Combining the Old and the New

Hi everyone! How was your holiday? I hope it was filled with love, laughter, giving, receiving, and all that good stuff :)

My holiday flew by at warp speed, and I’m definitely feeling the post-Christmas blues now. The only thing lifting my mood a little is the fact that I have a fabulous New Years Eve party to look forward to. I’m also trying to appreciate the time I had with family, rather than be sad it’s over.

I have lots to recap about so without further ado, let’s rewind to this past weekend.

Sunday was time for baking, cleaning, and prepping for Christmas Eve, so I spent the day at my parents’ house helping out. My mom hosts Christmas Eve every year, which is the “old tradition” in our family. I contributed raspberry cheesecake cupcakes, snickerdoodles, and of course molasses spice cookies.


I highly recommend that snickerdoodle recipe I linked to above. It was my first time baking them, and they were a huge hit. I had many requests for the recipe!


I had some little helpers by my side in the kitchen all day too :)


Christmas Eve

I woke up on Monday morning and had to get some work done. Boo! I couldn’t motivate myself to work a full day, so I put in a good 4 hours and called it quits. Then I got ready, made a green smoothie so my spinach wouldn’t be wasted, and packed my presents to head back to my parents’.


Everyone in my family goes to church on Christmas Eve. After the service is over, we all get together at my mom’s house for appetizers, dips, and desserts. It’s a casual night where we exchange some presents and play games!



That dip on the left is a roasted red pepper dip. My God, cheesy and delicious.

I didn’t take too many pictures (and the lighting in my parents’ house is terrible anyway) but I did capture a few moments.


Matt joined us on Christmas Eve too, and was a total hit with the family :) After an epic game of Scattegories, we all stayed up late watching Christmas Vacation.


I couldn’t believe it! Christmas morning I woke up to a couple inches of snow on the ground! I can’t remember the last time we had a white Christmas. It was wonderful.

This is where I start to fail with pictures. I didn’t take any of our Christmas morning, opening presents and stocking stuffers. I was in the moment! I’ll share more about my gifts in a later post.

After opening each other’s gifts, we all got ready and drove to my grandmother’s for a Christmas brunch. This was a “new tradition” for our family, and I think it might be here to stay!



My grandma had everything set up so adorably! And the spread was fantastic. Ham, bacon, eggs, bagels, toast, homemade banana bread and scones, fruit, coffee, juice. Everything you could ever want for breakfast. And don’t forget the Baileys ;)


We stayed at my grandma’s for a couple hours, enjoying time with family and exchanging presents. Then it was time to hit the road and head to the Cape to see my mom’s side of the family. They had driven up from Long Island so we wanted to spend some time with them before they left. We got there at about 5pm, and were welcomed with a huge turkey feast.

xmas food


And everything was homemade! Turkey, cranberry sauce, glazed carrots, stuffing, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips and carrots, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. I love this meal. Everything was incredible.

After dinner we relaxed for awhile, and ended up watching Ice Age 4. It was the kids choice, but I honestly think I liked it even more than them! Haha


Then it was time for dessert. My family went a little overboard!

xmas dessert

Can you tell a love for baking runs in the family? ;)

After dessert I enjoyed a glass of wine, some spiked eggnog, and some more Scattegories fun.


My family stayed in a hotel for the night since we weren’t up for the 2 hour drive home. Plus, we wanted to see more of our Long Island family on Wednesday.


We all slept in on Wednesday morning, then decided to stop for breakfast at a quaint little restaurant before meeting back up with family.


I ordered an egg white omelot with bacon, onions, tomatoes, and cheese. With a side of homemade raisin toast and homefries. Exactly what I was craving!


I ate about half, then we spent the day with family before heading home in the late afternoon. I wasn’t back in Providence until 6pm last night, and was welcomed with a freezing cold house and no hot water. Lovely.

Me and Matt had plans to exchange Christmas gifts anyway, so I drove to his house for some much needed hot water.

He ended up really liking my gifts! I got him a Patriots picture for his “man cave” and Toy Story 3 because he’s weirdly obsessed with Pixar movies.

He was totally sweet, and bought me a stocking filled with chocolate, flowers, wine, and a perfume set I wanted :) And his mom bought me something too! An adorable scarf, which was totally unexpected. Now I need to figure out something for his family…

After exchanging gifts we enjoyed our bottle of wine and chocolate. It was the perfect way to end the busy Christmas season.


Questions: Tell me about your holiday! Do you get the post-Christmas blues?

24 thoughts on “Combining the Old and the New

  1. lmcternan

    What a lovely holiday! It sounds like your family is awesome (not to mention filled with culinary talent — those cookies look amazing), and it’s great that you got to spend so much time with them. :)

    I totally understand the post-holiday blues, too — I used to get them all the time until last year, when hubs and I decided to spend Christmas in DC and travel back West to visit our families for the New Year. That way we come back in mid-January, and I find that the post-holiday blues are a lot less blues-y. Hope your fabulous New Year’s plans help keep things happy (and hey, if all else fails, there are always comedy movies)! :)

    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks so much! I know it, we do have some talented bakers in the family for sure haha. And that sounds like an awesome new tradition! Anything to help distract from the fact that Christmas is over. My post-holiday blues aren’t too severe, New Years is definitely helping, as well as the fact that it’s kind of nice to get back to a normal routine. I can’t complain anyway! Hope you have a great time with family celebrating the New Year! :)

  2. Carrie

    Oh my goodness–all the food, especially the desserts, looks so, so delicious! Surprisingly, we didn’t have any spiked egg nog, but we made up for it with chocolate martinis and cinnamon roll rum, ha. So glad you had a great holiday! :)

  3. pickyrunner

    Wow those cookies all look incredible! It sounds like you were all over the place visiting family too :) so much fun! Your night with wine and chocolate sounds like the perfect way to end Christmas to me!

  4. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    !!! I was the cookie contributor for my family as well, and I ended up making the same exact cookies as you! Snickerdoodles and chewy molasses crinkles. Deeeelish.

    It’s great to hear that you had such a wonderful Christmas :) Mine was pretty quiet, with just me and my parents celebrating all 3 days, but it was exactly what I needed after all the pre-Christmas crazies. I usually experience a good amount of post-holiday blues, but for some reason, this year I’m actually looking forward to getting back into my normal routine.

    1. aftertheivyleague

      Ah I know! I saw your cookies, they looked sooo good! Two of my favorite holiday cookies, for sure. That sounds like a great low-key holiday. Mine was a little crazy! Part of me is definitely happy to be back to a more normal routine as well…although I wish I didn’t have to work! Boo :( haha

    1. aftertheivyleague

      Homemade buffets from Grandma are the best, I need to ask mine for her scone recipe! They were so delicious, I’ve never been able to make a good scone. And haha, don’t worry. The snow melted after a couple hours, not too much of a white Christmas.

  5. Chelsie S

    Bailey’s = totally necessary!! haha. Looks like you had a fabulous time!! So happy that you did! (And that Matt integrated well with everyone) :D

  6. AnnaTheApple

    Wow looks like such a good few days! And your Christmas meal looks heavenly! So tasty. And all that pudding! We only had Christmas pudding and Christmas cake as pudding at ours but it was pretty good regardless. I’m so sad Christmas is over now! It goes far too quickly.

    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks! And I know, our Christmas dinner was so good this year. My aunt did an amazing job cooking everything! It sounds like your desserts were much more reasonable! Haha..I think I counted 13 different options or something like that at ours. A little overboard! And I’m sad Christmas is over too, but at least we still have the New Year to look forward to!


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