We prepare, we decorate, we eat, we play, we celebrate. And then we crash!
These post-Christmas days haven't been terribly productive. (The dishes are finally done!) But the holiday leading up to them was wonderful. Different. But wonderful, nonetheless.
We spent Christmas Eve at Rick's. We decided to do something we'd never done before for dinner -- make a tourtiere, a French Canadian meat pie, traditionally prepared in Quebec homes, eaten on Christmas Eve. Ours wasn't the prettiest (we could have used more crust!) but it was filled with marvelous spices. We used Marie's recipe, more or less, but took advice from Monique, who said the spices are what makes it smell like Christmas! It did!
While Rick was doing the lions share of the cooking, I read our Christmas journal with notations from 2002 through last year.
We recalled current events of those days, those who left us, and were reminded of fun and parties, good recipes and great times. We were also reminded of Christmases that were more challenging, with someone missing because of illness or the year both of us were sick on Christmas day!
After dinner, Rick made a wonderful bread filled with apples that would be part of Christmas breakfast.
Then we took a drive through our old neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. There were lots of pretty ones, but this message said it all!
When I went to bed on Christmas Eve, the lights on the "Dad" tree and carols keeping me company until I drifted off, it was a good, peaceful sleep and when waking Christmas morning. I was almost as excited as my first Christmas. Yes, a different Christmas for so many of us. But that didn't mean it was bad. It was calm and lovely. There was time to "be" with it all, whether I was by myself or with Rick.
I headed down the street and before breakfast, we opened one present, from Rick's son, Greg. He had taken cuts from an already downed tree he found in the woods and turned it into the most magnificent centerpiece.
It's about two or three inches thick, sanded many times before getting varnish and poly. It was a most remarkable and surprising gift.
That went on the table and then Rick made French toast from that wonderful loaf of bread.
After opening presents and hanging out, I headed back home. I had a table to set!
This time I went for the more formal tablecloth, one with loads of golden threads.
A few cedar branches, red ribbon, fairy lights and my mom's Royal Doulton winter girl and I was almost ready to go!
I just needed plates and yes, party favors. Did you see Patti's candy bar snowmen? Well, those went in Rick's stocking AND on the table!
For a little hint of spring, my paperwhites offered me a special Christmas gift -- lovely, fragrant blooms!
The afternoon was filled with Zoom meetings, first with Rick's family, then with my cousins.
Rick picked out a beautiful bottle of wine for my stocking. It didn't stay in the stocking long!
And finally -- after the roast should have been done an hour before -- we ate!
We capped off the evening with a Zoom with Kevin, Greg and Molly. Occasionally the toddlers flew by in a state of overtired, over-sugared energy! That, and a snuggle with the resident cat-girl made for a wonderful day.
It was different, yes. We would have loved to see those babies in person (Well, maybe not after the sugar!) or had dinner with the friends we often see on Christmas. But we couldn't. And it was fine.
Now, on to the end of the year! Books to read, things to do!
May the rest of your holiday season be filled with light and love.