christmas morning

christmas eve spread

christmas dinner

a vegetarian's plate

blue and yellow

mom's birthday dinner


menu on board

travel pack


christmas card?

it felt like there was so much to celebrate this holiday season. with my mother's 50th* birthday just days before christmas and an unexpected twist in my schedule that got me home to texas a little while longer than expected, with everyone's health in good stead, and the four of us being together for the first time since last december, it just felt like a really special few days at home.

my brother and i have long since passed the point of needing a lot of gifts under the tree--a point we keep emphasizing to our parents--a point that continuously falls on deaf ears. i began to wonder about this. we don't care about the gifts we'd say again and again. and again and again my mother and father would shake that off. we don't want you stay up all night wrapping and placing packages under the tree. go to bed, we'd continue. it was this year that revealed my parents like doing that stuff. they are the ones who aren't over it. they are the ones who care about the gifts and piling them up under the low-hanging branches of the evergreen. but it's not so much what's in the boxes that they care about--they enjoy the process. so, this year,  in order to make that happen they took to scavenging under all the sinks in our home for long-ago forgotten hair ties and boxes of toothpaste and who-even-knows-what-else. they separated packs of socks and wrapped each pair individually. my brother and i sat through the whole thing bewildered, watching as my mother and father nearly wet their pants from laughing so hard. it was so fun to see the roles reversed. so fun and so strange and so very, very different.

it was a holiday of renegade gifts, really good food (and wine), lots of games, and the people i most love in this world.

all in all, not bad. not bad at all.

*(the number my mother has now decided to go with. so we're gonna give it to her).