My family is pretty small, but my generation has been expanding our family pretty rapidly over the past few years. It was so nice to have 7 small children at Christmas this year. There were years when we didn't have any children at Christmas. Up until 5 years ago when I had my first daughter, the youngest person in our family was about 15.
When I was small, I remember every year a different person would host Christmas. The host would cook the main dishes like the turkey, and everyone else would bring something. Everyone had their speciality too. People would put in their requests for people to make certain items. Some of them we only got to eat once a year!
Life is full of ups and downs for everyone, and as time went on, my mom ended up having Christmas at her place every year. This has been going on for about 10 years now I think. And over the years I became in charge of desserts and appetizers. The past 2 years though, my cousin Jessica, has taken over some of the cookies and appetizers. The result is TOO MUCH FOOD. As I said, my family is small. Most of the extended family like great aunts, uncles and cousins have their own dinners on Christmas Eve. We were only 11 adults and 7 children this year, and I think most of us were already full from eating dips by the time the dinner was ready. But because so much time and effort goes into making such a big feast, we had to gobble it up anyway, no matter how tight our pants got.
Every year we say we're going to cut back. Actually, my mom did cut back this year (when I say this year I mean last year - it's 2013 now). She usually makes a giant pot of Kapusta (that's a Polish sauerkraut and kielbasa dish that she cooks for days), and even though it's not my favourite, it was kind of weird not seeing it on the table. She even threatened to make stuffed chicken breasts instead of turkey, but lucky for me, she found a turkey on sale and I got my turkey in the end! It just wouldn't feel like Christmas without the turkey and all the other things we've gotten used to making.
This year we made way too many cookies. We brought some to work and we gave them all our family members to take home. I thought we should have had a bake sale with all those cookies. Maybe next year!
Here are some pictures of what we made this year. There were 3 of us. My cousin Jessica, our friend Pavlina (who I consider part of our family) and myself. Many of the recipes we used are listed on my blog, including Pavlina's Christmas Cake and the cherry cheesecake. You can find them under the "Recipe Index" tab.
Here's the feast. Turkey, Roladen, Cabbage Rolls, Stuffing, Meatloaf, an assortment of veggies, Macaroni salad, cranberry sauce and of course gravy.
Shrimp Spread, Spinach Dip, Corn Dip, Roasted Red Pepper Dip
I believe I have all 4 recipes posted on my blog.
Me on the left and Pavlina on the right. Baking the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip cookies.
The girls set the table for Persian Christmas. Everyone even got a little candy cane on their plate. For Persian Christmas i served up a roast with a giant mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy along with Pavlina's Broccoli Salad and cheddar biscuits (but I forgot to add the cheddar).
I got this fun idea from Pinterest. I saw a tiny gingerbread house cookie set on the side of a mug, so I thought I'd try it with a star.
I served up the same selection on Persian Christmas.
Every year I host my in-laws who are from Iran. I call it Persian Christmas. Christmas with my family has and always will be on the 24th. Sometimes Persian Christmas is on Christmas day, but this year we waited until the 26th because my Sister-in-law and brother-in-law were coming up from Virginia.
We served up a gingerbread man for Santa too. Here you see the elves waiting for Santa to pick them up on Christmas Eve.
A few days before Christmas, the elves made doughnuts.
I saw these on Pinterest too. All you do is either dip them in melted chocolate (or Nutella) and add a few sprinkles. The pink is frosting from a tube. You can use any O shaped cereal. These were Apple Jacks because that's the only O cereal I had at the time.