I know I did. For the first time in a few years my whole family was together. I am so happy when all of us finally are in one room, it feels complete. Plus, our new addition, my nephew, got to spend his first Christmas with us here in NJ!
I love Christmas Eve because it's just as big of a celebration as Christmas day in my family. It's always at my Grandpa's home. We have the Italian 7 fish feast, pasta, rice balls, spinach pie, stroufolli.... you name it. We totally stuff ourselves with food, wine, and laughter. Santa comes with a comedy routine to give out presents each year (my lovely father), we have a grab bag (Shout out to Maria for gifting me a totally clutch portable wine cup!), and all 13 grandchildren get (and put on) matching PJs. The 13 of us took over the "adult table" by force this year once we realized how much we outnumbered them. This has been happening since long before I was born, and I hope the tradition continues in some form forever.
Here is what I wore on Christmas Eve:
Skirt-Forever 21 $18.00
I bought the necklace first and totally built the outfit off of it. I should've accounted for the post-feast bloat when purchasing these sizes...I think I popped a few seams and could not wait to get into those PJs. Totally worth it.
Christmas day is a bit more relaxed. We have family at my house, but it's a total open-door policy. On top of family we have friends, and anyone who needs a place to eat a ton and drink while opening presents. The more the merrier. I love to provide my "White Christmas Sangria", as well as a large selection of winter craft beers. I snuck in Bacon-Cheddar-Ranch dip, and made buffalo chicken dip. They were huge hits but my mom nearly had a heart attack as her all-vegan appetizer spread was tainted by my delicious additions. Sorry, Ma--no one is fighting over the carrots. When I asked her if she needed any more help cleaning the house pre-guest arrival she snapped, "Do you even READ the ingredients of half the stuff you buy?!". I knew I was igniting fire with that bacon dip, but everyone was grateful.
Mom does an awesome job at vegan entrees and apps, though. There's never a shortage of food, and her orzo salad in anticipated all year long. Uncle Lewie comes bearing perogis, kielbasa, and the like. Uncle Dave brings Ham. So I wasn't the only one taking away from the brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and huge array of assorted vegetables. Of course, it all ends with the stragglers drinking the last of the beers and wine, picking on desserts, and breaking into the left overs as we chat about anything and everything until 2am.
Here's a picture of my outfit from Christmas Day:
Skirt-Cotton On $5.00!!!
I'm going to head to the mall to do some shopping now. Call me crazy, but the BEST deals happen between Christmas and New Years. All the stores are trying to rid themselves of things they didn't sell for Christmas--and I entirely reap the benefits. If you can stomach it, get out there.
In general the days between Christmas and New Years are great. For me it's a time to relax, be with family, shop, catch up with friends, and still enjoy the beauty of a decorated tree/a winter cocktail. For example--I got to watch movies, drink wine, order Mexican take-out, and cuddle up to a fireplace with my cousins last night. What's better than that? Nothing, the answer is nothing.