Leanne Nalani











{December 24, 2013}   Merry Christmas Eve! And Goodreads

It’s Christmas Eve! Yesterday Kelly Ripa was expressing the excitement of the day before the day before Christmas. Isn’t it true? We start really getting excited in anticipation of Christmas Eve, so that means it all starts the day before the day before Christmas.

Christmas-Deer-HD-WallpapersFriggin’ cute!

I hope everyone is off work and relaxing. After Saturday we had no plans and have been doing a whole lot of sitting and gaming. Yep, Mike on his VR and I on my laptop, we both settled in for a long winter’s game.

Then I got an e-mail from Goodreads.com (If you like reading you should be a member! Friend me, my username is zessa18!). It was to show me my Year In Books, all the books I had read in 2013. How COOL!

goodreadsIt’s social media for books. You connect with your friends and keep track of all the books you read!

I don’t remember getting that info last year. It said I’d read 12 books, which sounded pretty good to me considering I play so many video games and have other hobbies. But there’s something about being told how many books I’ve read that makes me want to compete with myself. *Ok, who else out there is like this? I decided I had to finish the current book I was reading before the year was over so I could have another book under my belt in 2013, so I finished Dust, the concluding book of The Silo Saga by Hugh Howey.

silosagaAmazing adult Dystopian series. There’s a huge published following of extra Silo stories on Amazon, too.

After that I bought a couple other short Silo stories and read those. Then I started reading another full book and plan to finish that before the year is over. Yep, I’m too competitive with myself sometimes.

602925262_oI don’t know if this fits but it sounded good. 🙂

It’s Christmas Eve morning and I’m enjoying some coffee mixed with cocoa and watching Kelly & Michael. This evening I will be visiting my best friend since 3rd grade and her whole family. I’m super excited, especially because I get to meet her new boyfriend and surprise her mom who has no idea. Bonus, I get to see her whole family including her 3 sisters and their SO’s and her two nephews. Yay! They will all be getting Christmas cookies. Bonus bonus: My parents live down the road so I get to see them, too! Even though I will be seeing them tomorrow morning. I can’t ever get too much of my family so this is always a good thing.

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Since I probably won’t be posting until Thursday, I’m curious to know how everyone celebrates the holidays. Here’s how Christmas goes in Mike’s and my family:

Christmas Morning – We arrive at my parents’ house around 9am and settle in the living room around the Christmas tree with our mimosas. Mom always lays out the Christmas stockings full of awesome stocking-stuffers for me and Malia and our guys. Either me or my sister dig around the tree to pass out the gifts and we take turns opening them. There usually is no opening gifts at the same time because we like to savor and enjoy the moments. After gifts my dad makes a cheesy/meaty egg scramble dish and bacon and mom bakes cinnamon rolls and we eat an epic breakfast. Then we all end up with food comas, relax a little, and eventually the “kids” disperse to our respective SO’s’ families’ houses for more celebrations. Mom and Dad spend the rest of Christmas with Dad’s siblings.

christmas_stocking_with_goodies  626-114_mimosa_300

Christmas mid-day – Mike and I usually head home to make preparations for Christmas dinner. Either we relax or we prep depending on the  year. Last year we prepped because we hosted at our house. This year I will be prepping my sister’s amazing Red Potato Death (garlic mashed potatoes) to bring to my brother-in-law’s house.

Christmas Evening – We celebrate Christmas dinner with Mike’s family at one of the sibling’s houses. Last year we hosted and this year will be Mike’s brother and his family. They have a beautiful home they recently bought and completely renovated over the last year and I’m excited to see how they’ve decorated it because his wife loves doing DIY home decor. Their kids are at that age where they are a ton of fun to be around, too. I’m excited to see them open some gifts! A little birdie tells me they’re getting a Wii U and we may or may not have gotten them a game for it. 😉 There will be family time, gifts, ham…

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*What are your holiday celebratory traditions?

*Are you competitive with yourself? In what ways?

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We usually go to church Christmas Eve this year we are going to midnight which will be fun and new for me, and then spend the day relaxing all Christmas. This year we have an epic food line up: tamales for Christmas Eve dinner, French Toast Bake for Christmas Morning, and lots of yummy things including ham for Christmas. Can you tell the food is my favorite part?



You really do have an epic food lineup. Please post pictures for the French Toast Bake. Please… :p



My husband just got his PS4 so I know he will be gaming all day! Sounds like a great set of traditions!



This year Christmas Eve was at our place and the entire family was there. This only happens every other year now. On Christmas Day my adult children were with their ‘other’ families. My husband and I usually celebrate on our own but this year our son is here from the Netherlands with his fiancé. We spent the day together driving around the deserted streets of Toronto and then ordering Chinese food (a new tradition). Next year everyone will be at our place for a traditional Christmas dinner. On Boxing Day the entire family drove to my father’s place (the patriarch of this family). Again this doesn’t always happen. I think my Dad’s partner was a little overwhelmed but I helped her as much as I could. My Dad on the other hand was in seventh heaven. That’s our Christmas season so far.



Love the traditions you have with your family! It sounds like you got to do a lot of things you don’t always do mixed with the things you usually do. Boxing Day must be the 26th, right? We don’t have that one here but in the past I’ve learned what it is and totally forgot. Can you remind me?
We were looking for food Christmas Eve night but didn’t know where to go for Chinese. We do something similar on Thanksgiving where we switch families every other year.



Boxing Day has its origin in the UK but the reason is a little unclear. Some think it’s related to the giving of boxes with a bonus to tradesmen after Christmas for good service all year and others think it has to do with boxing up old clothes and belongings to give to the servants or less fortunate. Today it’s a big sale day where people wait in line for hours to get good deals, sort of like Black Friday in the States.



Thank you for the info! I didn’t think about how you don’t have Black Friday because Thanksgiving is in October but then it would make sense for Boxing Day to be similar. I wonder how that works with online sales? haha



I’ll be sure to look for you on Goodreads! I’m not great with keeping up with my lists, but since I got lots of new books to read for Christmas I’ll work on updating it more! – Jess



It’s kind of addicting to update lists on Goodreads!



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