What Are The Holidays Like At 24’s House?

I received a few emails from readers wanting to know how I celebrate the holidays.  It always shocks me to think anyone cares what the hell I'm doing. 

And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

I forget many of you are reading from other states and/or countries and are naturally curious about how my lifestyle here in Orange County might differ from yours.

My family celebrates Christmas.  We do, however, have people in our extended family who celebrate every holiday under the sun this time of year.  We are an eclectic group and I love that about my family.

Although I grew up here, we no longer have family close by.  Briefcase grew up on the east coast and came west for me.  (Someday I'll write a post about that.)  Holidays in recent years are usually spent with just our nuclear family: Briefcase, myself, and our three kids.  Usually our extended family comes to visit either right before, or a week or two after the actual holidays.

This year we spent Christmas Eve Day just hanging out at our house.  A lot of our time was spent by the pool because it was a beautiful day.  This photo of our pool is one I took several months ago:

IMG_0424
 

We didn't go swimming this Christmas (although we have in years past) because I hadn't bothered to heat the pool and the water was too chilly.  Instead, some of us napped in the sun, some of us read, and I was in and out of the kitchen preparing a nice dinner for Christmas Eve.

I was also pretty drugged up due to the after effects of my fender-bender last week.

We always go to church on Christmas Eve.  This year was the first year we've ever not gone.  To be honest, I was hurting pretty badly (in addition to being in a drugged up haze.) I knew I couldn't sit through the service this year.

With help from everyone in my family, we did manage to pull off a more formal Christmas Eve dinner.  We usually have our nicest meal on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas day.  First, we had a few appetizers to choose from.  I fixed a prime rib for our main course.  It was served with au jus, a sour cream/horseradish mixture, a potato casserole and a spinach/artichoke heart casserole.  Dessert consisted of a delicious cheesecake.

Lots of calories all in one meal! 

(I've been living in sweats ever since – I don't dare try on my jeans until I've exercised for a week straight.)

We ate in our dining room vs. our usual meals in our kitchen nook.  The table was set with a nice tablecloth, candles, etc.  We had some very nice wines to accompany the meal.  I couldn't drink because I was on pain meds, but I hear the wine was great. 

After dinner we simply enjoyed family time together.  Now that my two oldest kids are in college, it's a celebration whenever we are all home together.  My eldest son acted as DJ and kept the tunes coming all night.  There was a lot of talking, reminiscing, and laughter.  It was a nice, cozy, low-key evening.

My youngest son is 14, but he still gets very excited about Christmas.  He woke the rest of the family up on Christmas morning to "come open gifts."  We spent our morning exchanging gifts and oohing and ahhing over them.  Even our dogs found a gift left behind from Santa.

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I fixed a very nice brunch after we had finished opening gifts.  (Again, with everyone's help since I'm pretty sore these days.)

We talked about spending the afternoon at the beach, but we were feeling too lazy to go anywhere.  Instead, we spent more time on Christmas day hanging out by our pool and enjoying family time.  My sons spent a portion of the day trying to "beat" an X-box game they received as a gift.  

Pretty boring – but blissful at the same time.

After having prepared two big Christmas meals already, I usually go "easy" on the cooking for Christmas night.  Briefcase threw some steaks on the grill, I made a homemade Caesar dressing for salad, and I also assembled one of my family's favorite potato dishes for dinner.  Homemade Christmas cookies and peppermint ice cream, topped with hot fudge, finished off the meal.

There were one or two gifts we exchanged which you might be interested in.  I'll tell you about one of them in tomorrow's post.  Overall, I have to say it was a quiet, mellow, Christmas this year.  It was also a very nice one.

How about you?  Did you have a nice holiday, regardless of what holiday you celebrate?  Was it hectic and chaotic?  Or slow-paced and casual?

© Twenty Four At Heart

45 Responses to “What Are The Holidays Like At 24’s House?”

  1. Mad Woman

    Oh that sounds heavenly! We sat in the sun too but don’t have a pool. No room, even if we could afford to put one in. Maybe I’ll get a paddling pool 🙂
    I love hearing about how other people spend their holidays! Thanks for sharing. Hope you’re starting to feel a bit better!

  2. Mad Woman

    Oh that sounds heavenly! We sat in the sun too but don’t have a pool. No room, even if we could afford to put one in. Maybe I’ll get a paddling pool 🙂
    I love hearing about how other people spend their holidays! Thanks for sharing. Hope you’re starting to feel a bit better!

  3. Mad Woman

    Oh that sounds heavenly! We sat in the sun too but don’t have a pool. No room, even if we could afford to put one in. Maybe I’ll get a paddling pool 🙂
    I love hearing about how other people spend their holidays! Thanks for sharing. Hope you’re starting to feel a bit better!

  4. Irish Gumbo

    A pool…on Christmas…(sighing) so lovely.
    I guess the meltwater in the snow drift next to my car doesn’t count (grin)
    Christmas was nice and slow and peaceful. Happy New Year!

  5. Irish Gumbo

    A pool…on Christmas…(sighing) so lovely.
    I guess the meltwater in the snow drift next to my car doesn’t count (grin)
    Christmas was nice and slow and peaceful. Happy New Year!

  6. Irish Gumbo

    A pool…on Christmas…(sighing) so lovely.
    I guess the meltwater in the snow drift next to my car doesn’t count (grin)
    Christmas was nice and slow and peaceful. Happy New Year!

  7. Jan

    It sounds like a lovely time! We had a very low-key holiday, too, since it was just me and the ol’ ball and chain. Only I cooked both a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner (but you know how I am). You’ll be tickled when you visit my blog today and see what I made for Christmas Eve dinner: prime rib, a potato dish and a spinach dish.
    Great minds, you know.

  8. Jan

    It sounds like a lovely time! We had a very low-key holiday, too, since it was just me and the ol’ ball and chain. Only I cooked both a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner (but you know how I am). You’ll be tickled when you visit my blog today and see what I made for Christmas Eve dinner: prime rib, a potato dish and a spinach dish.
    Great minds, you know.

  9. Jan

    It sounds like a lovely time! We had a very low-key holiday, too, since it was just me and the ol’ ball and chain. Only I cooked both a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner (but you know how I am). You’ll be tickled when you visit my blog today and see what I made for Christmas Eve dinner: prime rib, a potato dish and a spinach dish.
    Great minds, you know.

  10. Karen

    We had a quiet but very nice Christmas, thanks to the snow, the wind, and the very large snow drifts. Nice quiet time with my daughter, son-in-law, and my one year grand daughter. Nice to buy toys again. It was nice not to have to run to all the different places.
    I am very jealous of your sitting next to the pool in the sun. The sun finally came out today, haven’t seen it since last Wednesday.
    Hope you are feeling better and the pain is getting less. Take care of yourself. Thanks for sharing with us all.

  11. Karen

    We had a quiet but very nice Christmas, thanks to the snow, the wind, and the very large snow drifts. Nice quiet time with my daughter, son-in-law, and my one year grand daughter. Nice to buy toys again. It was nice not to have to run to all the different places.
    I am very jealous of your sitting next to the pool in the sun. The sun finally came out today, haven’t seen it since last Wednesday.
    Hope you are feeling better and the pain is getting less. Take care of yourself. Thanks for sharing with us all.

  12. Karen

    We had a quiet but very nice Christmas, thanks to the snow, the wind, and the very large snow drifts. Nice quiet time with my daughter, son-in-law, and my one year grand daughter. Nice to buy toys again. It was nice not to have to run to all the different places.
    I am very jealous of your sitting next to the pool in the sun. The sun finally came out today, haven’t seen it since last Wednesday.
    Hope you are feeling better and the pain is getting less. Take care of yourself. Thanks for sharing with us all.

  13. Kristan

    “Even our dogs found a gift left behind from Santa”
    Hehe. I love that for y’all it’s “even the dogs,” and for me and Andy, giving Riley his gifts was like the highlight of our Xmas. 😛
    Glad you had a merry Xmas after all. Mine was pretty lowkey too, also in a good way.

  14. Kristan

    “Even our dogs found a gift left behind from Santa”
    Hehe. I love that for y’all it’s “even the dogs,” and for me and Andy, giving Riley his gifts was like the highlight of our Xmas. 😛
    Glad you had a merry Xmas after all. Mine was pretty lowkey too, also in a good way.

  15. Kristan

    “Even our dogs found a gift left behind from Santa”
    Hehe. I love that for y’all it’s “even the dogs,” and for me and Andy, giving Riley his gifts was like the highlight of our Xmas. 😛
    Glad you had a merry Xmas after all. Mine was pretty lowkey too, also in a good way.

  16. Kelly

    Sounds wonderful. Hope you’re feeling btter. Ours was a pretty quiet one too but lovely.

  17. Kelly

    Sounds wonderful. Hope you’re feeling btter. Ours was a pretty quiet one too but lovely.

  18. Kelly

    Sounds wonderful. Hope you’re feeling btter. Ours was a pretty quiet one too but lovely.

  19. Fragrant Liar

    Now that sounds like a fabulous and relaxing Christmas. Hope you weren’t hurting too bad. Nice to have some help, right?
    Here’s to a relaxing New Year and a healthy 2010, Suzanne.
    Hugs,
    Kimber

  20. Fragrant Liar

    Now that sounds like a fabulous and relaxing Christmas. Hope you weren’t hurting too bad. Nice to have some help, right?
    Here’s to a relaxing New Year and a healthy 2010, Suzanne.
    Hugs,
    Kimber

  21. Fragrant Liar

    Now that sounds like a fabulous and relaxing Christmas. Hope you weren’t hurting too bad. Nice to have some help, right?
    Here’s to a relaxing New Year and a healthy 2010, Suzanne.
    Hugs,
    Kimber

  22. Linda

    Sounds wonderful! I spent most of my holiday in the truck with ELPH and the dog driving to MIL’s and Dad’s but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  23. Linda

    Sounds wonderful! I spent most of my holiday in the truck with ELPH and the dog driving to MIL’s and Dad’s but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  24. Linda

    Sounds wonderful! I spent most of my holiday in the truck with ELPH and the dog driving to MIL’s and Dad’s but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  25. Liz Tee

    Sounds like a winner! We celebrated our Second Annual Chillaxmas, which sounds a lot like what you did. There’s a post about it somewhere on my blog.
    I don’t think I could even do a full-fledged ginormous Christmas any more. I think I burned out in my forties.
    Glad you’re feeling a little better….

  26. Liz Tee

    Sounds like a winner! We celebrated our Second Annual Chillaxmas, which sounds a lot like what you did. There’s a post about it somewhere on my blog.
    I don’t think I could even do a full-fledged ginormous Christmas any more. I think I burned out in my forties.
    Glad you’re feeling a little better….

  27. Liz Tee

    Sounds like a winner! We celebrated our Second Annual Chillaxmas, which sounds a lot like what you did. There’s a post about it somewhere on my blog.
    I don’t think I could even do a full-fledged ginormous Christmas any more. I think I burned out in my forties.
    Glad you’re feeling a little better….

  28. Sandi

    I’m sure I am the only reader with fifteen children, so I will say this lightly….. You all had a calm relaxing christmas compared to mine!! You don’t know insanity until you’ve done Christmas morning at my house!!

  29. Sandi

    I’m sure I am the only reader with fifteen children, so I will say this lightly….. You all had a calm relaxing christmas compared to mine!! You don’t know insanity until you’ve done Christmas morning at my house!!

  30. Sandi

    I’m sure I am the only reader with fifteen children, so I will say this lightly….. You all had a calm relaxing christmas compared to mine!! You don’t know insanity until you’ve done Christmas morning at my house!!

  31. indyshutterbugg

    Just came across your Blog and not only do I LOVE it but I am intrigued by it. You see I am from the Midwest. Indiana to be exact, and I am ever so curious about your wonderful “warm and balmy” life. As we speak right now, it’s snowing. Snowing on top of the 6 inches that we already have. It’s cold and the only time we see a pool is around June, July and August. Then it’s time for coldness AGAIN!! In fact, it begins snowing around Thanksgiving and continues until somewhere around February or even March. And each year I swear and curse that I am going to move somewhere warmer. So, until then I have decided to live vicariously through you!! Make me proud!!:)

  32. indyshutterbugg

    Just came across your Blog and not only do I LOVE it but I am intrigued by it. You see I am from the Midwest. Indiana to be exact, and I am ever so curious about your wonderful “warm and balmy” life. As we speak right now, it’s snowing. Snowing on top of the 6 inches that we already have. It’s cold and the only time we see a pool is around June, July and August. Then it’s time for coldness AGAIN!! In fact, it begins snowing around Thanksgiving and continues until somewhere around February or even March. And each year I swear and curse that I am going to move somewhere warmer. So, until then I have decided to live vicariously through you!! Make me proud!!:)

  33. indyshutterbugg

    Just came across your Blog and not only do I LOVE it but I am intrigued by it. You see I am from the Midwest. Indiana to be exact, and I am ever so curious about your wonderful “warm and balmy” life. As we speak right now, it’s snowing. Snowing on top of the 6 inches that we already have. It’s cold and the only time we see a pool is around June, July and August. Then it’s time for coldness AGAIN!! In fact, it begins snowing around Thanksgiving and continues until somewhere around February or even March. And each year I swear and curse that I am going to move somewhere warmer. So, until then I have decided to live vicariously through you!! Make me proud!!:)

  34. Maureen@IslandRoar

    I’m just catching up now and I can’t believe you had a rear-ender! So glad you’re okay, and glad the Torturer is on the case.
    My goodness, I’m sure you must be so glad to see this year end!
    I’m away till Thursday. I will check in, but do you think you could try and stay in one piece till then???
    xo

  35. Maureen@IslandRoar

    I’m just catching up now and I can’t believe you had a rear-ender! So glad you’re okay, and glad the Torturer is on the case.
    My goodness, I’m sure you must be so glad to see this year end!
    I’m away till Thursday. I will check in, but do you think you could try and stay in one piece till then???
    xo

  36. Maureen@IslandRoar

    I’m just catching up now and I can’t believe you had a rear-ender! So glad you’re okay, and glad the Torturer is on the case.
    My goodness, I’m sure you must be so glad to see this year end!
    I’m away till Thursday. I will check in, but do you think you could try and stay in one piece till then???
    xo

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