Christmas Wrap-Up

So, the big day finally came and went in the blink of an eye. All of the weeks of planning and preparation… all of the baking, gift buying and wrapping… all over and done with for another year.

This year was an extremely different Christmas for me though. Usually my house is decorated to the point that it looks like Christmas threw up in it., the outside of the house is done up with lots of lights, and everything feels right. Normal.

But not this Christmas.

I finally finished my first semester of college which took me until December 15th. Before that I was far too busy with school to get decorations from storage myself, or to pester my dad about it. And to be honest, he was far too busy himself. He was working really long days during the week, and on the weekends he was either too tired, or just not home. So this year, the only Christmas decorations we got done in the house before Christmas was my mom’s Christmas Village, and a medium-sized fiber optic tree.

We had no lights hung outside, and the rest of the house as very bare and… un-Christmas-y.

When I finally had time to work on things, I was busy with Christmas baking and planning gifts. Unfortunately, being the procrastinator that I was, I didn’t have everything done before Christmas Eve like I had hoped.

I waited until Christmas Eve evening to bake the Chocolate Chip Pound Cake that my mom always baked for Christmas dessert, and the top half of the cake broke off in the cake pan when I tried to get it out. So at midnight my boyfriend and I were driving around town desperately trying to find a store that was open so I could buy some semi-sweet chocolate chips, sour cream, and pam. I had a minor freak out and sort of lost it because I was finding that no stores were open and I started crying because all I wanted to do was to make Christmas just like my mom used to do. Thankfully my dad suggested we try the 24-hour Walgreens in town, and they had everything I needed. So we drove back home, where I passed out on the floor because I was so tired while TJ baked the cake. I woke up on Christmas in bed, and it turned out TJ stayed up til 3:30AM making sure the cake turned out for me. {he’s such a keeper right???}

I had a huge list of things I had wanted to get done for Christmas, but I wasn’t able to get them all done. They were gingerbread men, chocolate crackles, and fudge. I almost didn’t get my mom’s dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls made because of two failed attempts at the dough for them in the bread machine {I still have no idea what happened… the dough was in the middle, but there was crusty flour stuff on the sides of the bread machine so I had to throw it all out…}.

I did manage to get the sugar cookies I made using Sugarbelle’s recipe iced, and I think they turned out pretty good considering it was my first time trying something like this!

On Christmas morning we slept in until 8AM, and when I woke up, it didn’t even feel like Christmas to me. I just wanted to stay in bed all day and not bother with anything else. But I got up and made my grandma’s Breakfast Souffle {it’s not Christmas morning without this souffle}, and Dad and TJ finished wrapping the Christmas gifts {see? procrastinators!}. Then we finally headed over to my sister’s house where we ate Breakfast Souffle, helped my brother-in-law design his Xbox Avatar, and opened presents.

When we got to the presents part, I finally started to perk up, but not because I was going to be getting stuff. I {pretty much} knew everything I was getting already, but I was excited to see everyone’s reactions to what TJ and I got them. Now, because of this anticipation, it finally started to feel like Christmas.

TJ and I got my Dad Cowboys & Aliens on DVD.

We got my sister this cute camera charm for her charm bracket.

We got my brother-in-law Super 8 on Blu-ray.

We got my oldest nephew a $15 In-N-Out gift card.

We got my younger nephew this scary mask for his zombie movies.

We went in on Skyrim with my sister and her family for my brother.

We got my sister-in-law-to-be this adjustable rolling pin which I am SUPER jealous of and definitely wanted to steal.

We got my sister in Texas the new Dean Koontz book {it should get there tomorrow :)}.

We got my brother-in-law in Texas a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card.

We got my baby niece in Texas this super adorable pretend purse. It comes with her first debit card {fake of course!}. I died when I saw that.

And lastly we got my niece and nephew in Texas two large coloring books each {such as this} as well as some dinosaur bone construction thingys {great description, right?} that are like this, but from Michaels and not as complicated.

Everyone loved their gifts! Well, except for my family in Texas, because they haven’t gotten them yet. My Dad is leaving tomorrow to drive out there so he can spend New Years with them, so he’ll bring the gifts with him {with the exception of the purse, because it’s still not here and I didn’t ship it to my sister because I’m brilliant}.


Now, here’s what all I got!!

The Collector's Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic from my hunny!

This super cute cupcake carm for my charm bracelet from my two older nephews :)

This adorable shirt from Ann Taylor Loft {that my sister in Texas picked out} from my Dad.

Another cute shirt from Ann Taylor Loft from my sister and her family in Texas. She picked it out because it was similar to a shirt of mom's that I liked a lot that she took when we were dividing up my mom's clothes after she passed away in February.

A picture of my sisters and I in a sisters frame from my oldest sister and her hubby.

And this Almond Cookie body wash from my oldest sister and her hubby. The brand is "Carol's Daughter", which means a lot because my mom was Carol.

This is from my brother and sister-in-law-to-be.

Inside the box was a charm for my bracelet {but it's too small, so I'll see if I can buy an attachment to make it a hanging charm, or I'll just put it on a necklace}. The charm is hydrengas, a flower my mom loved to decorate with.

My sister-in-law-to-be even decorated the inside of the porcelin box!

The note my sister-in-law-to-be wrote me to go with the gift.

Now for my big gift! A NEW CAMERA! Of my OWN! And it's PINK!!!!! My Dad had had enough of me stealing his camera and having it look like it went through a war zone filled with flour after my baking sessions... But yay benefits for me!

After gift opening time, my brother-in-law started getting dinner ready to go. We made Rib Roast with Roasted Garlic Thyme Sauce. My Dad ended up buying 40lbs of meat though because he didn’t believe me when I told him that a standing rib roast is nothing like the pork crown roasts we usually make at Christmas. Last year I made an 18lb standing rib roast with an 8lb pork crown roast. The standing rib roast was maybe 5-6 ribs. We had two roasts of 7 ribs each. We decided to make the 22lb roast and my brother-in-law froze the 18lb roast to make at Easter.

We ended up having to cut the roast in half so it would fit inside the roasters. I guess it was a good thing we brought our roaster over too!

This recipe is so yummy and impressive, and really doesn’t take an awful lot of work.

We ended up needing to use the roaster oven we brought over for one of the roasts, because both roasters wouldn’t fit in the oven!

My brother-in-law prepping everything for dinner.

I had pictures of the roasts fully cooked, but apparently they disappeared…

But anyways, that was my Christmas day! Very sad for me, but I did my best to push the emotions aside once I got to my sister’s so we could have a good Christmas. Even though it didn’t really feel like Christmas at all.

I sure hope that next year my holiday spirit will return, because this year it feels like it’s been stolen.

*deep sigh*


I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

♥ and harp strings,


How did you all spend Christmas? Did you cook anything really yummy? Did you get any really awesome gifts? Did you give any really awesome gifts?


Tell me what you think! I'd love to know =)

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