Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 was one of those special times that will be forever tucked back into our hearts with special memories.  Not that it was anything spectacular... but more that it wasn't!  It was just the four of us this year on Christmas morning, and I don't know how many years it has been since it has just been the four of us, as we usually have some extended family members around.  We kept Christmas very low-key this year, and made the focus as much as possible about the birth of the Lord, and not about the more materialistic aspects that it has become.

I had to share a picture of our dear Mr. Simba in one of his mischievous moods.  I had a few gifts wrapped.  This particular gift happened to be mine from my husband, and Simba apparently thought it should have been his.  He wasted no time knocking it off the table.  My husband called me into the room to see what was going on, and when I first arrived and saw him, he had his head stuck through the handles of the bag and was rolling around on the floor with it.  By the time I got back with the camera, he had righted himself out of the bag, and was inspecting the contents, and pulling out the tissue paper... what a hoot! I wish I could have caught more of this on camera, but as soon as he saw the camera, he ran and hid... lol!

As we were opening gifts, Cosmo rested his poor little head on my knees, and looked so sad, as if to say... what about me! LOL.... we have never given our animals Christmas gifts... but maybe next year we'll have to... they seemed to take it quite personal that there were no gifts on the table for them! LOL!

After reading the story of the birth of Jesus together, we opened our small gifts to one another, and it was just a very sweet, blessed time together. We shared the goodness of the Lord in our lives, and things the Lord had done for us through the year.  It was very special, and without a bit of the materialistic overtones that seems to cloud Christmas every year.  It was a blessing to be able to share in the true meaning of the Lord's birth!

And then it was time to eat!  I had prepared lots of food for our family and our friends... and it was quite a feast!

I made five pies the night before, what was I thinking?  Goodness... waaay too much sugar!  My husband's favorite pie is a toss-up between pumpkin, pecan or coconut cream.. so I made 2 each of the pumpkin and pecan, and one coconut cream.

I also had made Christmas window cookies, and had a fruit tray as well. Our friends made an apple pie and pumpkin pie... so the dessert department was simply divine!

I made homemade rolls, and our friends contributed scalloped potatoes, and salad...

Turkey and ham, sweet potato casserole, dressing, green bean casserole...

Mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and bacon-fried green beans... our plates were on overload!  We enjoyed a wonderful meal together!

And I continued a tradition my mother has always done as well... after I deboned the turkey, it was covered with water, and placed back in the oven on a low setting to boil down the bones.  I generally simmer the bones for about 6 hours on low heat, about 250 degrees.  This makes a delicious broth that along the leftover turkey meat, turns into an amazing turkey soup within the next day or two!  It was wonderful to smell the simmering turkey bones throughout the day as we visited, and snacked on desserts!

Overall, Christmas Day was a low-key, wonderful day spent fellowshipping with our friends, having lots of amazing food to eat on throughout the day.  We read the story of the birth of Jesus together again, and prayed together.  It was a wonderful simple time of fellowship and the Lord's presence was with us as spent the day together.  Board games were pulled out, and dusted off, and I think our favorite was Apples to Apples, although Balderdash came in a close second!  Lots of laughs, and good times!

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