December 23rd to December 28th, 2014

I went home for the holidays this year and had a wonderfully festive and cozy time, full of friends, family, and cats.

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Home to me is Northern Virginia. Note I said “Northern” because it should generally be considered a different state from the rest of Virginia.

And being home, to me, means cats. Lots of cats. As in my parents have four cats. So the night I got in was not complete until I was cozy in front of the TV with a furry leg warmer.

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Christmas Eve dawned bright and beautiful and I spent the day enjoying the house in all its festive glory.

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There were, of course, cookies to make. Chocolate roll-away balls, to be exact.

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Now, Christmas Eve is our big feast for the holiday and it traditionally consists of my mother’s legendary leg of lamb which she roasts with a ton of garlic. The meal begins with vichyssoise (a cold potato soup, the recipe for which was passed down from my father’s mother), and a family favorite salad with hearts of palm, red onion, and avocado. Side dishes generally include rice, gravy, green beans with bacon, and corn bread pudding.

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My parents, sister, and I were joined by a close family friend and his sister. This made it all the more comical when, after coffee was served, my sister surprised me with matching pajamas (a traditional gift for Christmas Eve in my family, but not one we’d practiced giving in some time).

So just imagine two adult women wearing that while drinking heavily and lounging in a festive but nevertheless formal sitting room.

The next morning came soon enough and Christmas was upon us!

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Our family’s christmas tradition follows a pretty simple pattern: a hearty breakfast including Jesus Muffins (over which we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus), present opening, lounging in front of the fire, and eventually, a movie. I’m happy to report that this year was no different.

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The movie chosen for the family viewing was a classic none of us had watched in 20 years: The Swiss Family Robinson. It was…quaint. The tree house is still pretty awesome, at least…

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And such was my lovely Christmas at home.

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The rest of the vacation had it’s own small joys. To start, I watched both Father of the Brides with my sister.

  

And I had a lovely brunch with five of my best friends.

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I went through some of my old books from childhood.

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And I snuggled with cats.

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I also went to a mall (Tyson’s Corner) and enjoyed some classic suburban retail therapy.

We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and I got their California Club Pizza, one of my favorite pizzas in the worlds.

To round things out, I took in two new movies: Mockingjay Part 1, and The Interview.

  

I thought both were pretty friggen awesome. Mockingjay was exactly what I wanted, with great performances from all. The Interview was hilarious and worth the hype (in my humble opinion).

After all that excitement, I caught my train back to New York on Sunday feeling content and tired. I loved my holiday vacation, but it’s still good to be home.

– L

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The author, on Christmas Day
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