happy holidays dear friends

By now I've realized that I may not be getting the puppy I've been hoping for (a gift I've been asking for five or so years running) nor all the items on my wish list, but I am nonetheless extremely excited for the next few days of Christmastime.

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It's one of the happiest times of the year where John and I can really relax, be together and spend time with some of the most important people in our lives. Since we met, I've spent the past 10 or so years with his family and it's always been a great routine:

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Christmas Eve Day we visit his dad and his step-mom for Manicotti and delicious treats. It's a great time to catch-up and see them, which we seldom get to do during the year.

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We then head to his mom and step-dad's for conversation and general vegging out. We unpack the car, listen to the ooh's and aah's about how many gifts there are, digest the crazy amount of food from the morning visit to dad's, and then head down the road to his aunt Gerry's, whose husband Mike is in charge of creating The Feast of the Seven Fishes for his entire family. It's pretty casual (which I love) and super festive. Plus the best part is that all the kids in the family put on a darling Christmas play (complete with music, costumes and bells for the audience).

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We stumble back to mom and George's (luckily for us they live just a few houses down from Aunt Gerry) and one by one head off to sleep. Then of course, Santa works his magic.

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And we are all greeted Christmas morning with fresh coffee (from Wawa of course) and happy smiles all around. Gifts are put into piles (by recipient) and we go around in a circle, opening them one by one. It's grand and we laugh and giggle the entire time and Brooke and I are crazy camera people so we photograph every gift which is so fun!

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A few hours later we are all finished. George asks how we'd like our eggs and makes up a delicious batch for everyone.

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Last year we also added a new tradition of decoating gingerbread houses to help give us something to do between opening gifts and having dinner. Each of the couples gets a house and this year we are all responsible for a food group to pick up. John and I have hard candies, Brook and Nick are doing gummies and Fran and George are in charge of frosting. To make things extra challenging, I suggested we each could choose two items that are out of our food groups that will be our wild cards. You and you alone can use these 'secret ingredients' to help give you an advantage over another team.

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Of course after we are sufficiently done decorating and talking trash, we get dressed out of our pj's and ready for dinner. The past year or so Nick's parents have joined in as well as George's mom. It's quaint and lovely and I enjoy every second of the day.

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Whatever your plans are for this special time of year, I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy the festivities. And for those of you like me who don't get to always see your own family during this time, be sure to let them know you are still thinking of them and wish that you could be in all places celebrating with each one of them. 

Happy Holidays to everyone, I'll be back on Monday with lots to share.

Posted on December 24, 2009 and filed under Behind the Scenes, Events, Food + Drinks.