I’d like to start this Holiday post with the lyrics of one of my favorite holiday songs:
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas as sung by Burl Ives
Have a holly, jolly Christmas,
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow,
But have a cup of cheer.
Have a holly, jolly Christmas,
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet.
Oh, ho, the mistletoe
Hung where you can see,
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me.
Have a holly jolly Christmas,
And in case you didn't hear,
Oh by golly, have a holly,
Jolly Christmas this year.
What a Holiday this has been indeed. Kristen and I celebrated our Christmas on the 23rd, exchanging gifts and making dinner together. We made our own pizzas with one consisting of pepperoni, green peppers, and onions while the second was a chicken, bacon, and garlic pizza in the style of our favorite gourmet Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza. The second pizza was delicious, however, the bacon we used was maple bacon and added an interesting flavor. We grinded up most of the ingredients using Kristen’s present from me, a 2-quart food processor from Cuisinart.
During dinner we enjoyed some white whine and watched the first few episodes of Animaniacs on DVD that Kristen gave me both Volume 1 and 2 of for Christmas followed by TLOTR: The Return of the King Extended edition of which Kristen was only able to make through the first half before heading to bed. I don’t blame her, even through the second half of the film I was struggling to stay awake and jumping from scene to scene before throwing in the towel and heading to bed.
Christmas Eve I spent the morning out in Dassel with Kristen’s family visiting with her Dad, siblings, and cats Shadow and Quinton. We all enjoyed a great lunch consisting of ham and cheesy potatoes (my first serving of the dish for the holiday) and the Urban’s were introduced to the Wambach’s famous Christmas cookies of sprits, peanut butter star cookies, and chocolate covered peanut butter balls. Then we opened some presents. I wasn’t expecting anything, but came out with three gifts including all the albums of the Cranberries from Kristen’s younger brother Ryan, Harvey Birdman volume II on DVD, and lastly the Orville Redenbacher official Presto popcorn maker, a gift I have been asking for from Kristen and my folks for the past three Christmases. The Presto is a superior popcorn-popping machine because of no-unpopped kernels.
In the afternoon, I left for Brooklyn Park and dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house with my family along with my aunt Andrea and her husband Andrew. We all enjoyed some delicious roast beef (our holiday traditional feast) and my second serving of cheesy potatoes, a staple of holiday feats followed by another tradition: cranberry cake and butter sauce. Afterwards we all enjoyed some coffee and visiting and then opened presents. I got some new kitchen knives from Chicago Cutlery along with a new cutting board, a pair of kitchen shears (sensing a theme here), Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0 (episodes 1-10 of season 2, why they couldn’t release the entire season 2 in one set???), and a Best Buy gift card from Grandma and Grandpa.
When we got home from the Grandparent’s house, our immediate family opened presents and it was an REI Christmas for a lot of us. My Dad has been working at the new REI in Maple Grove since late August and so the majority of gifts from him were of outdoor clothing which I am going to need for our coming trip to Glacier National Park hopefully in July.
And lastly, we spent the day down in Canon Falls with the usual suspects my Uncle Bill and his wife Karen and my aunt Cindy with her husband John who I haven’t seen since I was at least 5 or maybe younger. We had another great meal and a good visit with family; especially the conversation I had with my grandpa FB about my time in Scandinavia.
I think the best part of the Holiday was my evening with Kristen and the morning in Dassel along with the catching up I had with my brother Frank who I hadn’t much time to hang out with.
Plans are in motion for New Years Eve, should be a blast, but more on that in another post…
Once again, Merry Christmas