Christmas Day Celebrations

Christmas Pastries - A Dash of Sparkle

It was a series of firsts this year, with the new house and our first full size, ornament laden Christmas tree. Of course, hosting Christmas Day also included new and exciting opportunities.

Christmas Decorations - A Dash of Sparkle

Knowing we’d be entertaining for a full day, I was focused on carrying on some of the special traditions that we’ve had to scale back on in the past couple of years, having been limited on space. Namely, the food traditions.

While Nick worked to clean the house from top to bottom, I spent the previous day prepping buttery pastries, creamy dips, and a scrumptious dinner complete with a spirited and saucy little number to impress and comfort.

Christmas prep - A Dash of Sparkle

When we awoke on Christmas day, the table was set…

Table decor - A Dash of Sparkle

Complete with a little DIY pinecone centerpiece.

Pinecone centerpiece - A Dash of Sparkle

And a menu of the day’s nibbles.

Menu - A Dash of Sparkle

And our tree was looking as festive as ever with piles of beautifully wrapped gifts (SANTA!).

Christmas Tree - A Dash of Sparkle

Fully prepared and eager with excitement, we started off Christmas Day as soon as my parents arrived with a hearty breakfast where we laughed over dippy tomato eggs, crunchy Cuban bread and funny outfits…

Christmas outfit - A Dash of Sparkle

(Including my festive holiday nutcracker sweater and sassy leggings)

We tried to get Jaz a bit spruced up to…

Jaz Antlers - A Dash of Sparkle

But she wasn’t having it… at all.

Dog rebellion - A Dash of Sparkle

(She just prefers to run around naked, scandalous little lady.)

Once we’d cleared up breakfast, we settled in for some stockings! Some of us were more overwhelmed by the holiday goodies spilling out of their stockings…

Filled Stocking - A Dash of Sparkle

While others were simply eager to break into them…

Chocolate Gifts - A Dash of Sparkle

Or sample…

Fireball - A Dash of Sparkle

And sample again…

Sample gifts - A Dash of Sparkle

Some of us opted for a more substantial sweet pick me up. (In front of our roaring fire, of course.)

Christmas Pastries - A Dash of Sparkle

Needless to say, the stockings were just chocked full of fun things and went over extremely well.

Face of Awe - A Dash of Sparkle

Smiles all around!

Hedgehog gifts - A Dash of Sparkle

Happy Butter - A Dash of Sparkle

With stockings emptied down to the lint, we tackled the gifts! Some of which, were little works of art all on their own.

Wrapping beauty - A Dash of Sparkle

There were some creative and even tricky gifts…

Great gift wrapping - A Dash of Sparkle

(Can you name who the above quote is from?)

While other gifts were just downright hilarious.

Apron gift - A Dash of Sparkle

There were the practical ones.

Practical gift - A Dash of Sparkle

And those that resulted in the best reactions…

Cracking up - A Dash of Sparkle

Even if people had to work for them a bit…

Gift digging - A Dash of Sparkle

Each was a delight.

Showing off - A Dash of Sparkle

Especially those that were a complete surprise!

Firepit - A Dash of Sparkle

Of course, even the fuzzy friends got to crack into their gifts and give them a spin.

Cat gift - A Dash of Sparkle

Dog with a bone - A Dash of Sparkle

Dog toy gift - A Dash of Sparkle

Though they mostly just enjoyed the wrappings.

Opening dog gifts - A Dash of Sparkle

Cat in ribbons - A Dash of Sparkle

Presents all unwrapped, we decided to embrace our happy moods and brave a respectable family photo.

Family portrait - A Dash of Sparkle

Which of course turned into an completely goofy photo, much more our style!

Goofy portrait - A Dash of Sparkle

Following the festive and light hearted spirit, N and I introduced my parents to Cards Against Humanity, which they ended up really have a knack for!

Finally, it was time for snacks.

Bacon Dip - A Dash of Sparkle

A lovely recharge for everyone between hands of CAH.

The afternoon passed by watching holiday movies and listening to some of our favorite holiday records (the vinyl kind), until our bellies began rumbling again, and the Christmas roast was ready.

Dinner 1 - A Dash of Sparkle

Dinner View - A Dash of Sparkle

I’m not sure how we even managed to fit it all (though there were left overs that we sent home with my parents), but we even managed to enjoy a lovely helping of Eggnog Creme Anglaise with fruit and pound cake.

Finishing touches - A Dash of Sparkle

Rummy, creamy and absolutely delicious. I’m sure Santa would definitely pass up the traditional cookies for some of this!

After such a wonderfully fun day, there was really only one thing to say…

Cat stare down - A Dash of Sparkle

That’s a wrap!

Hope you had an amazing holiday season and got to spend quality time with your loved ones.

No matter the gifts, the wrapping or even the food though, Christmas is made the best by who you spend it with. One of the most important parts of the holidays and my personal favorite. I’m so grateful for the amazing moments and memories!