Our Chrismas Eve celebration with my family was short but sweet. We left our place around 2:30 pm. The drive out there was great (well besides the ever present Chicago traffic). It was snowing like crazy! Very pretty. And we stopped to get me a Pumpkin Spice Latte (non-fat, no whip, of course) since I was still tired from working all day and all night on Thursday. Thankfully, my energy level stayed high for most of the evening, though around 9:30 pm I crashed hard and had to go to sleep ASAP. So, an improvement over Thanksgiving a few years ago when I fell asleep on the couch immediately after dinner and had to have Adam drive me home even before dessert:( But I would like a Christmas where I'm not at all tired. Is that too much to ask???
Before Dinner ActivitiesGrandma Nelson & Adam
Of course, before dinner activities involved a healthy amount of drinking for the over 21 set. Here's my Grandma enjoying her Goose Island 312. We learned from her that back in the day, it was unlady-like to drink from bottles so she always, always pours her beer into glasses! Well, no one has ever accused me of being lady-like so I think it's fine if I continue drinking my beers from the bottle- especially during Bears games! It only seems right to drink straight from the bottle while watching sporting events...I don't know why.
...and "Operation". Everyone seemed relieved when I won- I guess my abilities as a doctor were going to be called into question if I lost! As my sister-in-law noted, there is no rule in the Nelson household about letting the younger kids win, so I didn't! You have to fight to the top as my cousin Anna-Lisa will attest. She was the youngest cousin for a good 15 years and we never let her win at Hearts or Spades and now she's a card shark! Tough love.
Turduckhen for Dinner!
For many years, my Mom has hosted Christmas Eve dinner and each year there is a theme. Previous themes included Italian, English, Southern, Mexican, German, and Western African (combo of Senegalese and Ghanaian). This year was Creole, with the main course being Turducken! Turducken is basically what it sounds like- a de-boned chickEN, stuffed into a de-boned DUCK, stuffed into a de-boned TURkey. Here's a picture of my Mom basting the turducken. If you look closely at these pictures you can see the multiple layers of meat. It was very delicious and a whole lot of fun, however we didn't get anywhere close to eating the apparently 44 servings of meat! My sister-in-law, Jill, helped with side dishes and made black eyed peas (w/ tomatos and spices) and corn bread stuffing. My Grandma made this wonderful raspberry jello and ice cream deliciousness, and my Mom made this great egg nog pie. Everything was really delicious-and I hope I didn't leave anything out!
After dinner we briefly did gifts- basically just for my 9 yr niece, Gwyn- and then took a bunch of pictures. Here are some of them:
Mom and my cousin Anna-lisa. After this photo was taken, Adam looked at the image on the camera and said "oh, we need another one". A-L and my Mom started guessing who it was that 'ruined the picture'. Turns out they both looked great- there's just a wierd floating light on my Mom's shirt. Where did that come from?