The "traditional" Nativity Scene. I arranged it thematically this year. Over there on the far right are the Men of Science.
The Christmas tree chez Miller/Elvecrog. Mom and I showed a bit of restraint with the ornaments this year. Although the sheep of course still make an appearance.
Christmas day is always slightly more eventful. The morning is spent with the Jim Miller clan chez eux. They provided a lovely brunch, seen here:
Kelsey, working hard on brunch prep. Obviously.
The brunch spread. Mmmm, bacon.
Post-brunch, the gifts were exchanged and we made a phone call to our relatives in sunny Florida. That was fun. We may also have played some Super Boggle. I was doing pretty well when we had to quit and head over to the Elvecrog get-together.
The Elvecrogs were their usual boisterous selves. Mom and I had been put in charge of food (there was a lot of stress about that, believe me), so we showed up with a big ass ham, LOTS of meatballs, and some turkey. I think the food was a hit. I spent almost all of my time working on the ridiculously difficult puzzle. As a result, I sort of forgot to take pictures of anything else...
Seriously, it was REALLY difficult.
In the days following Christmas, a normal routine has reasserted itself. One of my favorite gifts was the Le Creuset french oven that my dad got for me. Maren also got me a smaller Martha Stewart version. Here they are:
Aren't they pretty? I am anticipating many excellent cooking adventures. The first was last night, actually. I took the ham bone from Christmas (with lots of ham left on it....) and threw it in the big guy there with beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme and a bay leaf and let it cook for 90 minutes or so. I have to say, the results were super delicious:
PLENTY of leftovers. Good thing it was yummy.
And now it's New Year's Eve and our party plans may be spoiled by the rain/snow/sleet we've got going on at the moment. We will endeavor to persevere. I think 2010 has been a good year and 2011 should shape up to be one as well. Happy New Year, all!