It's Christmas! (Day 361)

 It’s Christmas Day, so Yoke is closed so that our writer can spend time with her family. 

Just kidding! Yoke is always open and I am always spending time with my family. In fact, this is my view right now:

The kids are making candy houses, Henry is anticipating the Prime Rib, Mike is arranging our holiday call with his family in Ohio and the counter is full of debris.

It’s just perfect, in my opinion. 

We have lots of Christmas traditions in this house. The kids are not allowed downstairs before us and they all

know to sit at the top of the stairs to wait for their photo, before running down and screaming. We open gifts youngest to oldest or sometimes in the order we are seated. The whole scene takes a while; but it is lovely to experience the giving and receiving and the excitement and the gratitude. I so lucky to have 4 people who know we so well and give me really thoughtful things. And it is the thought part that matters the most. Mike and Lily both got me chocolate covered cherries--without realizing it. Mike gave me a charm for my bracelet with a cross, an anchor and a heart--knowing how much those three symbols mean to me. Nicholas got me a notebook (for writing and grocery shopping!). And Chloe gave me the best Golden Girls to-do list paper ever. (I love lists and those old broads!).  These gifts are so thoughtful and special. 

Food is the big tradition in this house. Christmas Eve is our own version of 7 fishes with crab legs at the center and "cold boiled shrimp," as my mother calls shrimp cocktail. 

Christmas morning, we have an egg breakfast casserole and a French one. I took a nap today—over two hours. And that was amazing. Then snacks and dinner prep together. Our main menu is the same each year: 

        • Prime Rib
        • Yorkshire pudding made in muffin cups
        • Lyonnaise potatoes
        • and Brussels sprouts.

I noticed today when I looked at the grease splattered recipe that my notes say we’ve been making the Breekman Boys Brussels sprouts since 2011 for Christmas dinner. I love that I can track our traditions and history through my cookbooks and all the notes I write.

Speaking of which, my mom gave me my Nana’s personal recipe binder today. It is a hot mess, falling apart and food stained and with a missing cover. But, I know there is so much in there to learn about my grandmother and to share with my kids. My Nana is the reason I write notes everywhere—leaving my history behind for others to discover. 

Merry Christmas, friends! I hope your day was filled with traditions and surprises and some really good food, cooked and eaten together with your favorites.