Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Celebrations

By now, you probably realize how passionate I am about celebrating.  So of course, you would expect nothing short of a full blown Christmas celebration.  And while this was a humble Christmas, no traveling, light budget and few friends and family members present...the celebration was in full swing.  What better celebration than the birth of Jesus, my savior and redeemer!

Christmas Eve started off in a festive way-Overnight Oats in a Jar, holiday style. 
On Thursday, I went to scoop out the last remaining morsels of vanilla-cranberry goodness, when I thought better of the idea, and set the jar aside for this morning miracle!  In the mix, 1/3 cup quick oats, 2 tbsp wheat germ, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 mashed banana and filled to the brim with Almond Milk (too bad I didn't think about including the Vegan Nog!).  I let this baby sleep overnight, and in the morning I was greeted with bite after bite of sweet and filling flavor!  I wasn't even hungry for lunch until about 2pm.

At that time, I was craving something healthy and green.  It didn't help that I just read Angela's blog with a Green Monster Soup Recipe!  I mimicked hers, substituting a few ingredients that I had on hand (no trips to the store on Christmas Eve!) and this bowl of green goodness emerged!
Very festive! In the soup was a mix of split peas, kale, cilantro and spices and seasonings.  I'll type up a full tutorial for you, but not today.

While we are on the topic of meals, I finished up this soup and whipped up our new Christmas Eve tradition meal.  Vegan Mac and Cheese!  Also inspired by Angela's version, we changed ours up to include ingredients we had on hand (no trip to the grocery!) and developed this savory concoction.
I prepared the casserole, but waited until after church to throw it in the oven. 

That was pretty much the extent of accomplishment on Friday!  I tried to go to the gym (notice the gym outfit above).  I thought a few minutes on a bike would help stretch out my aching legs from the 20-miler on Thursday.  Unfortunately my knee flared and I quickly hopped off the bike.  No sense in pushing my luck.  I opted to stretch for a solid 30 minutes and head home. 

Mr. Kummerow and I dressed up and readied for church.  We left early to participate in prayer stations and greet all of our church family!
Even Santa made an appearance at church this evening and we jumped in line for last chance Christmas wishes! (Please Santa bring me some new pots and pans and that awesome cookbook Veganomicon!)

It was a beautiful candlelit service and while brief, it was an emotional experience and reminded me of how thankful I am Christ is now front and center in my life.  I have never been so happy in my entire life!
We avoided the cookie table after the service and rushed home to our own Christmas traditions, new and old.

While we waited for dinner to cook, we exchanged stocking stuffers.  (Note to self: do not hang meltable items in front of the fireplace!)  No casualties, but close!
One of our traditions is to exchange an ornament each year, in hopes that eventually we will have enough to fill a larger tree.  This is my ornament from Mr. Kummerow this year.  Isn't it beautiful!?
A new tradition (that's a subtle hint Dad!) is to drink a nice bottle of wine that my dad shipped us from Wine.com.  A few years ago he received a wine-of-the-month club for Christmas, and now he is quite the connoisseur.  This bottle was wonderful.  I love wine, but I don't quite have a mature palate.  All I can say is that it was thoroughly enjoyed!
Maybe a bit too much, because after dinner was over, all of a sudden more gift opening sounded like a brilliant idea. 
Soon the living room resembled this:
One gift led to another which led to another and before we knew it, all gifts were opened!  We didn't mind, maybe this will become a new tradition as well. 

Another new find:
Not a bad tradition idea either!  I do not remember liking Egg Nog as a child, but we wanted to try the Silk version.  And while the flavor was exactly what I remembered from childhood, I seemed to have grown an appreciation for the flavor (even without the alcohol!)
Naturally a photo shoot ensued, and Mr. Kummerow became the model...
And apparently Santa works fast, because look what was waiting for me under the tree!
Along with some new pots and pans!  But those deserve their own photo shoot! 

To be continued...

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