Merry 'Day After' Christmas, everyone! Is it a relief or a bit of wanting the magic to last? I'm enjoying my tree and the beautiful glow in the living room. I was so crazy for the last three weeks, we popped that tree up last week and I did the mantel last Sunday knowing the clock was winding down. I'm going to enjoy the ambiance of it all for the next few weeks (or as long as I can take all the happy, happy, happy in the room). Space is very tight so I know I'll get tired of maneuvering around things at some point.
You can't see much but I managed to do my own ribbon on the tree and The Husband helped decorate with the ornaments. That was a first. He also bought a beautiful new manger for under the tree and he positioned a light over it...magical.
I wanted to do a Winter Wonderland on my mantel, I think I mentioned that in a previous post. I had most of everything I needed from past mantel endeavors. I've always loved something that reflects the outdoors as well. I found the large wood tree in the center at Marshall's a few weeks ago but everything else was in my storage. Thank goodness for Emily last Sunday. I was at a loss. For some reason I felt so little creativity this year. I guess I left you hanging in my last post but I lost a cousin to cancer the week before. That and a few other things were hanging a dark cloud over my head. But we have to solider on and I did. Em came over and grabbed few things out of my bins and helped me put up my little white 'forest'. I try to keep it simple but the fireplace and mantel are so big. Still, I think this is great and I'm still basking in the glow.
I so love pulling out the ornaments, especially when I find a few from the after Christmas sales and a some I picked up on trips. Can you see the bear ornament on the bottom in the center? I bought that in Gatlinburg this past September when we (or I) was positive we were surrounded by black bears everywhere we stayed and went. I shudder to think of it! I have a really obsessive fear of bears and that's pretty weird for a city girl. lol!
We had days of crazy fun and celebrations. Emily had the first get-together December 23rd with a full house of-gosh, who knows how many? We had grab bags and played a crazy trivia game with our cell phones that I couldn't begin to explain. I think I nearly peed my pants several times. SO fun! We started at 6:00 and ended at 2:00 a.m. I was up at 8:00 to do the rest of my baking, wrapping and preparing food for Christmas morning. I was determined and just a wee bit tired.
Christmas Eve was spent at son Jeff and Deirdre's home. He had Chicken Scaloppini catered and another outrageous gift grab bag. This one involved a few rolls of the dice and passing your gift to the left and right--I decided to be in the audience this year. Ha! We were home a little earlier that night but since I'm a procrastinator and fly by the seat of my pants, I was up until 4 a.m. making a breakfast casserole and wrapping the last of the gifts. I shouldn't have bothered going to bed as we were all up at 9 getting ready for our brunch. Abby was a big help with last minute fluffing, lighting candles and a lot of fussiness. That helped. ;-)
I wish I had taken pictures of all of the sweets I made. Boxes of goodies for many family members and friends; chocolate pretzels, sugar cookies, almond bark and sugared pecans.
I found these little boxes at Michael's and they make the most simple little cookies and candies look like something from a fancy bakery. How good can it get? But I had so many baking mishaps. I meticulously cut out sugar cookie snowflakes and then I had a whole baking sheet of them flip right into the oven as I went to place them on the rack...just like whoops, the whole sheet of dough fell on to the bottom of my oven and started to burn and smoke. And I had just cleaned the oven before Thanksgiving! I also made cheesecake squares that stuck to the bottom of the pan and then if that was not enough, two whole pans of white cake were baked a little too long and cracked like earthquakes before I could frost them. No desserts as promised at two parties. And lastly, an appetizer I promised for Em's party-I forgot to buy the cheese. The swearwords coming out of my kitchen were not meant for the faint of heart. But we survived. ;-)
A little Elsie time. She was the highlight of Christmas morning in our home. We always have a wonderful and somewhat wild time with a big brunch and plenty of mimosa's. But truly, having a baby in the house made it beyond magical. Wow, it brought me back to the days when our son Kevin, Elsie's dad, was in his sleeper PJ's with the padded feet, opening his presents on Christmas morning. I have to say, Elsie is quite the pro at opening her gifts...she loves the paper but definitely knows there is something under it! We found this set of 'old time' blocks in a wagon on our trip to Cedarburg, WI., in November.
I think all of the kids were happy with the gifts from Mrs. Claus, or whom I'm referred to as. I really love 'dressing' the guys, I know most of them could use a few new shirts and a nice sweater or two. I love giving the girls jewelry and candles and scarves. The biggest and best surprise The Husband and I received from the kids was tickets to The Carole King Musical as well as a generous gift card for a hotel or restaurant of our choice. I am so excited. Jeff saw it in New York a few weeks ago, I was happy to hear he really liked in spite of not really knowing who she is! My gift from the Husband was my favorite perfume with my name etched on the bottle. This year I gave him a new watch, very thin and stylish with a black leather strap.
Finally, Christmas dinner was hosted by daughter in law, Mary Clare's mother, Peggy. They are all so gracious. A nice sit down dinner of Chateaubriand, mashed potatoes, asparagus and rolls. And homemade bread pudding for dessert. Heaven! A wonderful Christmas gift for their family was the birth of little Cecelia five days prior. You remember Katie, MC'S sister? She and Kevin are proud parents and Margot has a new little sister.
I could have brought her home with me. Welcome to our world CeCe!
So that was Christmas here in Blondieville. I have the house somewhat back in order and in spite of all the time spent in the kitchen the past few days, we haven't had a normal home cooked meal here in a long time so maybe I'll do that today.
Thanks for the Christmas wishes! I will be posting a 'Year In Review" this coming week. I love doing those-at least for myself. lol! Helps to keep my life a little more straight!
See ya soon!