Happy Holidays

Today, we celebrated Christmas.

Yes yes, I know it’s a little premature. But what with Xmas falling on a weekday this year, my family thought it most convenient to get the festivities going a little earlier. Not that this was a problem for me – I was just happy to celebrate my first Holiday with the family in seven years. Having moved to the US right after high school at the tender age of 19, I’ve missed out on many Christmases, birthdays, new years, lunar new years, mooncake festivals…everything.
The pursuit of higher education and wanting to see the world comes with a price, in so many ways.

Overambitious as usual (we are mostly Asian after all), the spread consisted of two turkeys with the works, a ham, a mountain of roasted wieners, chestnut stuffing, potatoes done two ways, steamed vegetables, two salads (one was pasta, so that counts as a carb right?), and three desserts.

I know. We are ridiculous.

My humble contributions to the spread were the salads and one dessert.
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Waldorf Salad: Pacific Rose apples, seedless red grapes, celery, raisins, and walnuts, tossed in a light mayo-based dressing.

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Italian Pasta Salad: Tri-color fusili, salami, provolone, red and green peppers, and black olives, tossed in Italian dressing.

By the end of the night, I was congratulating myself on having had the foresight to have made a light tea-infused chocolate cake. Anything more decadent would have threatened to comatose the guests! This was evident in my (usually very stoic) uncle, as he sprawled across the couch, building up a good snore as he slumbered off the extra helpings of turkey and bûche de noël.
Oh, the sneaky sorceries of tryptophan and chocolate!

What is it about having loved ones gathered around the dinner table, with too much food, too much wine, and Nat King Cole crooning in the background, that makes everything seem right with the world? Popping our Christmas crackers, donning our colorful but embarrassing paper crowns, and delighting in our plastic trinkets, happy memories were made today.

Christmas Crackers

Be it in soggy Seattle, or balmy Singapore, the secret to happiness is a full belly and a warm couch.

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