The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Anna Grace arrived first, fresh off her first Exam Week as a “Trinner.”

No time to rest, though. Cookies needed baking!

Especially the Polish Kolachy, an absolute must for any Christmas holiday in our home.  I passed my Grandmother’s baking wisdom for this treat down to Anna Grace this year. It was time.

Tony returned from a work trip to India a couple of days later. Who schedules work trips for the week before Christmas?  Yes, the photos are lame. I could not join Tony on this trip because it would not be very parent-like to ask our daughter to Uber to a strange “home,” pick up a housekey from the neighbor and look for her bedroom. If there is a next trip I will be on it. With my camera.

One day later Jack arrived and the ever-close siblings resumed their friendly rivalries on pretty much every topic. These two.

With the team assembled the following morning (no rest for the weary), it was PIEROGI TIME! We’ve all had the same roles since forever. I tend to the dough; the boys are the “fillers” and “pinchers;” and Anna Grace brings it all home with the boiling.  More than one hundred of these glorious dumplings, filled with potato, caramelized onion and tangy sheep cheese were prepped for Christmas Dinner.

Cletus is the Supervisor. Until he isn’t.

Later that day we dusted off our flour-covered faces and put on fancy frocks for the annual Christmas concert performed by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Joyful.

In between, Anna Grace prepared a Dark Chocolate Birch Bark Tree Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. Stunning. And, delicious.

One more to arrive, Lovely Fran, and then it was Christmas Day.

Dinner began with homemade Borscht, and then came the pierogies. Just how many were consumed is a closely guarded secret. Merry Christmas!