Monday, December 26, 2011

holiday roundup

Question for you: was anybody not sick this holiday?

Everyone we saw over the past two days has been sick. Most of mine and Bunny's immediate family has a nasty cold, Bunny's been fighting something, and good chunks of extended family were sick, some so much so that they were asked not to come to dinner!! I actually, pleasantly, have only had to deal with my tummy troubles and a throat tickle for the past few days - I'm rather surprised.

So, Christmas. This year, pretty freaking rocking. Because Bunny's extended family hosts a big annual dinner on Christmas Eve, we went to that for the third year in a row, which was lovely. I'm getting to know his aunts and uncles and cousins more, which is nice, seeing as next year they're officially my family too. It also means that I get to be a bit of a spoiled brat and have the my favourite bits of Christmas at my mom's (Christmas morning & dinner) with relatively little fuss.

Saturday morning his dad picked us up bright and early and we headed Barrie-wards, dropped things off and had a bit of a visit with my family and his parents. An hour or two later, we got in the car to head up to Caledon to see his family, and I got a nice long nap on Bunny's lap while his dad drove. This year, not having the truck has been a big adjustment; for the most part we don't miss it, but when it comes to things like going to visit family, we definitely find that there is a real loss of freedom that I dislike. Not the end of the world though, and worth it for Bunny to be in school again.

A lovely time was had by all, and it was nice to get to hang out with everyone. His aunt and uncle made a beautiful dinner - they do a smoked ham and turkey every year that are to die for. The best ham I have ever eaten resides there. Unfortunately I was a little queasy come dinner time, so I didn't have much to eat then, but prior to that there were about ten different dips and chips and there was cocktail shrimp and a glorious afternoon of food.

The favourite, by all? The "stinky cheese dip", or hot asiago and artichoke dip his aunt makes. It's garlicy and delicious. In fact, it was the one thing that I was told "if you don't try this, I'll be offended". Would have tried it anyway, and loved it to pieces.

We watched last year's Doctor Who Christmas special with the cousins before dinner, and after dinner everyone always gathers around downstairs and we watch some sort of action movie for awhile (this year it was Inception, past years we've seen some James Bond and Avatar) until everyone gets settled, and then we take a break for all the younger folk and Bunny's grandparents to open gifts. Not too much longer after that we headed home.

Weirdest thing Christmas Eve, for me, actually happened at my mom's house, once we got home. My mother keeps a full house on Christmas: me (and Bunny and I like to spend the night together, what with the anniversary and all. That night is non-negotiable), my brother, cousin, aunt and grandma as well as herself. Given this, Bunny and I are used to awkward sleeping arrangements: lumpy, painful futons, his neice's twin bed, separate couches in separate houses etc. This year, my mother insisted that Bunny and I take her bed. So weird. I felt so guilty!

Christmas day was a bit of a busy blur. My mom woke us up, we opened piles and piles of presents and enjoyed ourselves, after which Bunny and I headed over to his parents' for breakfast. His neice's dad dropped her off about a half an hour later, and we started the gifting all over again. We bounced across the driveway for a few hours, and then Bunny took the dog out and I had a nap. My mother attempted to teach me how to make a turkey, which was slightly pointless as I plan on doing almost everything different when it's my turn (I intend on being a briner, and I also refuse to stuff the bird - and my mother was trying specifically to teach me how to salt and stuff the turkey). Then my brother's best friend came over for dinner (his family was off in Hawaii) and we all had a merry old time.

We even got to watch the new Doctor Who!

Presents wise ... can we just say I was spoiled? So very very spoiled. Some of the highlights include:
  • A date night package from Bunny, featuring tickets to the Opera Atelier and dinner at Lee. If you live in Toronto, love good food (and don't mind paying for it) and have never been to Lee: GET YOUR ASS THERE. It is ridiculous. We had my birthday dinner there last year and I'm still drooling over the Chinese pancakes & seared scallops
  • Beautiful leather gloves from my brother
  • A Kinect workout game from my cousin (including a yoga portion!!!)
  • Books, body stuff, picture frames - the usual, but always appreciated
  • So much kitchen stuff! This is year two of "Kitchen Christmas" for me, where almost all of my presents are kitchen tools. This year, I was lucky enough to receive:
    • A flan dish (in turquoise!)
    • Four mini-casserole dishes (that I have been lusting for)
    • A two-person Foreman grill
    • A hand mixer ... that was made slightly redundant by
      • The KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Yes, you read that right. I received a KitchenAid for Christmas. How lucked out is that? Now, it was a combination my Christmas present/Bunny & my engagement gift from my mom, but can we still say HOLY CRAP.

I figure I'll use the mixer to create lots of lovely cakes and baked goods to thank Bunny for taking me to the opera. I'm sooooo excited. Does this mean that I may finally be able to beat meringues and move on to macarons? Oooooooh!

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