Christmas Eve

In my family, we've always had a big meal on Christmas Eve followed by all the present opening.  Christmas morning is reserved for presents from Santa.  This year was no different.  We all gathered at my parents' house for a delicious meal, went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and then came back home to open presents.  The house was full of people and dogs and it got loud and chaotic, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Doc was our main chef.  He cooked the tastiest beef medallions I have ever eaten! Seriously, he really outdid himself.  These will be hard to beat.

My mom was his sous chef.  She helped with a bunch of the side dishes.

Doc and I also had a mini potato competition.  I found a recipe for au gratin potatoes in a rosemary crust online that sounded delicious, but he wanted traditional au gratin potatoes.  We decided to do them both and see which was better.

I may be biased, but I think mine won in the presentation category.

But that doesn't mean his didn't look delicious, too.

The verdict? They were both delicious.  They had such different tastes that it was too hard to choose a winner.  We will definitely be making them both again.

While the cooks were busy in the kitchen, Bren and I bonded over fingernail polish.  She loves to have her nails done.

After the paint job was done, Poppy was in charge of blowing them dry.

Then she was able to show everyone how "pwetty" they were!

Jett and I spent some time in the living room finding all the presents that had our names on them.  There were a bunch - we were both excited!

After dinner (and before church), Doc became popular with the kiddos.  First he had these two little ones that wanted to see everything on his phone.

Then Parker ran off to play and was replaced by this bigger dude.

Finally, after church, it was almost time to open presents.  Of course, Christmas tree pictures had to happen first.

Go figure that during the middle of family pictures is when my camera battery died.  Why didn't I think to check that earlier?? Luckily, my sister-in-law had hers there to capture the good moments but I haven't seen them yet so I don't have anymore to share.  I'm sure you can use your imagination to envision the "after" pictures once all the presents were opened.  That room was a mess, but there were lots of happy faces!

Doc and I stayed with my parents that night but everyone else went home.  That morning Santa made it to everyone's house.  We must've all been good this year!  The afternoon of Christmas Day is always spent with my dad's side of the family.  We had a big meal and played a fun game of dirty santa.  There was lots of stealing but I think everyone ended up going home with a good gift.

As for me and Doc, we left that Christmas party, picked up the kids, and headed straight to the airport.  We were just a couple of hours away from getting to see his parents and celebrating with them.  Stay tuned for pictures from their house!