Merry Christmas or Bah Humbug. Take your pick.

Christmas looked a little different this year. As it was a Tuesday and Hampton works that retail life and my day job is open 24/7, we decided we would just stay home and have a day to the two of us.

Of course, after I committed to an offertory on Christmas Sunday and two Christmas Eve services at my choir gig, Hampton somehow got Sunday and Monday off…..  because of course.

Since my darling extrovert of a husband was forced to be home alone all day Monday, I headed home between Christmas Eve services. And walked in to dinner being plated. The extra driving was such a sacrifice (;

messy, but worth it
If we could bottle this port wine sauce he makes, we’d be zillionaires.

Hampton came back with me for the second service. Most of the choir wasn’t called for this one, just the Choral Scholars. And, not gonna try to be humble, we sounded goooooooood. The rest of the team is made up of super amazing singers. I’m still not sure what I’m doing there most weeks, but at least the rest of the alto section loves me (:

Later that night, I got an facebook message that said “Did you know you are in this??” with a YouTube link. Normally, I’d be wary, but it did come from someone who has a ridiculously fantastic voice – including a similar belt – so I checked it out.

And, no, I did not know. But: totally made my night.

youtube

If you want to get me anything for the holidays, feel free to add a comment. (I’m included around 1:40).

Christmas Day started with a lie in followed by a bath. Nothing better than beginning the day with a bubble bath and getting into fresh pjs.

morning bubble
I was supposed to read this for a book club in October. It just arrived.

We did a simple, late brunch with an appropriate beverage.

Christmas Morning

After that, I set some stock to simmering and it was time to clean… the DVR. We are now all caught up on Riverdale. I’m sure you were worried.

I have been having a hard time wanting to hang art in our new house given all the general plumbing/fire place/closet/sump pump issues [more on those later]. Also: there’s just a lot of things that needed to be moved to different storage locations before I could really “see” the space. I knew I didn’t just want to plaster everything gallery-wise like in Flat 493 — I mean, I loved that, but I wanted to be more deliberate in our *house*.

Flat 493 kitchen
gallery galley kitchen as seen in this sneak peek of a shoot by Sam Absher

But it was also really important to Hampton that our house start feeling like *home*.

So I set him to work clearing some clutter while I manhandled records and encyclopedias (yes, really. Encyclopedias. More on that later, too.) upstairs, and then we began sorting our existing art.

I won’t get into these details too much as there may or may not be an Adult Dish on picture hanging coming next month (;

We took a pause to cook. Wanting to do something fun and decadent, we made scallops and risotto a la this recipe from Food Network. I must confess we didn’t use lobster and lobster stock, but even with frozen crab and regular ol’ chicken stock, it was deeeeelightful. We also made our favorite and simple bresaola and arugula salad.

Christmas dinner
no filter needed

We cleaned up dinner and I started making soup (#1 here) for the rest of the week’s lunches. (Please appreciate our Lodge dutch oven was used three times yesterday.)

Before we made living room and stair wall art decisions, Hampton decided it was finally time to decorate our tiny fiber optic tree.

Now, I openly admit that seasonal decor is not my thing. I don’t understand having things that you have to (a) store and (b) take out and put away. However, it was Christmas. So as he did that, I got to work wrapping presents for his family, since we’re seeing them next weekend.

The tree was decorated, it was time to light it… but the plug wouldn’t fit in the power strip properly, so spaces were reassigned… and our TV and cable box decided to quit talking to each other. No matter which buttons we pushed in what order and what we reset.

At this point, I decided it was time to put myself to bed. 8:36 p.m., floor covered in paper and ribbon, or no.

One of the many reasons I appreciate my husband is that he understand when I am done. The recent house stress and lack of sleep were just too much, and it was time for me to put myself in time out. I actually fell asleep reading, and he had to put my book away and turn off the light. This morning, after posting about it on Instagram, I even learned he found a bookmark so I would know where I fell asleep.

I am now at work, posting this on my lunch break, and I’ll pick up some more picture hanging supplies on my way home from choir rehearsal. Hampton was called into his store early, but he did manage to schedule a (another) plumber to come look at our shower issue. We are back to our new normal.

All this to say (besides sharing an amazing recipe), that we all know the holidays are never *perfect*. So there’s no point in adding extra stress. Take the time to enjoy the people you love and focus on doing something small to make them happy. Even if it’s just finding a bookmark.

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