Has it really been two weeks since Christmas? My husband and I enjoyed nearly two weeks off work during the holidays. I had big plans: hosting Christmas dinner for his side of the family, some minor home improvement and organization projects, visiting family and friends, an informal get-together for New Year's Eve...
Well, that's not exactly how it went down. We didn't get much accomplished at all, but we had fun doing nothing for two weeks. We have long commutes and we have every single hour of our weeks planned. It was wonderful to enjoy doing absolutely nothing. So here's my review of Christmas break.
We hosted family from Balitmore and Philadelphia for Christmas dinner. We ended up with about 12 guests. That doesn't seem like much...
So, yes, I did seat four people in the living room. We squeezed our leather couch, chairs, and bookshelves into the front 2/3 of the living room (right near the front door) and created a dining room with a portable table and 4 folding chairs. It was a tight fit, but it allowed people to enjoy a sit down meal. You do what you have to do.
I also must point out that this was only my second time making a turkey. If I do say so myself, I did a great job! I used a fresh Butterball turkey (14 lbs.). I rubbed it with a combination of special spices and rubbed under the skin with butter and fresh rosemary. Sometimes turkey can be dry. My turkey was both moist and flavorful. We also served baby back ribs. We marinated them and smoked them (in the snow, with the help of my mom) for 5 hours before serving them. Needless to say, the food went over well. So well, in fact, that I forgot to take pictures and everyone ate it all.
As far as decorations, well... we put up the tree in the beginning of December. The tree had to get set up in our basement since the entire first floor had to be open to accommodate our Christmas dinner guests. It's an artificial tree circa 1988. My mom purchased it on clearance for our old house in New Jersey. The tree has seen better days. On December 23rd we learned that the tree lights had seen better days, as well. Who knows how old our lights were, but they decided to short out and start flashing and buzzing two days before Christmas. My mom helped us search all over the tri-state area for white indoor lights. We ended up with these cool white LED lights. I'm all for LED, but since these were cool white (as opposed to warm white) they clashed with our gold ornaments and decor... so we promptly ran around town looking for "cooler" colors like silver and blue for the tree to match the lights. I'm not sure we were successful. Maybe next year we'll get a new tree. Maybe we just won't put up the tree at all. I'm not the Grinch, but I honestly don't think I'd miss it.
We did a little bit of decorations on the mantle above the fireplace (our little caroling family). I have a nativity, but I haven't been able to locate it for a few years.
Did our bedroom get painted? No. Did we visit relatives out of state? No. Did we ever find and put out all of our Christmas decorations? No way. However, we enjoyed two weeks of freedom. No alarm clocks, no turnpikes, no frequent trips to the gas station, no professional dress. It was great.