December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.

This is our first Christmas in our own home and we don't any family visiting. My mom is coming out on the 27th, but she won't be here for any actual Christmas festivities. I thought I would be sadder about not seeing my family this year, but I'm looking forward to a quiet Christmas morning with our little family for a couple hours before we visit with friends and have brunch. And when I say quiet I'm anticipating chaos and an over-stimulated toddler. I thought we would be having a low-key, less-gift Christmas this year but our little downstairs tree is practically dwarfed by the mountain of gifts around it. And that isn't even including Parker's play kitchen. It's a bit overwhelming.

Because we're doing a Christmas morning brunch we opted to do turkey Christmas Eve. Karl's work gave us a free turkey this year so I decided to go all out. I have never in my life cooked a turkey. I'm not even sure how big the turkey we have is, but I'm hoping not too big to defrost in the sink tonight. Karl and Parker are excellent eaters, but I doubt the three of us can polish off a whole turkey this weekend so we've invited a friend to join us. I bought a roasting pan. I bought brussel sprouts and turnips for the first time in my life. I'll be making my mother's traditional stuffing (Stove Top) and trying my hand at gravy. (I've got a Swiss Chalet mix in the cupboard in case of emergencies.) I am ready. I am capable. I am borrowing a meat thermometer so I don't kill us all.

Parker surprised us with an early Christmas gift this week and now we're all getting over colds. The only surprising thing about it is that it's the first cold I've had since the summer, and my son likes to lick shopping carts and gives the occasional open mouthed kiss. We were well overdue, but it looks like we'll be healthier for Christmas. I decided to give in to the cold and have spent the week taking it easy and staying hydrated the best I can. It's helping, but has kind of done a number on my Christmas baking. I've been meaning to try my hand at dairy-free butter tarts (as per Karl's request) all week, but I blinked and now it's two days before Christmas. This is probably a good thing. Christmas baking is my weakness.

I love our church, but they always add modern lyrics or choruses to traditional songs and it kind of drives me crazy. I don't mind updating traditional songs once in a while, but sometimes I just really want to sing about the joy of Christ's birth without getting distracted by the other song randomly spliced in there. I love Christmas music and I know that sometimes the same songs get tedious year after year, but there's a reason they still resonate as true. Nothing reminds me more of why we celebrate at this time of year than O Holy Night or any of those traditional songs. "Truly he taught us to love one another." Those words really convicted me last year. Non traditional Christmas music is great, too, though. I Celebrate The Day by Relient K is one of my favourite Christmas songs. When you listen to the words it just blows my mind. "The first time that you opened your eyes did you realize that you would be my saviour?"

Merry Christmas, friends.


  1. Good luck with the turkey! My sister and I cooked one for the first time ever on Thanksgiving and it turned out way better than I expected. I think there's a big build up over turkeys but they're really not as hard as you'd think. We even *almost* ruined it because we didn't notice the directions said to lower the temperature of the oven after the first five minutes and thirty minutes later we wondered why we were already smelling turkey...but we saved it and it was delicious.

    You won't be the only ones having a family-less Christmas. I can't say I mind them too much though one of these years it would be nice to be in Seattle. Maybe next year since I'm sure the new grandma will want to see her first grandchild at Christmastime.

    Merry Christmas, Morton family!

  2. I love Brussels sprouts. We even eat them on non-special days. Like Tuesdays. The best way to do them is cut them in half, put oil, salt and a little garlic powder. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or so. Some of the layers come loose when you're mixing it all up and try get super crispy and yummy!

    And yeah, turkeys don't have to be difficult. I do it the way my mom always does: douse with copious amounts of seasoning salt, bake for 20 or so minutes on 400, then pour water over top and cover to bake at 350 for the rest of the time. He initial time gets the skin browned, and the added water wxomhines with the salt makes the best gravy. Just put the pan on the stove top and brings to a boil and add flour mixed with water.

    I too enjoy a plain ol' Christmas hymn or carol. The lyrics are always on point and listening to the familiar harmonies is just beautiful.

  3. It will be just us on Christmas Day but we are heading to see my family the day after. I'm looking forward to a quiet day at home.

    1. Enjoy your first Christmas as a family of three!

    2. Thank you! :) It was wonderful!

  4. A quiet Christmas morning at home sounds heavenly. We have yet to do that, but some day I hope. How did all the cooking and baking turn out?

    I love O Holy Night. And O Come O Come Emmanuel. The lyrics get me every time.


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