We're halfway through the long Thanksgiving weekend. It's been so relaxing, even with the work of cooking a big meal. It's just the four of us and it's quiet and restful. Thursday was the main event, of course, with lots of food. The Bear and I cooked the turkey between us - every year, he cuts it into parts and gives me the breast to roast in the oven. Then he puts the rest in the outdoor smoker, with applewood chips. Both kinds are delicious. I also cooked mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing and roasted Brussels sprouts. The Bear baked our old favorite No-knead Dutch-oven bread. He made us a playlist which included Cracker, Grateful Dead, Gin Blossoms, Toby Keith and Old Crow Medicine Show, which got us working. I had made whole-berry cranberry sauce (and pumpkin pie) the day before to save time. I didn't make huge amounts of anything, but it was still a lot of food and we ate it again for lunch and dinner Friday. There's still a bit to eat for lunch today but most of it's gone now. That's how I like it, though: I like to get the leftovers eaten up quickly.
It's just nice. There have been lovely roaring fires, glasses of wine and sparkling cider, chocolate and cookies. Yesterday we put up our Christmas tree. We always do it on Thanksgiving weekend. I like having it up for the whole month of December, especially since we had our children. Our tree is artificial (please, no rotten tomatoes). Nature-lover though I am, I just don't enjoy the upkeep with a real tree. And after having a real tree with a spider infestation and a creepy fungus, I threw in the towel for good and we bought a lovely fake one. Our Christmas style is eclectic; we have lots of faux-vintage glass ornaments in a retro style, some Victorian and some mid-20th century along with many items handmade by adults and children alike. We've got plastic things from the dollar store too. It's all good: Christmas decorating shouldn't be stagey or fussy, in my opinion. Put up bright, happy things that you like, embrace a cheerful patchwork style.
I love being at home during the day with the Christmas tree. We have ours in the living room, which is at the front of the house. We spend most of our time at the back, in the kitchen and family room. The Christmas tree brings us to the living room more. I like to sit in there on winter afternoons anyway, because it has southern exposure and the sun streams in warmly. But when the tree is up, it's even cozier and I can lose myself for a good long time just staring at the tree. It's always been that way for me, since I was a small child. I used to fall asleep lying under the Christmas tree, staring up through the branches at the lights. This weekend, I've been cross-stitching. It's so incredibly relaxing. I used to cross-stitch a lot, before I mastered crochet. I've finished the LB's afghan and it looks good. It's very boyish, which is new for me from a crochet perspective, but I'm happy with it.
Today: a trip to Lowe's (I broke the plastic fitting on the shower sprayer while cleaning it this morning...I clean with vigor), a stop at the grocery store for milk, another stop at Papa Murphy's for take-and-bake pizzas to eat for dinner tonight (enough turkey already) and possibly a visit to Starbucks. You can't stay at home all the time. But I'll be glad to get back, (slipper-socked) feet up in front of the fire, needle in hand, music on the stereo (we're listening to The Nutcracker Suite this morning). I'm really far behind on blog-reading at the moment but I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, whatever you're up to.