On Christmas Eve, we had an easy going day with just us and our (sometimes) resident priest and godfather. Back home in Texas, my dad's side of the family has a tradition of getting together on Christmas Eve and doing a gift exchange game since the family got too big for everyone to bring gifts for everyone. We always do a potluck, but it is all appetizers and desserts. I so dearly miss this tradition and seeing all my cousins and aunts and uncles that I wanted us to at least duplicate part of that tradition here in Germany. So we did an appetizer and dessert night. Brian fried chicken wings. I made some things that my mom and aunts used to bring to our gathering like sausage balls, Mexican roll ups, a veggie tray, and deviled eggs. I also made peppermint fudge, and the kids helped me make Nativity sugar cookies with our new Nativity cookie cutter set from St. Nicholas Day.
I spent the whole day in the kitchen and we talked to family before they headed off to their festivities and we headed to bed. It was nice to just be at home, but I really missed being with all my extended family.
I get so sappy about my family at Christmastime, but with an ocean between us it seems even worse. The five years we lived near DC, we had my uncle and cousins to celebrate with and it very much eased the ache spending the holidays with them. Now I'm back to crying every time I hear I'll be Home for Christmas.
Good thing I have these cuties to cuddle up with when I'm feeling sad. I'm glad I'm on the same side of the ocean as them.