#12DatesofChristmas2014 | number ten

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{on the tenth date of christmas}

a festive smorgasbord with family plus early gift opening

last night, the whitehouse/schroeder crew gathered together to nibble on christmas cookies, sip cider, and eat all the cheese. and presents! since rachel and nathan are spending Christmas in the winter wonderland of minnesota, they invited the family over to their place to celebrate the holiday a week early. no complaints here.

their home was warm and festive and filled with she&him christmas music and the scents of the season. cinnamon and chocolate and ginger. it was so inviting and cozy. you know that people who just ooze hospitality? that's the schroeders.

we ate baked brie and crackers and puffed pastry bites and grapes (grapes for balance) and ben's homemade "chex mix" and chocolates and COOKIES. oh rachel and her magical christmas cookies. every year, people. and they are so good. soft but crunchy, sugary and spicy ginger cookies. chocolate crackle cookies (of which i ate no less than three). shortbread! and shortbread with chocolate drizzle!! so good. AND we got to take bags and bags home. merry christmas to us. along with homemade peppermint bark and the ever-so-addictive cheese crackers. flaky little bites of cheesy goodness. killer.

oh, and coffee with eggnog. that was also consumed by the mugfull. so...yeah. it was pretty great. but wait, there's more...then we got to open gifts! and just wait until you see the precious and chic-tastic sweater that elinor received. she put it on immediately and was prancing around all puffed up and sassy.

needless to say, we felt pretty spoiled last night. and so full. no wonder santa is so pleasantly plump and jolly. cookies and presents are a superb combination.