We had a very quiet, very relaxed, very "we can do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it" kind of Christmas. Eric had the day off on Friday (Christmas Eve), so we slept in and had a rather leisurely morning. Eric made his pasta sauce, and we spent the rest of the day snuggling on the couch and catching up on our DVR.
Just hanging out with Achilles
Sleepy Christmas puppy
When the sun set, we watched the festive Empire State Building lights come on. So pretty against the blue sky!
Looking northeast from our place
That evening, we got dressed up for church and took our family Christmas photos.
Family photo outtake, featuring a possibly drunk Santa Achilles
We went to church at 10:30. The service was long (an hour and 40 minutes!) but beautiful. We sang some great hymns, and I always love the candlelit "Silent Night."
Our church on Christmas Eve
The organ in our church
After church we came home, drank some hot apple cider and opened our ornaments. As you may recall, Eric and I exchange ornaments every year, and as a result our tree is quickly filling up! This year I got Eric a Santa cut out of a Mountain Dew can (ha!), and he got me a hand blown glass snowman ornament that I have been eying at the Grand Central holiday market for quite some time. So sweet! We also got some other great ornaments this year, including a beautiful hand-painted clay ornament Heather brought from San Juan, a Rockefeller Center angel from Aunt Debbie, a new Gator ornament from Eric's dad, and our traditional White House ornament. See? We're going to need a bigger tree soon!
Our new ornaments we bought for each other
After our ornament exchange we called it a night, then slept in a bit on Christmas morning. When we got up, we poured some mimosas and opened presents. We started with stockings, of course, and Achilles was the first to dig in. He went right up to his stocking and pulled out a delicious (I guess?) pig ear! He was happy as a clam, and was certainly not inclined to share.
He smells something interesting in there!
He's got it!
And, he's out.
Happy Christmas dog
It looks like they're sharing a nice moment, but...
...This is actually what is going on!
VIDEO: Achilles and his pig ear
My stocking was awesome - it was filled with all Reese's stuff! Trees, bells, and a snowman. Glorious. Eric's stocking was also heavy on the candy (Raisinets, M&Ms, and a chocolate crunch football), plus a book of indoor golf games.
Ralphie also seems pleased with my Reese's haul
Eric reading the football trivia on the back of his candy football
Next we opened up gifts people sent us, including an awesome Normal Cornbelters hat for Eric (featuring a rather wasted-looking corn logo) and adorable Mexico nativity for me from Molly and Arturo, and a whole box of awesome stuff from my dad.
Gift from my dad! Cookie decorating stuff, Christmas CD, A Christmas Story DVD and a giftcard! Thanks, Dad!
Eric modeling his new hat. He loves it!
We then opened our gifts to each other. Our new camera was really our gift to each other this year, so we agreed to just get a couple small things to open on Christmas (although I stuck to that agreement better than Eric did!). I got Eric a new video game and a golf scorecard keeper so he can display all his fancy scorecards, and Eric got me a great instructional book for the camera and Photoshop Elements. The boy did good!
After gifts we made some cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then just lounged around a bit. We talked to our families and had a rather leisurely day. For dinner that afternoon Eric made lasagna, which may have been his best lasagna yet. We ate and drank wine and enjoyed being together for the holiday. And of course, we had Crumbs cupcakes (Peppermint Hot Cocoa and Gingerbread) for dessert!
Mmm, lasagna noodles
Eric with his masterpiece
Dinner is served!
We spent the rest of the night laying around on the couch, watching a marathon of Christmas movies: A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was a perfect, relaxing, cozy Christmas evening!
Another look at the Christmasy Empire State Building through our window!
And that was our holiday! We missed our families, as always, but had a nice time just the two of us here in New York.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by those you love!