|Mom's Christmas Tree. We all agreed this was the best one, EVER. We say that every year, though.|
|Christmas Eve snowfall: Inside Tree, Outside Tree|
|Christmas Morning Breakfast Tradition: Sticky Pull-Apart Biscuits and Grand Marnier.|
|I woke up on Christmas morning and it looked like Narnia outside.|
This is a before & after of the 12-pound prime rib roast that we cooked up on the 26th for my stepdad's family's Christmas gathering. GORGEOUS, SEXY, MEAT.
|This is what seating for 19 looks like, plus two high chairs, not pictured.|
|Panorama of the dining room, set for 19.|
Going totally Central PA for breakfast with my bestie on Sunday the 30th. Creamed Chipped Beef Gravy and crunchy hash browns. Taylor's Pork Roll not pictured.
|I made New Year's Eve dinner for my family: Honey Teriyaki Glazed (Wild Caught Alaskan) Salmon with Stir-Fried Veggies.|
|The pièce de résistance: Bone-in Pork Loin and Sauerkraut roasted to perfection for our traditional New Year's Day Dinner.|
This was the first Christmas holiday I have gotten to spend at *near* my home since I was 18. It was desperately needed: by December I was emotionally spent, exhausted and stressed out from work, and just reeling from the whirlwind of a year that was 2012. This year the holidays ended up being absolute perfection; exactly what my somewhat weathered soul needed.
I was able to head home quick on a Saturday to help my mom get the Christmas tree and spend the evening decorating it with her. I got to run around town on errands with all the other crazy loons on Christmas Eve doing last-minute things. I didn't have to drive on the Shuylkill Expressway to get home for the holidays. I didn't feel like a visitor, only home for a day or two. I sat by the Christmas tree late on Christmas Eve, sipping amaretto and just staring at it; something about the strings of sparkly lights, admittedly, I got a little choked up it was so pretty... WE HAD A REAL LIVE WHITE CHRISTMAS! I was able to lend a hand in preparing our foods and traditions, and I was able to relax and take it all in. In fact, I ended up spending New Year's Eve at home, with my family, in my pajamas and a robe and, to be honest, there's NOTHING else I would have rather been doing. Seriously. These people, the house I grew up in, it heals me, somehow. I have always known I was lucky; now I truly believe I'm surrounded by some sort of beautiful magic. So, as you can see from the pictures above, I spent my holiday eating and drinking. And reveling in the love and peace and warmth of my incredible home life.
Happy 2013 everyone: may it be loving and peaceful and warm and full of delicious food.