Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Lots of Christmas!

Happy In-Between Week! I hope your holidays have been as full of fun as ours. There was baking, a road trip, a visit to Rick's ancestors' final resting places, fun with little grands, music, merriment -- and an epic fail in the dessert line! Grab your tea and a Christmas cookie and settle in!


My house was decorated, literally one step at a time as I slowly brought up things from downstairs step by step due to a challenging back problem. 


But I couldn't resist bringing up as much as possible. These are the things of memories. I want to use them all -- or as much as possible -- before the inevitable downsizing. 

Then it was time to put up Rick's trees! He gave up the big tree last year but this trio looks perfect for his home!


But before all that, the baking! Diana's Fudge, Anno's nuts, the Santa Madeleines, Jingle Balls, shortbreads and Marie's Lemon-iced Gingerbread Bars.

We started our holiday early, with a visit from our friend Jerry, a Detroit-area native who now lives in Paris. The visits are always too short -- and but like family coming home.

 

Our actual family holiday began in a most festive manner! Thanks to a generous gift from a dear friend who sent us money for a lovely dinner out, we started our journey to the kids' house near Detroit with a stop at a favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor called Paesano's. It was a delicious start! Then it was off to the Detroit airport to pick up Rick's mom.


The kids were already at school by the time we got up the next day, so Rick, his mom and I took a road trip through the ancestral graveyards in Detroit, seeing many of the graves of Kitty's grandparents and great grandparents.


We went to two cemeteries (well, three -- one was the wrong one!).

The oldest dated back into Civil War days! This would be Rick's fifth great grandmother, who was born in Dublin and died in Detroit in 1863.

And then, the boys came home from school and a few hours later, the snow came! Or rather, the rain that froze came, followed by a bit of snow. We were cozy inside!

 The next day was just fun -- time to enjoy each other and the kids, too. Here are a few favorite moments, with captions under the photos.

We've been decorating cookies on Christmas Eve since Greg and Kevin were small. Now we have new decorators!


Rick and Kevin putting together a Lego car the boys got from an earlier Family Christmas. Don't let the label fool you. A six-year-old cannot put this together.


A boy and his cookie. Like his dad decades before, Cam's goal is to cram as much frosting and sprinkles on a single cookie as possible!


Rick's mom, Kitty, came from Texas. We were glad she had a warm coat with her!


Our family (minus Greg, who couldn't travel because of weather). Almost everyone is smiling -- I think a younger brother may have been the cause of the teary face!

We did our Christmas with the Kids on Christmas Eve morning.

Rick and the boys on "Christmas Morning."


A gift for mom!

 

Even Waffles was in awe!

After breakfast, we hit the road for home. Our hour-long trip took almost two -- and the roads were nasty. (And better than the day before!)


And yes, we returned home to a White Christmas!

Each year for the past three years, Rick and I do a main dish representing a different country for Christmas Eve dinner -- something we've never made before. In the past we did a Quebecois tourtiere and a Feast of Seven Fishes pie. This year it was Chicken Kiev, representing Ukraine.  I made a small centerpiece using my Matryoshka dolls, which was perfect for the feast!


We were joined by Rick's music partner, Josh, for dinner. 


After dinner, we had a little music! These guys are getting good -- I should have recorded it!


Christmas Day we were at both his house and mine for morning presents  and dinner. It was just Rick, his mom and me, and a lovely, relaxing day. 


As always, I used my mom's Spode "Christmas Tree," her Fostoria "Mulberry" goblets and a wonderful vintage tablecloth. (Thank you, Rita!

And of course, we had Christmas crackers!


It was all delicious .... Except for.... Dessert. 


Kitty is diabetic so I thought I'd make a berry Pavlova using Splenda and sugar free Cool Whip instead of sugar in the meringue and sweetened whipped cream. Don't. 

The Cool Whip was great. The meringue was an epic fail. Despite the fact you can use it one-for-one, it just doesn't bake up right and it was very grainy. I didn't even take a photo, it was that bad! (They ate it and had seconds. I tried it and threw out the leftovers!)


On Monday we met up with Rick's brother and his wife so Kitty could spend some time with them. As I write this, we're in an R&R period! My goal for this week to to begin to reclaim the kitchen from the mess I left it in! I think we had a bit too much Fa La La.


I send you all good wishes for a lovely and peaceful time between the holidays. Although the new year begins on the first, I think of the holidays as extending through Twelfth Night on January 6. That said, I think the house will have vestiges of Christmas until Spring Equinox!


All is calm -- or getting there!


Cheers!

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62 comments:

Os meus momentos favoritos said...

Happy New Year.

thepaintedapron.com said...

I'm so glad you had a Merry holiday Jeanie! I did too and am now enjoying a restful week on the coast, Happy almost New Year!
Jenna

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

What a marvelous holiday celebration!

gigi-hawaii said...

It was all so wonderful. I love your table setting for Christmas, so beautiful and attractive. It will be so sad to leave your house behind when you downsize. It's so full of happy memories.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a wonderful, festive holiday! After 2 years of covid holidays, I am glad you could have a normal, happy celebration! That is how we were feeling! Although sadly, Joan got a bad cold (not covid) and wasn't well enough to join us. We saw Phil's cousin's and their kids on Christmas Eve which is the highlight of the Christmas season for them. They are the best hosts and truly adore our kids so we always have the best time there.

Christmas Day was quiet - just our family of 4. There was much refereeing of fights over toys! Will wants everything Paul has and does not understand sharing! But I know it's a stage and won't always be like this.

I had some other family stuff happen with a sibling over the weekend which has pushed me to make an emergency therapy appointment tomorrow... But such is life. It tinged the holiday with sadness, but I'm glad I have a great therapist to help me work through it. I tried to on my own but it's not working so off to therapy I go!

Anvilcloud said...

You are such a going concern. At lest this sloth thinks so.

ashok said...

Looks like a great time you had with the family ...lovely to see

anno said...

Lovely visits, gorgeous table settings, delicious food -- it all looks wonderful. All, to my mind, excellent preparation for a long, and well-deserved, winter nap! Hope you have plenty of time curled up on the sofa scheduled for the rest of this week -- Happy New Year!

DUTA said...

I've greatly enjoyed reading this post and viewing the photos of your Christmas celebration with Rick and his family!
Wishing you the very Best in the upcoming year 2023!

Iris Flavia said...

This was a happy journey, thank you!!!
Sweet pics and happiness all over (well, maybe apart from the ice - you sure are in our news still! We warmed up. Crazy times)

A merry holiday and soon a great "jump" into the new year!
Thank you for being a friend, if we never met in person.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Your Christmas table was so pretty! You have a real knack for decorating in a style that would probably give Marie Kondo a heart attack.

William Kendall said...

Sounds like you had a busy Christmas.

Linda P said...

Wonderful photos and an interesting account of your family time. So glad that Rick's Mom could join you. Wishing you good things for you and yours in the coming new year.

DVArtist said...

I am so far behind commenting. Looks life a very fun time. Wishing you the very best 2023 has to offer.

Rita said...

A busy, cheery Christmas with good company and food!
Happy New Year! :)

roentare said...

It looks like you had a good time and banter at dining table as well. Very fun series of events on the day

Mae Travels said...

It’s great to see all the happy occasions that you have made for a whole week of Christmases! Such beautiful food and such great decorations… I’m really impressed by the colorful and numerous Christmas trees and little vignettes.

best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Red Rose Alley said...

What a wonderful Christmas spent with the family, Jeanie. Looks like your road conditions were as bad as ours around Christmas. But I got there safely to my loved ones, thank God. Your table with your mom's dishes looks lovely. It's nice to see the kids having fun decorating the cookies. A trip to the cemetery to visit loved ones is such a thoughtful thing to do, Jeanie. The restaurant sounds delicious, and so glad you had a nice time there with Rick. And you got snow - a White Christmas! We are supposed to get a snowfall the first of the year. Your little Matryoshka dolls are delightful. So many wonderful moments spent together with your family.

Have a bright new year, dear Jeanie.

~Sheri

It's me said...

Happy new year !!…love love love πŸ€❤️πŸ€πŸΎπŸ€

Lowcarb team member said...

A lovely post Jeanie, it looks and sounds that you had a very Merry Christmas.

Sorry your pavlova didn't turn out as you'd hoped. Next time you may like to try this low carb pavlova recipe that is good for diabetics ...
https://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.com/2020/02/pavlova-with-fresh-berries-low-carb-keto.html

Enjoy these last few December days, catch your breath and put your feet up if you get a moment!

Happy New Year Wishes.

All the best Jan

Debra@CommonGround said...

Sounds like the perfect Christmas, dessert and all!! Glad you all were able to travel home, though all the roads have been horrible. Wonderful that your family could get together. You look adorable! Happy New Year, Jeanie!

My name is Erika. said...

Wow, what a wonderful holiday Jeanie. It looks like such a fun time. My daughter's husband gave her a boxed set of these Spode dishes for Christmas. They look great on your table. I hope you're relaxing after all the holiday fun and still having fun too. Happy New year. Hugs-Erika

kathyinozarks said...

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas! thanks for sharing.
I switch up recipes too for husband's diabetis and I do like Splenda in many things as it works really well- but no can't do meringues with splenda, it will crash-even like angel food cake splenda won't work. I have not tried whipped egg whites with a keto sweetener yet.
Happy New Year

Jenn Jilks said...

What a fun Christmas you had!

Carola Bartz said...

Your Christmas celebrations sound wonderful, spent with friends and family. I'm glad that you home safely; we had heard about the terrible weather conditions in much of the US. Your food was delicious, too - just everything seems to be so festive. Wonderful! I hope you can rest "between the years" (that's what we call this time in Germany). All the best to you for a happy and healthy 2023.

Karen said...

I hope you folks didn't get too much snow. We didn't get more than we could handle but some of the cousins in Buffalo didn't fare too well. One has yet to be heard from. I'm sure he's fine, but without power or phone service.

Joyful said...

A lovely Christmas holiday with your loved ones Jeanie. By the way, I'm loving your hair! Happy New Year if I don't 'see you' before then.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You always put on the most wonderful spread at Christmas. Such warmth and loving at you place this time of year. Happy New Year in advance. dear Jeanie.

Pamela said...

What a wonderful family holiday! Best wishes for the new year!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
You made many fun and happy new memories with your family and friends on Christmas. Traveling during the holidays can be a nightmare. I glad everyone is safe and sound. Take care, have a great day! I wish you all the best in 2023, a happy and healthy New Year!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

You obviously had a busy, enjoyable time, Jeanie, and it was so nice that Rick's mom could join you.

Rita C at Panoply said...

What a great Christmas you journaled, Jeanie! Your Christmas table was beautiful, glad you enjoyed the vintage cloth. You really packed a lot of activity in the Christmas days!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

What a wonderful family time you've had. Just to let you know, I'm taking a short blogging break now. I'll be stopping in in about 10 days to announce the winner of my little giveaway. In the mean time, I wish you, Rick, and your family A Happy, Healthy New Year 2023.
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i Chi Gyd.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, your Christmas sounds delightful and fun. Memories were made with family and friends. Enjoy the time between and Happy New Year, my friend!

La Table De Nana said...

Happy New Year Jeanie..and Rick..How wonderful his mom was there enjoying the holidays with you..The Littles are adorbs..I had Xmas fails too:) Love your hair!!

shoreacres said...

Despite the effects of weather, you managed to get nearly everyone together! My favorite photo is 'a boy and his cookie.' That one's really precious!

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like a fun-filled few days. Hope you're making the most of some time to rest in this in-between time.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

It all sounds lovely, Jeanie! I can feel the joy coming through my computer screen. It's amazing that Rick can trace his family back for so many generations! And as for too much fa la la? Is there such a thing?!?! I'm glad you had a wonderful Christmas, and wish you a Happy New Year!

Sharon in Las Cruces NM said...

Loved the holiday festive post Jeannie. Plenty of smiles from everyone and the boys are so cute! I picked up a favorite Melbac to toast in the new year. did not know about Jan 6th; so I will keep celebrating after Jan 1st. Be well and happy in all that you do.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeanie,
Merry Christmas!! Looks like you had a lovely Christmas!!! Thanks so much for all your visits and kind words... I am playing catch up as I was so busy with company coming this week!!! I hope you had a great Christmas!!
Hugs,
Deb

Marilyn Miller said...

Sorry about the back issues and pain, but the rest of your Christmas sounds just lovely. Oh, the weather can be frightful too. We had snow/ice right before Christmas too and not fun to travel on. Glad you made it home OK. Family and adventures, even making a lego car and decorating cookies all sounds just wonderful. Take care now, rest, heal, and anticipate the spring equinox when all the decorations are once again packed away.

Joanne Huffman said...

Your Christmas sounds lovely. Because of the weather, we had Christmas dinner on the 26th -just Annie, Daphne, and me - quiet, but enjoyable. Happy New Year!

Ricki Treleaven said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas festivities with us! I enjoyed seeing your photos of your family, and your Christmas tablescape is lovely! I need to tell Shanley Belle and Christopher about Paesano's. I don't know if they've heard of it, and Christopher loves Italian food. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Jeanie, it looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. Your table looks lovely. A lovely meal to share with family. How wonderful Rick's family was traced back to the 1800's. Happy New year.

Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, I’m so glad Rick’s mother was able to fly in and you got to spend time with the little guys. We got hit with the blizzard and we had to cancel everything for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think we got over 15 inches and they told everyone to stay off the roads. Even services at our church were cancelled for the entire weekend. We’re celebrating a belated Christmas Eve with our family on Friday evening. Unfortunately, our youngest son is getting a cold. We’ve decided not to postpone any further, so we told him to wear a mask or let his wife drive the kids to our place. I’m really looking forward to getting our home back to normal again. BTW, your table setting is gorgeous. My father’s side are all buried in the Detroit area at Woodlawn Cemetery. He’s interned at Arlington National Cemetery.

Prims By The Water said...

What a joyous wonderful festive Christmas you had! Janice

Tristan Robin said...

What a delightful looking gathering! So many traditions and memories to hold onto - I would love having a big family to enjoy such holidays!

I'm thinking about packing away the seven Christmas trees this year. I've gotten as far as ordering new ornament storage boxes from BB&B 🀣. I figure if they arrive in a week. And it takes me a day to assemble them, I should be just about girded for the acid bath of undecorating the trees - my goal will be one each day for a week. We'll see. πŸ₯΄

Best wishes for the absolute best New Year and 2023! πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽ„

Anonymous said...

You had such a lovely Christmas celebration with your family. How christmasy to have snow! We had freezing temperatures but no snow. Cozy here with all of our family here for Christmas. Happy New Year Jeanie!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

A marvelous holiday - time spent with family is always well spent. Happy New Year!

Gill - That British Woman said...

glad you had a lovely Christmas. My house is Christmas free other than a small table top tree that I will leave up until 12th night.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Cheers to you, Jeanie, for what looked like wonderful times together with family. Enjoyed seeing all the decos too. We also leave ours around until at least Jan 6. Thanks for the holiday wishes and sending out best to you and Rick for a good 2023.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

such a beautiful celebration with family- lovely decorations and table settings. So glad you could enjoy all of your Christmas special peices.

Sherry's Pickings said...

i love the week between christmas and NY. such a wonderful peaceful, lazy time of it. Looks like you're having fun. I do love a cemetery and soe local history.
All the best for 2023.
cheers
sherry

Elli Fant said...

Christmas means family, especially the grandchildren and own children, who sometimes live farer away, it means enjoying meals, a house full of lights and Christmas dekoration , wonderful Christmas music, and so on. It seems, you had something from all these

Elli Fant said...

You had a wonderful Christmas and took lovely photos. I can't imagine Christmas without children.
Best wishes for 2023, health, hapiness, peace!
Happy new year!!
Iris

Bill said...

What a fantastic record of your holiday. Wishing you both a happy, healthy and peaceful 2023. Onward we go!

Divers and Sundry said...

Such a joyous Christmas holiday. Your decorations are wonderful -lovely memories- and the food looks delicious.

Priscilla King said...

I like Waffles. And I like that you *tried* to do a diabetic-save pavlova, and gave others fair warning.

crackercrumblife said...

Your Christmas celebrations look wonderful and happy. :) I love those Spode Christmas Tree dishes! And I love your tradition of making dinner from other countries. This year's dinner sounds amazing and I love your centerpiece. :)

Happy New Year Jeanie!

DeniseinVA said...

Looks like everyone had a great time! Enjoyed all the photos as always, especially those happy, smiling faces. Thank you Jeanie and happy new year!

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Sounds like you had a great Christmas! We couldn’t go anywhere for a couple of days. We got hit pretty hard and now it’s already melted! Crazy weather! Best wishes for a great New Year!

Daniela said...

Dearest Jeanie,
In the hope yours was truly a magical Christmas, I'm sending blessings on the New Year just begun, may it be filled with Joy and Love for you and your loved ones.
Hugs and more hugs
Daniela at ~ My little old world ~ (Dany)

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