Going Home For Christmas

I made the 15-minute trek across town to go home for Christmas over the weekend, just like I did at Thanksgiving, and I always feel like I’m packing for a week’s vacation. Regardless, I get to go bug my parents for a couple of days and hang out with the pets.

(The one good thing is that I wasn’t sick this year. Last year I had a nasty cold around Christmas time and it was just miserable.)

I got home Saturday afternoon and immediately started watching the Giants/Vikings game. My dad is a Vikings fan, and we can’t watch any football game together, so he was watching the game downstairs in the basement while I was set up in the living room.

Soon, I was put to work, making pizzelles for Christmas day. (I also made funfetti cookies, one of the few things I can actually bake.) My mom got a pizzelle maker and she’s obsessed with it, so she made the batter and let me make the cookies. Keep in mind this was happening during the last five minutes of the Giants/Vikings football game, when it was tied 24-24 and the Vikings kicked a 61-yard field goal at the last second to win the game.

I had a very patient helper who stood by my side the entire time I was making the pizzelles.

For the past few years, we’ve been doing a big charcuterie board as dinner for Christmas Eve. New for this year was spinach and artichoke dip, and it’s been my job to put everything together. (Wine not pictured.)

After dinner, my mom and I went for a walk, and it was a lot colder than I thought it was. The temps have dropped down to the 20s-30s here, and I’ve been used to the 50 degree and sunny days we had for most of the month. We just went around the neighborhood, about a mile. When we got back home, we ended up going to a family friend’s house to drop off gifts for her. And then I had to try to thaw out since I was frozen from the walk.

I had the same bed setup as Thanksgiving, but the one downside is the room gets so cold. It was an issue when that was my actual bedroom when I still lived at home, but for some reason, it feels like the Arctic in there. I ended up sleeping with four blankets and a space heater.

On Christmas morning, we were all up and having breakfast after 8:00 a.m. My mom made a breakfast casserole with sausage and hashbrowns and lots of cheese, and I made a cup of coffee for myself.

It’s just my parents and me on Christmas morning, well, plus the pets, so we usually start opening gifts around 9:00 a.m.

Although Lucy had been around for Christmas last year, she was really excited to be in the middle of the gift unwrapping Sunday morning. Her job was to carry the wrapping paper to my dad who had the trash bag, and she took it very seriously.

I knew of a few things I was already getting—either things I had asked for or my mom ordered for me and said “I’ll give it to you for Christmas”*—but there were a few surprises, too. Like a mini waffle maker. It’s a cute little one from Dash and I can’t wait to use it. I also got a really nice bracelet with paw prints in honor of our golden retriever we had to put down last year.

I put together a nail kit for my mom—nail polish, cotton balls, polish remover, and a multi-tool nail kit—and got my dad some Vikings stuff.

*My mom starts gift buying and gift wrapping pretty early, so by Christmas day, she forgets what I got, so she’s just as excited as I am when I open up everything.

We then had to get ready to go up to my grandparents’ house for lunch, which we’ve been doing I think since I’ve been born. They live about 30 minutes away, but unfortunately, the check engine light came on in my mom’s SUV so we had to take mine instead. And my dad always drives, so I had to sit in the back of my own SUV. It was weird.

There were ten of us there and a lot of food, for some reason. We brought the cookies I had made the day before along with a funfetti cake for desserts. This is family I usually see a few times a year, mostly at holidays. We were there for about three hours—to eat and exchange gifts—and then we headed back home. I immediately changed into comfy clothes and watched the later football games.

I stayed over again into Monday morning before leaving around lunchtime to head back to my condo. It took me four trips to get everything upstairs—all of the stuff I packed, food, and gifts—and I finally got around to putting the gifts away this morning.

Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend!

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