Oh, What a Christmas!

We are so blessed...and so thankful for all our blessings! Not only did Santa load up both Christmas trees (!) with goodies, we also had the pleasure of welcoming our former neighbors to help us in celebrating the Holidays. After all, the Season is all about remembering the birth of the Christ Child by sharing love and joy with family and friends...and we certainly did just that!

Their five-year-old, shown in the photo to the right, in the Santa's Elf Hat (AKA the Elvis Hat...needed in order to be an official deliverer of Christmas presents) is like our pretend grandchild...he even calls Nana "Nana." I can't tell you how very much we have missed them since they moved to IL a couple of years ago...and how precious the time we do get to spend with them is.

What a fun time we had on Christmas Eve Eve! For our dinner, I tried out my version of Rachael Ray's Orange Balsamic Chicken (she used Cornish Game Hens; I used chicken breasts and legs, which I browned in the EVOO first, followed by 55 minutes in the oven until done...with a 5 minute finish under the broiler with some 'fresh' glaze...oh, and I added brown sugar to the glaze), and included other favorites like homemade yeast rolls and Nana/Momma/Edith's recipe of Three-Bean Casserole (much better than the original Green Bean Casserole, trust me). And, for dessert...a three-layer Coconut Cake with Pineapple Filling...a recipe from our Collierville United Methodist Church cookbook days! That just says 'Christmas,' doesn't it? And, what could be better than opening presents with a 5-year-old around? Here is an imbedded video clip that shows Mr. T. and Little E. in our kitchen, playing with his new Spiderman Bubble-blowing Machine. [Click the box to activate and then the arrow to enjoy the 34-second clip; it may take a couple of seconds to buffer, though...so patience is encouraged! Oh yes...giving credit where credit is due...the video is courtesy of M, who had just the right software on her new Apple to allow her to "fix" an orientation issue and to add the title.] I've also added the video to my YouTube, so it appears below the posts (bottom of blog), where it may be a little easier to view.

We start each Christmas morning off in the same way: first...let's see what's in those Stockings! After getting our first treats from Santa, we taste our first treats from the kitchen: Sweet Rolls, Coffee, and Juice (served on the Christmas china and in Santa glasses, of course). Then, as our official Santa's Elf, Missy M, dons the Santa Hat in order to hand out the presents under the tree. After that we have M's delicious Sausage Casserole (which she models after a Southern Living recipe...and has to make ahead on Christmas Eve...and remember to remove from the fridge on Christmas morning...!) and Ner's Ambrosia (which Nana/Momma/Edith has made for us for years...just like her grandmother did...for years and years before that). This Christmas, as we have done for a few years now, we declared that we couldn't eat another "big meal" today...and moved Christmas dinner to Boxing Day (Dec. 26th)...very British of us, indeed! Hey, it works for me, as I'm battling a cold and sore throat, and all I wanted to do on Christmas Day was drink hot tea with lots & lots of lemon (made very quickly with my new Cuisanart Cordless Automatic electric tea kettle)...and knit (using my fabulous new Jordana Paige Cappucino-colored knitting satchel and super-bright Ott Light Lexington-model floor lamp)...and watch the videos that Santa delivered (Harry Potter's Order of the Phoenix; Bourne Supremacy; and Waking Ned Devine, among others). Although Mr. T does have to work on Wednesday, he'll be able to make it home in plenty of time for Turkey Dinner and Trimmings.

Here's a shot of Elmo (left), wearing the Santa Hat, and looking a little less than excited about being an official Santa's Helper...but, isn't he just so cute? And (right), I created a composite of our "still-in-our-jammies/no-make-up" Christmas Morning, 2007 photos...which probably looks a little clearer if you click it to enlarge it. I've uploaded some more of our favorite Christmas, 2007 photos to my Flickr account, so the slideshow in the upper left will shuffle those, at least until I upload some more photos, which will replace them.

We wish y'all a very, merry Christmas! And, if I don't get a blog out before 12/31...have a happy, healthy...and safe...New Year's!!


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