I have to admit that it has been one of those years that I just can't seem to get into the spirit of the season. Can't put my finger on it, maybe it is just that life has been spinning out of control..... I have not had time or the energy to stop and really enjoy it all and quite honestly feel extremely overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in such a short period of time.
We are typically completely decorated by Thansgiving, but that did not happen this year. So finally, last weekend I cleared our calendar and said that we were not doing anything or going anywhere until the house was decorated.
Friday night when I walked through the door after a long day at work, I saw three laundry baskets filled with neatly folded, clean clothes sitting ontop of our washer and dryer. My sweet hubby knew that I was going to be up to my eyeballs in holiday decor all weekend, so he helped out and did every last piece of dirty laundry in the house. Isn't he the best? Gotta love a man who pitches in with the housework:)
So Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed down to the basement to dig through all the Christmas boxes.......
Before long, I was in the groove.....and next thing I knew it was midafternoon and I had finished just about everything except the tree.
We do a fake, prelit tree...... I LOVE a real tree, there is nothing better than the smell of fresh greens in the house, but I am allergic to the mold on them. Every year, without fail, I got sick around the holidays. The doctor asked if we had real trees in the house and when we said yes, he suggested we consider getting a fake tree. Sure enough.......he was right!! The fake trees are not quite the same, but they have so many really nice options out there. We bought a pretty one for our first Christmas in this house two years ago.....and so far, so good!! Although the lights gave us some trouble this year and Pat had to play with them for a little bit until we got them all to light up!!
I didn't go wild with camera, but I did snap a few pics of some pretty things.......
The wreath on the front door.... I love holly berries:) I also have plain holly berry wreaths that are hung inside on all the glass paned doors within the house.
Nestled in the tree....some ornaments and ribbon......with white lights!!
Our mantel..... I love our "WISH" letters......and my poor stockings that I purchased on sale from PB just before Chrismtas two years ago.....still have not had them monogrammed......I am the worst with that kind of thing!! But in my defense, we do have stockings that have our names on them. Those get put out on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill:)
After a full days work, I was down to the last few ornaments and I poured myself a glass of chardonnay..... For some reason, in the end, I am always the only one left decorating the tree. I think after a few ornaments, the novelty wears off for everyone else.
I was actually chatting on the phone with my friend Marla as I took this shot!! We have a thing about taking pictures of our "adult beverages" and sending them to each other. Since we have more than few states between us, it is kind of our way of enjoying a cocktail together since we can't do it in person!!! So Marla....this one is for you girl:) If you look closely at my wine glass, you can see that it reflected the Chrismtas tree upside down.
As I promised, Here is a staple recipe in our house during the holidays. I get two turkeys every year from my company. They give every employee a turkey at thanksgiving and another one for Christmas, so whether we host the holiday or not, we always cook at least one of them during the holiday season. With a family of four, there are usually LOTS of leftovers. The next day, I usually make a big pot of Turkey Barbecue.
Here is what you will need:
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
I usually try to shred and/or dice the turkey meat into bite sized pieces.....and I combine whte and dark meat. Basically whatever I have left. After it is all shredded, put it aside in a bowl.
Then chop one large onion and a couple stalks of celery and put aside.
In a large pot, melt about 2 TBSP of butter and 1 TBSP of Olive Oil. Once the butter melts, add the celery and onion. Season with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until translucent. Then add all the turkey meat. Season with allspice, more salt and pepper and then add some chicken stock. Stir it all together and then add about 1/4 cup of ketchup and a TBSP of two of Mustard. Again, stirr thoroughly and simmer. The sauce is usually on the thin side because of the chicken stock, so I do one of two things. I either add a ladle full of gravy if I have it leftover from the meal or if there is no gravy, I take a TBSP of cornstarch and mix it in a small bowl with some cold water and then add it to the turkey mixture. After it simmers about 20 minutes, you will want to taste it to see if it needs to be reseasoned.
This is one of those recipes that I do not measure...... I eyeball everything, so use your judgement.
My favorite way to serve this is on a new england style roll topped with homemade coleslaw and cramberry sauce!! I know it might sound wierd, but it is SOOOOO GOOD!!! I made it with our Thanksgiving leftovers and I am sure I will be making it again during the Christmas holiday!! Maybe this time I can get a photo of the food before it is devoured by my family:) If anyone wants the coleslaw or cranberry sauce recipe, let me know!!!
Okay.....gotta run:) Time to go to work.......Have a great day