Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! We Quills are celebrating, in part, by sharing with you, some of our favorite holiday traditions, along with comments on those we love the most.
I love the holiday season!
My family typically celebrates the holiday on Christmas Eve. The day starts with my preparing a few thick and hearty soups. Often I go for chicken wild rice with pancetta; ham and potato chowder; and either a chili or a tortilla soup. I make large batches of each, then send some home with each of the kids when the evening wraps up so that they can snack over the course of the next day or two. (Of course, I also keep some for my husband and me. Soup is such great comfort food.)
Once the soups are on and melding their great flavors, it’s a waiting game until our three children (and their families or significant others) arrive. Typically they show up mid-afternoon. The soups, along with fresh oven baked buns, are available for everyone to graze as the day goes on. I generally have some brie for my eldest and me (as it is a favorite of ours), an extraordinary Chicago mix popcorn from Candyland (unlike any other), and a variety of other snacks and treats. These days, the kids also bring goodies to add into the mix. Some years we also prepare grilled panini sandwiches with good salami, prosciutto, aged provolone, sweet red peppers, and nummy, salty Kalamata olives. (I think we should do that again this year, as I’m making myself hungry just thinking of them.)
Sometime in the late afternoon, as the sky begins to darken (we do live nearer the North Pole than I’d care to admit, after all), we gather round the tree to start opening our gifts. We grab an item for each person from under the tree, then take turns opening. Everyone oohs and ahhhs over each item. When that round is done, we repeat—until everything is unwrapped. While there are not all that many of us, the opening goes on for hours as we take our time to open, admire, converse, laugh, joke, and generally have fun together—pausing from time to time for a quick bowl of soup or some other treat.
When the unwrapping is done and the kids are preparing to leave, we all remember (always at the last minute, it seems), to check everyone’s stockings for that one last gift for each person. Then the kids pack up their vehicles and off they go. Later—usually around 11:00 or so—I start a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. When finally relaxed (it takes me awhile to unwind) around 2:00 am, I make sure the caramel rolls that I’ll pop in the oven in the morning are slow rising in the fridge, and then head off to bed.
Christmas morning is chill. Over the past years, my husband and I have often spent the day alone. We have choices of places to go and people to see, but we seem to most enjoy the opportunity to relax in our own space.
I finish my jigsaw puzzle sometime in the mid afternoon, and nibble on soup as and when I please ...
This year is our first grandchild's first Christmas. It is sure to make our experience extra special! I can hardly wait.
What about you? What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Let's see what traditions Robin Lythgoe most enjoys.
The Christmas season here in the US is a time like no other. Folks don’t even wait until Halloween is over before they break out the holiday decor, crank up the jingle tunes, and start binging on holiday television shows.
When I was a little girl…
And now, for P.S. Broaddus. Parker? Are those kids of yours keeping you busy this holiday season?
First, I feel like my family and I are still young, and just starting out, so our traditions are fairly new, as far as traditions go. That said, there are definitely some things we have loved, and a couple we can’t stand.
Our family loves giving each other gifts. The childers love giving gifts. They also love receiving gifts.
What we don’t love is that frenzied, frantic, chaotic, ripping of presents open all at the same time in some kind of scene that looks more like a group of sharks going after a baby seal than it does Christmas morning. So we don’t do that.
Thank you for joining us. Please stop by again soon!