[Faint sounds of sleigh bells jingling] Yep, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas! I love smelling cranberry or winter-green scented candles and listening to classic Christmas music, while I carefully arrange ornaments on the tree. This same joy is not shared by all in my house. My husband and son, are in charge of finding my Christmas crap and hauling it in from the garage. It's a variety of overstuffed totes, garbage bags and a few busted up cardboard boxes containing my prized collections of ornaments, garland, wreathes, twinkle lights and holiday cheer.
Yes, I’m that person that swaps out everyday pictures and pillows with holiday-themed ones. Decking out every surface with bowls of ornaments that didn't make it onto this year's tree and candy dishes filled with chocolates and peppermints. I also like mixing new and old things together. Like my, newish, 2-ft Santa sleigh filled with cherished pine cones that I’ve collected over the years or my vintage wooden sled decorated with a few pine sprigs and a bright-colored ribbon. It might sound like a hot mess, but it works in my opinion.
Christmas can be stressful no matter what, but take out sugar, gluten and wine, and what’s left? Family.
Our place is small, enough room for my husband, abnormally large 6'2'', 14 yr. old son, dig-bat dog, Murph and of course, me. Our daughter, Katrina (Kat), is an adult now. She’s 26, super independent and easily annoyed by me, which means she’s been out of the house since she left for college. Currently, she lives in Ohio and works for the very same college she attended, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Needless to say, she always home for the holidays with her cute, crazy little dog, Mia. Murph’s not keen on Mia, he’s definitely jealous and he turns into the world’s whiniest dog ever when Mia’s around.
This year is a little different, my mini-me and bestie, is bringing home her boyfriend. They’re staying with us for n-i-n-e days. That should be nice and cozy. To be honest, sharing Kat is not on my list of favorite things to do, but I have a new outlook on life. It’s been month since removing sugar from my diet and I’ve noticed a major improvement in my personality and ability to handle stress. Cheers to Keto and praying for a cry-free holiday.
Christmas Eve is always spent with my husband’s family. Like every holiday, it’s all about the food, pot-luck style! Our contribution to this year’s southern Christmas feast is spinach dip, BBQ chicken wings and sweet potato pie. Don’t worry, my husband Clarence (Clar), is making a more traditional feast for home too. He’s an amazing cook and insists on making everything from scratch. Me, I’m packing a salad with all the fixin’s and homemade dressing for my dish not-to-pass, no sense in destroying the most wonderful time of year for everyone. Clarence is a peach, he’s making me a batch of wings minus the sauce to go with my salad and I can eat the spinach dip with veggies instead of sour dough bread. I’m pretty sure there will be a cheese platter I can snack on too, it's Wisconsin.
In my opinion, all the Beckham siblings (Roger, Clarence, Lillie and Monica) can cook or bake exceptionally well and this year is no exception. There was A LOT of amazing food, but surprisingly I didn't feel too deprived. I ate what I brought and was also able to enjoy a slice of roast beef and assorted cheeses. With the main course out of the way, it’s time for the highly anticipated Beckham Christmas tradition, BINGO and desserts! Wait, what? Bingo I can handle, but I didn’t bring anything for dessert! Monica’s Christmas cookies are always amazing, but two things have me worried. Roger’s bite-size cherry cheesecakes and Lilly’s pecan-pie bars. My mouth is watering right now as I recall these tempting treats.
Katrina was sitting across from me, enjoying said pecan-pie bar. You could tell by her face, that it was sticky goodness. She looks over at me (drooling, as I watch her enjoy every bite) and shaking her head she says, “You, definitely don’t want this.” “Wanna bet!”, I say and convince her to break me off a small piece. Picture Remy explaining to Emile about how flavor combinations work in the movie, Ratatouille. Flavor explosions, people! Sweet, buttery brown sugar with nutty pecans and a touch of saltiness!
That was all it took. Three pecan-pie bars and two mini cherry cheesecakes later, I was dying. I tried to flush down the sugar with water, but my stomach was in knots for the rest of the party. Thankfully, I soon forgot my issues as everyone laughed at Lillie and Monica harassing each other during bingo. Monica was rocking the newest member of the clan, Lana, while Lillie read off the wrong numbers off the bingo balls. I'm laughing, because I can't see the numbers either and only Monica could get away to teasing Lillie about her eyesight. It's a young persons job if you ask me, but I don't see anyone taking that job away from Lillie anytime soon. Before you knew it the party was over and everyone was packing up. We had a great time, but I’d be paying for my lapse in restraint for the rest of the night.
Murph and me are laying in bed, and I'm giggling remembering how much my life has changed since last September. My plan is to post one more entry for 2017, before I begin my 2018 adventures. Writing/blogging is filling a hole, I never knew was empty.