I hope you all had a nice relaxing day-after-Christmas. I think we had our house “put back together” by sometime mid-afternoon. But it was all well worth it, and we can’t wait to do it all again. The N.D. family spends the night with us Christmas Eve, and it is much more of a workout for them than it is for us. They haul all their gifts to our house, and then they haul them all home again on Christmas Day! That is what I call self-sacrifice! We have such a fun time with them.

The Luke and Lizzie group come over mid-morning for the second round of unwrapping. And normally, the Merkle gang would show up around the same time. (We are hopeful that next Christmas they might be here with us.) We had our late Christmas breakfast, just like all of you, no doubt. This is just as much a part of the Christmas ritual as the stockings and the dinner. Then after all the opening and what not, some of the kids napped, and some played in the abundant supply of snow.

Our Christmas Dinner table was filled with eight adults and eleven children ages six and under. (Doug says that once the adults are outnumbered, we switch from man-to-man to zone defense.) So given our numbers of little people, I try to emphasize the festive over the fancy. I bought six yards of a Christmas oilcloth (the lady cutting it said, “What in the world are you doing with this?”) in a very vibrant apple green with hot pink and red poinsettias all over it. (Christmas china would have been lost on that backdrop!)  We spaced the adults around the table with the little ones all within reach of their parents. And they had plenty of sparkling fizzy juice in their little wine glasses. But you can see why it would be oppressive for the adults and children alike if I was trying to pull off a very elegant dining experience. Though I did get out the crystal (for the adults)  and the silver, you can see that this was a kid-friendly table.


Heather made her fabulous rum cake for dessert, and it is a good thing she only cracks that out once a year. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Rachel made some very crazy cupcakes for the kids (see the pic below) since rum cake is not exactly their forte.


May you all enjoy your post-Christmas celebrations. I know many of you keep going for the full twelve days. Learning to rejoice and celebrate is a real discipline that requires patience, stamina, practice, and endurance. So go for it! God must be pleased that we are making progress!

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0

13 thoughts on “Highlights

  1. Can you get Rachel to spill the beans to the world on the cupcakes? I would love to know about the icing and the cutout holly leaves: what are they made of, and how are they colored?
    Merry Christmas!

  2. I’ll happily spill the beans (but if you want all of them spilled, buy the fabulous cookbook “Hello Cupcake”)
    The cupcakes are an altered chocolate cake mix, the frosting was whipped cream tub frosting (I know – gourmet o rama!), and the cupcakes are rolled in different colored decorating sugar after being frosted. The holly leaves are the funniest – microwave a starburst or laffy taffy for a few seconds and then roll it out thin and cut into whatever you wanted.

  3. That’s terriffic. I’m going to try this for some of my cousins tonight, and then buy the cupcake book.
    Thank you!

  4. I know I’m revealing all my ignorance here, but is what you call ‘oilcloth’ the old-fashioned cloth that really is oiled or is it vinyl-coated fabric? And secondly, don’t Americans have Christmas pudding? I read Rachel’s bit about the goose and the pudding, but I thought the old Chrissy pud – alight and all – was more universally indulged. Do Americans have a traditional Christmas dessert?

  5. traditional christmas dessert differs from family to family. Our family enjoys pie… pumpkin or apple… for Christmas, but we also crank out the yummy Paula Dean Pumpkin Trifle. Yum! funny you should ask… i never thought of that!


  6. Pumpkin Roll Yule Log is our Christmas desert! I found a recipe when we were first married, tried it a few years, and though I could make it taste good, it didn’t look good! We gave it up for a few years and now my mom has discovered the recipe and she can make it look and taste good! I think it will be a lasting Christmas tradition around here!

  7. Ellen,
    I think that your Christmas pudding is our fruitcake, and Americans generally don’t care for it. But we don’t light it up. Maybe if we poured brandy over it and set it on fire, it would be more of a hit! But the fruitcake with which I am familiar is generally pretty hard and is sliced. I haven’t seen one for years. Bekah can help us here….am I on the right track? Is the British pudding the American fruitcake?
    As Lydia said, pies are a famous Christmas dessert, but we just did that for Thanksgiving, so I sometimes make a Christmas trifle. But the rum cake is a traditional Christmas dessert, and we all make and give and receive dozens of different kinds of Christmas cookies. Many ladies I know make thirty or so different kinds of cookies for Christmas. (Diane, if you are reading this, correct me. How many do you make??? I know it’s scads!)
    And oilcloth is vinyl-coated, yes. I used to iron my Mom’s beautiful embroidered cloth for holidays until we got so many wee ones involved. I keep thinking that I will bring it out again sometime, but for now I am sold on the festive oilcloth!

  8. I am reading, Nancy, (always like to hear what our grandkids are up to!) I have probably turned out hundreds of cookies and tarts each year, but then I only bake once yearly and my girls cover all the other holidays. We also do the rum cake (Heather brought that recipe from home in Santa Cruz) trifle, cheesecake and some yummy homemade candies. I think that we will be eating them through the 12 days of Christmas and then back to more simple Sabbath treats.

  9. Well, I’ve made it obvious that I don’t know much about American food at all. We have Christmas cake, and Christmas pudding here. The cake is baked, the pudding is steamed. The pudding is very rich and generally groggy and I wouldn’t describe it as hard at all. It’s generally servied with custard and/or brandy sauce. Many folk here in Australia also make ice-cream ‘puddings’ that are still filled with lots of fruit and rum.
    I think the tablecloth is a great idea. Surely being a good hostess means giving people the best time you can, and parents must be so thankful when they see your table so child-friendly, and cheerful. Thanks for the information, and the good example.

  10. You’re right about discipline and stamina! I was determined to keep the celebration going until Epiphany, and even though it’s only two of us it’s been hard doing. Hard to celebrate when the apartment needs cleaning. Hard to clean the apartment when you’re tired from celebrating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *