In lieu of the traditional family portrait of matching sweaters, gritting teeth and stiff, awkward poses in front of a gloriously large tree/roaring fireplace bedecked with stacks of neatly wrapped gifts, our family Christmas portraits are of us cooking, gathering and eating well beyond what is humanly reasonable. It is how we express love as a family–by cooking the best, most delicious (most gluttonous) food we can think of and sharing it with the people closest to us.
Post-dinner, we waddled to our spots around the tree and opened presents. My nephew Jack served as the master of ceremonies (and resident pyro) while my mom quietly scratched away her dozens of lottery tickets (another Christmas tradition in our family) hoping for the big take-home.
After presents came dessert — a banana rum pecan pound cake that we had no business eating on account of how stuffed we still were. Of course that didn’t phase us. It wouldn’t be (second) Christmas any other way.