So, I know I’ve been MIA from the blog scene for a couple weeks. I’ve had family in town, and with all the commotion and chaos of a house full of people, I haven’t really had a lot of down time with the computer. But we’ll be wrapping up the festivities soon, so I’ll get back to business soon enough. So since I have been gone, let me share with you how Christmas around my household went.
I don’t know what it was about this year, but I had such a wonderful experience with our Christmas celebration.
Maybe it was because we had all our family (my in-laws) in town from Panama and my daughter was beyond excited to have every one around to chase her and play hide and seek – this is her newest and absolute favorite game.
Maybe it was the fact that I got to sleep in and snuggle with my husband for an hour more than usual almost every morning. Maybe it was the fact that my husband wasn’t traveling and so we got to spend lots of time together period.
Or maybe it was the excitement that I had for my daughter to open her presents from Santa….. thankfully, she liked the gifts more than the boxes they came wrapped inside.
Either way you look at it, I had a fabulous Christmas.
Our celebrations started when my in-laws flew in from Panama. Even though my hubby was still traveling and working, I drove over to Orlando to meet up with them on the 17th for a day at Sea World. The kiddo and I came back by ourselves for a couple days, then once my hubby came home, we went back to Orlando to stay with the family at their enormous hotel suite near Disney World. We went to Universal’s Islands of Adventure on Saturday and gathered with the family there for a couple home cooked latin dishes prepared by my mother-in-law and her sister. On the 22nd, my immediate husband’s immediate family came to stay at our house. There is four of them (his parents, and his sister and brother), and then the three of us, so we have a packed house.
I don’t mind the chaos this year, because it’s better than having no one around like our usual.
On Christmas Eve, we had a large family gathering with my extended Panamanian family at my husband’s aunt’s house. When I say extended family let me explain just how extended I mean. There were 25 individuals at the house that night. And if you have never partied with a latino family, picture a loud, chaotic celebration that continues until the last person passes out. The libations were flowing all night long. Between several bottles of wine and Abuelo rum, everyone drank their share of Christmas joy.
And then there was the dinner spread.
My hubby’s cousin-in-law (who lives outside Tallahassee) cooked the turkey via an infrared, oil-less fryer. I had never tried anything cooked in an infrared cooker before, so I was slightly intrigued to taste test it. Let me just tell you how amazingly delicious and moist that turkey was. Here’s a picture of the fryer and the turkey for you to feast your eyes on.
We also had a few other Panamanian dishes, like
- rosca - a popular bread in the shape of a wreath
- arroz con guandu – rice cooked with beans and spices in coconut milk
- tamales – corn dough rolled with pockets stuffed with chicken, wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled.
. Then we had a few gringo dishes like potato salad and sweet potatoes that were prepared by the few light skinned folks that are privileged enough to have been married into the family. - I just happen to be one of those gringos.
We stayed up pretty late drinking wine and playing dominos at the house, but eventually had to take our little hija (daughter) home to put her to bed. I couldn’t believe how late she stayed up – almost midnight. On our 45 minute drive home, my husband and I attempted to hype her up for Christmas morning by talking about Santa and his reindeer, but I don’t think she’s quite old enough to comprehend everything just yet. She definitely enjoyed opening presents from under the beautiful Christmas tree.
We had previously decided to split our time between my family’s side and my hubby’s side, so since we did Christmas eve with the latinos, Christmas was scheduled to be celebrated at the beach for a lazy Italian Christmas feast full of pasta, chicken parmesan and vegetarian lasagna. All of it was incredible and completely indulgent. By the time the two day feast was concluding, I was glad I took the time to hit the pavement this week. I didn’t run as much as I would have liked, but I did managed to use my Pro Compression holiday socks a couple times.
My family definitely takes the mild approach when it comes to the holidays. We don’t do gifts for each other, mainly because we tend to give a lot throughout the remainder of the year. We prefer to enjoy a stress free, casual food feast, with lazy lounging and holiday movie watching afterwards. But that’s not to say we don’t have a lot of fun. We get a little silly with the toys and holiday props. This year I gave my Aunt a funny little Christmas card, complete with a Santa Beard.
Then, when we took the boat out for a quick tour around the island for my in-laws, my Aunt broke out her Angry Birds scarf/beanie. It was nice and warm, but I liked it mostly for it’s insane brightness and fact that my daughter loves the ridiculousness associated with the angry birds.
As much food and drinking as I’ve done over the holiday, I would not be surprised to see an increase on my scale reading. Having the family around for the past two weeks has definitely made me super lazy. I guess I have fallen prey to the holiday eating just like the vast majority of the population. One thing is for sure, I won’t let it get me down. Come January 1st – or maybe 2nd – I’ll be back to my workout routine and back to my marathon training. I’ve got Best Damn Race just a little more than a month away and I need to get back to work.
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What did you do for the holiday season?