Hello from Pennsylvania! I hope you all are having a wonderful week! I’m so sad my vacation time in Connecticut is over but at the same time I’m so excited to get to recap it all here with you. Getting to spend the holidays with Josh and his family was so special. I can’t believe it’s the third holiday season I’ve known Josh and the second we’ve celebrated together. I’m a very lucky girl. I’m breaking this recap up into a few parts since so much happened while I was there. This recap will be of our Christmas celebrations. Josh’s family is Jewish so they do not celebrate Christmas personally in their house, but they celebrate it with close family friends. They have traditions on Christmas Eve and Christmas and I was so excited to be able to be a part of them.
Christmas Eve was celebrated at Mary and Joeys house and it was SO much fun. We ate and talked and laughed and ate some more.
I enjoyed pasta with garlic bread on the cutest Christmas china ever.
I also enjoyed a few glasses of Mary’s famous punch. I don’t know everything that is in it but I know it’s amazing.
After dinner we had Debbie’s Christmas cookies. Her almond bite cookies with dark chocolate are out of this world. I could eat them all day.
And then we had the dessert I’ve been dreaming about. Last Christmas Josh told me about the delicious dessert nachos he had a few days before I arrived for New Years. I love cannoli and was so sad I missed out. When I found out there would be more cannoli nachos this year I was so excited. Cannoli nachos are dessert perfection, these lived up to all the hype in every way possible. If cannoli nachos were available in State College these would definitely be present at our wedding, but alas, they’re not.
After dessert we got to popping and had a lot of fun reading out the corny jokes and playing with the little prizes.
We also started a new tradition this year that I had never heard of before. It’s called the Peppermint Pig and is all about recounting and being grateful for your blessings that year, before smashing at a pig with a little hammer. When everyone has given thanks everyone gets to enjoy a piece of the peppermint pig. It was a really cute tradition that was a lot of fun.
After the Peppermint Pig we played another tradition known as Santa Bingo. I grew up playing Bingo in Church basements with my grandma so I was really excited to get to play this. Each game the winner had to yell out Merry Christmas and then they won a lottery ticket. Between the two of us Josh and I won $11! And Mary won $50!
Each game the person with the least amount of coins on their board won the booby prize. This was such a fun twist to the game, there were some good prizes!
After Santa Bingo it was time to open presents. Mary and Joey were very kind and got me some very nice clothes. It was super sweet of them.
Christmas morning rolled around and I was so excited to be spending it with Josh and his family. At the same time it was also the first time I spent Christmas away from my dad. Josh and his family have the tradition of Hanukkah stockings. All year long they get things for each other and put them away into these really big stockings. Then one day during the holidays they all get together and open them. This was my second year of being a part of Hanukkah stockings and it is such a fun tradition. When I first arrived in New Haven for the holidays Josh’s parents surprised me with Hanukkah stockings of my own and were way too generous in stuffing them with lots of presents.
This all definitely did not fit in my suitcase. John and Debbie were so nice to offer to bring most of it down in March when they come to visit.
Since we celebrated our gift exchange earlier in the week I assumed that Christmas morning would be low-key before heading over to Jane’s for Christmas lunch and dinner. Josh’s dad said he had some boxes to move around upstairs before we left for Janes and asked Josh and I to help. Josh woke me up Christmas morning and said it was time to move boxes. I followed him upstairs and walked into the room to find this.
I didn’t get to snap a picture until after all the presents were opened but Josh’s parents for the first time ever bought and decorated a Christmas tree and filled it with presents. I was so surprised and so touched. They called it the Erin tree. Can you see the penguin tree skirt? This was so sweet and meant so much to me. I have the most wonderful family. <3
Christmas at Janes was a lot of fun. Jane is so nice and her family so welcoming. For the first time I tried to find the pickle on the tree. I wasn’t the one to find it, but it was a lot of fun looking. As a Christmas present Jane was so sweet to buy my wedding veil. I am so excited to go pick it up within the next few weeks. I’ll have to share pictures with you once I have it!
There was a lot of food to be eaten. Jane is an incredible cook.
Her stuffing was out of this world. We took home leftovers and I wish we never ran out, I could eat it all the time. It was by far the best stuffing I’ve ever had.
It was such a wonderful Christmas celebrated with people who mean so much to me. At the end of the day, that is the thing to be most thankful for.
Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your Christmas celebrations?