even included the girls' significant others...and even man's best friend.
We feasted on too much good food. Shook lots of martinis, played rob-your-neighbor and Heads Up. Just what Santa and Jesus ordered up for us.
So when the night of great fun family togetherness ended, all we had left to say to December 25, 2015 was...