Merry (belated) Christmas, y’all.
Is anyone else a little depressed that the holidays are over?
Christmas is by far my favorite time of year. Warm mulled cider, twinkling lights, five billion fresh cookies, the smell of pine in the air – I can’t get enough and I’m always a little sad when it’s over.
Christmas this year was short, but wonderful. I was able to fly home to see my family, something I haven’t been able to do for two years, and it was so great to spend some good quality time with everyone.
Christmas Hath Come Early
The trip started on Christmas Eve morning. I had to get up at 3:30am to make my 6:30am flight to Newark, which would then take me to Houston. And since it was the morning of Christmas Eve, I knew I would need the extra time to compensate for the crowds of screaming children and fighting spouses reacting to inevitable flight delays. Before I even get to the flight counter, I hear that my flight to Newark was delayed half an hour, ensuring that I would miss my flight to Houston and get stuck in Newark for two days. Luckily, the little Spanish gentleman at the gate was my Santa Claus, who NOT ONLY booked me on a straight flight to Houston, but also bumped me to first class (the first time EVER in eight years of regular flight between Boston and Houston – THANKS, CONTINENTAL!). This also meant I didn’t have to pay for a checked bag (woo hoo!).
Note: A first class ticket does NOT, in fact, get you into the President’s Club.
But it DOES get you this! For FREE.
Honey badger don’t care that it’s 6am. She drinks what she wants.
(And, coincidentally, my peasant ass never knew that they actually mixed the drinks for you in first class. I figured they’d hand me a nip of vodka and some tomato juice and call it a day. Nope. The bartending flight attendant actually did a decent job.)
I promptly curled up in my gigantic leather chair like an oversized cat and passed the eff out, only to be awoken by this:
Sausage, mushroom omelet, cheesy potato…thing, strawberry yogurt, fresh fruit, coffee and a warm buttermilk biscuit. All served on actual glass platters with…silverware? Apparently being fabulously wealthy prevents you from being a danger. Regardless, it was warm and not bad at all.
My Big, Fat Texas Christmas Eve
I always knew that different families had their own Christmas traditions, but I guess it never dawned on me that different areas of the country did too, until I spent a few Christmases in New England. KnightlyBoyfriend’s family, like many families in the area, usually spends Christmas Eve celebrating the Feast of the Seven Fishes, complete with scallops, shrimp, several filets and a big, flaming red lobstah.
My German/Czech family, on the other hand, has a tradition of gathering with all the extended family on Christmas Eve and eating meat out the wazoo. Everyone brings a dish and we do a present swap. The house is warm, full of chatter and laughter, and bursting at the seams with delicious homemade food.
Several varieties of chips and crackers, spinach artichoke dip, vegetables with ranch dressing, and a cheese platter complete with brie covered in habanero jelly.
My stepdad’s homemade queso with ground beef.
My cousin’s stuffed mushrooms are always a hit.
On the buffet table we had an assortment of Christmas dinner staples.
My mom’s homemade stuffing and my cousin’s sweet potato souflee next to the cranberry sauce.
An EXPERTLY carved turkey (by yours truly), my mom’s gravy, and my aunt and uncle’s special salad.
A nice, juicy honey ham.
Fresh rolls, my cousin’s green bean casserole, and a fresh fruit salad from my sister.
My squash casserole (I’ll post the recipe separately).
The entire feast was topped off with a delightful dessert buffet and enough alcohol to fill a swimming pool. Because we Germans know what’s up.
It was wonderful.
Me with my sisters and my mom.
I miss my family already, but luckily I get to go back in February for my cousin’s wedding.
I hope your holidays were filled with love and joy!
What’s your family’s holiday tradition?