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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
… and she puts up with my incessant need to document her.
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!
…because if we don’t name her toys, how else will she know which toy to retrieve?!
Thank you Ikea for adding another plush faux Julep to her pack.
Our Christmas Presents
My fella gifted in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Similarly, I gifted in the spirit of hopes and goals for the coming year.
- The Couples Q&A Journal for creating our own time capsule and asking each other questions besides “did you feed Julep?” 🙂
- 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.
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.