Christmases Three and Four

I awoke on Christmas Day morning well before Dave, although my adventures with food and drink the night before had left me feeling less than ideal. Too much wine for this girl.

Dave and I had agreed not to exchange presents, just stockings, and I was bestowed with Moroccan couscous, two jars of stuffed green olives for my martinis and snack plates (feta-stuffed and sundried tomato-stuffed), Habanero ketchup, and some other goodies. I went a bit overboard and bought Dave loads of goodies that he insists I must share with him, including Gingerbread pop-tarts that I couldn’t pass up.

After we were showered and dressed, we headed out to spend Christmas morning at my parents. I was greeted with a Mimosa, of which I was careful and only drank half of.

004Our little Moonbeam slept on the couch through Mom’s baking and our chattering.


Breakfast time! Mom made a pan of Brunch Style Portabella Mushrooms, courtesy of Taste of Home.


As well as her famous French Toast, which I drizzled with real Maple syrup.


‘Twas a delicious breakfast.


After that, time for presents! We started exchanging names in the Leahy household, much to my parent’s chagrin, but I think it is much easier this way, and it really is unnecessary to have so many presents that we must clean out our closets (though I’m sure we’ll be doing that anyway).

It was almost too hot sitting next to the roasting fireplace.


Our family is very foodie-minded, and most of us received some sort of special food items.


Christopher some sea-related snacks: Goldfish and Pirate’s Booty.


And Dad received a whole host of sardines, spicy mustards, beer, and hot sauce from Davy.

My dad even smoked two whole rainbow trout for my sister Moriah!


My sister Emily seemed very happy with the gifts I gave her: a maternity photo of her on Parenting magazine, a necklace, an oversized couch blanket, and a ticket to see Shrek the Musical with her boyfriend (Ty bought a ticket for Christopher, too).


Dave received a triple crock pot and a plaid robe that he has been wearing nearly non-stop from my mom.


My sister Em was exceptionally kind to me as well.


She had granola bars customized for me!


I thought these were so cool, and they will be a very handy snack to keep me going at work. She also gave me a DIY cookbook, and…


A homemade corset! I was so flippin’ excited about this. The girls in my family are all very fond of corsets, since we love to dress up so much. I switched my plaid shirt for my corset right away, though it took Emily nearly 20 minutes to get it on me.

The rest of the morning we watched The Grinch and started It’s a Wonderful Life while Mom prepped the food for our gathering later that day.


She made a very unusual, but tasty, salad of radicchio, celery root, and granny smith apples covered in a bleu cheese dressing. Sadly, my own contribution of feta-stuffed cucumbers did not turn out. The cheese refused to get hard after sitting in the refrigerator almost a day and a half, so I scraped out the cheese spread and stuck them on crackers instead.

Then we headed to my Aunt Colleen’s for Christmas number four!


With eight uncles and aunts and their children and their children’s children, it was quite the party. It was nice to see little kids running around again.


Grandma said “I’ll break your camera!” but I took the photo anyway.


My cousin Jake made a phenomenal pulled pork and roasted turkey, and we certainly didn’t go hungry.


I tried a little of everything: Mom’s Radicchio Salad, an Italian Salad, Rice Salad with Cashews, Baked Beans, Brussels Sprouts, Cheesy Potatoes, Stuffing, Cucumber Crackers, and a Potato Bun with Pulled Pork.

I stuck to Ginger Ale for drinking. 🙂


Every Christmas, my own family cohabits the steps leading up to the second floor. My Aunt Diane said she’s going to have to engrave our names on it at some point.

After dinner and chit-chat, we got to the food exchange. My Aunt Diane read a holiday story with a heap of the words ‘right’ and ‘left’ in it. Whenever she said ‘right,’ we had to pass our gifts to the right and so forth.


I received chocolate chip cookies at the Christmas Eve exchange and, today, I received Milk Dud cookies. I’m going to be cookied out pretty soon.

We left the party at seven, as Dave had to work early the next morning, and my stomach was still giving me problems. I spent the rest of the night on the couch with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and the Christmas special of ‘Downton Abbey.’

Dave’s family used to own a photography studio and every year between Christmas and New Year’s, they would close down the studio and have a ‘veg week,’ After all the running around we did this year, I was desperately hoping for a veg week, but work called to both of us. We’ve decided to have a veg day this Sunday, and I can’t wait! But first we must finish out the week and attend one more holiday party: Friendsmas. It will be epic, I’m sure.


Happy Holidays from Chel & Dave!





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