"On the first day of Christmas, my sister gave to me...". read the tag.

I listened for the sounds of wings from inside the tissue paper as I stuck my hand into the bag, but found instead (to my delight) a travel mug on which she did paint a (very excellent) partridge, accompanied by some pear tea - which may have been the funniest, most clever Christmas present ever.

And if that was the funniest, most clever, the video below and earrings my husband made me were the sweetest. I definitely cried my way through watching it, knowing he picked the music and did the work to make me a gift that so perfectly suited my tastes. Honestly. That man. He's the real gift.

Christmas eve was more time with our loves, The Kristi/ens and the respective children who come with them. Kristin found an adoption book and a matching polar bear for our kids room, for AP and I.

And Ellie resumed her adoration of the cookbooks in the kitchen, wearing a dress some fairies must've made, which was very perfect.

For the last many years our tradition for Christmas has been a formal, traditional dinner on Christmas Eve, followed by Chinese food and pie on Christmas day. I think it started because by the time we were through with the big dinner the night before and all the presents and breakfast the morning of, we were all too tired to make much fuss Christmas afternoon. But it stuck and it suits us.  Well, this year we had the pleasure of Ashwin's company to make it extra wonderful. He was quite a good sport about it when I proposed he suggest some authentic Malaysian or Chinese recipes and even help me with the cooking. This turned into me also kidnapping him and going on an adventure to Saraga international market several days before Christmas, which was a lot of fun. And there were pastries.

Well anyway, after many lessons, too few rice cookers, and not a few hours we put the best Christmas dinner ever on the table! We had;

Bok Choy Belacan (It was supposed to be Kangkung Belacan, but we couldn't find the Kangkung, which are a specific type of greens).
BBQ Pork Belly
Mapo Tofu
Matcha Bubble Tea
Courtesy of my sister...and AP friendly version of Bannoffee pie, which was very tasty.

Post dinner we played cards well into the waning hours of the night and it turned out to be a wonderful Christmas.

Here's one more little video that I think sums up Christmas this year.