Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thanksgiving and Christmas

Yep, its been that busy that I'm combining both holidays into one post. There's been a party or some sort of event every weekend for the last 6 weeks!! Hence the reason for no blog posts since the end of October! happens. Anywho...

our Thanksgiving table

stained glass cookies

There are many different traditions that encompass the holidays.  And its always a little tricky trying to coordinate families and in-laws. For Thanksgiving, our families have it down to a great pattern that work pretty well.  Here's how my Thanksgiving weekend goes...Thanksgiving Day, we go to my in-laws sometime early afternoon, have an early dinner, then some veg on the couch watching Christmas movies while the rest of us play board games at the table while having dessert.  Then that Friday, we hunker down at home (I'm not crazy enough to go out into all that Black Friday nonsense), watch more Christmas movies and pull out all the Christmas decorations to start planning where everything is going to go.  That Saturday, we head out to my parents house which is an hour away in the mountains. On our way out, we stop and get a Christmas tree so that when we get home later that night we can put it up and start decorating.  We've done it this way for years and it works like clockwork.

we did a deep fried turkey this year!! way shorter cooking time and the juiciest, most flavorful turkey I've ever tasted!! Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law!!

can't have Thanksgiving without apple pie!

Pablo is helping to cut down the Christmas tree

Christmas, however, is a different story. Since Christmas moves around to different days of the week, our plans tend to change from year to year. But we try to spend equal time with both families as much as we can.  But with Christmas its not just one day. Its a whole month of activities, parties, dinners, gifts, parades, and programs.  One of my favorite Christmas events is the Annual Cookie Competition, my friend Lisa hosts every year.

I like to do themed Christmas trees...

this years theme is books! I made little paper books with some of my favorite titles and then copied pages from several books to make my garland.

Every brings their best tasting, most beautifully decorated cookies to try to win a prize.  The awards are Prettiest, Best Tasting, Most Unusual, and the most coveted Best of Show. I've had the privilege of winning Prettiest a few times and even Best of Show once. This year we participated in pairs and I paired with my mom. We didn't win anything but we did come in a very close 2nd for Prettiest.  The one that did win (by only one vote) was a very pretty Baby Buche de Noel!

cutting out the cookies...they smelled of a wonderful almond!

jolly ranchers go in the middle...

the jolly ranchers melted beautifully (and smelled yummy too!)

then we decorate with the icing!

then set to dry...

We also do a sorbet taste test...our host creates a unique delicious sorbet and we have to guess the flavors. This years sorbet was vanilla bean and white chocolate liquer, which I did not guess correctly. And this year we had a new addition to the event...a Sock White Elephant game.  Everyone brings a pair of Christmas socks and we get to trade and steal til we get the socks we want. I ended up with a cool pair of very fuzzy, very cozy knee socks!

the winner for Prettiest...although is it really a cookie?...

the winner for Most Unusual

I guess I forgot to get a picture of the Best Tasting Cookies, which were Raspberry Shortbread...delicious!!  Ultimately the winning cookie for Best of Show was a stunning and adorable Miss Hello Kitty Christmas! Congrats to Crishana and Christy!

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