Lots of fun this Christmas. So many things happened to remind me just how blessed I am.
I took part in a cookie exchange with 3 other women from church. Made Peanut Blossoms, my favorite cookie recipe ever. Dead easy - pretty much idiot proof - and they don't take too much time, either. The trick is to KNOW YOUR OVEN. the recipe says 10-12 minutes, but mine don't that long. The first batch is usually 9:30, and each successive tray tends to be a little less. I also don't bother to roll them in sugar prior to baking. It's just a little bit too much sweetness for me. There are many versions of this recipe; my favorite is one called Peanut Blossoms II on http://www.allrecipes.com/. The only other change I've made is to use butter instead of shortening.
In the past few years I've started a tradition of having an open house the weekend before Christmas for family and friends. I'This is at least year 3 of the party, possibly 4 or 5. At one time I was trying to have people come on Christmas Eve, but it was too complicated. This is year 3 of having it the weekend before Christmas, for sure. So it is probably year 5 of the tradition itself. So much joy filling the room, as I listened to adults talking and laughing, while children chased each other and played games. That is what Christmas is about....
Missed church on Christmas Eve this year. The day became a comedy of errors due to car issues, and by the time I got home it was too late. I did manage to attend a lovely gathering at a friend's house. We played a few games and, well, apparently I was a redneck in another life.
Christmas Day was a nice mix of the new and the traditional. Opened gifts with mom and dad, as usual. Had our traditional morning meal of croissants, cold cuts, cheese, sausages and fruit, but it was brunch rather than an early breakfast, so as to make it easier on my brother and sister in law. And we ate BEFORE opening gifts, which was. L., my sister in law, has begun to teach us to not just tear into our gifts... it really did make the process even more enjoyable. I was spoiled. Can't wait to start using my new crock pot, in particular!
My cousin from Kelowna came down with her hubby. We are very excited. They are expecting their first child, and it's a girl, due late April. Didnt' stay too late after dinner as I was tired, and I need to go home to rest up for Boxing Day!
I love Boxing Day shopping! We have a routine.... Michael's, Pier 1, and then the mall. The mall opened earlier than we expected so we missed out on most of the 1/2 off chocolate from Purdy's. Luckily, we got to Hallmark before all the ornaments we wanted were gone. Finished in the mall by noon and had a lovely visit with friends from Edmonton in the afternoon, before heading back to my mom's for her annual Open House.
The time between Christmas and New Year's is always my time to relax and recharge. My best friend was in town from Victoria as usual. She stayed for the New Year and we ate Chinese food (thanks to my building's social fund which results in a building wide party in the common room) . Of course, we had to watch hockey and Royal Canadian Air Farce before we went out later in the night. How much more Canadian can you get? Not being the party type, we went to the movies to see It's Complicated, which was funny and charming, albeit too long. I loved it, though, even with the fact that I am not a huge fan of either of the male leads. It's worth seeing.