Christmas Eve came and our family was finally all together!
My hubs and I and our 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.
What a blessing to have my whole family together after being spread across the U.S. and Africa this past year!
We spent Christmas Eve at my oldest daughter's home, munching on finger foods and homemade goodies.
Afterwards, we wore off a few of the calories by taking a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.
Christmas morning everyone came to our house.
First we opened stockings, then we had breakfast.
Our Christmas menu pretty much remains the same year to year.
Breakfast is homemade cinnamon cranberry bread, pumpkin bread, boiled eggs, cheese grits, sausage balls and fruit.
This year I also made cinnamon cranberry rolls with orange buttercream frosting.
I was so excited to have my whole family all together again, that I really overdid the baking.
After breakfast, every year my husband reads a blessing that he prays about and writes for the coming year for each of our children.
This is the most meaningful part of the day for our family.
After the blessing, we open presents.
This year I got my two oldest daughter's canvas prints of photos I took of their kids.
I'm hoping to improve my photograph skills this year with some online courses, lots of practice, and the new Nikon d7000 that my hubs got me, (an upgrade from my d5000 that I sold to a friend's husband so he could surprise her for Christmas with it)! I've also got a new 50mm lens coming that I bought with a gift card I received.
After gifts were opened, the kids played happily with their presents and the adults got to relax for a few hours before dinner.
Here are some photos of the table all ready for Christmas dinner.
A table runner of old hymnal pages stuck together with double sided tape was an unexpected and fun touch on this year's Christmas table.
Our Christmas dinner, like our breakfast, is pretty much the same year to year.
We always have boneless leg of lamb, (roasted after marinating all night in a mixture of honey, dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary, orange or lemon zest, salt and pepper), baby potatoes roasted with bacon and green onion, green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, a spinach salad, and homemade dinner rolls.
After dinner and clean-up, we played a game together.
Then the grandkids helped me get the dessert ready-
and homemade peppermint ice cream.
(I used this recipe for the ice cream, but flavored it with 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract instead of the vanilla, and added 3 crushed candy canes to it when it was almost done in the ice cream maker.)
Dessert was a big hit!
(BTW, my hubs, who is having to avoid sugar, has done so well staying away from the goodies!
The poor man had sugar free chocolate pudding while we were eating our dessert.)
We ended Christmas by driving through the town I grew up in, not far from here, to look at Christmas lights.
It was a wonderful day.
I am so grateful to God, for the Reason for the Season, the birth of His Son.
I'm also so grateful for the blessing of my family.
I'm blessed way beyond what I deserve.
I hope and pray your Christmas was wonderful in every way.
I'd love for you to comment and tell me about it!