Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I’m popping in today with a quick little Christmas recap in case you’ve been dying to find out how the Bane family celebrated this year.
We kicked off the festivites on December 23rd with our church’s annual Christmas Eve service at a performing arts center downtown.
My great uncle and grandparents were scheduled to arrive in Raleigh around noon on Christmas Eve, but due to the heavy rain and tornado warnings, they didn’t arrive until 11 pm that night. We had our traditional lasagna dinner (picture recycled from our night-before-Thanksgiving dinner) and saved them leftovers.
Since they arrived so late on Christmas Eve, we opted to let them sleep in on Christmas morning and didn’t start opening presents until 11 am, which gave me time to go for a 6-mile run, shower, change back into my PJs, make an omelet, eat a cookie, wrap all of my presents, and make cards for each member of my family. Nothing like waiting till the last minute!
The roads were absolutely deserted on Christmas at 7:30 am. I saw maybe 5 cars during my entire 45 minute or so run.
My 6-year old self (or even probably my 16-year old self!) would’ve been dying to start opening presents as soon as possible, but I found myself really enjoying the peaceful start to the day. And the cookie. ‘Tis the season! Around 11, it was finally time to open presents.
The cast of characters: my brother and sister, great uncle,
and my grandparents were all there.
My cute mama, who loves to go way overboard with presents, outdid herself this year. She stuffed my stocking so full that she had to make me an “overflow stocking,” too. I didn’t get a picture of the second stocking, but the first included nail polish, dark chocolate, Larabars, gold hoops, natural mascara, and a cute to-do list notepad. Thanks, Mom!
My grandparents gave me a grill pan from William-Sonoma, which I have to include only because of their note on the packing slip, “To Olivia, our very professional cook and Internet blogger.” So cute!
We went around the room slowly unwrapping presents one-by-one, which I love since it makes the Christmas present fun last longer, plus I like getting to see what everyone else received.
After opening our stockings and unwrapping presents, my mom and I made my greek yogurt and avocado chicken salad for a late lunch. I make this recipe probably every other week for lunches, so I almost forget that chicken salad isn’t typically green! My grandparents love chicken salad so we make it almost every time they visit, but they still think it’s hilarious to crack jokes about the “green chicken salad.”
After lunch, my mom and I took a long walk around the neighborhood, one of my favorite things to do with people, and then we started working on our Christmas dinner. I made the green beans and mashed potatoes and chopped the carrots, celery, onions, and mushrooms, and my mom did the trickier part– the pot roast. I have yet to master the skill of photographing pot roast in dark lighting, but it was delicious, especially with a dollop of sour cream on top.
We kept dessert ultra simple this year and I made Ghiradelli’s triple chocolate brownies, which rival any from-scratch brownie recipe I’ve tried. We buy the mix at Costco and served them a la mode with a scoop of Turkey Hill’s all-natural vanilla bean ice cream.
We picked up Ant Man from Redbox and finished off the night on the couch in our PJs. The first time I saw Ant Man was when I was in Indonesia this summer in the crazy awesome movie theater with beds– good times!
The next day, some of the crew went to Panera for lunch. I get the Greek chicken salad every single time– any suggestions for branching out in the future?
Afterwards, we saw the movie, Creed, which is part of the Rocky series. Aside from having to cover my eyes during the last gory boxing scene, I enjoyed it and think it’s worth seeing if you’re a Rocky fan.
The rest of the Christmas weekend was filled lots of family time, games, walks, and overall relaxing– all good things! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, as well.
So tell me…
If you celebrate Christmas, does your family like to open gifts one-by-one or all at the same time?
Have you seen any good movies recently, new or old?
What do you order at Panera?
Faith VanderMolen says
Sounds like a perfect Christmas…and so similar to how ours used to look when all of us could still celebrate together. Cherish these memories!!
I like Panera’s tomato basil soup, so much!
Emily @ My Healthyish Life says
We open gifts one by one, too! I like it because it extends the gift opening process and I can see what everyone got. I always get the best gifts my stocking too…the little things I use every day that never think about getting.
Stocking presents really are so much fun! They’re always little things I love. And YES, I like to drag Christmas morning out as long as possible since it’s always a little sad when it ends!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
What a fun Christmas! I’d love to do one-by-one presents, but we have three impatient little ones in our family who wouldn’t appreciate that very much 😉 And, honestly, the chaos can be kind of fun.
I love Panera! It’s one of the few restaurants I regularly go to where I don’t have a “usual” order. If I’m in the mood for soup, I often get the black bean or chicken noodle with an Asiago cheese bagel for dipping. If I’m craving salad, I go for the Asian Chicken or Ancient Grains, Arugula, and Chicken Salad. Lots of good stuff 🙂
I think I’ll have to try the ancient grains, arugula, and chicken salad next item I go- sounds awesome!
Oh I just had this salad YESTERDAY and it is really good! Especially with the pumpkin seeds and dressing they pair with it. You will love it!
Ooh yes, can’t wait to try it now!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
My family opens gifts one-by-one and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love being able to see what everyone got 🙂 My favorite thing to order at Panera is the Thai Chicken Salad — so good!
Sounds delicious! And yes, I’m definitely nosy and so I like to see what everyone got (and maybe even take notes for next year!)
Ooh at Panera I really like the Fuji Chicken Apple Salad. 🙂 It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. We go around opening presents one by one, and that makes it so fun. We get to appreciate each gift and talk about it before opening the next one. 🙂
Ooh, I used to always get the fuji chicken salad and you’re right, it was so good! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too, Emily.
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
I went out for a run on Christmas morning too and it as the quietest I’d ever seen my street! Usually people are out and about walking their dogs and enjoying the sunshine, but nope! It was so peaceful, I really enjoyed it. Sounds like you had such a sweet Christmas! I loved reading your recap. Love that you got foodie items. Fitting for your blog!
It was almost eerie! But you’re right, it was so peaceful!
Glad you had a lovely Christmas! We do presents one-by -one too and always write ‘cryptic tags’ so the person can have a guess at what is inside before they open it.
I bumped into one other runner on my Christmas day outing and it was great to be able to say ‘ Merry Christmas’ rather than just the normal ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’.
I love the idea of doing cryptic tags and having everyone guess! I may have to suggest that next Christmas 🙂
Looks like you had a great Christmas, Liv! Whenever I go to Panera I get the Greek salad with a sprouted grain roll. YUM!!! 😀
Happy New Year!
Salad twins 🙂 Happy New Year, Edye!
We mostly open gifts all at the same time. This year, everyone opened gifts before I got there, so they opened the presents from me while I opened all mine. We’re doing less gifts each year, which is nice because that way the day doesn’t feel so materialistic. It’s the thought that counts for me. When I go to Panera (which hasn’t been since I started working at a bagel shop) I get the cinnamon crunch bagel. Do they still make that?!
For some reason, I’ve never liked bagels (I know, blasphemy considering your blog’s name!) so I’m not sure if Panera still has that bagel. I feel like that’s a pretty popular one, so hopefully they’ve kept it around!
That’s such a cute note from your grandparents! And a great gift 😉 My family opens at the same time, but I so wish we did one-by-one. Having four kids has taken all of the patience out of us I suppose. Glad you had a great Christmas!
My little bro wants to see Creed SOOO bad, but I havent seen any of the other films! I told him I would take him, but he said I cant until I see the others. I was like “isn’t there a ton of them?!” haha
Looks like such fabulous Christmas!! I went for a run the Sunday after Christmas and found it to still be pretty baren out. Then again, it was 7am!
Haha get him to give you a 60-second synopsis of the other Rocky movies and then go see Creed anyway! 🙂
Kerri mCgRAIL says
I love my Christmas morning runs each year. It had kind of become a ritual for me. It is so quiet and peaceful out, especially since it is usually pretty cold in Chicago! My family all opens presents at once, but I think it would be cool to go one by one to stretch out the gift opening. Stocking stuffers are one of my favorite things too – I got some fancy coconut oil shampoo this year! Looks like you had an awesome Christmas. Hope you have a great New Year 🙂
Ooh, coconut oil shampoo sounds so fancy! Hope you have a great New Year, too!
Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves says
Looks like some great food and awesome people to celebrate Christmas!
We’ll be watching Star Wars (finally) tomorrow. Happy New Year, Liv!
Alison! I thought of you this morning because I was in a workout class and the instructor said to keep “moving and grooving” haha! Happy New Year!
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass says
Dear Liv, definitely one by one, and thankfully my 4 boys (age 5-17) don’t know anything different! Sounds like a wonderfully relaxed family day which is the way Christmas should be. Glad you had a great celebration. Movie….hmmm…we watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” in the last week and that must be my fave Christmas movie of all time. Oldie but goodie. Happy New Year!
Love that’ll do the one-by-one present opening tradition, too! After doing that my whole life, I can’t imagine Christmas morning any other way. It’s A Wonderful Life is my mom’s FAVORITE movie and we watch it almost every year! So fun. Happy New Year, Allie!
Merry Christmas and now happy new year, Liv! One of my own favorite christmas traditions is to get out for a bike ride or run early on Christmas day. It is so peaceful!
I love that so many people commented about their own workouts early on Christmas day or later in the day after all of the presents have been opened. We’re a bunch of fitness lovers, that’s for sure 🙂
Sounds like you had a fun Christmas!!
Around here we call Panera ‘Bread Co.’ but I love either the broccoli cheddar or potato soup in their bread bowl! AMAZING! I get it almost every time but because you get to eat the bowl as well you have to be extremely hungry. 🙂
masala girl says
mini grills are the best! easy grilled veggies, protein, and paninis!
i need to get out and run! i miss it. it looks so pretty down there.
lets seee, i haven’t eaten at panera in forever but used to love it! i liked their veggie soup (without pesto), black bean soup, and chicken noodle soup. my dad likes the Mediterranean veggie sandwich. i LOVED the summer salad! but that’s not an option now.
the edamame blend that comes with the Asian salad is really good! i’d recommend that with a soup 🙂
We do present one-by-one too and always write ‘cryptic tags’ so the person can have a guess at what is inside before they open it. need to get out and run! I miss it. it looks so pretty down there. Let’s see, I haven’t eaten at Panera in forever but used to love it. One of my own favorite Christmas traditions is to get out for a bike ride or run early on Christmas day. It is so peaceful.