This Christmas season kicked off with our annual trip to Jones Family Farms to chop down our Christmas tree. Last year I started a tradition of ordering photo ornaments from Paper Culture. Every year I order 12 ornaments of photos that best represent the year for our family. I absolutely love seeing our tree filled with so many memories.
Baby had a holiday sing-a-long at her school. I don’t think she (our the rest of the school) knew most of the songs that were sung but she was the cutest one trying.
The girls both sang songs in the church Christmas performance.
Princess was in a special singing group that practiced 45 minutes before church for months. The songs had different melodies and different groups sang in different tones. It was very sophisticated and grown up.
I look forward to the Cousins Dinner my brother hosts every year. This year we ordered pizza, my brother made pasta, we drank a lot of champagne. I made guacamole and pate from my new favorite cookbook, Zenbelly Cookbook. Did I mention we drank a lot of champagne?
I remember a lot of laughing that night.
I make everyone take a group photo at Cousins Dinner. My brother was sick, he fell asleep on the couch early so we just gathered around him. The first photos are always silly.
But then we finally make our way to a respectable photo.
The girls got to open their gifts from my parents on Christmas Eve. My Dad fills our stockings with the most practical gifts. This year I got a memory card for my camera, batteries, and mints.
Our family has grown so now not all of the stockings match.
Baby was so excited to get a plasma car. Now she doesn’t have to share her sister’s anymore. This is a big deal for a little sister who gets mostly hand-me-downs and has to share most all of her toys with her big sister.
My brother-in-law’s birthday is right before Christmas so we celebrated with him. He and my sister have a new baby but she was sleeping by the time we had cake.
We celebrated Christmas day with my family in Brooklyn. We drank a lot of champagne and Yao Ming’s wine. The wine was a huge hit with my family.
My cousins taught Princess how to jump rope.
My new niece is a cry baby and was able to make it through dinner but then had to leave because she had cried 2 hours straight.
My Cousin’s new wife is a concert pianist. He also knows how to play the piano and they both entertained us with a duet.
After dinner she entertained us with her unbelievable playing. Princess just started taking piano lessons and is so excited and inspired to maybe play like her one day.
The girls brought an activity for my cousins to do. It was a sticker activity and the they were going to pick their favorite pictures.
It was a tough choice. They loved all of the pictures.
They chose their favorites and the winners got to take a picture with them.
My cousins dressed alike on Christmas (I think unintentionally) so they wanted to take a picture with the girls because they were dressed the alike also (intentionally).
Now that Princess can read she was in charge of handing out the presents. It is a tradition that the youngest in the family has to hand out the presents. Baby was her helper.
It took a while to get all of the presents handed out, maybe an hour. Good thing there was a lot of champagne.
I love our Chinese American holiday dinners. Smoked prime rib, baked yams, steamed fish, spare ribs with black bean sauce, lobster Cantonese. Delicious.
Our family has grown so much there were two seatings for dinner. The “kids” (anyone under 50) ate first. Then the “adults” (older then 50) ate.
The day after Christmas we went to the Berkshires to celebrate with my in-laws. The girls were in heaven. It was the third day in a row opening presents.
And more eating. I am officially on two diets and will be going to the gym three times a day.
The holidays are a busy time. It’s definitely a lot of effort to get all the gifts, figure out what food I’m bringing to all of the celebrations, buy fancy dresses for performances, pack to go out of town. I love my families and wouldn’t want to celebrate the holidays any other way.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday.
The Dumpling Mama xo