Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas in a nutshell

Well – it was Dominick’s first official Christmas. We did everything to make it a special one. Baked all sorts of cookies, wrapped each present with care, we even arranged Santa to come visit him on a fire truck! I know what you’re thinking… “He’ll never remember this!” True, but really, isn’t the first Christmas all for the parents and family anyway? So we had fun. We were festive. And boy am I glad it’s over! Here’s a recap.

On a snowy night in December we headed to our cousin’s house to wait for Santa to pull up on his fire engine. This is something that Clark Fire Department does every year. They go around town, meeting children and even delivering presents the parents secretly gave him. The fire truck is all decked out with as many lights and animatronics displays it can hold. It’s quite the site to hear all the jingle bells they have tied to the tires. We have a video and once I figure out how to post – you bet it’ll be up here. Dominick was just in awe at Santa and his very large elves – all firemen. It’s a sight I know I’ll never forget and I hope we can do it again.

As is tradition with the Frizell family, we spent Christmas Eve in Metuchen. My mom had prepared a Parisian gourmet meal including beef wellington! Everything was scrumptious and even the babies stayed up long enough to open a few presents each. Then it was a free for all. With as many “extended” families as we have, we’re lucky that we get the majority at Christmas time – this year we had Mike, Chrisi, Samantha, Catherine, Chris, Frank, myself and Dominick. Zach joined us after dinner. It would have been nice to have St. John and Linden, but we understand we have several families that have to share our time.

I have proposed we do Christmas sometime near the actual holiday and not on Christmas Eve. This will allow the kids who split holidays with moms/dads and St. John and Linden who have three sets of families to visit more time. Or even allow us all to do our own “thing” on Christmas Eve. I really do put a lot of thought and effort into the gifts I buy for every one and I really want to see them open them. Isn’t that the fun part!? Wouldn’t’ it be great once the kids get older to have everyone there to play with all their new toys? My proposal was well received I think… I just was sick of not having everyone together on the day we choose to celebrate.

After a late night at my moms, we headed back home to prepare for the big day.

We have started a new tradition in our house – we’ll have Christmas morning brunch. This year the Mazzarella’s came and we used this time to open all of our gifts. Next year, we’ll probably invite my parents as well since Christmas Eve is still up in the air. It will just be plain chaos, but pure Christmas fun.

I did a lot of the cooking the night before. I made two breakfast casseroles that sit over night. A stuffed French toast with a berry sauce which was to-die-for and an egg sausage thing. Surprisingly, both turned out pretty well. I brought out my china for the first time. The table looked stunning and I’m so mad I didn’t get a picture. We sipped OJ from crystal and enjoyed every bite!

After brunch we opened more gifts and Dominick sure made out like a bandit this year. He got lots of toys for 1 +, which is great ‘cause he’s starting to get board with his current set of toys. Here are a few samplings…

Dominick really didn’t seem to be into the opening part of Christmas. Like most babies his age, he was more interested in eating the paper, than ripping it. Give the boy a bow and he’s happy for at least ten minutes.

Ozzie of course got his presents, several new stuffed animal toys. He loves to unwrap his presents! He’s too funny and been great about not playing with Dominick’s toys. Once we break out the ball popper, that’s a different story.

After presents we crashed for a while. Showered, had our second pot of coffee and got ready for the third act of this Christmas celebration. We headed off to Frank’s Aunt Gen’s house. We had the usual – and it’s the same thing, every year. I can say this since I’ve been celebrating holidays with Frank for about eight years now. Here is Dominick with his cousins, Reese and Christopher. Reese is very good at wrangling the boys for pictures... we hold her back just short of a head lock!

It’s nice to have one family who does something different every year and one that sticks with traditional fair. My mom has come up with some doozies – the seven fishes cause we’re Italian Wanna-Be’s; Cuban from my grandmother’s heritage which is my favorite, French, gourmet “American” with a standing rib roast, traditional ham or duck! She’s an amazing cook who’s willing to try anything. I wish I had an ounce of her bravery in the kitchen.

Thanks Christmas in a nut shell. We’re looking forward to celebrating Dominick’s first birthday in March, just three months away. The jury’s still out on what type of “party” to have. Should we rent a hall with a band? Should we keep it small and just family? What about a restaurant? Everyone seems to have an opinion. Frank and I are keeping our’s to ourselves and deciding in the next few weeks.

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