Our family holiday celebration started on Monday, Dec. 23 with our annual gathering at me-maw's. Every year, my mom's side of the family meets at my me-maw's for food (this year, it was pizza), punch, and family photos. Here's me with me-maw and some of my cousins (my cousin Melissa couldn't make it).
And here's me and my parents.
The rest of the family had Little Caesar's, but my mom picked me up a Vegan Uncle Maddio's Pizza
with Daiya and veggies. Forgot to take pics at the gathering, but here are my leftovers.
My mom made a big bowl of Banana Puddin'
for dessert (it's Uncle James' fave). And she made me a little vegan version with coconut whipped cream, vegan banana pudding, and Lorna Doones. Banana Puddin' is also my fave! I finished it off with a double serving (filled this dish up twice) the next day.
I drove back to Memphis that night, and then on Tuesday (Christmas Eve) afternoon, I drove back to Arkansas for Christmas with the parents. For Christmas Eve dinner this year, mama made Spaghetti
(mine had Trader Joe's vegan meatballs) with Garlic Bread
and a Side Salad
(with vegan cheddar and poppyseed dressing).
After dinner, they let me open one present — a very special one! My mom had a painting of my animal commissioned! She ordered it before Pandora passed, so she's on there, and it looks sooooo much like her. In fact, all of the pets — Maynard, Pandora, Polaris, Gelfling, Ozzy, and Seymour — look exactly like their portraits.
Next, I met up with Sheridan and Drew for our annual gift exchange, but all the pics are on Sheridan's phone!
I was in bed by midnight (way later than my usual 9 pm), so 7:15 am came very early on Christmas morning. But I had a 6-mile run (with hill sprints) on my 50K training plan, so it had to happen. I did three 2-mile loops around my parents' very hilly neighborhood. When I finished, it was almost time for Christmas breakfast!
My Granny used to cook Christmas breakfast every year, so my mom has carried on the tradition. She made Vegan Omelets
using Just Egg (for me and her, but my dad had eggs), Homemade Biscuits and Gravy, Tofurky Amber Ale-Glazed Ham
(so good!!), and Hash Browns.
This was amazing.
Then it was time for presents! I got lots of cool stuff, including a 23 & Me ancestry/health DNA kit, a 2020 START planner, and an Instant Pot! Plus, lots of clothes, new Converse, crystal bar soup with opalite, and more. Yes, we were watching Judge Judy.
Here are my parents opening the new (bigger) air fryer that my dad gave my mom.
My dad racked up on whiskey. He's very happy.
After gifts, I loaded up the car and headed back to Memphis. I had a Feliz Navidad margarita while I unpacked.
Paul drove in from Nashville and arrived just in time for Christmas Tacos
! We had refried bean tacos with vegan Pancho's dip, guac, and chips.
After dinner, we did gifts and gave the pets their gifts. Paul and I forgot to take pics of ourselves, but here are some of the animals. Maynard got a Bark Box brand Peppermint Bark squeaky toy set, and miraculously, he's had the toys for 24 hours and hasn't destroyed them. I bought them just for him to destroy, but he's just carrying one around in his mouth. Cute!
My mom got my cats a new cat tree, and they immediately moved in. Here's Gelfling and Polaris making themselves comfy.
Yay! We had a great Christmas! Hope you did too!