So last weekend, nearly three weeks after real Christmas, we declared a holiday do-over. From my silly traditions like hot bean dip for breakfast while opening presents and stockings full of goodies well into adulthood, to traditional Christmas sugar cookies and a roasted bird, we managed to create a day that still felt as fulfilling and enjoyable as the real deal. We spoiled each other with good presents, but none was as spoiled as the four-legged member of our family. Perhaps because she has no grandchildren of the two-legged variety, my mother's holiday package that arrived just in time for our celebration was mostly full of toys and treats for Bailey. It seems we have become those dog owners (though we do draw the line at doggy attire).
Cooking is most definitely a passion of mine and at least for me, the holidays center around all the wonderful things to eat. I surprised myself by actually being able to make many of my favorite recipes and we certainly didn't feel like the feast was lacking. I cooked the bourbon-cranberry compote (critical, without the ability to make gravy) in the oven, whipped up the herb biscuits (so good, I don't know why I only manage these for the holidays) in the morning and got the sweet potato casserole (baking, rather than boiling the potatoes first to soften them for mashing) and the delicious corn souffle (recipe via my step-father's family back in Illinois, now the star of many a holiday feast), complete with crunchy bacon and fried onion topping, were perfectly timed to cook just after the turkey came out to rest. The whole thing was perhaps a little makeshift and more trouble than it would have been with a complete kitchen, but it definitely tasted just as good - if not better because of appreciating the effort.
So while next year's holiday festivities will likely be more planned out, perhaps even with some Berlin friends to take part, and most definitely occurring closer to actual Christmas, this wasn't a bad start to the first of many celebrations that will take place in our new Berlin home. We had ourselves a very merry little Christmas and have a new year in one of the greatest cities in the world ahead of us, for which we are most grateful.