This year for the first time in the 11 years we lived in Calgary we actually stayed in Calgary for Christmas and had one christmas instead of the 6 or 8 we normally do. That's right, for 10 straight years, we packed up and headed into the frozen tundra that is Saskatchewan for Christmas.
How after 10 years did this finally come to be? Well let me tell you. Last year, the 4 of us were watching Christmas Vacation and it was the girls' first times. Penelope wasn't much into but Finley loved it and she wanted to cut down our tree the following year. Greg was very excited about this idea too because he has always wanted a real tree but because we go home every year we just never got one. So I came up with a compromise. We could get a real tree (what they wanted) if got to stay home for Christmas in 2015 (what I wanted). All parties agreed and so we got a real tree, that we cut down ourselves, and we got to stay home too! It was a win-win situation.
I can't lie, it was awesome getting to sleep in my own bed and wake up and have the kids wait on the stairs until Greg was dressed and we all went downstairs together to see what Santa left us. My mom and sister came to Calgary so we had some family there to help us open presents with. Normally when we go back home, my Uncle Lloyd hands out all the presents and when there are 12 people there it takes forever and you don't really get to see what everybody got so we started a tradition that only one present gets open at a time and whoever got the present had to pick a present to give to someone next. We picked Penelope to start but she wouldn't so Finley did. Penelope did, however, pick her own presents 4x in a row and then got mad when there not many left for her to open haha.
It was nice to lay on the couch during the day and hang out and play with our gifts that we got. Usually when we have Christmas in Saskatoon, everything gets loaded into boxes and that is where everything stays until we get back to Calgary. The girls were excited to be able to open all their toys and play all day. The downside to this was all the wrapping paper, packaging and garbage that comes along with it. Our recycling bin was emptied on Wednesday and by Friday at noon it was full again and we still have 3 large boxes full of wrapping paper and what not.
Greg had a elaborate day of meals planned out for Christmas. For brunch we had your basic bacon and eggs with homemade fried potatoes. For lunch we had garlic and sausage, beet+goat cheese+mandarin oranges + candied walnut + spinach salad with this homemade dressing Greg made - so good and we had epicure's crab dip.
For a mid afternoon snack, Greg's brother came over and made these amazing pizza appetizers out of naan bread, some fancy meat and goat cheese and blue cheese and cream cheese. i had the one with goat cheese and it was amazing.
For supper we had Greg's dad, brother and my two aunts, my uncle and my cousin join us for supper. If you know Greg, you know he did not cook the traditional christmas dinner. We had a goose, braised red cabbage, mashed potatoes, honey roasted carrots + parsnips and bacon brussel sprouts (the best ever). Greg's dad brought some Turkey Curry with rice too. For dessert, Greg made chocolate souffles for everyone. I was excited to have goose for supper and give it a try and I did give it a try but I did not like it. The flavor was alright but I found it to be quite tough.
In the process of making Christmas dinner and dessert. Greg dirtied every cooking utensil, pot, pan and bowl we had. More then once. Our dishwasher literally ran all day. And of course after I turned down several offers of help to do the dishes and everybody leaves, Greg opens the dishwasher to find that it was clogged and nothing came clean and so we had to spend the next 2 hours washing every dish by hand. We had to change the dish washer 5x before we finished. But I am glad we did it all that night and not the next morning. Man that would have sucked.
Greg and I at the end of the night with everything cleaned up and waiting to go to bed. It was a nice relaxing Christmas day spent at home. We all really enjoyed having Christmas here and we are excited to be doing it again in 2 years but we did miss all of our family who stayed back in Saskatoon. We did travel to Red Deer on Saturday to visit with my family who lives there along with my Aunty Sandy and Uncle Lloyd who travelled there for the holidays.
Thanks to everybody who came to our house and created a new tradition for us to follow - every other year.