Monday, December 28, 2015

Holiday highlights

All things considered we had a great Christmas.  In some ways it was the best Christmas because it felt the most relaxed due to our early online shopping, early tree trimming, and wrapping done a week in advance.  It was kind of a weird Christmas because of the weather.  While it rarely snows here on Christmas, its usually in the 30s or 40s.  This year Christmas eve and Christmas day it was in the 70s!!  Unfortunately it also rained so we couldn't really enjoy being outside during the warmer than usual temps.

Since "a picture is worth a thousand words" I'll recap my holiday mostly with pictures.

Wed morning we packed up the dogs and gifts and headed to Spouse's mom's house in Northern VA.  It rained the entire way.  We visited with her; Spouse's sister Mary came over for a while, and then we met up with our dear friends for our annual Christmas gathering.
George, Spouse's mom, Spouse
Hugh, Kelly, Kerry modeling their new hats
Carl and Lisa, modeling her new hat with the gloves still attached!
Me and Carl

Our wacky group photo
We had our traditional menu of pizza and hippie rolls, of course.  We had such a good time that the 2 hours just seemed to fly by!

Thurs morning after we had a light breakfast with Spouse's mom and then drove west about an hour to visit my cousin, Inez.  She and her husband Steve live in a 230 year old stone house that's just as cozy as can be.  Typically we love to visit them on Christmas eve and sit by the fire with Christmas music in the background and talk.  This year there was no fire since it was 70+ degrees, but we still enjoyed lunch with them and 2 of their kids who stopped in.  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures.

That evening Spouse & I met up with much of his family at his sister's house to celebrate his mom's 86th birthday.  Then menu consisted of roasted pulled pork with rolls, artichoke dip, queso dip, homemade crab egg rolls, carrots and hummus, barbecued meatballs, and assorted cookies, pies, and brownies.  Oh, and a birthday cake.
The birthday cake (made my our sister-in-law Karen) has "16" instead of "86" because Spouse's mom is a little vain.
Spouse's mom, Gabriella, Randy, Anna
Nephew Eric's clothing illustrates the weirdly warm weather
The dessert table.  The peanut blossom cookies are my favorite!
Nephew David taking a break from all the excitement
Christmas morning I made a breakfast casserole.  It was very easy and tasty.  Combine frozen hash browns and pre-cooked sausage links (cut into pieces) in a greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.  Whip 10 eggs and 1/2 cup of milk together and season with salt and pepper, then pour over the hash brown mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
breakfast casserole
Around noon Spouse's sister Mary and nephews David & Eric came over for a short visit and to pick up some items.  Then I picked up my aunt Mary and brought her back to Spouse's mom's house where we exchanged gifts with her and visited until it was time for Christmas dinner.  Then we all met up at Spouse's sister Mary's house.  The menu consisted of stuffed shells, chicken parmigiana, rigatoni with meatballs and sausage, salad, baked chicken, brussel sprouts, green beans, and sweet potato shuffle.
Selfie in front of sister Mary's Christmas tree
Nephews David and Eric with Spouse
Aunt Mary being silly and me
Sister Mary with granddaughter Gabriella
David, Gabriella and Eric on the floor experimenting with the new selfie stick
Aunt Mary's famous hummingbird cake - my all time favorite cake
Sat morning after breakfast casserole leftovers Spouse & I packed up our stuff and headed home to DE.  We had dinner at Steven & Thad's house (Christmas day leftovers) and then I went to the Blue Moon for the final Christmas Legends performance.

Sun we had breakfast and took Big Ella out for some exercise.  It was almost 70 degrees again so we went for an extra long drive with all 4 windows down.  It was a great way to finish up a long holiday weekend.


anne marie in philly said...

a lovely holiday time! spouse and his mom look alike; the nephews are hunks!

Steven said...

A wonderful account (photos and all) of the Christmas holiday with family and friends!! That breakfast casserole is a staple in our family. I can usually still taste it and smell it days later. :-)

Fearsome Beard said...

Wonderful fun. Great shots.