Christmas Eve

The house is decorated, the lights are strung, packages tucked under the tree and a letter and plate of cookies for Santa are prepared. Dark comes early and the candles are lit…
it is Christmas Eve.

Ashley and Daniel arrive laden with gifts, holiday egg nog and cheese for our Swiss raclette dinner. Meanwhile we had steamed, diced, sliced and chopped up tiny boiled potatoes, snow peas, mushrooms, zucchini and thin beef and ham to pour the softened raclette cheese over. A yummy salad and bread and dinner was ready. You could almost hear the bells tinkling on Swiss cows.

We had so much fun taking our time trying different combinations of food that we got absolutely silly. We tried “broiling” an egg, little rubbery but okay; Snicker bar, rather melty peanuts; dark chocolate, yum; and ta-dah “PEEPS.” Peeps won the prize…toasty runny-melty-gooey on the inside and crispy-crunchy-crackly on the outside. We could publish a cookbook with all of our great new uses for Daniel and Ashley’s raclette machine.
We sat at the dinner table a LONG time, chatting and experimenting and eating everything within arm’s reach!
After dinner we returned to the family room to visit and open gifts. Since Santa was expected in the morning, Emma opened a few gifts from Grammy and Grandpa, her mommy and Ashley and Daniel. Most of Mindy’s gifts were saved for Christmas morning. The fun centered on Daniel and Ashley and gifts from family to mom and dad.
Let’s start with Ashley—

Big surprise was a gift card to Anthropologie (it was tucked in a blue honey-combed paper ornament), children’s Peace banner and painting of their Thanksgiving dinner with Matt and Ginger. Daniel brought some early Christmas gifts for her to open like an adorable purse and funky hat.

Daniel was caught off guard with an exercise gizmo that you secure in the door frame…yup, like shown on TV! We promised to NOT ask him if he uses it! Among his gifts were books on Jewish pirates, poetry by Mary Oliver and a set of antique books once belonging to Grandpa Clyde Furner. Mom painted Daniel, the sailor, standing tall and strong on his family’s sailboat…wind whipping the sails, sunny day on the Chesapeake Bay.

Emma was a sweetheart patiently waiting her turn to open a gift….hat and mittens, game and a Grammy painting of a little girl artist and writer, just seemed perfect for Emma.

Chris and Sandi had sent their gift to Mindy and there were a few other little goodies to open.

Grandpa was so happy to receive his shaver he has wanted… correct brand and style; a huge Scottish tartan tin full of flavored popcorns, nuts, candy and more goodies and a hand painted mug with Papa inscribed.

Grammy was touched by donations made to Women for Women, funding for two Afghanistan school girls for one year, and clean childbirth kits. It was a heartfelt gift knowing donations were going to such important causes. Thank you. Thank you for helping ease another's problems.

Christmas Eve concluded with hot fudge sundaes and cookies, lots of visiting and humility and gratitude for all the blessings we receive as a family.

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Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you take to say hello. Warmly, Sharon

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