Another Christmas come and gone …

Nothing real exciting this year. Since Katy has her driver’s license she braved Target to return a pair of faulty earbuds and two Krogers trying to find refrigerated gingerbread dough. They were both sold out, no gingerbread men this year and I just got Ninja gingerbread men cookie cutters. Oh, well, maybe next year.

We went to to the 3 p.m. Christmas Eve service at church. I like going in the afternoon, it’s not quite as crowded and we don’t have to rush dinner or eat late.

We got someone to take our picture before the service. The lady got really excited when I handed her a camera instead of a phone.
The front of the sanctuary

Back at home I took a stab at getting Buddy to sit still for a picture. Plus I had to be sure I got his little bow tie in.

We always have tamales on Christmas eve and that past few years they’ve been frozen from Wal-Mart. When Katy needed an authentic Mexican dessert for a class party I found a little bakery/cafe in Roswell that does tamales. I ordered six. We have three leftover. Those were the fattest tamales I have ever seen.

The evening was pretty quiet. We watched the first airing of Ralphie. (For those who don’t know, TBS and TNT air the movie A Christmas Story for 24 straight hours starting at 8 p.m. on Christmas eve. The main character is named Ralphie, so that’s what it’s often referred to as”. We can’t put anything under the tree until after Buddy goes to bed or he would be into everything. So after we chased Buddy and Katy to bed, out came the presents.

And the next morning, Santa had shown up!

I was up early and got Katy up at 9, otherwise she would have slept until noon. Buddy had already stuck his nose in her stocking.

The American Girl “Girl of the Year” doll was a tie-in with Space Camp so Katy got that. If it had had come out eight years ago, she would have gotten the Mars habitat playset, as well. We went and checked it out in the store last January and Katy thought it was pretty neat. So she has another AG doll to add to her collection. Once we go to the mall and buy the stand Santa forgot to get.

Buddy always gets a present. He’s part of the family and it keeps him occupied while we open presents. So we let him have his before breakfast. He’s usually pretty good about pawing through the bag and getting out the contents. This year he had a a little trouble.

I did take pity on him and help him get the bag off his head before he hurt himself.

So while he alternated between bully sticks (he also got a stuffed toy he ignored), we had breakfast. I made a french toast casserole with Hawaiian sweet bread and it was really good.

Then it was onto opening presents.

Katy and her friends love playing Exploding Kittens, but you can only play with five people. So she got the two expansion sets and one came with a “cone of shame”. She’s having friends over tomorrow and is looking forward to making someone wear it. It’ll be pretty funny if it turns out to be her.

I’ve said for years, no more coffee mugs. We have too many coffee mugs in this house. Well, there are some things your grandkids just aren’t going to believe if you don’t have it printed on a coffee mug. So I had to get this for Heath.

The outdoor camp Katy went to most summers is Camp Juliette Low. One of the alumni designed a cross-stitch pattern with the logo. I sent my mom the pattern. Last year she made Katy an ornament and this year she made a pillow. I posted it on the CJL alumni FB page and the ladies really liked it.

Katy loves sea turtles so we made a donation for a symbolic sea turtle adoption (the money just goes to sea turtles in general) and she got three stuffed sea turtles as a thank-you. They were bigger than I thought they would be. They came in a nice, reusable bag, too.


My mom gave us lots of t-shirts. Heath and Katy each got one Buc-ees t-shirt and I got the same shirts they did. Too bad she didn’t send fudge!

Heath bought me something from Amazon (an older model Kindle Paperwhite) and it came with a QR code to send a thank-you note. Heath thought it was tacky, I thought it was funny. Also for some reason there were receipts for two things he didn’t buy. Weird.

So, we got everything unwrapped. Katy got a stack of games, she and her friends will be set for awhile. Besides the Exploding Kittens stuff, she got Not Parent Approved (a more PG version of Cards Against Humanity) and What do You Meme? (like CAH except with meme photos). The teens love playing those games.

Katy going through her loot and Buddy is behind her, still going at the bully stick.

I went into my closet to look for something and found I left a present behind! My mom had just put it in a plain brown shopping bag and it kind of blended in with the wall. So I had something else to open! Back in November my mom texted me a picture of a Snoopy door wreath she found at Wal-Mart. I told her I checked three Wal-Marts and none of them had any Peanuts Christmas stuff at all. I was disappointed, I was going to get it if I could find it. So guess what I found when I opened the bag!

And onto the cleaning up.

You’d think I grew up in the Depression but I really couldn’t see throwing out barely used tissue paper.

Katy and I made a new dessert this afternoon. The big dessert thing, apparently, in Canada, is something called Nanaimo bars. When I met up with my friends in New Orleans one of the Canadian ladies sent Katy a boxed mix to make it. It’s a big thing for Christmas in Canada so we decided to save it for today. It’s a thick chocolate crust, a vanilla custard filling and then chocolate icing. I started it with Katy but it has to chill before adding the icing so I went to take a nap while she finished it up.

For dinner we did our usual cold meal. I was tired of the usual dishes and found a recipe for a curry rice salad that sounded good. We had that, spinach salad and cranberries with our ham. It was yummy.

Having grown up in Singapore with its British traditions, I like having Christmas crackers. When I first moved to the states you couldn’t get them except sometimes through an expensive specialty catalog. They’re a little easier to find now and Pier 1 always has nice ones. You pull it open, it makes a loud crack (why it’s called a cracker) and out pops a toy, crown and “motto” (a paper with a joke or riddle). So we read the riddles. Katy’s a had a little ring toss game in it and after dinner, she and Heath went at it. Heath’s had a little bitty badminton set and I landed the shuttlecock in Katy’s glass of water. Maybe our parents were right about no toys at the dinner table.

The little pile of black cards in the corner is the “domino set” I got. Pretty useless. Katy is wearing the crown that came in her cracker.

I was too full after dinner to think about dessert so we drove around and looked at lights while our tummies settled.

There really aren’t as many lights up this year. It’s rained nearly every weekend, which makes it hard to get out and do anything. We drove through one subdivision that always does a nice job and then out to the hospital where the city puts up a nice display.

I loved this display in one yard.

This was on the same street. I made Heath go back so I could get the picture.

Nothing says Christmas like a giant rubber ducky.

You know you’re behind schedule when it’s Christmas Day before you get a chance to do anything with your birthday present. Katy finally was able to get her camera out and try to figure it out. She took these photos all on manual with Heath giving her advice on “film” speed and aperture settings.

You really had to be there to appreciate just how big this Santa was.

The same display, but Katy’s photo.

The city always does a nice job with their light display. It’s the same every year but always fun to look at. Couldn’t really get any photos because you have to keep moving but I did get some video. I think I got the family in matching Santa coats crossing the street in front of us.



On the way out as we were waiting at the intersection, our church was right in front of us. I don’t know why the steeple doesn’t have a light, but I managed to get a photo. The church is directly across the street from the hospital and our pastor frequently gets emails from people talking about how they can see the church steeple from their hospital room or from people who find a place where they can see it and like to look at it.

Then it was home for dessert. And trivia. I bought a box of Christmas trivial pursuit cards about 20 years ago. I took them to a Sunday school Christmas party a couple of weeks ago and realized they are really outdated. So I found a newer version and put that on my wish list. I think the old set actually may be better. So anyway, we ate dessert and answered all kinds of questions about Christmas. Katy didn’t know anything about Bob Hope or Bob Crachit.

Cookies that Katy and I made earlier in the week.

The nanaimo. You’re supposed to make it in an 8-inch square pan but all I had was a 9-inch round pan so Katy had to figure out if it would work mathematically. I told her it would be fine. And you’ll notice some is missing, Heath and Katy sampled it while I was taking a nap. It was good, really rich, I’m glad Katy’s going to have some friends over tomorrow to help eat it.

And another Christmas has come and gone.




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