I've been very, very lazy the last few days, and it's been wonderful. Let's wrap up 2012 with the last of the Christmas photos. When I last wrote anything it was Christmas Eve day and we'd been having a lovely time with David's parents. The holiday shenanigans continued...
One Christmas Eve we had David's family's traditional pork chops and sauerkraut. This holiday version of sauerkraut is cooked slowly with onions and pork chops and then added to a dark roux, wine and heavy cream. It's closer to a really rich, tangy gravy than the harsh, raw stuff you put on hot dogs. Calling it "gravy" was the key for the boys. They try it every year, and this year they LOVED it! We all stuffed ourselves with the once-a-year holiday richness. I'm convinced that Christmas Eve sauerkraut ALWAYS tastes better when Sylvia makes it. Mine is good, but hers is better.
The boys went to bed early on Christmas Eve, because they've figured out that Christmas morning comes more quickly that way. They were up at 5 am, and Santa did not disappoint. He brought Tommy the Nintendo 3DS that he's been wanting for more than two years, plus a Mario Bros. game to play on it. He brought Charlie the video game that he asked for, and surprised him with an iPod touch too, just to keep things fair.
Then we settled in to wait for Grandma and Grandpa to drive over from their hotel. We always have a very leisurely Christmas morning with a gourmet nosh to nourish us through hours of slowly enjoyable present opening. We don't rush the present opening. Everyone wants a chance to talk about the gifts they chose for others, and to play with things. We had fancy cheeses, pate, hand-made stollen and citrus salad. Then we moved onto heartier brunch foods around noon with Christmas rum punch, shrimp cocktail, little quiches and hash brown casserole. No one went hungry, and we were all so stuffed by mid-afternoon when we finished opening presents that we decided to postpone our fancy Christmas dinner until the 26th.
I didn't take very many pictures during the present-opening. I should have, but I didn't. We relaxed for the rest of the day and through the 26th, stopping for a fancy dinner of prime rib roast in the afternoon. We built Lego sets, read our new books, played new video games and tried on new clothes. I also didn't take any pictures during this time. I was too busy relaxing. I did take one of Charlie trying out his new microscope, but that's about it.
We took Grandma and Grandpa to the Botanic Gardens to see the River of Lights on the evening of the 26th. I really need more practice taking photos at night. It seems like I always have the family with me if I'm out taking pictures at night, and then I don't feel like it's OK to stop and practice enough trial-and-error to figure things out. Oh well. It was still a lovely evening, and was our last night with Sylvia and Mel. They drove back to Kansas on the 27th.
That was Christmas! We've been hanging out at home ever since Sylvia and Mel left. I gave David a Blu-Ray player for Christmas, so we've been watching lots of movies. We've sat around in our pajamas. We've been reading, doing Legos and playing video games in the mornings, and then watching movies together in the afternoons and evenings. It's been heavenly. We spent Saturday madly cleaning and putting away decorations and doing laundry, but now we're back to relaxing. I suspect we'll keep doing this, with occasional outings for variety, until the boys have to go back to school and work.
P.S. This is post officially #999 at this blog host, so I should probably think of something meaningful to write tomorrow, on January 1, 2013, in what will be my 1000th blog post at this site. (If I count all the posts I did in raw HTML at the old address, then the numbers don't work out as neatly.)