Merry Belated Christmas! I hope everyone has been having as lovely of a holiday as I have had. It is quite a winter wonderland here right now which makes it seem quite festive. It is so pretty that it almost makes it worth the cold. Almost.
Christmas Eve Frank and I went over to his sister's house and we had a wonderful dinner and exchanged gifts. There is really nothing more fun than giving people something that they would enjoy and I was so happy that Frank's nieces liked their gifts. Not having my own munchkins I had so much fun thinking up what to make them and their smiling faces really melt your heart.
On Christmas Day we went over to Frank's mom's house for dinner. Frank's sister prepared a wonderful meal and Frank smoked some salmon for a tasty appetizer. I contributed dessert with some egg nog custard in individual glasses topped with whipped cream and nutmeg and a Bûche de Noël made with a chocolate genoise cake and chocolate-coffee buttercream icing.
I also made some chocolate cupcakes and decorated them together with Frank's middle niece using the cake decorating kit that I gave her for Christmas. I made some buttercream icing in advance and then showed her how to mix the icing colors and fill the decorating bags. She enjoyed experimenting with the different decorating tips and making different designs on each of the cupcakes. I gave her a little advice on what tips might work best for the look she was trying to achieve and showed her how to hold the bags, but the rest was all her. It was so much fun and reminded me of when I was little and my grandma showed me the basics of cake decorating. Anyway, I may be biased, but I think Frank's niece is quite a talented little lady and her cupcakes look fabulous. If this is what she can do at 10 years old I can't imagine what she will do when she is grown up!
I also had a great time with Frank's oldest niece with the earring making kit that I put together for her as a companion gift to the triptych jewelry stand I made her. She is 13 and I loved making my own earrings when I was her age so I thought she might like it, too. I showed her how to use the tools and she was off and running picking out bead combinations and making all sorts of earrings. She was quite productive and they all turned out really cute. We had a great time and I think she could be a budding jewelry designer!
The day after Christmas I got to spend with my sister, her boyfriend and Frank. Living so far apart it is always so wonderful when we get to spend time together. We had a chill day running errands in the morning (she is in the process of moving from the Caribbean to the West Coast) and then just relaxing in the afternoon. We also had quite a snow storm and what was a light dusting of snow on the ground for Christmas turned into several inches of accumulation in a matter of hours. My sister was quite enamored with the snow since it has been six years since she has lived in the Midwest and seen much of any.
It was a such a nice visit, albeit way too short, and I am looking forward to visiting her in her new home once she is settled a bit. She is a pretty darn awesome person and I wouldn't trade her for the world. Well, except maybe when she decided to tell Frank this morning over breakfast the story about how I hit our house with my dad's car when I was 16. In my defense it was actually the back porch, it was only a light tap and there were some extenuating circumstances. However, I don't think that any of this was heard over their loud laughter.
How was your Christmas? Did you have a nice few days spending time with special people like I did? Did you get any snow or are you in a warmer clime?