I love, love, love Christmas with my family! It is far and away my favorite holiday. Inevitably, I end up stressing myself out with last minute work projects and overly ambitious homemade gifts. But once we arrive at my parents' house, it all melts away. Over the last several years, my parents have taken to waiting for Kevin and I to arrive home before we decorate the tree.
We aren't much for white lights or themed ornaments. While we have some gorgeous blown glass ornaments, the tree is mostly covered in hand-made ornaments and ornaments of all shapes and sizes we collected over the years. I like it so much better than perfect but impersonal trees.
On Christmas morning, we got up at the crack of 9:30 for our traditional breakfast and then opened our stockings. Dad and I then get the turkey in the oven before we open presents. It's been a long time since I was around children this time of year, but I get the impression that children don't take well to this sort of schedule. I'm basing this largely on the phone call we got from Geoff's dad at 8am his time - all the presents had already been opened! Almost all of my gifts this year were handmade and I'll post more about them soon. I'm so lucky to have a family of people who appreciate the love and effort that goes into a handmade gift!
Dad and I prepare nearly the same meal every year, with small tweaks in herbs and techniques. But generally it is turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes (this year I made them with candied pecans on top), green bean casserole, and cranberry relish. Tradition is so yummy. After dinner, we frequently play board games. Kevin brought a few new ones, but we also played Rummikub, which we have played since I was little.
We saw lots of family and friends while we were in Lawrence including Christmas Eve brunch with Summer and dinner with my mom's sister and her family. It was a wonderful trip and a great way to relax before our crazy New Year's Eve in State College!