Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Very Merry 2013 Christmas


The past week has been nothing short of wonderful!  In addition to being home to celebrate Christmas all together as a family, there was plenty of time for relaxing, cooking and eating, workouts, and just hanging out those that I love the most.  I'll share many of my favorite moments from the week in a separate post.  For now though, I welcome you into our home for a family Christmas celebration.

Christmas Eve started with a father-daughter trip to to the pool for a short workout.  Back at home, I made foccacia bread from scratch - my first adventure with a yeast-based bread.  The major credit for Christmas Eve dinner goes to Mom, who worked tirelessly to create many great meals throughout the week.

Christmas Eve dinner featured butternut squash soup and roasted vegetable sandwiches.  The sandwiches were insanely delicious, including an herb goat cheese spread, roasted portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, spinach, and tomato.

We had a wonderful evening as a family at home - Christmas tunes playing in the background, stockings and gifts nestled under the tree, and a platter of sweets to munch on.  This years sweets included snickerdoodles (Dad and Royce's favorite), raspberry and apricot strippers (Mom's favorite), peppermint chocolate truffles (my creation), and chocolate dipped peanut butter balls.

For some entertainment, we played Apples to Apples.  Dad kept things laughable with funny faces and attention to detail (or lack thereof!).  Mom, however, was the clear winner.

By far our family's most memorable Christmas Eve traditions is opening a single specific present.  With only a few exceptions (slippers, robes), we always receive a pair of Christmas pajamas.  This year, however, we were surprised with matching adorable owl pajamas.  We are going to be one fine looking family in Whitefish, Montana in February, decked out in matching pjs!

Christmas morning arrived just a bit different this year.  For the first time in 25 years, Mom and Dad woke up without both of their kids under one roof.  Fortunately, Royce and Erin live only a few miles away and joined us shortly after we awoke.   Evidently we were well behaved this year, as Santa brought us several Christmas surprises.

A Set of Coach Bags
I hope Royce and Erin love their new rocking adirondack chairs for their front patio. 
Bailey was quite impressed by the hand-painted portrait that Mom received from Dad.
Dad received many plane-related gifts.
Royce models the selection of ski-gear we all received in preparation for our upcoming vacation in Whitefish, Montana.
Bailey and Dad are set to go flying
Amidst all of the fun and excitement, Royce and Bailey clashed faces.  Bailey did her best to apologize for giving Royce a fat lip.
Midway through present-opening, we took a break to indulge in breakfast.  As Royce described to Erin, our Christmas breakfast "is the best thing ever" and one that we all look forward to enjoying.  The traditional meal includes grits casserole, cream-cheese stuffed cinnamon pecan biscuits, grapefruit, and oranges.

I loved having a relaxed and quite Christmas day.  There was time for a bike workout, lounging, sipping a mug of tea, a nap, and a few hands of cards.

We snacked on some munchies in the mid afternoon - veggies with hummus, a great bruchetta with goat cheese and balsamic fig reduction, and cookies.

Bailey and I spent a few hours curled up by the fire - me with a good book and Bailey sleeping soundly.

 Royce and Erin returned for dinner and brought along Kaluha to enjoy some playtime with Bailey.  Sadly, there was a raccoon murder that left the poor raccoon in multiple pieces.

Mom once again prepared a fantastic dinner - vegetable lasagna, garlic bread, and caesar salad.  Just looking at the picture makes me wish I had another plate of it in my refrigerator!  We all agreed that lasagna may just need to become our annual Christmas dinner, not just because it was that delicious, but also because the advanced prep makes Christmas day stress free.  A glass of champagne added to the festivities.  Dessert was a pumpkin triffle - creamy bourbon spiked pumpkin layered with whipped cream and topped with a ginger snap.

Throughout the day Bailey wore her Christmas finest and basked in having all of "her people" at home for the entire day.

2013 was a very Merry Christmas for the Perkins Family.  We hope it was for you and yours as well!

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