We spent Christmas in Georgia at my parents' house, which is our usual tradition. This year, my mom decorated her exterior with a snowman theme, using vintage snow people that belonged to my grandfather and adorned the windows of his furniture store years ago.
|It's a winter wonderland!|
|Mom painted and restored the snow people--they look good to be over 50, don't they?|
|A wreath accented with red ornaments dresses up the front door.|
|I love the giant snowflake hanging from the porch's light fixture, too.|
|And I can't look at this sled without thinking, "sleigh bells ring, are you listening?"|
We made every effort to check off as many holiday activities as possible this year: my Spotify "Merry Making" playlist is over six hours long, so we had the music covered. Christmas Eve afternoon, we decided we needed some homemade eggnog to wash down our Christmas cookies, so we made a quick grocery store stop and then whipped up a batch.
|My first glass (of several) of fresh eggnog.|
Bonus points that we didn't cook the eggs and lived to tell about it.
Continuing with the food and drink theme, for Christmas Eve dinner we always do a huge appetizer spread: shrimp, a deli sandwich platter, dips and spreads, cakes, pies, punch--you name it. We put on a Christmas movie (this year's choice was Home Alone) and eat to our heart's delight.
|I'm still enjoying the leftovers.|
After we are sufficiently stuffed, and our movie has come to an end, it's time to dole out the presents. We used to each choose just one gift to open Christmas Eve and save the rest of Christmas morning, but it never failed that every year, I inadvertently chose the very worst of all my gifts to open Christmas Eve. That led to choosing a second gift, and before we knew it, we decided to just open them all up and sleep late on Christmas Day without that nagging suspense waking anyone (read: me) up at the crack of dawn on a holiday.
|Here's my present pile. As you can tell, I was very good this year. Wink.|
Since I was already makeup-free and pajama clad, I did not take pictures while we opened gifts. This is also due in part to the fact that it would slow me down in ripping open my presents, and nothing gets between me and my loot.
|New clothes are my love language. I also got some makeup and bath goodies, and you know you're getting old when you actually love getting socks for Christmas.|
Clint, my parents, and I weren't the only ones feeling the yuletide excitement. The dogs were pretty wound up as well.
|Cotton turned 14 on Christmas Day. Messy hair, don't care.|
|Sam, my Mom's miniature poodle, played until he couldn't play any more.|
With all the presents opened and ready to enjoy, we slept in Christmas morning and got dressed just in time for lunch. In case our hor d'oeuvres feast the night before had left us the least bit hungry, we sat down to a lunch with Honeybaked ham, roast beef and gravy, green bean casserole, pineapple casserole, corn souffle, brown rice casserole, and biscuits. We took turns trying coconut cake, cherry cheesecake, and red velvet cake for dessert--you know, since it was a holiday and all. And it was all prepared by the jolliest elf this side of the Mason Dixon line.
|That's my mom, dressed for the occasion as always.|
Once the collective food coma wore off, it was dusky dark and we ventured out to look at Christmas lights. We saw several really good displays this year, but this one wins our award for creativity--it's a mannequin dressed as Cousin Eddie from the movie Christmas Vacation.
|Notice the hat, robe, and even the RV!|
Cousin Eddie and all the lights that came with him were a great way to put the joy in our Noel. Before we headed back to Charlotte on Monday, our tradition is always to have a late breakfast in our pajamas and spend the morning watching Holiday Inn. We had a quick lunch in downtown Toccoa and were back in North Carolina by the evening.
It may seem like Christmas is over, but I'm still holding on to the holidays. I have to put my decorations away a little at a time so it doesn't make me so sad, and we still have days worth of treats and snacks leftover to help prolong the celebration. I'm taking baby steps toward the New Year--I've made the switch to light eggnog, after all--but around here, we are still making our spirits bright for as long as we've got left. It's not over until the ball drops on New Year's Eve!
|This kid's got the right idea.|