Oh, there’s no plate like ham for the holidays.

Just like that, our first Wisconsin Christmas is a wrap!

The one thing I wanted more than anything else was a white Christmas. Elliott came barreling in with cold so fierce by Friday morning, there was no way any of that snow already on the ground was melting.

The result? That perfectly picturesque Hallmark white Christmas I desired. Made those -35º windchills totally worth it. (Easy for me to say; I didn’t have to go out in it, unlike Tara.)

Next year, we’ll be in one of those houses. Mark my words! (Well, probably not one of the handful of houses pictured above, but you know what I mean.)

The cold and snow-packed roads did interfere with our plans, but we’re good at pivoting. Instead of driving into Madison after dark on Christmas Eve to look at holiday lights, we decided to stick to Fort Atkinson, grabbing dinner at the one local tavern that was open and checking out the neighborhood displays. And then, we scrapped that idea entirely a few minutes before we were to head out the door, opting instead to kick back at home with frozen pizza and It’s a Wonderful Life. Again with the frozen pizza. I don’t even know who I am anymore. In any case, a comfy blanket sounded more alluring than navigating slick streets in 5º weather and dealing with drunken hordes.

Christmas Day itself was perfectly chill (figuratively and literally). It did warm up to 10º and the wind died down, so I took a nice long walk downtown and along the partially frozen river. Bundled up in flannel-lined jeans, a hoodie, a winter coat, ski gloves, balaclava, and beanie, I didn’t feel the slightest chill. I didn’t feel anything, actually. A rabid badger (because this is Wisconsin) could have attacked me and I would have just patted it gently on the head.

After the walk, I basically planted my ass on my recliner and drank cocktails. Normally we do a prime rib roast for Christmas dinner, but decided* to change that up this year and make a ham instead.

*By decided, I mean when I stopped by the local meat market to pick up a roast last week, I was told they were preorders only. More pivoting ensued.

The real kicker? Two days later, they posted on Facebook that there were fresh prime rib roasts available. I can’t be too upset though, because the ham came from a local market renowned for their farm-raised pork. Tara made a bourbon, mustard, pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic glaze that was like candied crack. So, so good. And the Beecher’s mac ‘n cheese was a perfect side. Honestly, we might stick with the ham again next year.

All in all, it was a great holiday. The flamingo socks from my parents were just the icing on the cake! It’s going to be hard to venture back to work tomorrow, but I figure I should make an in-office appearance as it’s been over a week. Plus, the weather is going to warm up to maybe-even-50º by the end of the week. And it’s going to rain, no less. That’ll feel downright balmy after the past two weeks.

Tell me all about your holiday!

41 thoughts on “Oh, there’s no plate like ham for the holidays.

  1. Our holiday was one of the quietest on record. Between all the human ER and doggie ER visits and a soccer tournament, we’re just trying to get through the month. A friend had us over for steak Christmas Eve and I made plenty of cookies this year for gifts and Christmas Eve, but yesterday we watched “The Glass Onion” and that was about all we did. Oh, Andy did rally enough to supervise the cooking of prime rib and mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, which was amazing.Very warm and sunny here, but the rain will barrel in tomorrow. So I’m taking down all the Christmas stuff while we can still get to the detached garage without getting drenched.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw your pic of the Yorkshire pudding. I’ve only ever made it once, but boy was it good. I bet that would have been great with our ham, too.

      Normally I’d take down all the Christmas decorations today, but I don’t think we can recycle our tree for another week, so we’re just going to leave it up at this point. Cheese top and all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The snowy street picture is quintessential and lovely, but I’m focused on both the cat (adorable) and the roasted asparagus. My holidays: Did not see CO daughter and she does not celebrate Christmas anyway based on the commercialism, religious background, and perhaps because I lied to her all those years ago about Santa. That last one is just speculation on my part. Also did not see son and DIL who were in Corvallis OR with her family. Saw the local daughter, SIL and grands on C. eve and then enjoyed The Day with just myself after a long walk.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ham and asparagus frittata with goat cheese is amazing! Alison was rather disillusioned with me when she found out that Santa wasn’t really real… I tend to joke with her on occasion about her need to voice that trauma I caused.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark and a Christmas ham — it just seems like a perfect image. 🙂 I’m laughing about the rabid badger description – there’s an upside to dressing appropriately for the weather.

    So glad you had such a great holiday. Mine was filled with the age appropriate chaos – by the children, of course, I’m not talking about my own chaos… 🙂

    Happy Boxing Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had initially thought we’d never had ham on Christmas, until Tara pointed out that we did our first winter in South Dakota, which was just four short years ago. My blog backs that up. How quickly we forget…


  4. Our Christmas was pretty subdued, watched, Muppets Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown Christmas, Karloff Grinch, Home Alone, A Christmas Story…my wife and i did a minor gift exchange, saw the Whitney Houston Bio Picture then had Chinese. I did a full on post about Christmas meals.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s important to be able to pivot since situations (weather for example) are out of our control and can muck around with our plans. A plan is just a general guideline anyway, no? I like the idea of your chilly walk but the reality of it is that I don’t have any of the right clothing. Our weather has warmed up too and now there is a lot of rain and wind. Also yucky but better than the Ice Storm. I had my mom, two daughters, one daughter’s husband and two grandsons (including a 1 month old) over to my place. We served TikTok feta pasta, green beans with roasted garlic and lemon, garlic bread, salad and a variety of homemade cookies for dessert. Just perfect. Except that my boyfriend caught a cold and didn’t come over since he didn’t want to possibly infect the baby or my 90 year old mom. I was disappointed but pivoted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We had all our kids and grandkids here, as well as my DIL’s cousin from NYC/China. It’s her first relative we’ve ever met (the rest are in China), so that was nice. We do a huge all day buffet. I’m tired of food right now. And snow/frigid temps. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Duck with orange sauce?! It’s official: you won Christmas dinner this year! Now, let’s talk about how Tara and I can finagle an invite to your place for next year’s holiday dinner.

      Maybe my folks just took a lucky guess with the socks…?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The photo of the lovely street with the sweet homes? SO INVITING. I mean, even I want to venture there. I hope you guys do find your perfect place next year.
    Your Christmas sounds perfectly lovely, and you guys are professional pivoters!

    As a side note, are you blog friends with NGS? I think she and her husband live in the same town as you and Tara. https://ngradstudent.blogspot.com


  8. That ham glaze sounds wonderful! Our Christmas was great. Our oldest son and his family weren’t going to be able to join us but our son’s work schedule changed so all of the kids/grandkids were with us. Sadly, my daughter-in-law’s mother is very sick and in the hospital so we’ve been helping with the grandkids as much as possible.


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