Saturday, January 28, 2012

How Christmas Happened At Our House

Me and my son Christmas Eve
Ok, so this post might seem a little dated, and in fact, you maybe thinking, "Am I really following a blogger who probably hasn't even taken her Christmas lights down yet?"  The answer is, "Maybe."  What I mean by that is, yes, my lights are down, but I have fallen a bit behind lately.  Mostly because there has been a string of illness flying around the house, and second, my consulting business seems to have gotten suddenly busy (and sorry folks, that's just a bit more lucrative than my AdSense account!).

But I didn't want to turn the corner to February without a small entry about Christmas.  I hosted Christmas Eve and morning this year and it was quite a hit.

Cranberry Almond Brie
First the fun stuff: The Menu. My brother made it up from California on Thurs night, so we started our happy holiday weekend with a batch of homemade spaghetti and--you guessed it--handmade spaghetti pasta noodles.  What a great way to kick off the holiday, don't you think?

For Christmas Eve, we followed up that ever-so-light spaghetti dish with a traditional Christmas dinner.  So, truth be told, I'm not much of a ham fan.  But since my brother is, and he drove all the way up from California to have it, I gave in and made a Cherry-Glazed Ham.

Here was our Christmas Eve menu and links to the recipes:

Cranberry Citrus Salad - Very light and yummy.  Recommend, especially if accompanying it with a heavy meal.

Cranberry and Almond Brie - Delicious.  Must have at every holiday meal from here on out.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Cherry-Glazed Ham - Liked it and would recommend it.  Even for non-ham lovers.

Cinnamon Apples - This was risk.  I mean, apples? I was worried only my two-year-old would like them, but turns out they tasted great with the ham.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole - This was such a hit at Thanksgiving, it was requested I make it again.  So I did.  I'm not one to turn away from rants and raves, afterall.

Cheesecake - This one was a little selfish. I enjoyed the cheesecake so much at Thanksgiving, I made it again.  But unfortunately, the only one who actually eats dessert at my house is my husband, and he doesn't like cheesecake.  So only one slice was taken out of it, and the dog ended up getting it.  He loved it, though.

The Decorations.

Well, you are just going to have to trust me on the menu, as I must have had too much "holiday cheer" Christmas Eve because I forgot to take pictures of anything cooked after noon (I do have some pictures of the lovely brie appetizer though).  Luckily, I did set the table early so I actually have pictures of that.

I used my good china--which happens to be Christmas China and the only China I own.  I found some gold chargers for a $1/piece at The Dollar Tree, as well as some napkins that matched.  Then I mixed and matched wine, beer, and port glasses, plus one port glass filled with Martinele's for Noah!

I just went all-out with a gold and red theme...very fun and festive, I think.

The finishing touch was the homemade crackers.  I remember one Christmas when I was a kid that my mom bought crackers for the table. I thought that was so cool (because, you know, at Christmas you hardly get to open anything, right?) and I always wished we had them again, even though the prizes sucked.

I saw in a magazine how to make your own, so with the used wrapping paper rolls, some cheap $1 wrapping paper, yarn, and misc. stocking stuffers from the $1 aisle at Target, I had homemade poppers.  I added a name to each prize and used the poppers as place markers, too.

The favorite prize? The silly light-up Rudolf nose that my Dad got. It was passed around the table and made for quite a lot of laughter at the table.

All and all, it was a wonderful and very festive Christmas.  It was my first time hosting Christmas Eve and hope for many more to come. But I think next year I will reserve the socks and chocolates for the stockings, and fill the crackers with just funny stuff; like maybe naughty thong underwear.

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