It's been a lovely holiday, and today I'm enjoying a day of nothingness. It's been quiet and perfect. We finally got some snow. 4-5 inches of the fluffiest snow I've ever seen fell last night and today, so it is a white Boxing Day rather than a white Christmas, but I'm not complaining... at least it's white!
We had school Monday and Tuesday. I had the read-through of the middle school play on Monday after school so the kids could get their scripts and work on their lines over break. My homework will be blocking the show, among other things. Wednesday was filled with errands, groceries, and general preparation for the festivities.
I cooked and cleaned during the day on Christmas Eve, and I got to the cemetery. I leave 3 carnations at my Grandpa & Grandma Sutherlins' graves. When I was little, Mom, Matt, & I always left 3 carnations for Grandpa. Mom also left a lit cigarette before she quit smoking, so Grandpa could have a smoke for Christmas. I don't feel obligated to continue that tradition because when Mom finally quit, Grandpa had to quit too. In that tradition, I always take my mom a Diet Coke for Christmas. I know that's what she'd like more than anything. I end the route with leaving a box of chocolate covered cherries on my Grandpa & Grandma Nelson's grave. We grandkids always gave Grandpa boxes and boxes of those things. Whenever I see them in the stores at Christmastime, I always think of him.
I had to be ready a little earlier this year because I had to see the Christmas Eve parade. It's always been a tradition in my family, but it was especially important this year because Santa had a very cute British accent. It gives "kissing Santa Claus" a whole new meaning! ;)
The Methodist Church didn't have a late service this year, for the first time in my memory, so I had some choices to make. The Methodist Church is where I always went to church with Mom, Matt, & Grandma on Christmas Eve. We'd get out of church around midnight, and it was always a beautiful time. I still wanted to go, even though the feeling is much different at the early service. I sat with Jason, Suzanne, Emma, Jack, & Jason's mom & stepdad. I'm so glad I went. The church was packed, and it wasn't the same, but that's the place where I feel close to my mom and grandma on Christmas. I needed to be there. It was fun singing all the carols because Suzanne sings soprano, and I sing alto. Emma stood between us, and we made beautiful music together!
A little while after I got home, Matt & Omara arrived from Coralville. Andrew came over, and we had pickled ham, shrimp, chili, brownie sheet cake, and sparkling cider. We visited and had a nice Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning, I got up and made a breakfast pizza to take to Dad's. It's a recipe from a friend at church (thanks, Jacque!), and it's absolutely delicious. My family loves it.
1 can crescent rolls
1/2 lb. sausage, cooked (bacon or ham can also be used... we like bacon the best)
1/4 c. frozen hashbrowns (shredded seem to be the best)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
Press crescent rolls in the bottom of an ungreased 9x13" pan. Layer sausage, hashbrowns, & cheese over crust. Add milk to beaten eggs and pour over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Trust me... you'll love it!
We gathered up all the presents and headed out to Dad's. It was a great Christmas, being together and just enjoying each other's company. Matt and Omara totally surprised me and got me a Wii! I was so excited. It was such a great present. I love it so much. I've had fun playing it today, and I can't wait to get Wii Fit to go along with it. Alice made a fantastic lunch... stuffed pork loin, pasta with meatballs, a big salad, and red velvet cake for dessert.
On Christmas night, I went over to Andrew's, and we exchanged presents. As usual, he finds the perfect gifts for me! Then, we watched To Kill a Mockingbird. I'd read Andrew the book recently, and he'd never seen the movie. Gregory Peck is the best!
All in all, it was a stellar Christmas. I hope you and your families had the same. We have so many blessings in our lives. Family and friends are at the very top of the list.
Happy holidays, everyone!