Our Merry Little Christmas

Our Christmas was really great. Christmas Eve is always the bigger holiday between the two days. Growing up, Christmas Eve was meant for immediate family and close friends. Thankfully this is a tradition I have been able to carry over into our marriage. 

Although I do have to confess that it started with a start. Jeremy and I overslept and I woke with a start remembering that we had to be somewhere at noon. So we got ready really quickly to head to the Japanese bakery, 85º, to pick up our Christmas cake. During the three years, we lived in Japan, we always wanted to get a Christmas cake but always forgot to order it in time. This year, thanks to Carlie, I was able to order one for pick up on Christmas Eve. 

After we picked up our cake, we realized we had completely forgotten about Christmas Day breakfast. Typically we have a ham for dinner on Christmas Eve, which means we have ham biscuits the next morning for breakfast. Since we were doing beef wellington, we wouldn’t have the ham biscuits. We ducked into Ralph’s to see if they had anything but didn’t have any luck. Thankfully next door to Ralph’s was a Trader Joe’s that had cans of jumbo cinnamon rolls! We grabbed those and headed back home. 

Back at the house, I decided to try out a Roomba knock-off that we had bought back while visiting Mom earlier this year. The downstairs is set up enough for it to run around without getting stuck. None of the animals appreciated my new lazy way of cleaning. Katniss got up high and glared at it rolling around. Bagheera tried swatting at it and running away. John Paul kept pouncing in front of it and snapping in its general direction when it got too close to his bones and toys. He wasn’t trying to hurt it, just scare it off. The vacuum only lasted about twenty minutes before it kept getting stuck on the living room area rug and under the entertainment center. I will try it again after the holidays when we go back to our normal layout. For a $25 vacuum, I like it. It definitely picked up a lot of stuff and really helps with the litter by the pets’ area near the laundry room. 

After putting away the vacuum, I decided to head upstairs to take a shower while Jeremy started on dinner. After showering and doing my hair, I left my bathroom and was surprised to see what John Paul had set out for me. On the top stair in the middle of the step was his empty peanut butter jar. As a puppy, he never liked kongs but he loved when I gave him the peanut butter jars to clean out when they were used up. Since then we have kept a jar for him to chew on. We refill it with fresh peanut butter after washing it. It’s his most unconventional dog toy but definitely one of his favorites. He knew he was due for a refill and had set it out so I wouldn’t miss it when I headed back downstairs. John Paul can be surprisingly smart. 

Jeremy made an amazing dinner for us. He made beef wellington, potatoes au gratin, and roasted asparagus and Brussel sprouts. Everything was delicious. This is the second time that Jeremy has made us beef wellington. The first time was Valentine’s Day, 2016. Back then when he made it, he had to substitute a few things because they weren’t readily available at our commissary or the local shops. He also didn’t know how to make crepes. The meal that he made back in 2016 was yummy but the meal he made for Christmas Eve dinner was amazing. He has really come a long way with his techniques and abilities. I am very impressed with how far he has come. 

After we ate, we took the remaining beef wellington over to our neighbors, Hollie and Scott. They loved it as much as we did. Jeremy and I hung with them in their backyard oasis for a few hours. We really enjoy hanging out with them and chatting. We are really lucky to have such awesome neighbors. 

Around midnight we headed back to our house. Jeremy put the pets to bed so that Santa Claus could come with their presents. This is the first year that the cats didn’t get to have Santa Claus come by the house. In Japan, on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus would come around on a firetruck after dark. We also took the cats down to see Santa and then one of us would race back upstairs to put out their presents before they came up with the other parent. In Seymour, Santa Claus would come around with the town Christmas parade. Even though they didn’t get to see Santa Claus, except at PetSmart last week, I think they were still excited about their toys. Christmas wasn’t as big as years past because of Bagheera’s medical bills and the move but we made sure they had a good Christmas. Katniss loves her new fancy necklaces and her new fashionable leash and collar so she can walk around the neighborhood. Bagheera loves his new wands and new balls to chase. He and Katniss got some matching cherry blossom collars to wear out. John Paul got more of the frosted cookies he loves, as well as a bunch of new toys to play with. We were really surprised that he loved his new toys so much. He has a tendency to be really picky about what he plays with but he finally found a rope toy he likes, a plastic bone he can’t stop chewing on, and a few new stuffies to shake around. 

The next morning, after putting the cinnamon rolls on, Jeremy and I Facetimed Mom so she could watch us unwrap her presents. She spoiled us with a date night to a magic lounge, a fishing trip for Jeremy, and aerial classes for me! I can’t wait for our date night. Jeremy loves deep sea fishing and hasn’t had a chance to go do it out here. Back in Illinois, I took a couple of aerial classes before COVID shut everything down. I loved it and missed going to the classes. Now I have the chance to start taking them again! I can’t wait. 

Unfortunately, after unwrapping the presents from Mom, we had to quickly hang up the phone because of Bagheera. He had walked into the living room, yelled loudly twice at Jeremy who picked him up for Mom to see and then puked exorcist-style all over himself and Jeremy. He had just eaten some new food that Santa Claus had left for him and Katniss. I guess it didn’t sit well on his stomach. Jeremy rushed Bagheera upstairs so both of them could get cleaned up while I cleaned up the mess in the living room. 

When everything was cleaned up and dried off, Jeremy and I exchanged our gifts with each other. We both loved our presents and are excited to use them. We spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out and watching our favorite YouTubers until Mom and Magan called us to open our presents to them. Mom and Magan seemed to really like their presents as well. It was really good to chat with them. 

For dinner, Jeremy wanted ramen but the place he wanted to go to had an hour-long wait and it was raining outside. So we went across the street from the ramen shop to a cute little restaurant called The Steamy Piggy. They have dumplings, boa, and ramen! So Jeremy got his ramen and I got soup dumplings (one of my favorite foods). Well, Jeremy had half of my soup dumplings because I couldn’t eat all of them but they were delicious. When we came back home, Jeremy went to his office to play video games and I snuggled in bed with the cats to watch cheesy horror movies. 

While this holiday wasn’t as big or as festive as years past, I think this was one of my favorite holidays. It was really relaxed and comfortable (minus the puke part). We got to spend the holiday as we wanted without any real stress or being worn out with everything that needed to be done. I really hope we have more holidays like this. 

How was your Christmas? Was Santa Claus good to you? What are your favorite traditions to do? Let me know in the comments below. 

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