Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Eve

The boys taking a break and playing Risk on their iPad

Christmas Eve is traditionally a very busy day for the Mangos.  We have all the last minute gift wrapping and house cleaning.  There is also a tremendous amount of food preparation.  We always have a big dinner on Christmas Eve with just the Mangos, and we put on the Christmas brunch for the whole family on Christmas morning.  Everybody comes to our house for Christmas Day.  With my sister and her family in the Philippines, that meant there would 'only' be 20 people here.

Our Christmas snack

Instead of our usual super big meal for Christmas Eve we decided to simplify.  We had a later lunch which was just some appetizer type stuff.  Different cheeses, sausage, olives, rosemary almonds, and crackers (regular and GF) were a tasty treat.  We also had some soup.  We nibbled as we worked.  One thing I like about holiday cooking is that the whole family becomes involved.  Everybody pitches in and helps.  The kids select which dishes they want to make.  We all help with the prep work.  We put some Christmas music on ( The CelticWomen's Christmas music got a lot of play here as well as Andrea Boccelli) and worked away.

Christmas Tree right before we opened gifts

We had hoped to have an early supper, but as usual, that didn't exactly happened.  We sat down to eat around 6.
Christmas dinner- filet mignon with boursin cheese, scallops in cream sauce, mini baked potatoes, blackberry jello with fresh berry sauce, and yummy carrots.  There was also shrimp.
We set the table with our china and have a leisurely meal.  Filet Mignon and some type of seafood is our traditional meal.  We get our filet mignon when we buy our whole steer in the fall.  We save it for Christmas.  It is looked forward to by everyone.  So yummy and tasty.  I think it is the children's favorite meal of the year.

Paul certainly enjoyed it.  He ate two steaks!  He is a growing boy!

Thomas was super excited to get basketball shoes.  He has been playing at all of T-Bob's team's practices.  He has been working on his basketball skills and conditioning.  

This was my gift from Michelle.  She used crayon art to make it.  You mask off an area, and use a heat source to melt the crayon on the picture.  It takes a while to do it.  I think she did a great job.

T-Bob was very excited to get new basketball shoes and arrows.  He found a bow in his cousin's garage after they moved out. He needed the arrows though.  He was so happy to be able to go out back and shoot them yesterday. He spent hours doing it in the cold.

Thomas also got an outdoor, cold-weather running shirt.  He was excited!

Elizabeth was super happy to get the two things on the top of her list, a pocket knife and walkie-talkies.  Just what every girl dreams of, who lives on a farm and has brothers!  (But do note, she has her doll there beside her.)


Michelle was happy to get pants that weren't jeans that actually were long enough!  That is a real challenge for this girl.  I was happy to find them at Eddie Bauer's.  Finally, pants that weren't floods!

JoAn having a good laugh!
Everybody had a wonderful Christmas Eve.  When it was done we cleaned up and went back to cooking.  We needed to finish up the food for Christmas breakfast and put it all away as well as set up for Christmas company.

It was a wonderful day!  It really was peaceful and only minimally stressful with all we needed to accomplish.  We got it done and were in bed before midnight.  And that my dear friends, was our Christmas Eve.

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