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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2020 didn't ruin everything

ah, christmas.  just as it does every year, it came and went in a big blur despite our best efforts to make the season last as long as possible.  and even in this time of covid, we made the most of it and had a pretty wonderful time together.  we've been spending christmas eve and day as our own little family of five for a few years now, so it really wasn't that different for us this year than in previous ones.

this year's christmas eve dinner was super casual - everyone's favorite flavor of wings delivered from wingstop.

and afterwards, we indulged the bean in her request to open one present.

the old lady and i decided that we needed to try a cookie recipe from chrissy teigen for some chocolate chex cookies, and while they looked a little weird they were super delicious.

we gathered in the living room all dressed in our matching reindeer onesie pajamas for the annual viewing of "home alone" and "elf."

teddy was not particularly impressed with either movie.

by the time the credits rolled for "elf" the bean was passed out on the couch, so we woke her up and sent her to bed while we scurried around moving the mounds of wrapped presents from the guest room out to their rightful place underneath the tree.  and as we do every year, we shook our heads at the sheer volume of gifts we'd collected over the last month or so.

somehow, everyone managed to sleep in until at least 8:00 the next morning.  the cookies and milk left out for santa had been snacked on, and i found the bean perched happily on the couch as she gazed at the plethora of christmas riches before her.

the kids worked together to put the dogs' matching pajamas on them, and while teddy and stevie were perfectly happy to trot around in their finery, cocoa was visibly upset and wouldn't make eye contact with anyone.  poor baby.

and so we didn't torture her for very long.  once we secured the annual group photo, she was let off that hook and got right out of those pajamas.

as a reward, we broke out their stockings (yes, each dog gets their own) and showed them all of the new toys and treats we'd picked up for them.

as is our tradition, we started by digging into our stockings followed by making the bean handle gift distribution, beginning with gifts from santa.

the old lady was super stoked to open a record player and a couple of nostalgic vinyls to get her started.

the hub feigned surprise every time he opened another box of converse shoes - his list had included a request for twelve pairs of identical black and white chucks, so he could have a fresh pair every month.

he and cocoa spent lots of quality time together that morning.

the bean was happily opening box after bag after package of all kinds of goodies, including lots of pairs of new wide-legged pants (her absolute favorite) and plenty of official BTS and blackpink merchandise.

i'd ordered fun stuff from man crates for the guys, and had added endless duct tape wrapping for the special friend's package.  there was lots of giggling as he pulled off the wrapping paper and realized what he had to do to get to the present - which was a nice personalized bar set.

the hub's was not nearly as complicated, but also required the use of the little crowbar that came with the crate to open it.  his contained a couple of personalized pint glasses and a bottle opener made from a bullet.

as for me, i was happily opening all sorts of fun stuff including cosmetics and fun socks and new adidas and a super soft barefoot dreams mickey hoodie that santa had brought me.  plus i had teddy perched right above my shoulder, watching everything we were doing with great interest.

but i also knew there was something very large waiting for me in the garage.  the hub and the old lady had spent some time the day before, running around in the rain, making sure i couldn't see what was going on, not allowing me in certain parts of the house.  and once everyone had opened all of their presents we headed out there so i could unwrap the biggest box ever:

i finally got my treadmill!  i was beyond stoked, and really didn't know what i was getting.  the hub didn't believe me that i hadn't figured it out - of course, i'd hoped for it, but i'd also had the thought that the old lady could be exacting some gift revenge on me.  you know - like how we would wrap a gift we knew she really wanted in a bunch of different boxes in varying sizes and shapes.  so really, this could have been anything.  all i knew was that whatever it was, i was gonna love it.  and i was right.

back in the house, we got started on the daunting task of picking up all of the wads of wrapping paper and gift boxes and bags and tissue and all that fun stuff.

and we took this to send to MIL, who'd sent a package to us a few weeks before containing envelopes and a family gift.

i'd managed to get the traditional breakfast tater tot casserole and cinnamon rolls into the oven before we started presents, and as i made my way into the kitchen to pull it out, the bean stealthily unwrapped her giant ferrero rocher and took a couple of bites.

and check out my fabulous new pan!  yes, i realize it makes me super old to be this excited to receive a pan on christmas, but i'd been eyeing this thing for months as it popped up in my facebook and instagram feeds on the regular.  it's the perfect size and depth, totally nonstick, and comes with a wooden utensil that hooks onto the handle with the lid on or off.  and it's pink!  so awesome.

teddy went outside to lounge on his bed with some new toys.

and the old lady and i enjoyed our mimosas in the new insulated cups i'd bought for us.

after breakfast, she tested out the new record player and played songs from those n*sync and spice girls records.

the hub and the special friend worked together to unbox the treadmill and bring it into the gym, where the old lady joined them to assemble it.

meanwhile, i got started on the prime rib.  we're all about tradition on christmas day.

a few hours later, we sat down to enjoy christmas dinner.  prime rib, homemade mac & cheese, brussels sprouts, creamed corn.  it was all so good.

from sunrise to sunset, it had been the most wonderful day.  2020 or not - we were happy, healthy and together.  we'd checked in with our families via facetime and zoom, and everyone had received the gifts we'd sent.

'twas a merry christmas indeed.

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