What the Night Before Christmas Looked Like…

Christmas at Footlights comes during the last week of Advent…which this year was really late so we cheated a bit and put up the lights and the creche a little early.

Our refectory table was all set for a Chinese Christmas Eve lunch,


Places set for Chinese food

a tradition we enjoyed with our closest neighbors, Daughts and Sam.

After eating we joined them at their church service at The Parks, held in the old court house in downtown McKinney.  It was a contemporary family service teaming with children.  The band played and sang lots of carols which all sounded like country songs…must’ve been the guitars…and being in Texas…even Jingle Bells got an airing!

Then we went to our church for a traditional Christmas Eve service, the carols sounded completely different with an organ and choir until it (the failing organ) decided to give up the ghost half way through the evening with a loud bang and a puff of smoke.  Very dramatic.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing was concluded a-capella until our organist/music director could position himself at the piano downstairs in the sanctuary.  Then we were back to singing our hearts out with some fabulous accompaniment.

At 9 O’clock we went home to enjoy our decorated house for the evening, sipping wine and listening to more carols from Kings College, Cambridge, basking in the peace and quiet.


The Holy Family sitting on a book shelf…not even a stable this year.

St. Nicholas, painted on wood by one of our friends at church many years ago, always a favorite on the mantelpiece.  And an eskimo…where did he come from?  The North Pole I suppose!


St. Nicholas, painted by Darlene Gerber

We bought a metal tree last year after Christmas so this was the first time to display it.

Next year we are going to wrap the boughs with greens and then nestle the lights in it.

Simon thought the candy was easier to find…which I totally agree with!


All ready for the gift exchange

Gifts added to the decorations again, placing them around the room to make it look more festive.

Christmas day dawned and we started off with prayers and coffee and then took appetizers and gifts to Garland where Grandmama lives with my sister-in-law-angel and her family.

Paris met us there, a half way spot from Fort Worth and we shared stories with the other McNeny family and opened gifts and ate brunch.

Simon and Lindsey also made a stop to wish Merry Christmas to the Rusty McNeny’s and G’Ma before heading with us to Footlights for dinner with the youngest sibling and her Hubs.

We took a moment to relax and took some photos before the presents got lost in a pile of wrapping paper.


Hubs and Me in front of our metal tree…

Lindsey was making dinner rolls from scratch, in a strange kitchen using a kitchen-aid and dough hook for the first time.

“Sorry there’s not much room on the counter,” I said.

Then I remembered she lived in a Tiny House…not much room anywhere at The Perch!

Daughts and Sam came over to open presents and and took a break next to their bottles of wine and Bishop Cidery tumblers.


Mr. & Mrs. Kellogg from The Barn

While the rolls were rising Simon and Lindsey sampled some of the box of cookies hand-baked by Daughts and Sam.


Tites seems to be saying, “Don’t spoil your dinner! Give me some!”

I bet Tites wondered why he didn’t get a box too since he lives with the bakers and probably helped with the measuring and clean up!

I wondered the same thing too!

When dinner was ready we put our cameras away…so no pictures of the feast of baked salmon.

Baked Salmon?  We couldn’t have Turduchen since Window to the Wild now have a Turkey as part of their performing staff.

My brother in London commented,

“Haha, I suppose they don’t have a pet salmon!”

Not yet!!

Veggies included brussels, green beans, roast potatoes and turnips and Lindsey’s dinner rolls were delicious.  We were all impressed.  I bet I know what’s going on her birthday list next year!

For dessert we stayed strictly traditional with Christmas pudding and brandy butter and then strayed out of the box with a flourless chocolate cake smothered in whipped cream.

You’ll have to use your imagination but it was all absolutely yummy.

Merry Christmas everyone.

We missed you at the table Ian and Jenn and Paris.  Maybe next year!



Share this:

No comments so far!

Leave a Comment