Christmas Fun

Well, another Christmas has come and gone, though it joyfully continues to linger in the household. Mr Papa’s World celebrated another great Christmas.

It started a bit more than a week ago when Suzanne’s parents came to town for a visit. They timed the visit so they could be home for Christmas, but more importantly so they could see a couple of performances by Suzanne and the kids. Unfortunately, except for the weekend, I was working most of the time having just taken three weeks off for our recent Transatlantic cruise.

They got to see several Christmas programs of the kids at school, the kids’ Holiday Dance Recital at their dance studio, and Suzanne’s holiday show at a retirement community in Tucson. In addition, on Saturday, I cooked up an early Christmas meal (Turkey and the trimmings) for the group as we celebrated an early Christmas with gift exchanges. It was a wonderful visit.

On Christmas eve we spent some family time watching a couple of movies and getting ready for the big day. I cooked our traditional Prime Rib Dinner for Christmas eve. We usually attend Christmas mass on Christmas Eve. In the past, Christmas Eve mass has been at 6:00 pm which has made scheduling a bit difficult. With a new priest this year, mass moved to 7:00 pm which is actually better for us. We were able to enjoy our Christmas Eve dinner (the Prime Rib turned out perfect once again) around 5:00, go to mass, and return home about 8:30 for our traditional exchange of family gifts, minus the ones we did early with Suzanne’s parents.

My big gift I received this year was a smoker. I am anxious to try it out and will be doing so today as I smoke some ribs, chicken and a pork roast. I will update everyone in another post on how that comes out. I am excited to try a new area of cooking that I haven’t dabbled much except an occasional effort on the grill with some wood chips. Yesterday, I started the curing/marinading process of the meat.

It was after midnight before we got to bed on Christmas Eve as we enjoyed our glasses of champagne. Luckily for us, the kids have not traditionally been early risers on Christmas morning. I remember bugging my parents to get up quite early some years. It was a bit after 7:30 when we finally were awakened in the morning by Savannah.

Its also been a family tradition that the kids sleep in our room with us on Christmas Eve. It was a lot easier when they were smaller! The tradition started because of how our house is laid out with the kids rooms on the opposite side of the house from our room. We didn’t want them coming to our room in the morning and passing by the Christmas tree where they could see if Santa came or not. That was always Mr Papa’s job in the morning to go take a look and get the answer and fire up the Christmas lights. So, the family sleeping together tradition continues except now we tend to bring in a couple of extra mattresses.

Christmas morning, as our family tradition goes, is spent opening the gifts for the kids from Santa. It remains a great family experience. The latter part of the morning is spent doing any assembly required work on the gifts. We also watched It’s a Wonderful Life together.

I had planned to do my smoking on Christmas day as another big feast, but my smoker had been scheduled to arrive on the 23rd, but didn’t arrive until Christmas Eve. So, I instead did my smoker assembly and seasoning on Christmas day and we had left overs to eat. The big feast will be tonight as mentioned previously.

Today will be spent playing with the new games and enjoying some of the new Blu Ray movies the kids received.