Well, so much for blogging-about-our-life, eh? Our holiday season was so full jam-packed with events, that that hasn’t really been any time to sit down and
talk write about it.
Thanksgiving we spent with my lovely sister in Boston. We flew in early Tuesday morning and left on Saturday morning with only the smallest of hiccups; considering we were traveling during the busiest season, we’re pretty happy about it. Ben, however managed to claim Boston security attention which resulted in a full search (which was pretty funny, retrospectively).
Jess ran us ragged running around Boston, and I finally have realized what my parent’s were talking about whenever they would visit me in nyc–city people walk FAST. But she took us to see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and we went ice skating in Frog Pond–it was Ben’s very first time EVER on ice skates–he did very well. Didn’t fall down once. And Jess invited a few of her lovely Bostonian friends over for Thanksgiving dinner of Roasted Duck with Orange and Tea sauce and others contributed wine, sweet potato casserole, and a variety of other goodness. We had a whole lot of fun and really enjoyed getting to see her again.
In Boston we watched the best (and possibly only) Thanksgiving movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and began a Christmas movie marathon with (the original) Miracle on 34th Street and Elf. Back in TN, this was continued with Home Alone 1 & 2, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Four Christmases (pretty cute), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Claus Movie, and Love Actually (one of the best movies ever, regardless of holiday)–there were many more but I believe the gist has been had.
One of my favourite family traditions is a cookie bake-off my mom hosts about a week before Christmas–friends and family are invited over to bake about 3 dozen cookies and everyone swaps off so there is a wide variety to take home. Since I had to work this year, I made (the best oatmeal-raisin cookies ever!!) my dough the night before and just scooped and baked at the party; Ben’s cookie of the season were some delicious lemon coolers.
One of my mother’s favourite event is on the evening of the first advent Sunday, her church has a “Hanging of the Green” service, sort of a decorate-the-church Christmas-type service, and I have the misfortune of being attached to Ben who also loves the hanging of the green–he says he just really likes all the singing. But afterward the family tree is decorated and Mom got to put Santa (our tree topper) on the tree this year.
Jess was greatly missed at the decorating, and we participated with her thanks to the ingenuity of Skype.
Christmas is always an EVENT with my family, and Ben, bless his heart, has come to love it as well. Christmas Eve dinner at my parent’s house celebrates the German side, Christmas breakfast also at my parent’s house for friends and family, Christmas lunch at my paternal grandparent’s house and then Christmas dinner at Ben’s mother’s house. Needles to say, one has to properly prepare for a marathon eating event such as this. By the time Christmas night comes around all we can manage to do is roll over on the couch and maybe scratch poor neglected Attila’s fat belly with one or two fingers.
Highlighted gifts this year: For Kate: a gorgeous amber moon necklace and The Big Ass Book of Crafts from Ben, her Nana’s set of green dishes (!!!), and from her parent’s THE DREAM–a huge green leather purse, beautiful. For Ben: A Canjo (although Ben’s is made from a Spam can), speakers for his iPOD and a nice houndstooth scarf from Kate’s parent’s, some pretty earrings and a new copper water bottle, and the REAL Indian Jones movies in a box set from Kate.
We try to make as many gifts as possible for our friends/family. Not only is it more economical on our dry wallets, but it also sends out something more personal as we do our best to create something unique to each person. This year, I embroidered towels and made some magnets for our loved ones. Ben drew several people an image of something they loved, and he also did a bit of painting of various objects as well.
Also, of note, my burly father bought my mother the sweetest fluffiest little puppy for Christmas, the poor thing was bought in NC, then kept at our house for 2.5 days then shuffled to Jessi’s loft in our parent’s backyard for the evening of the 24th, and finally found it’s home with mom later that night.
Ollie is a Cavapoo (not a “real” breed), a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (mom’s absolute favourite dog) and a Bichon Frise (to ensure non-shredding). He’s sweet and very puppylike right now, and Attila is slowing warming up to him, although Lizzy’s already decided it’s a live toy of her very own.
New Year’s Eve has never been a big holiday for us, we prefer to stay home and perhaps some of our lower-key friends drop by. This year we had dinner at the always fantastic El Sazon, and with sister and a few good friends. And, since we’ve still never hooked up a television, we streamed the ball dropping in Times Square thanks to JustinTV.