I hope you all had a wonderful and joyous time with family and friends this Christmas. I don’t know about you but I LOVE Christmas. I haven’t always had a great Christmas so I really cherish the good ones. This Christmas was our first Christmas together as a married couple and I can honestly say it was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
The celebration started the day before, on Christmas eve. We spend the day watching movies under the blankets. After dinner we started preparing food for Christmas. We made the dessert, a milktart. For those who don’t know milktart is creamy cinnamon dessert from South Africa. Annndd no I will never share the recipe. I’m taking my recipe to the grave. You can find many recipes online and if you are ever interested to try it, just Google it. It is a delicious light dessert that makes my soul happy. While the milktart was doing it’s thing on the oven top I boiled potatoes and eventually added eggs. It was for the cold potato salad. It tastes best to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. After everything was prepared, it was close to midnight. As a child I begged to open my presents and Onno easily gave in. He was just as curious for his Christmas present as I was for mine.
Presents this year was easy. Onno knew what I wanted and I had to think about his. He wants to buy a laptop next year so technically that will be his Christmas present but I couldn’t be the only one receiving something on Christmas so I bought him funny underwear. He loves it. I wanted a FitBit for the new year. Or well a fitness watch. Before deciding on the FitBit Charge 2, I did a ton of research. I even discovered a new part of YouTube. I’m very pleased with the watch so far even though I have yet to wear it for an actual workout but so far so good. The only thing that is a little blow to my ego is their rating on my cardio fitness. I like to think that because I have yet to do a workout wearing the device, so they don’t know my maximum heart rate, the result is unreliable. I’m hoping. Otherwise I have some work cut out for me in the new year. Other than that, I saw a great deal on a makeup gift box which definitely peaked my interested and my husband never misses a beat and surprised me with the five cosmetic pallets. Speculoos happily enjoyed his Christmas present as well, a can of tuna.
Some people always preach how Christmas is not about the presents and instead of the memories you make with family and friends and in a way I completely agree. However I’m not ashamed to admit that I love receiving presents. I don’t expect big things that cost someone an arm or a leg. It can be something homemade or something small. I just like having something physical to connect a memory too. The feeling I get when I open a present without knowing its contents. It makes me happy. You can wrap a pair of socks and I would be so excited to receive them. As long as the person gave some thought to it, I can’t be happier. Although while I’m honest I find creams and soaps always a weird gift. I have specific brands and types I want and I always have these things at home so it is always a gift that makes me go…uhm okay. Thank you? I didn’t know I stank. It just feels impersonal and almost lazy? Perfume is okay though. I don’t always wear them and they will probably stay around for years. I’m a little weird. Just give me socks.
Anyway I’m getting slightly off track. After opening presents, we watched a movie, danced around a little and finally went to bed around 1am. We slept in, snoozing the 9am alarm. Eventually I woke up with a start and when I checked the time I hastily got up. The ham had to go into the oven as it will take a few hours to cook to perfection. Oh boy was the food delicious. I made ham, lamb, carrot, pumpkin and sweet potatoes and the sauce was perfect. It was a full blown meal that just reminds me of home. We ate around 3pm and after dinner we entered the food coma stadium. Only to wake up two hours later for dessert and a Skype session with my parents. We watched one movie, fell asleep on the couch and snoozed till way later. Around 10pm we finally digested enough food to have the ability to move so we played card games. I completely humiliated Onno with Uno. It was the perfect Christmas. I loved every second of it.
Here is a picture of our Christmas table:
The second day of Christmas, so the 26th, we travelled to Onno’s parents house where the fun and good food continued. I brought 8 cups and paint for a great family activity with. So here in the Netherlands, the Dutch don’t typically exchange gifts on Christmas so I wanted to do get a present that everyone can enjoy and everyone can take home and thus the 8 cups and paint idea. Everyone got a cup, drew a name and painted whatever they wanted on the cup. It was a lot of fun and it was quite a success. Another great day with my in laws!
It truly showed me how grateful and blessed I am to have such a great and happy home here in the Netherlands. I really love Christmas and the happiness it brings. It was the perfect end to 2017.