Sunday, December 26, 2010

The epic Christmas holiday post, 23 photos and counting.

Another year of shopping/decorating/wrapping/caroling/cooking/making merry is behind us. All that build up, and then it's over in the blink of an eye. This year we started on Christmas Eve by preparing for guests to come the following day. I attempted to make a beef tenderloin this year and I have to admit, I was almost more excited by the beef than I was about any other aspect of the holiday! So much so that I had to snap a photo after I got my roast lovingly trimmed and tied.We had our traditional Thai takeout for dinner (it's morphed over the years... used to be Chinese) and then got ready to head to church. I tried taking a few pics of the kids after they were cleaned up, but it's not an easy task on Christmas Eve when they are all giddy with anticipation. After the kids went to bed, we finished our preparations and then headed for bed ourselves. Here's the living room in all its glory, after Santa's visit.On Christmas morning, we were able to sleep in until almost 8 a.m. I know that one of these years, the kids will be up at 5 and clamoring to head downstairs. Mallory was the first to run into our room. "Mom!" she whispered, in her whispering voice that is so loud that anyone on the second floor can hear her, "can I go downstairs? I'm so excited to see if Santa came!" We told her to wait for her brother so she marched across the hall and threw open the door to his bedroom. Same as last year, Liam was already up but quietly playing on his own in his room, waiting for us to come and get him, I suppose.At our house, Santa does not wrap his presents to the kids. So they paused to admire the hockey game/Lego/Rapunzel doll/Playmobil that was left under the tree, and then headed for their stockings.The Zhu Zhu pets have been a pretty big hit. On the other hand, Mallory was quite exasperated to find that Santa had left her a clementine in the toe of her stocking since she thinks he knows taht she does not like them. Sigh... it was worth a try.She was, however, delighted when Liam came into the room carrying the unicorn riding stick that he chose for her. (We wound up just tying a ribbon around its neck since it was difficult to wrap.) Here is her reaction to it: This was also the Year of the Penguin - she got stuffed penguins, animatronic penguins, and a game of Pop 'n' Drop Penguins that is essentially the exact same as the game of Trouble that we played 30 years ago. Liam was just content to start building with his Legos.
They both enjoyed the fact that the Playmobil penguinarium can be filled with water and a waterfall activated with a hand-pump.As for me, Santa found me too - I am now the happy owner of a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. Hoping to log lots of miles this winter!Once the gifts were opened, we ate some monkey bread and spent the rest of the morning enjoying the new toys. I had to deliver some gift baskets to the office for the people working in the control room on Christmas day. Then, I came home and got busy in the kitchen. The roast turned out fabulous - maybe a little more well-done than I normally like, but super tasty nonetheless. (I bought this roast a few weeks before Christmas at a grocery store close to us that was running a sale. I checked prices with a couple of butchers to benchmark how much I should be paying for it. Then, two days before Christmas, we saw the exact same roast for sale at the Superstore for HALF the price - I couldn't believe it. So I went out and picked one up today, because the recipe was awesome and I can't wait to have more!)By this time, cousin Ethan had joined us, so we tried for a few group shots underneath the Christmas tree before the gift-opening frenzy continued.And then we continued playing with and enjoying our new toys.Then a few attempted family portraits - though these never turn out well late in the day! We're always tired, dishevelled, and spun out on sugar.And then, today, we were faced with this monstrosity to clean up:It didn't take long, which is just as well, because I am definitely coming down with something - my nose is stuffed, my head is pounding, and I am heading to bed. We are doing Christmas Round Two tomorrow and I want to be in top form for it.