Family Christmas Dinner

Dear Peanut and Munchkin,

I finally managed to host a Christmas dinner at our house, three days after Christmas. It’s something I haven’t done since … well, since I was pregnant with Munchkin, four years ago. I won’t claim to have cooked any of the food from scratch, but I still did quite a bit of planning and preparation, including making sure everything came together ready to eat at the same time.

We had a salad, Honeybaked Ham, balsamic chicken, mixed vegetables, rice (with the Filipino side of the family in mind), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato souffle, and King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls (easy, but so sweet and fluffy!). And in my family’s tradition, there were green and black olives as well as sweet gherkins as added garnish. I put out a dried fruit and nut mix, too, just for kicks. Munchkin had been excitedly asking about “our Big Feast” for several days; I think she got her fill.

Grandpa is in town for a week, and Daddy’s family came over, too. We had to put an extra leaf in the table so everybody could fit, and we still nearly ran out of room for all the food. Munchkin led our prayer and everyone enjoyed the meal. Then we had a little “program” that Lola had been working on with you. It was a surprise for Mommy and Daddy as well as Grandpa. Munchkin sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – a pretty complicated song for a 3-year-old – with just a little help getting started with “You know Dasher and Dancer…” Once she got to Rudolph, she was golden!

When Munchkin was finished, Lola set out the duck that sings “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from her house. Peanut is great at doing the motions – Daddy and I have seen him clap, stomp and cheer many times before – but seemed a little distracted by ALL the people watching him this time. He did dance around in a little circle, though, which is always adorable. Then it was time for cherry pie with Cool Whip and Christmas cookies, followed by Daddy taking you two upstairs for a bath while I finished putting the food away and packing take-home containers for the visitors.

It was a wonderful evening together, and to top it all off, a light snow was falling as everybody arrived at our house. Although it created a thin layer of accumulation on grassy areas, trees, etc., it didn’t stick to the roads or sidewalks, so everyone was assured of a safe trip home. It really felt like Christmas, and I look forward to doing it again in the future. Since Daddy is so busy during Advent and Christmas, though, I think we’ll plan to do it a few days after Christmas any time we play the hosts. It just doesn’t make sense to try to cram it all in on Christmas Day, especially since the Christmas season lasts through Epiphany.

Merry Christmas, babies!

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