Now that all of the food’s behind us, let’s wrap up Christmas with a pictorial guide to our actual day!
On Christmas Eve, we tucked into bed with not an ounce of white on the ground. Which made it all the more surprising to wake up to this scene.
A true, magical, whitest of White Christmases! Quite the change from our Cali Christmas last year! I can’t imagine all of the happy faces across Utah when looking out their windows that morning.
We spent the day with friends, but had the morning free to Skype with family and finish cooking. I love getting to Skype with all of the littles and hear about Santa’s deliveries.
First up was Abby, who we watched open a few gifts.
Then, Lily and Linc — who showed off a few Santa surprises:
We tried to take a group photo, but someone is pretty wiggly these days.
Quite the difference from last year, eh?
We also got to see Freya and Tiegan (not on Xmas morning, but close enough), who also opened presents, let Flip and Bella have Cousin Time and gave us a fashion show while singing Frozen, Little Mermaid and Lion King. It was amazing. Man, I miss those girls.
Afterwards, we had time for quick showers and putting the finishing touches on the dishes we were bringing. Along with my desserts (ice cream and cookie tray), I always try to bring a vegetarian entree so the hosts don’t have to worry about my dietary choices.
I made a vegetarian pastitsio–which is like a Greek lasagne. Normally there is lamb cooked in sweet spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for the middle layer that sits on a plane of macaroni noodles, but I used roasted eggplant with the same spices. Really, you could put anything in there because it all gets topped with the most ridiculously rich bechemel sauce (read: cheesy heaven).
Bubbly and beautiful!
Then we loaded up and headed south to Chris and Chiali’s–our amazing holiday (and anytime) hosts.
This was my view as Joe tackled the snowy streets.
Bella and I watched the snow fall.
Yes, Bella! Chris and Chilali were kind enough to let Bella spend the day with us and I couldn’t have been more happy. She was pretty thrilled to have a getaway that didn’t involve the vet.
Upon arrival, she quickly made herself at home (mostly in the kitchen).
And Chris served up some Champagne mixed with the homemade cassis he made us for Christmas.
Nothing short of amazing. I love these friends.
We enjoyed snacks and gifts while waiting for David and Adrienne to arrive.
And, we totally checked out this group gift to the Gentiles from Santa. It’s an illustrated guide to Mormon prophets that was quite the riot, especially as the day went on.
helped watched Chilali make homemade brioche while Joe held down the living room fort. How great is Chilali’s shirt?
Bella was still right at home, until we needed to walk her and had to get her bundled up for the elements.
AH! I die from the cuteness! Those are her new boots from Poppa and Nonna (doggie grandparents) to match her new winter coat. All things she appreciated when going out in this:
By then, everyone had arrived and it was time to do what we do best…E-A-T!
My view: BREAD!
We each had a popper thingy (what are these called?!) on our plate to pull apart with whomever was sitting near.
Chilali won the pen in mine.
I think I won a shoe horn. Joe won a sewing kit in his. Then, also included, are the infamous crowns, which we wore with too-much pride and resulted in a lot of selfies.
And then I took pictures of people taking selfies. It’s a sickness.
I spy a vegetarian plate.
I spy a cute husband in a silly crown.
We wrapped up the night with a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, eating all of the cookies and ice cream (almost), and uncontrollable laughter. This game was made for our group of friends.
It was an absolutely wonderful day, especially with this Winter Wonderland view driving home.
And that, my friends, concludes my Christmas posts. “Hallelujah! Holy Shit!…Where’s the Tylenol?” (Best. Christmas Movie. Ever.)