This year was the first one since I’ve known Scott in which we spent our Christmas alone as a little family. It came right on the heels of a busy interview season, a trip to NYC, and a surprise trip to CA for Thanksgiving. It was also sandwiched between the two parts of Step II for Scott’s Board examinations, so we were determined to stay put and have a nice quiet holiday.
Christmas Day 2007 saw me 9 months pregnant with contractions and Mackenzie arrived the next day.
Christmas Day 2008 saw us hop a plane to Europe.
Christmas Day 2009 saw us with… eggnog french toast with cranberry relish (so yummy it’s probably our new tradition), a bowl full of oranges (a long-standing tradition), thoughtful gifts, and a relaxing day at home with our nearly-2-year-old.
We had an impromptu Christmas Eve potluck in which the Beans arrived spectacularly late, bearing way too much food. That is often our way.
Our sweet friends made a fantastic main dish with edamame (that’s not just skipping the meat, that’s embracing beans. So nice of them.) And we added the following to an already full table (rated out of 10):
- A Roquefort and pear strudel appetizer made with phyllo (9, one point docked for the fact it’s terrible for you)
- Fruit salad with pineapple, pomegranate, oranges, and blackberries (10)
- Homemade whole wheat rolls (10)
- Autumn Farmer’s Market Salad – arugula with toasted walnuts, roasted butternut squash, citrus vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate molasses drizzle (9 , one point docked for the “crunch” from arugula that we rinsed 10 times and still couldn’t get totally clean. Sorry friends!)
- Pumpkin Clafouti for dessert (2, I didn’t like it and it’s not healthy. Other people DID like it, but I’m writing this blog post, so I get to rate it. 🙂 )
We had a lovely, hectic little nativity with a newborn baby standing in for Jesus and two toddlers playing most of the other roles. 🙂
Then it was home to open a present for Mackenzie: jammies! We headed to bed after retelling the story of Jesus’s birth and singing Christmas songs around the piano (a tradition we maintained many nights in December.)
We woke up, had a lovely breakfast, and as per Bean tradition every dish was cleaned before we sat down for a slow opening of gifts, one by one. Much to the chagrin of our families, we don’t do Santa in our house. One upside is that Mackenzie associates each gift with the person it came from. She still talks about the giver when she plays with things “My purse from GRANDma,” she’ll say with a smile.
Here are a random sampling from the gift-opening:
- A coveted first baby dollie (with another to follow the week after Christmas), a “stloller” to push her in and changes of clothes for all her fashion needs.
- Scott bought me a darling little giraffe ring holder to keep on the dresser. I only own ONE ring, my wedding ring, but it’s priceless and I have a tendency of taking it off to work out or cook and panicking when I can’t immediately locate it. This little gadget was so thoughtful, I swooned.
- I bought Scott some of his favorite gum, some needed socks, a new razor (since I left his old one in a hotel), and other fairly boring and practical things. It’s a good thing I’m cute. 😉
- Mackenzie was spoiled rotten, really, with wooden trains, puppets, a twirly skirt and books. She kept thinking every present would be jammies though because that’s what she opened the night before. 😉
- As is our way, Scott bought HIMSELF (from me) a few video games he’s jazzed about and a great book of piano music. The video games were purchased by trading in old ones (something I fully support).
- Mackenzie and I received darling homemade aprons, and this was good because I’m an apron addict. There WILL be pictures of Mackenzie in that stinkin’ cute apron. Mark my words.
- Scott received a water filtration bottle that will come in handy for our trip to Mexico this year as well as for our emergency preparedness as a family. Really cool gift, actually.
- One of our favorite gifts was a gift of cash with instructions to use it to bless the lives of others. We called up a local soup kitchen we admire and asked what their most needed items were. We stocked up on oregano, lots and lots of dollar store deodorant, and then raided our own cupboards and closets for warm clothes, shoes and toiletries we could give to those without. It was such a lovely gift for us to be able to focus on the needs of others.
We truly had a marvelous little Christmas and felt so much love from family and friends.