Christmas 2006

For the first time in six years, my husband and I stayed home on Christmas Day. We just decided that now that we’re married (nearly sixteen months and counting) we should start our own Christmas Day traditions instead of spending the whole day traveling by car from place to place. We still do the traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve with my husband’s entire family, and my family is literally spread all over the country, so this will be the first of many years that we will see most of them in several small gatherings over New Year’s weekend. Christmas Day we are keeping at home, and I think it’s a good plan—we woke up at a leisurely nine o’clock, dressed in comfy clothes and opened gifts together. Then we made brunch and spent the rest of the morning relaxing, listening to holiday music, and enjoying our gifts and good conversation. In the afternoon, we started cooking our Christmas dinner—a clove-studded, honey-basted ham, home-made Norwegian meatballs, garlic mashed potatoes, ligonberry sauce and croissant rolls, served with Glogg. We chose a ham because it’s easier to prepare than a turkey, super-tasty and excellent for leftovers. You can pretty much just stick it in the over for four hours and forget about it. I also wanted to do the meatballs and have the ligonberries and Glogg as a nod to my husband’s Norwegian ancestry (which we have been learning a lot about as of late as a joint past time). And I cannot have a holiday meal without mashed potatoes and croissants! For desert, there were molasses jumble cookies, Russian tea cakes, and chocolate cake in the shape of a Christmas tree. An “orphaned” friend of ours who wasn’t going home for the holidays joined us for the meal and a gift exchange in the early evening. We made phone calls to our parents, enjoyed the light cooking, and spent the rest of the time relaxing at home, and I have to say it was one of our very best Christmases yet.