Christmas traditions

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This year, Susan came up to Seattle for Christmas. For many years, she would do a pre-Christmas party that we would come down for, but it’s been a long time since we spent actual Christmas together. (I want to say we were living in Oakland, so maybe 2000?) Back then, I was so busy trying to create this perfect Christmas experience, that I wouldn’t actually enjoy any of it. So much has changed since then!

Now, I’m less worried about having some Martha Stewart-style fancy holiday. I want to hang out with the people I love, eat great food and drink some delicious adult beverages. Over the years, we’ve developed our own traditions, like the traditional Christmas eve starchfest… uh, I mean… pittaha:

xmas2014-PittahaWhich we served on T’s and my Christmas present to each other: a new table for the dining room:

xmas2014-TableSettingAnd of course there are lots of dogs to love:

xmas2014-SusanDogpileChristmas morning started at dawn (both Blue and Susan are early risers!) Susan had said that she hadn’t bought much, but the big pile of presents told a different story. My brother also outdid himself:

xmas2014-ErikNerissaGift

They also gave us a gift card that T turned into this:

xmas2014-SpiritedT

Susan gave T a bit of his childhood:xmas2014-TandBobsSauceI think the real winners of the day were the dogs. Even with the fancy new decorations, they had an awesome time:

xmas2014-Wallyxmas2014-AustinBluexmas2014-TandBluexmas2014-AustinWally

Someone had so much fun, he fell asleep half way through the present opening.

xmas2014-TiredAustin

He still managed to rally for a little Christmas day run, still in his ribbons. We finished up the day watching movies and making a nice pork loin for dinner. Very pleasant.

The next day, we resurrected an old family tradition of mine: the returning gifts/going shopping the day after Christmas. I’d managed to ruin Susan’s big gift to us by buying a pressure cooker over the black Friday/cyber Monday weekend. (Bless her heart, she was very nice about it.) So, we were off to Macy’s to return it and get some new cookware. We scored an awesome deal on some shiny new Caphalon which will replace the set we got when we got married:

xmas2014-NewPansWe finished up the day with a trip to Roux, for some deliciousness:

xmas2014-RouxDessertsFor the final day of our visit, we decided to make some sugar cookies. Susan typically makes a batch every year, so we decided to observe that tradition as well:

xmas2014-SusanCookiesxmas2014-Cookies1

It turns out that moose can be tricky:

xmas2014-Cookies2We may not be professional cookie decorators:

xmas2014-Cookies3And things got a little punchy toward the end…

xmas2014-CookieFight1xmas2014-CookieFight2The next morning we sent Susan off with a nice little brunch at Skillet, and then she hit the road for home. We ran errands and prepared for our upcoming new years adventure. Stay tuned for another exciting blog post!

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