I really feel like I did everything I wanted (and didn’t want) to do this Christmas. I made the teachers cookie jars in time. We listened to Christmas music (at home, not the mall). I found the cracked crab for Christmas Eve dinner (after hitting three stores). We went to the Nutcracker and the Symphony. We took the kids to Glide to experience a church and community resource like no other. I didn’t stay up until midnight wrapping gifts. We didn’t race through decorating the Christmas trees and no ornaments were broken. I made enough cookies for our family and to share with others. I didn’t get in an argument over the grandparents giving too many gifts. My kids got appropriately dressed for the events that required more than yoga/athletic wear. My daughter found gingerbread house kits to decorate with the grandparents.
All in all it was a very nice and leisurely holiday. It probably helped that my kids were out of school a week earlier than usual (construction and moving the school). I was thankful to have shopped early and much of it online. We were also fortunate to celebrate with various family and friends – not all on the same day. Even on Christmas Day, I had a few blissful hours to myself while my family went to the driving range. Since we’re doing some remodeling I haven’t been alone in the house in weeks. On Christmas Day there were no contractors to bang and clang while I cooked. With everyone gone I made a lovely butternut apple soup, dessert and prepped for the rest of the dinner.
The menu? Interestingly enough we went vegetarian. With so many dietary restrictions and preferences between my family and my in-laws I wasn’t sure what to make. No red meat. No pork. I was thinking of making a turkey but a few days before Christmas we celebrated with my family and a turkey spread (of which I was able to take lots of leftovers). We always do cracked crab and fondue for Christmas Eve – so that’s easy (not easy to find at 3pm on the eve, but easy to make). But while I was fighting the crowd and roaming the grocery aisles I remembered my vegan sister and the lovely “roast” she had, that my kids loved at Thanksgiving.
It all turned out great. The butternut soup, the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute (so easy), roasted little potatoes, brussels sprouts (remember I promised more), and rolls. My in-laws were surprised but pleased. I didn’t know Grampa didn’t like brussels sprouts. Oops! Well he hadn’t eaten them in years. He tried mine and he liked them. Just to really mess with everyone I even did a vegan dessert. My kids cruised through the Vegan Desserts in Jars Cookbook, since my mom returned my jars from Thanksgiving (brought in her luggage!) and picked a chocolate grasshopper. My son loved it. Others ate it. But my daughter and I thought the mint tasted like mouthwash. Luckily our neighbors gave us a box of chocolates so we happily dove into those.