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Weekend Thread and Christmas! - Dec. 22 - 25, 2017

The Green Dragon

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Dec 24, 2017, 11:10am Top

Greetings to all this Holiday season! Whatever and wherever you celebrate (or don't), may you be well.

My daughter came for a longish visit and my dry well of missing her is being filled. Thursday when she arrived late that evening, I greeted her with gingerbread cake. *warning* Holidays and kids visiting are all entwined with me cooking their favorite things, so lots of food talk here.

Friday we sat and visited, each doing our own thing. Dinner was an Englishish style curry with Sierra Nevada Celebration and Narwhal stout. Comfort food.

Saturday we made what our family calls chess pies, filled with nuts and raisins in an egg-sugar-butter mixture. They turned out perfect, and I am thrilled with the crust which I made in my Vitamix, because it was so easy and melts in your mouth! Dinner was homemade ramen soup. A trip to Farmer's Market in the morning garnered the greens to be used for salad on Christmas Eve. My youngest son arrived, home from Nevada, and my middle boy child and his wife arrived safe at their hotel, although I had gone to bed by that time. All the pieces are in place!

Today is Christmas Eve for us. Our family has our big dinner on this day. Prime rib, potatoes mashed with garlic, gravy, green salad mixed with bacon bits, pecans and dried cranberries, with a blue cheese dressing. Roasted green beans and mushrooms also. Sparkling Prosecco, probably craft brew IPAs. Chess pies for dessert. My daughter made a very special brew of eggnog we will be enjoying before dinner, so I plan to get as much done as possible before, just in case my head gets fuzzy. ;)

Christmas morning we have tons of sausage gravy with baking powder biscuits, bacon, eggs and coffee. Then we open gifts, and the rest of the day each does as they please. This used to mean that we went to see a movie, but this time I'm afraid my two boys will have to go home, possibly my girl as well, so I will treasure each moment until then.

I would love it if others would share their traditions here as well. :)

Dec 24, 2017, 1:53pm Top

Food is the best part, MrsLee! Your meals sound yummy.

We're pretty quiet here. Older son is on his week off and his girlfriend is in Thailand so he's mostly around. Younger son, ditto.

Tonight, I have a small roast beef, which may or may not be accompanied by Yorkshire puddings. Plus veg and salad, of course.

My husband is baking a lot, so Christmas morning is undecided at the moment - our tradition is scones and jam, but if he suggests cinnamon buns nobody will argue :) Christmas dinner will be at his brother's house - we're bringing salad and dessert. My husband will do dessert. He's planning panna cotta and jam cake.

Boxing Day is my traditional "do nothing but read" day, in which I stay in my pjs and read, with breaks for tea, snacks, and cat cuddling. This year, however, the cable company is coming to hook up the new service, so I'll have to get dressed. Sigh. It's a hard life.

Dec 24, 2017, 1:54pm Top

Yesterday we looked at new cars. Hubby got a promotion which includes a car allowance so we're thinking of adding a sportier car that gets better gas mileage because everything is 2 hours a way or more these days! This will mean whichever one he doesn't take for the day (which right now looks to be a choice between 2 Audis), I get the other one and my old Subaru will be a tertiary vehicle for when I'm really going into the sticks on forest roads or hauling the kayak/skis. But he's still evaluating choices. Spreadsheets will ensue.

Other than that we've been doing nothing. Watched Kingsmen 2 yesterday - what a hoot. If you haven't watched the first one and you like spy movie spoofs; check it out. Colin Firth is a treat.

We are on our own for Christmas again which is fine. When we went to my parents' house for the day, the tradition was champagne in the late morning; either straight or laced with cassis or orange juice depending. Later we'd have pork pie my mom made, but after I quit flour, that was out. So we don't have any real food-related tradition unless you count cheese dip.

And it being the GD, I expect Cheese Dip constitutes its own holiday. So hubby will bake it tomorrow and we'll devour it with corn chips and possibly bloody marys. Then gifts and more nothing.

Tonight we'll watch one of our two favorite Scrooge movies - either the one with Alistair Sim or the one with George C. Scott. We might watch both - one today and one tomorrow. Livin' large.

I did have to buy us stockings to hang since the ones we always used are at my mom's. Jeez this post is all over the place. And without champagne!!

Dec 24, 2017, 2:17pm Top

>2 tardis: and >3 Bookmarque: I love hearing how others celebrate, and the more laid back, the better, I believe. :)

Dec 24, 2017, 2:25pm Top

Here Advent runs until the First Mass of Christmas at midnight, although any decorations start going up after dark on Christmas Eve.

On getting home, would be the time to open any presents from immediate family. Then a fish dish of some sort, to break the Advent fast. After all that, Christmas Day itself tends to be rather sleepy, with the main meal in the evening.

But will try to have sweets and fruit available every day of the feast, culminating in a cake on Twelfth Night. Not the traditional one though, probably just something like a Yule log. I have happy memories of hunting the coins in the cake as a child, in order to be crowned King for the day, but I never did actually particularly like the taste of Epiphany cake itself.

Dec 25, 2017, 6:55am Top

To all who celebrate:

Dec 25, 2017, 7:15am Top

Happy Christmas to everyone in GD. Hope you have a great day whatever you are doing 🎄

Dec 25, 2017, 9:22am Top

And another happy Christmas to all!

Dec 25, 2017, 9:25am Top

The weekend started off with birthday celebrations. I told The Husband I didn’t want gifts, just his undivided attention for the night. So we went out to dinner and then went driving around looking at Christmas lights. He did get me a present: a Wonder Woman Barbie. I collect the specialty Barbies.

Saturday we went down to the little village of Sunriver. It is a little tourist village. Lots of condos and huge vacation houses. It has a cute little shopping area. I hadn’t been down there in years. I used to teach at the school down there. It was fun walking around and seeing all the new shops.

Yesterday we went and saw Star Wars.

We don’t do much for Christmas. We will go to our neighbor’s for dinner and probably walk around the neighborhood looking at the lights. Our ‘hood is one that people drive through to enjoy the lights.

Dec 25, 2017, 10:27am Top

>6 majkia: Love it! I'll bet Rudolf told Santa he would help "after just one more chapter!"

Dec 25, 2017, 10:32am Top

Merry Christmas everyone!

Dec 25, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>9 catzteach: Have you got the special edition "Divorced Barbie"? The really expensive one. It comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's horse trailer, Ken's...

Dec 25, 2017, 7:28pm Top

>1 MrsLee: I would love it if others would share their traditions here as well. :)

We cook the turkey and hams (one smoked, one not) on Christmas Eve. I make the stuffing and get the turkey into the oven. It is usually relatively late when the food is cooked and we tend to have a ham sandwich just to make sure the ham is done properly. We even had a couple of turkey wings this year. :-) They passed the quality check.

One of my daughters lives about 40 minutes drive away. She has a daughter (18 months) and likes to have Christmas dinner in her own house, but she always loved our Christmas Day mornings when we would all get together in our pyjamas and dressing gowns and exchange presents. That being the case she has tried to start a new tradition whereby we get together for breakfast in her house or our house. Last year we were at her house and this year it was to be our house. She couldn't make it this Christmas Day morning as our granddaughter had her parents up from midnight to four a.m. and the weather involved vast volumes of water falling from the sky.

These Christmas Day breakfasts involve fried sausages, bacon, white pudding, black pudding, potato bread, soda bread, etc... While it is a lovely idea, it is messing Christmas Day up a bit. Having had such a big breakfast we do not feel like eating Christmas dinner, the most anticipated meal of the year, at 3pm and it was about 5pm when we ate this year. Also, the years when we are to meet at her house we have to get up, get washed, and travel to her house at hours never contemplated previously. I think I shall have to call a family meeting and reconsider the workings of this new "tradition".

My other daughter who is married to a US citizen, visits ourselves on alternate years, and her husband's family on the other years. This Christmas was our turn. She is expecting their first child in February.

So, Christmas Day for us involves food, films (this year - "Paddington"; "Die Hard II"; "The Princess Bride"), exchanging gifts, food, playing with gifts, food, and we have just ended the day with turkey and ham sandwiches, and a cup of tea.

On St. Stephen's Day my wife's siblings arrive and eat all our food and drink all my drink with gifts and we have lengthy conversations into the early hours of the following morning. (They just have no idea when to leave.)

Hopefully I will get a chance to read quietly for the rest of the week. I might even get to see the new Star Wars film.

Enjoy the season everybody.

Dec 25, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>12 pgmcc: heeheehee
>13 pgmcc: what is St. Stephen’s Day?

Dec 26, 2017, 1:02am Top

>14 catzteach:
St. Stephen's Day is the day after Christmas Day.

Dec 26, 2017, 6:39am Top

We start our celebration on Christmas Eve usually with a buffet style meal at mine. This evolved in years past as I had the same holidays as my sister's children and so they would spend the day with me and buffet style food was the easiest to make with them involved. This year with it falling at a weekend I did all the preparations myself. I decided we'd have a cheese fondue which was lots of fun (although the kids weren't keen on the dipping into cheese, although they found plenty to eat nonetheless).

Our Christmas Day celebrations vary. In most years we get together at some point, often for breakfast and presents at my parents before my sister and her family go home to have their own dinner and more presents. I stay with my folks on those years, we have Christmas dinner and watch movies. This year, we skipped breakfast and gathered at my sister's at half past twelve-ish. I gave my sister a hand in the kitchen, we had a few presents, then ate lunch about 3ish and then had more presents, played some games with the children, had some dessert before heading home (as my brother in law wasn't drinking due to working commitments, he'd said he would drive us all home which was a real treat). Mum had cooked a turkey crown which she brought down from her house, my sister had cooked a gammon joint, with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots and onions, some sprouts, beans fried with chorizo, lots of stuffing and some pigs in blankets. All very yummy and involving us eating way too much.

Today, I'm having a chilled day at home, a few chores and lots of time with books or hobbies & movies. Weather is still pretty high winds so I'm not inclined to venture out if I don't need to (looking out of the window, it looks like it's dropped a little since yesterday but ... I can stay warm inside with books... I think that's explanation enough, right?)

Dec 26, 2017, 8:43am Top

I hope everyone is having a peaceful holiday season! My family all stayed healthy for Christmas this year, which was a huge relief after the awfulness of last year's holidays. It was a nice quiet Christmas, just the way we like it.

Dec 26, 2017, 8:56am Top

>17 SylviaC: I am delighted you had a quiet Christmas. Ours is still going and is beautifully peaceful. The in-laws invade in about an hour so I may have use another adjective other than "peaceful" when that happen. :-)

Dec 26, 2017, 9:18am Top

I spent the weekend in the sewing room finishing up clothes for my granddaughters. This year was a Disney-themed Christmas. I made several tops, dresses, and skirts with Mickey and Minnie fabric for the girls.

Normally, our children come to our house for Christmas day, but we went to my daughter's this year instead. Traditional meal: turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes. By my son's request I made jam-filled shortbread cookies (his favorite cookie).

Tonight my husband, daughter, SIL, and granddaughters are flying out to Orlando, where we will spend the next 7 days withe The Mouse (hence all the Disney-themed clothing). We're also going one day to Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Dec 26, 2017, 9:43am Top

Lovely to hear of all the traditions and FOOD!

I wish I could spend today recovering from the festivities, but alas the commerce of America is depending on me. There is next weekend however, when we are expecting to be alone, and I will be working on my year-end reading and life-style habit stats.

My poor Jinn Kitty has become ill. I suspect that he may have found one of my mother's pills she is forever dropping. :( He loves to paw things out from under to see if they are edible. There was a mess on the floor yesterday, then he disappeared, not showing up for meals, which is unheard of. He was finally at the front door this morning, but still not eating or drinking. He is wiped out on my lap and hasn't seemed interested in much, just comfort. This is not Jinn behavior. We are giving him a day to see if whatever it is works its way out, then to the vet.

Dec 26, 2017, 9:53am Top

oh poop, MrsL. So sorry about kitty. I hope it's nothing and he's back to his old self soon.

Dec 26, 2017, 11:10am Top

>20 MrsLee: Shame! Poor Kitty!

Christmas day has horrendous memories for all of us, of too many people and an Aged Mother (mine) blowing her top at great length because not everybody was doing exactly what and when she decreed. So now we have a special ham (cold) and potato salad, NO GUESTS!!

Today being Boxing Day (officially Family Day, aka St Stephen's) Better Half and I followed a new tradition we started last year, of going to Franco Frescura's annual lunch. Everybody bring some food and a kitsch present, which Franco distributes to those who don't duck fast enough just before the dessert. Much good food, pleasant company, hilarity and more. And Franco and friends are never less than amazingly interesting and informative. A good time was had by all, I'd say.

Dec 26, 2017, 11:30am Top

PS: And the rest of town? There's a long-standing tradition that a large part of our province and half Gauteng spends Christmas on Durban beach. So a strip of beach at least 30 km long and from the vegetation line to man-deep in the sea vanishes completely under the press of bodies. Sensible people stay away until the schools go back ...
No doubt next week we'll have the usual "news" stories of lost children, injuries, near-drownings and all.

Dec 26, 2017, 12:46pm Top

>20 MrsLee: I hope Kitty recovers quickly and is back to enjoying life properly soon.

Dec 26, 2017, 5:25pm Top

>20 MrsLee: Sorry to hear Kitty is ill. I hope recovery is quick.

Dec 26, 2017, 8:22pm Top

>20 MrsLee: sorry about kitty. Not eating and drinking is not good. You might try giving him water with a dropper and maybe some baby food. Poor guy.

I love hearing everyone’s traditions, especially those outside the U.S. I knew there was a Boxing Day, but I had not heard of St. Stephen’s Day.

Dec 27, 2017, 9:08am Top

Thank you all for your best wishes for Jinn. He wants me to tell you he appreciates them, as he is sitting on my lap, perusing the computer screen and apparently reading them. He would like to attempt to type his thanks on his own, but I won't let him.

Yesterday afternoon he took a turn for the better! He is not back to his old cantankerous self, is somewhat subdued, but is eating and drinking normally, and has even tried batting around a couple of his toys, somewhat lethargically, but he is a little interested. He seemed to find comfort in his Christmas gift of a stuffed catnip toy. He has been sleeping a lot. Last night he stayed in and the two kitties didn't even have a quarrel. Brindle seems to know that he is not up to it, and he isn't interested in her at all. I wish that part would continue.

Dec 27, 2017, 9:26am Top

>27 MrsLee: I'm glad that Jinn is recuperating. Appetite is the best indication with cats.

This is our first holiday season after my husband's mother passed away, so our Christmas day traditions have changed a bit.

We still did Christmas eve as usual - just the two of us with a nice dinner at home. This year I marinated venison tenderloin steaks in garlic and wine, then roasted them with broccoli and potatoes and topped with a puff pastry. (Some years when his hunt is unsuccessful, we have scallops and shrimp).

Christmas morning was usually spent with his parents, so this year we stayed home - just as well, since it snowed heavily all morning. Visited his sister, then ham dinner at my moms. It's always ham. Always. Dessert at the Christmas night party at my aunt's with all the extended family - cheesecake and other sweets.

I hope you are all recovering from your various indulgences. I definitely spent too much time with the cheese party platter and paid for it all the next day.

Dec 27, 2017, 9:30am Top

That's a relief, MrsL. I hope he's on the way back to normal.

Dec 27, 2017, 9:42am Top

>27 MrsLee: So glad to hear that Jinn is doing better. I hope he fully recovered within another day.

Dec 28, 2017, 12:09am Top

I helped at the Emergency Services Christmas Dinner on Saturday. It was started about 25 years ago by the local RCMP, then mostly taken over by the fire department. It is a free turkey and ham dinner for the whole town and anyone passing through. There is a Santa for the kids. No one pays, it's all done by funds raised ahead of time. Usually 3-4,000 are served between 1 and 7 p.m., in a town of 5-6,000. I helped carve turkeys in the morning, then came to eat about 4:30, served food from 5-7, then helped with clean-up. All done by 9.

Sunday was last-minute stuff and making frozen pies (apple and Saskatoon berry) for gifts and for Christmas dinner. I was watching movies, and finished the pies very late.

Christmas day I slept in, had breakfast, opened presents, put pies in the oven, and talked to family on the phone. Later went for a ski with a friend and our dogs, then took pies, presents, and other goodies out for Christmas dinner. It was lovely. Didn't stay late, and brought half a pie home - best kind of leftovers!

Boxing day went skiing with friends, then to an open house at another friend's. Home early - lovely.

Jan 10, 11:39am Top

Anybody around for whom this (beginning 7th January N.S.) is Christmas week?

Jan 10, 10:47pm Top

>32 Guanhumara: Not me, but Merry Christmas to you! Is that the Russian Orthodox Christmas?

Edited: Jan 12, 10:19am Top

>33 MrsLee: Thank you! Yes, that's right. Also in the Serbian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Some Greek Orthodox churches too. Also the Coptic church, I think. Basically any church that has not made the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar for liturgical purposes.

I normally follow the Western calendar, but this year am keeping the feast alongside Eastern Orthodox friends.

Jan 14, 4:25pm Top

And I'll finish by wishing everyone a Happy Old New Year today!

Jan 15, 12:25am Top

>35 Guanhumara: - and same to you!

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