Well, Christmas 2020 was definitely one that I won’t forget. It wasn’t bad by any means, it was just very different and really quiet. As I mentioned in my post the week before Christmas, we didn’t travel to see my family and Finn was with his dad the week leading up to Christmas.
It was super gray and rainy on Christmas Eve. I was able to squeeze in a short run during a break in the rain. Let me tell you, I was really starting to feel the Christmas Crusher workout that I had done the day before! I actually haven’t worked out since this run.
The only other thing I did on Christmas Eve was go to Whole Foods to get groceries for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. The store was nuts and I don’t know when I’ll learn my lesson about waiting until the last minute to shop. Probably never, haha.
I cooked a nice Christmas Eve dinner for myself and a friend and enjoyed taking the time to do it. It made the day feel festive and celebratory. I roasted a pheasant for the first time and loved the challenge of cooking something outside of my comfort zone. We got the pheasant at Whole Foods. It seems they get them in frozen during the holidays.
I followed this recipe. The brine was key. It added so much flavor and kept the pheasant moist since it’s a pretty lean bird. The roasting time went longer than I anticipated but my pheasant was also closer to the size of a small chicken because it was pastured and not wild.
One of my side dishes was this wild rice pilaf. I cooked wild rice in chicken stock and then stirred sautéed carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic into it. I topped it with chopped toasted almonds.
My other side dish was Ina Garten’s Cauliflower Gratin. The homemade cheese sauce that this was swimming in was crazy delicious! The only change that I made to this recipe was to use panko for the breadcrumbs and to toss it in melted butter and shredded gruyere.
Christmas Eve ended with a viewing of Christmas Vacation!
I picked Finn up around noon on Christmas Day and it was SO AMAZING to see his face after a week apart. Christmas Day was freezing in Charlotte and it never got above 34 or so. We bundled up and went out for a two mile walk that afternoon. I wish I could get this kid to wear a hat or gloves but he will not. I had so many layers of clothes on him. This weekend I finally taught him how to put his hands in his jacket pockets to keep them warm (through modeling because that’s where mine constantly are!). This was big progress!
We gave the doggies their Christmas presents. The got new balls, bully sticks, Benebones and No-Hide chews. Gone are the days of having stuffed dog toys in the house like we had when Sullie was around. These two are a little rougher and like to chew and chase after things, haha.
They got the bully sticks first and went nuts over them. We didn’t see them for the next hour. They also seem to like the Benebones a lot. It’s our first time trying them! They are a much longer-lasting option than the bully sticks. We haven’t tried the No-Hide chews yet.
Since it was just the two of us for Christmas dinner, I decided to keep it easy, interactive and toddler-friendly. We made homemade pizza!
Finn had fun rolling out his little piece of dough and asked to decorate it with red sprinkles.
Our pizza dinner ended up being the perfect choice. We both enjoyed it and it was a nice change from traditional holiday food.
After Finn went down, I got busy being Santa. I thought it best to wait and do presents on the 26th to space things out for Finn. It took me close to an hour to put together that car track…it was quite the Christmas night activity!
Finn was super excited to come downstairs the next morning and find that Santa had visited again. We spent an hour or so unwrapping presents. I got a little teary a few times because it was so sweet and I missed my family a lot but it’s a memory that I’ll never forget making with Finn.
We spent the rest of our day doing things around the house and meeting up with Virginia on the trails to play and explore. We haven’t seen her in months because she’s in her first year of medical school a few hours away so it was a great reunion!
And then we got to see Dorie today when she came over to visit and exchange Christmas gifts with us. I was cracking up at Finn this morning when I found him stacking all of his toys on the couch to “show Mickey.”
We didn’t leave the house today other than to wander around the neighborhood. Finn was on a search for this Mickey inflatable. He’s going to be so sad when the holiday lights and inflatables are gone. Also, note that Finn opted to wear his PJs all day. I offered several times for him to get dressed but he was feeling his dinosaur PJs. He went straight from these PJs to the shower and into another pair of dinosaur PJs. Oh the life of a toddler! 🙂
I just finished eating leftover pizza and will be heading to bed soon. I hope you guys had a nice holiday weekend…whatever it might have looked like…and that you are fully embracing all sides of what you are feeling about it. I just keep reminding myself that there is no guidebook for how to handle where we are right now.
Sending love and cheer,