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Christmas Eve

2020’s Christmas was a weird one thanks the coronavirus resulting in lockdowns globally. As a result, Leesa, Emily, Sophie, and I stayed in Wisconsin for the holidays (indeed, the last time we were in Canada was Christmas 2019). The day before Christmas eve, the Gverzdys “kids” had an impromptu video call: Mike, Andree, and Marcus in London; Ariana in Vancouver; Tomas and Leesa in Madison; Ingrid was asleep already. This was fun and allowed us to all just hangout.

On Christmas eve, we planned a video call for 5 pm central. This was before Tomas and Leesa could eat dinner (though it was prepared and waiting). Tomas and Leesa were 15 min late for the call as they only got dinner on the table at 5 pm and then had to put on their formal clothes yet. Ariana didn’t participate in the call (she was in the process of preparing her own dinner). Sophie and Emily opened gifts from Oma (Ingrid) before we all disconnected to eat dinner. Tomas, Leesa and the girls then ate, sang Christmas carols with some percussion instruments, then proceeded to opening presents. Tomas and Leesa did a poor job of balancing the number of packages that Sophie vs Emily got to open (Sophie had a big present with two items, while Emily had three presents with small items). Tomas and Sophie then called Oma’s house for the Gverzdys family gift exchange (Leesa was putting Emily down). It was nice to watch everyone in Glenridge opening presents, but it certainly felt disconnected. Eventually Tomas and Sophie hung up and Tomas put Sophie to bed. Tomas and Leesa called into the Pennell family video chat for a hangout. This was also somewhat dissatisfying since Nick, Cas, and Cas’ parents were eating dinner during the call and, while Nick made a valiant attempt to be part of the conversation, the call was general awkward. Bill Pennell read The Night Before Christmas and we all signed off. Leesa remembered that Sophie hadn’t set out cookies for Santa, so Tomas grabbed her from bed and we called Bill and Nancy back for an encore reading of TNBC. Sophie set out cookies and she went back to bed. T&L prepared for Santa’s arrival then went to bed themselves.

If attempting another Christmas with video calls incorporated, having fixed times for calling people is useful for coordination purposes, but Tomas found it extremely disruptive to the evening and found it difficult to stick to the “schedule”. This resulted in a stress which Tomas’ would advise not repeating. Instead, having scheduled calls away from the main evening events would be Tomas’ suggestion (for example, phone calls in the morning). In terms of the Pennell family call, Leesa suggests that we don’t do a group “hangout call” and instead just do a quick reading of the TNBC and then log off. It allows Nick and Cas to quickly slip away from their Fernie events to participate and also fits well with a year in which T&L are in London for Xmas because we can steal the girls away for a quick reading and then be back to Gverzdys family events.

Dinner Menu:

  1. ketchup fish

    1. Wasn’t as delicious as in years’ past. Used primarily hunts ketchup and prepared too much sauce. Indeed, I took special efforts to even make sure all the fish was covered with sauce by doing sauce over each layer of fish.

    2. Less generous saucing and Heinz Ketchup are my suggestions for next year.

  2. hot smoked salmon

  3. Apple sauce

  4. cocktail shrimp with sauce

  5. Aunt Susie’s crab dip

  6. bread

  7. sautéed mushrooms

  8. mashed sweet potatoes

  9. green beans

  10. potato gratins

  11. mussels in sauce

  12. bread cheese

    1. wasn’t a good choice since it cooled down before I could eat it and then was only OK

  • Champagne

  • Vodka to toast with

Christmas Day

  • Had Becky over for dinner

  • Turkey

  • Potato Gratins

    • used leftovers from Xmas eve, reheated at 325 oF for 30 to 40 min in a dish covered with foil

  • Mashed sweet potatoes

    • used these from Xmas eve, reheated at 325 oF for 30 to 40 min in a dish covered with foil

  • Stuffing

  • Gravy

  • Cranberry Sauce

  • Green Beans

  • Apple pie

    • made by Becky, delicious, fun fact… she used tapioca pudding as a thickener

  • Spicy Mango Noodles

    • ate these for lunch

Boxing Day

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