First Christmas in the New House

We celebrated Christmas in our new house yesterday and had a wonderful day.  My nephew and his wife were down from Boston and we had dinner at my niece’s house nearby.  It was a relaxing day with breakfast at 10, lunch at 2 while we exchanged stockings then dinner around 8 pm.  We tried something different this year and thought of a theme for our stockings.  Everyone had someone else’s name and had to fill a stocking around the theme “red.”  I had Liala, my nephew’s wife.  I chose the idea of Communism and made her a Commie spy.  Her stocking had a beautiful red scarf she had to wear so her “control” could ID her as the spy.  Dead drops hid the rest of the gifts and each was marked with a candy cane and she had to follow clues to find each one.  Unfortunately she and her husband (whom she had to recruit) were busted in the basement and handcuffed.  The final gift was the game of Risk (take over the world).  I had a ton of fun preparing everything and we all enjoyed playing out the scenario.

My stocking included several items from a place in Philadelphia called Betty’s Fudge.  There were some Betty’s Buttons fudge packets and some Phanatic Phluff.  My immediate reaction was our Aunt Betty because she was such a great baker.  It turns out this was her recipe.  The owner of the business in Grays Ferry is the daughter of our first cousin.  Betty was, indeed, our Aunt Betty.  She and our father were siblings.  One of my enduring memories growing up was trips upstate to Plymouth, then Kingston and then Harveys Lake to visit our Grandmother Elizabeth Morgan and Aunt Betty.  They moved out to th elake after being flooded out from Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.  We had family reunions at Harveys Lake for years before that.  My Aunt Betty always made a Welsh cookie for us we call tissian flats (and still make every Christmas).  I’ll have to check out the Grays Ferry store on my next trip to Philadelphia.

Lunch was a deli tray from Russo’s Market in Wyomissing.  Italian meats and cheeses amid a ton of delicious olives.  It was easier toe at than buy because the market was chaos Wednesday.  I still wonder how a business expects you to return when you spend $76 and they cannot even say thank you.  Dinner was lobster tarragon, oyster stew, beef tenderloins with plum sauce, turnips, corn casserole, popovers and pumpkin cheesecake.

So it was an eventful and great holiday.  I hope yours was just as good and memorable.