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Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Eve 2016

On Christmas Eve some of our family always get together for food & fun.  I thought I'd share some of that with you today, since I haven't posted Christmas yet. 
And what better way than connecting with Amy @ Love Made my Home for FIVE ON FRIDAY!

1.  FOOD

We had decided to have appetizer type food rather than a meal.
Here's the menu...

Frozen Fruit Salad
Frozen Fruit Salad
Bring to a boil
3 cups of water
3 cups of sugar
Let cool and pour over

1 can of crushed pineapple
1 can chunk pineapple with juice
1-  12 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate (unsweetened)
1 - 12 oz. can water (measure with orange juice concentrate can)
6 sliced bananas
15 maraschino cherries
I also added mandarin oranges

This is a great recipe to use for events because you can make it days ahead of time.  Just set it out for a little while before serving to slush it up!

Cookies I wouldn't recommend!  But they are beautiful to look at!  Actually, if you like anise, you might like them.  They have a strong black licorice flavor, which is anise.  I'm not a fan.  My Sister got them for me for Christmas, but when she found out we didn't like them, she very graciously exchanged them for a different type of cookie that I dunked in my coffee and ate them all at one sitting!  Lordy - my diet.....or lack thereof....

See how pretty....
The one reason I wanted to have cheese and summer sausage was
a) no cooking.  I even bought the cheese already sliced.  and
b) I wanted to use this cheese plate.  I've had it a couple of years but never had a chance to use it. 

Look closely!


This is my sister's husband and I was trying to figure out what he was eating...the look on his face!!!  Then I realized, it was one of those cookies!!!!!
Trent is quickly assembling a shrimp cocktail tray for me, that I had completely forgotten about until I went to get something out of the freezer!  And there it was in all it's frozen splendor.  Luckily there is a quick thaw method.

I made a veggie pizza, which was good, but I ended up throwing a lot of it out because I made too much.  I recommend sticking with a veggie tray when you have this much food, so you can use it in salads later, or cut the veggie pizza recipe in half.
Mom got all Martha-like on us and made ham salad sandwiches (from scratch!) and then cut out the bread using Christmas Cookie Cutters!
She also made these deviled eggs.  CUTE!  And that tray she used.......L.O.V.E.  I.T!
But I didn't get a picture.  It's from Italy.  (I want to go back)
 I made mulled wine which no one drank!  It wasn't real cold out for one thing.  I think warm drinks go better on cold nights.  One of my resolutions last year was to come up with a "signature drink" of my own.  I never did.  I'll work on that this year.
We also had meatballs in a crock pot.  I made a mixture of 18 oz bbq sauce and 18 oz grape jelly.  Throw in about a half a cup or so of brown sugar and a few drops of hot sauce.  Good. 
And Vickie made her famous nachos and cheese dip.
There was chex mix, nuts, m&m's and cheese cake for dessert. 
Here's the thing about the food....I thought by having what,  I call "Grazing food" it would be quick and easy to fix, and we could just kind of  graze and enjoy it all evening.  But by the time I finished all of that slicing and dicing for the summer sausage, vegetables, picked open two pomegranates, made the sauce for the meatballs, and did whatever else needed done, I was in the kitchen the whole darn day long.  My back hurt by the time the evening got here.  And I learned later that a lot of people had indigestion!!!  Including My Shug and I.  So, next year we are going back to a meal plan.  I think it might have been too much rich and processed food.

This child was born on Christmas Eve 14 years ago.  And we always celebrate her birthday at our house, before playing games.


One thing we did this year that wasn't a game but it was a lot of fun, was I put all of the verses of the 12 days of Christmas in a box.  Each of us pulled out a verse and we sang the song.  We each sang the verse we pulled out, all the way from the first day to the 12th.  We really can't sing any better than we can draw, but we sure can laugh!

We played Win, Lose, or Draw.  We don't have these official games, we just make up our own.  So, I asked Vickie to have someone she works with make up some Christmas themes that we can draw for this game.  If you have followed my blog at all, you know we do this every year.  Well I'm here to tell you she asked the wrong person to make stuff up because peeps, these were hard! I usually have you guess....but I don't even remember what these drawings represent!
I see a sun and a reindeer....I'm thinking this one might be Grandma got run over by a reindeer!
I could be wrong.
 No idea...

This is a figure of someone on their back, or sideways.  Maybe Grandma got ran over by a reindeer here too!

Seriously no idea on any of these....

Another game we played was I put a lot of Christmas songs in a box and gave each of us a kazoo.  We divided off into teams and we had to guess what Christmas song each person on our team was playing.  You know what...we don't play kazoos any better than we sing or draw...but we laugh...
We played a couple of games of Left, Right, Center which is a dice game.  And we play for quarters.  We also played a card game called "screw your neighbor" but we renamed it "love your neighbor" even though when you trade your card with them, you are really screwing them!  It's a fun game. And you know what....we don't have very good 'poker faces' when we play cards.  If one of us trade a bad card we can't keep a straight face to save our life!
Winner Winner!  I won one of the games too.

We also played Saran Ball.  You've probably all heard about this game if you are on Facebook at all.  It's a lot of fun.

Billie won the Saran Wrap ball game.  But actually, we all got something just for playing.
My sister gave this to me for a hostess gift and I thought it was adorable.  It was a Christmas mitt (looks like a Spode brand) with a cookie mix and a wooden spoon in the mitt.  All wrapped in cellophane and a gold ribbon.  What a great gift idea.
And Vickie got me a humongous amount of melmac dishes for Coral Belle! 

5.  More gifts

I wanted to share with you what we did for our parents. 

When we were kids, after we would fall asleep on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus would come to our house and when we woke up on Christmas mornings, our stockings were full and there were presents under the tree.  So, I made up a reason for Mom to call me before they left their house to come over. 

We bought them gifts from Santa.  I have a key to my parents house.  I gave it to Vickie and Robert along with all of the gifts and stockings.  We made up an excuse for them to have had to leave.  They needed to get a gift certificate from a local restaurant.  wink wink

 But they were taking the gifts to Mom & Dad's house from Santa.

After our Christmas Eve festivities, Mom and Dad went home to this.  They waited until the next morning to open their presents. 
Santa Claus visited them the same way he used to visit us when we were kids.  Thank you Vickie and Robert and Theresa and Trent for the help!  And to my Shug for putting up with this crazy family and all of our ideas.

And I just want to say something.  I hear it a lot.

"we are so lucky...You must be tired...I don't like my family...and so on."  Let me say, Yes I get tired, but entertaining is something I enjoy. And remember, I don't have a full-time job.  I work for my husband!  And I don't have children. 
But even if I did.....I would still entertain.  Because, as Robert said when he arrived,

"These are the times for which you built this house."  And he is not wrong!

If you think about it....there are 4-5 weeks in December.  I entertained in my home three times.  Not too much really.  It just seems like a lot because I did have my nieces for one of those weekends and I did have a family reunion one of those weekends.  We also went to a Charles Dickens play in Indianapolis.  Yes it was a busy month, but as I said, I had my mind made up I was going to enjoy Christmas.  And I did.

And Family....well we all have our opinions, differences, and issues, and problems.  We don't always agree.
We don't always like each other, but we love each other. 
And in the end...Love really does conquer all.

OK now let's stop getting sappy and y'all head on over to Five on Friday and see what other bloggers are doing. 



  1. The opposite of feeling overwhelmed and overworked and unappreciated during holidays is being alone. I've experienced being alone on holidays, and being overworked would be a great pleasure.

  2. Patsy,
    I agree! I lived in an apartment downtown for four years and I was alone. I had just gone through a divorce and I was 32 years old. That same year, my sister went away to college and my brother moved to another city. I had to make new friends because my old ones were married and busy with families. No time for a single girl. Life goes on. I always say I learned more in those four years of being alone than the 32 years before!

    Cindy Bee

  3. Cindy, I love this post. So much family love and fun in here. It's occasions like this which bind families together - well done. And well done for sending Santa Claus to your parents' house, that's lovely. Happy weekend. x

  4. Looks like a perfect family holiday, so lovely and funny. These cookies called "Springerle" are originally from Germany, I know them since childhood...
    Your cheeseplate is so very cute with the mouse!
    Happy New Year :)

  5. Ahh Cindy what a great celebration you had together. You really put a lot of great thought into the evening. I love that you surprised your dear parents with a Santa visit. What a wonderful gesture. You've given me a great idea for next year and I'm going to get some Kazoos. This year our Christmas Crackers had mini kazoo type whistles toned differently with instructions on performing Christmas songs together. We laughed a lot! Great advice on enjoying family and entertaining! Blessings in the New Year. Thanks for your comment on my Five!

  6. The food looks absolutely spectacular! mouth watering just looking at it all

  7. Such a lovely post, wonderful that you can all get together and have so much fun. The food, fun and games are spectacular. I loved what you did for your parents, such a lovely surprise.

  8. Looks like you had a wonderful time with all that food and games. Happy birthday to your daughter. B

  9. We play "screw your neighbor" too. The little kids love it. It's had to be renamed for a while, though, IYKWIM.

    I'm guilty of just not making effort to entertain although I like having folks over. That's one of my shortcomings.

  10. The trouble with 'grazing' food is that everyone always eats too much. I love preparing it though, even if it does take all day!

  11. Wow, Cindy! I gained 5 pounds on this visit! You certainly know how to throw a party. The photo that impressed me the most was your kitchen . . . beautiful and so much counter space. Your home is gorgeous!
    Have a wonderful week.
    Your blogging sister,
    Connie :)

  12. It was fun to get a glimpse into your family celebrations! We are currently a household of thirteen...related but five family units and two dogs, and sometimes we get organized enough to have celebrations similar to yours. Happy New Year!

  13. Cindy, It is the love that makes it work. I love how you all do things together and always have fun. The food looked great and you are right sometimes it's just as much work to make a light feeding. Blessings to all of you. xoxo, Susie

  14. Thank you for finding me an leaving such a nice comment. I back-tracked to find you. I don't know if you are aware that when you leave a comment that you are a NoReply blogger. That means I can't respond to you directly. (it is an easy fix in your settings).
    Looks like you had a wonderful, full family Christmas. Hope you have a great week.
    I am your newest follower- xo Diana


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