I must confess, I felt quite blessed this Christmas with the many gifts I received; not only the actual presents given to me, but the gifts of my family and the time we spent together for three days. Yes, Christmas Day actually lasted for three days at my house! My hubby and I hosted a Christmas Eve gathering with dinner for sixteen, then we had some Christmas Day events, and a day after Christmas Gift exchange rounded out the festivities.
I made a pretty lengthy ‘to do’ list in preparation for the holiday, but one job on my list that I was truly looking forward to was setting the table. I found some really adorable place setting characters at The Christmas Tree Shoppe that I was also able to fill with treats for each of the guests. We were able to make an extended table to fit everyone, and I took out the good china.
As I mentioned in my post Sunny’s Small Plate Saturday, I had previously tested out some recipes I was hoping to make for Christmas Eve dinner, but at the last minute I swapped out a few dishes knowing that the time required was just too much. So our menu for the evening included appetizers of Ultimate Party Meatballs, Stuffed Mushrooms, Stromboli, and Eggplant Caviar; main dishes of Swiss Chicken and Stuffing, Beef and Broccoli, steamed mixed veggies, and fresh salad; and desserts of Grasshopper Cheesecake Shooters along with Christmas cookies, Oreo Balls, and dark chocolate covered pretzels and almonds. (Recipes that I am able to share are linked in the name of the dish for you to click on to check them out.)
Between dinner and dessert we played Kahoot!, an interactive quiz game that we’ve played at a few family parties recently. Users are able to create quizzes or use the ones already on the website.
We we able to play a few Kahoot! rounds with gift card door prizes. With nearly everyone in attendance having a smart device I was able to connect my lap top to my smart TV and people logged into each game as we answered questions about Reindeer trivia, Christmas songs, and my favorite Christmas movie, Elf. I recommend downloading the app on your smart device for the fastest response time as we had a few issues with people who could not register their response quickly enough to win those Tim Horton gift cards.
It isn’t a family get together until my son lobbies for us all to play Scattergories, and on Christmas Eve that’s exactly what happened. I’ve stopped playing over the years due to the heated debates from the lawyers, teenagers, and contract negotiators in our family. Having to take sides during the contested answer part of the game always gives me a stomach ache, but the crowd seems to thrive on the thrill and the challenge. I am glad they enjoy playing it, but I’ll usually opt for being a quiet observer from the living room during these competitions.
On Christmas Day, the hubby and I attended a beautiful Mass in which our pastor explained the real meaning behind the twelve days of Christmas. Click here to read more about this song and its meaning. I loved all the Christmas readings and hymns. We try to have a fancier than normal breakfast on special holidays, and after Mass the hubster and I made a variation on Dutch Babies with this recipe from The Food Network by Melissa D’Arabian. They were French Vanilla Dutch Babies with blueberries. I was especially happy my son, his wife, and our granddaughter were able to join us before the big party.
My daughter and her husband hosted all of our extended family for dinner (only about 40 people), and keeping the menu as simple possible was the goal. Family members offered to bring various appetizers, sides and desserts. Normally I’m not a big fan of already prepared frozen meals, but if I’m going to eat one it will always be Stouffer’s Meat Lasagna. Along with the lasagna there was pasta and sauce, meatballs, bread, salad, desserts. It was a blessing to share a meal and a few gifts with family members during a very wintry evening in Western New York.
DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Our immediate family decided to take the day after Christmas to exchange gifts. The meal consisted of one left over tray of Swiss Chicken and Stuffing, fresh salad, veggie chili, cauliflower mash, fresh fruit and cookies. It was nice having some time to enjoy the gift exchange and not having to rush and pack it all in on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
I must confess one more thing. All three days of our Christmas festivities would not have been possible with out the amazing talents of my most beloved husband. He rocked the job list and went above and beyond to keep up with the chaos, cleaning, and craziness. Not only was he a master of keeping up with the mess, but he was also a baby whisperer, bar tender, dishwasher, and at times a soother of his wife’s emotions. If I ever get to heaven it will be as a result of this man’s sacrifices, love and prayers for his wife and family.
Hoping your Christmas was filled with many blessings, too, and wishing your 2018 is a year where you are surrounded by love, family, and friends.