We had such a joyous holiday season!
One night, we bundled up and went out to see the lights at Winners' Circle Park! Every year, the City of Flowood pulls out all the stops, stringing lights all over this public park. Admission is free, Santa is in attendance, and train rides and hot cocoa are available for a small fee. There must be thousands of lights, and they are absolutely gorgeous. We dialed up one of the Clay's buddies and met he and his family out there. We rode the train, saw Santa Claus, and basically ran wild along the beautifully illuminated trails. What fun!
We also enjoyed the festive atmosphere at the Mississippi Museum of Science's Christmas Festival. Again, tons of lights, a live nativity, and lots of live music (both choirs and instrumental groups). Again, we sat on Santa's knee (shyly asking for a pair of binoculars). We also got the chance to peep inside the museum at night, gaping at all of the aquariums and running into a few old friends.
On Christmas Eve, we met up at my sister's house for a delicious dinner. For the menu, we decided to focus on greatest hits. We started off with munchies - a melted brie topped with Mississippi honey and sliced almonds, served with crackers. Then a gorgeous rosemary wreath studded with olives, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella balls. (I found this cute recipe idea on Pinterest. It looks very festive, is super easy to to put together, and is actually healthy.)
For an entree, we had a gorgeous rib roast. Nine pounds of rib roast was PERFECT for 10 people (8 adults, 2 kids). To accompany it, we served green bean casserole, salad, rolls, and potatoes roasted in the drippings from the roast (unbelievable). Dessert was a decadent homemade cheesecake with chocolate sauce. (Grace is an awesome baker!) I could definitely see this becoming our go-to menu for Christmas each year. Everything was delicious and tasted of the holidays.
Yesterday, we finished up our holiday celebrating with hubs' side of the family, and it was GREAT! A huge spread of fried turkey, amazing ham, casseroles, dressing, and the most sinful caramel brownies you can imagine. Tons of present opening, laughing, talking, plus a quick walk! My father-in-law cracks me up. (Plus, he has a quality that reminds my of my dear grandmother - every plan he touches flourishes and grows. I admire a green thumb so!) And Clay loves seeing everyone, petting the dogs, and playing video games with cousins and uncles.
What an amazing Christmas season. I gotta admit, this one was particularly good. We are so blessed to have our health, our families, and all of the undeserved gifts we enjoy on a daily basis. Here's to a warm and wonderful 2012.