I had been looking forward to this Christmas for about 6 months, as soon as I had bought our flight tickets.
In 2004, I moved to California and this was going to be only the second Christmas I’d had with my parents since.
The holidays were always a big to-do with my family and since moving I always seem to find a void, missing my family, while others are hanging their stockings with cheer.
But not this year!
DH and I flew out to enjoy Christmas in New England!
I had a great time with my parents, brothers, aunts and uncles, my mim and her husband, and I even caught up with an old friend from middle school.
Pre-Christmas, we did a Yankee swap at my aunt’s house in Connecticut.
It was full of laughs and got even funnier when my uncle started mixing drinks from his full bar.
There was a buffet of turkey sandwiches, sausage and meatballs, chicken parm, roasted potatoes and veggies, lasagna and sh*t in a shingle-which is ground beef and sausage with cheese on a toasted English muffin (there has got to be a better name
for those things). For desserts there were a few different quick breads, cookies, and cheesecakes.
Someone always brings a wacky gift, and this year my husband took it upon himself to throw a naughty novelty gift into the pile.
I won’t say what, but the remainder of our vacation was peppered with jokes of reference.
The party had turned out to be quite entertaining!
Christmas Eve, my parents made a Cornish hen dinner for the 6 of us. We then watched my favorite holiday classic, Scrooge with Albert Finney, as my mom finished making her desserts.
We all got together again at my parents’ house for Christmas day.
My parents made a ham with green bean casserole, butternut squash puree, heart-attack carrots (carrots slow-cooked in butter for hours…sooOOOooo good!), mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, peas, white and wheat biscuits, and plain green beans.
There were at least 6 bottles of wine, plus beer, milk, water and coffee.
For dessert, there was
Chocolate mint pie, pumpkin pie, my aunt’s own super moist pumpkin bread and cream cheese frosting, my own Wicked Apple pie,
sugared pecans, and I made peppermint bark.
And all the presents!
This is one spoiling family, let me tell you! One thing that certainly is not in short supply is love and laughs when this bunch gets together. Hahaha, my brother got my parents a mini replica leg lamp from A Christmas Story!
All 12 of us got together for pizza one last time before DH and l flew back.
It’s always hard to leave my family because I never know when I will get to see them again, but I know I will have more great memories next time I do.
The trip went by so fast…they always do.
Back in California, my husband and I were happily greeted by our 2 cats, Matteo and Miyu.
It was clear that they missed us by how much they followed us around, meowing and purring.
I had worried Matteo might give me the cold, furry shoulder, but it was not the case.
My step-mom-in-law was very kind to take care of the kitties in our absence.
DH and I enjoyed a quiet New Year’s Eve.
I made Chinese food at home and it was amazing! I cheated and bought frozen eggrolls, and even they came out great in the oven.
I made sweet and sour spicy chicken with bell pepper, onion and carrot, garlic cashew chicken with green onion and mushrooms, garlicky carrots and snow peas, and fried rice.
Everything was very tasty. I had bought a bottle of champagne, but we fell asleep and instead drank it on New Year’s Day.
We happened to wake up just in time to say ‘Happy New Year’ and went back to sleep!
On New Year’s Day I tried my hand at
my own Hoppin’ John Stew, and it came out yummy!
Today we took down our Christmas decorations, officially wrapping up the Holiday Season of 2011.
May the New Year find us all with good health and happiness.