Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas’d in 2018

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

When I found myself going through my holiday motions and joining Kevin McAllister in his wish to be completely alone for Christmas, I realized my Christmas spirit was running on “E.” But the whole point of Home Alone is to realize how grateful we should be for our family, in spite of their tarantulas and weird pizza preferences.

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

After a friend reminded me to give up the notion of the perfect Christmas and to lower all expectations (which sounds very negative but is actually quite freeing), I found my Grinch veneer loosening. In the end, I had a really joyous day filled with plenty of laughs, thoughtful gifts, an abundance of food and plenty of libations. I’m pretty lucky. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Ever since I was little, I liked to wait until the last minute to open presents, which flies in the face of nearly 100% of the world. Anticipation is the best part of presents, so I’m a stickler that we at least eat breakfast first. Though, I do admit, the GIANT package “under” our little pine had me quite curious and almost willing to compromise my present practices. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Christmas Breakfast

With each passing year, I try to whittle away at my perfectionism, or at least guide it to where it is best directed (remember? lower the expectations!). Christmas morning is not one of those places. Though I want a touch of decadence, and I want to create a morning to remember and a breakfast to savor, that experience should not come at the expense of sequestering myself in the kitchen. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

That’s where a lovely loaf of raisin challah, lovingly made by someone else, dipped in egg nog and sandwiched with lingonberry jam and goat cheese does the trick. The layered french toast was indulgent, but it didn’t take all morning. Instead, I could focus on the more important things: champagne, pajamas, presents and dancing around to Mariah Carey. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com
Cheers to our 4th Christmas together!

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

A Very Special Julep’s Christmas Corner

Whenever we go hiking as a family and I lag behind, Julep will come running back to make sure I’m on my way. That little lady is always looking out for me, and I’d be a lost soul without her constant, unconditional love. So obviously, her Christmas breakfast had to be a little extra special: a lil’ Pork Chop & Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

… and she puts up with my incessant need to document her. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Note: Remember to remove any cooked bones before serving specialty meats to your furbaby. 

Just a bit of a Christmas food coma, and then… presents!

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Meet Peppercorn

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

because if we don’t name her toys, how else will she know which toy to retrieve?!

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Thank you Ikea for adding another plush faux Julep to her pack. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Our Christmas Presents

My fella gifted in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions:

  1. A beautiful, pull-down vintage map in the spirit of more travel. I’ve wanted a map like this for years, so I was quite pleasantly surprised. We’ll be kicking off this resolution with some beach time in Florida in January for some family and friend time, but we’re dreaming and scheming of some more far off destinations. 
  2. An inversion table in the spirit of more self care. I’ve been talking about wanting one almost daily. There’s nothing like hanging upside down to stretch out the computer neck and feel the blood moving. 
  3. Feliz Naughty Dog socks (below) in the spirit of having even more crazy dog moments in 2019. We set the bar pretty high in 2018 with his big push on his pet portrait biz, Regal Collars, a trip to the Pittsburgh Healthy Pet Expo and PetCon in NYC.  

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Similarly, I gifted in the spirit of hopes and goals for the coming year. 

  1. The Couples Q&A Journal for creating our own time capsule and asking each other questions besides “did you feed Julep?” 🙂 
  2. Acro Yoga & Rock Climbing Classes for better health and more fun and because I really want to do “airplane” as an adult for some reason. 

Champagne, Pork Chops & Presents: How We Christmas'd in 2018 // www.WithTheGrains.com

Then it was time to put the finishing touches on my Christmas cake (more on that to come) and head to the family’s for even more festivities. I hope you had a happy holiday. I know it can be such a tricky and often lonely time. 

Cheers,

 

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Thank for this … You are a refreshing writer and I look forward to your posts. We live in Nova Scotia in our 100 plus farm house. A storm today The wood range is keeping us warm and a christmas leftovers brunch
    bake waiting to fill us later.

    1. that sounds so magical! I love old farmhouses. Thanks for reading and enjoy that brunch! 🙂

  2. Your Christmas morning was absolutely stunning! I especially love that Julep gets special breakfast and presents. My pets are my furbabies too <3

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