countdown to christmas

by Stacy

While I enjoyed the trip home to spend the holiday with our families, Thanksgiving is not at the top of my list. It’s more of a bump in the road between me and Christmas, the best holiday ever.

I know it’s passe to love Christmas. We’re supposed to sullenly love Halloween (“the only day I can really be myself“) or want to grill and watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, not celebrate the rampant materialism and greed of the holiday gifting season. But I love it. I love the cookies, the decor, the music, and it’s the only real extended family holiday for which my family gathers. Gift-giving, of course, is the best part. While I hate setting foot in malls this time of year, I love the quest for the perfect gifts. This is our first year away and we are staying in California for Christmas this year.

Happily, my husband’s parents and younger sister are coming out to spend Christmas with us. Since it arrived last week, I have been flagging recipes in Cooking Light (a subscription I nearly canceled until they revamped the publication a few months ago and won me back) and dreaming about Christmas cookies. It’s the first time we’re hosting a holiday meal, and the first family to visit since we’ve settled in. We’re excited to decorate the apartment and set a festive table. We might even get a Christmas tree!

Here are some of the recipes I have been drooling over — I may test a few before the family arrives!

  • Drinks: Cranberry Liqueur and Rosemary Lemon Drops
  • Salads: Fennel Slaw with Orange Vinaigrette or Fennel, Blood Orange, and Watercress Salad
  • Soup: Crab Bisque
  • Desserts: Loukoumades with Honey-Orange Sauce and Roasted Pear Crème Brûlée Tart

Apologies for the lack of links, they are currently broken on the Cooking Light website.

For Christmas Eve dinner we are sticking with my in-laws’ tradition of giant bowls of shrimp with cocktail sauce and lots of freshly baked bread. For Christmas Day we want to incorporate my family’s favorite holiday brunch, eggs Benedict (even though for Christmas we traditionally have Christmas porridge, shh).

Why are you looking forward to Christmas?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Birch November 28, 2009 at 7:28 am

Sending the kid upstairs and going back to bed. (So, no, you can’t have Mom for Christmas!)


stacy November 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

I know, I am trying to convince her to come out after Christmas, before she goes back to school and while you guys are at Christmas #3987127391. ;p


Bridget December 1, 2009 at 8:50 am

My sister gave me cranberry liqueur for Christmas last year, and I think she used that recipe! It’s tasty stuff. I usually just mix it with sparkling water, but the cocktail that Cooking Light recommends sounds delicious as well.


stacy December 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Good to know! It smelled pretty awesome getting mixed up, so I have high hopes. What I thought was just a fun little project suddenly turned into a double batch to give as gifts to everyone we know in the city. I’ll find out if it worked in a few weeks.


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