A Very Bennett Christmas

Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones, but I absolutely adore my in-laws. I haven’t met a single person in Brian’s family – immediate or extended – that I haven’t liked. In fact, I rather enjoy their company and wish we all lived closer. When Brian’s parents called to say that they’d be coming to Alaska for Christmas I was ecstatic. Then we found out his younger brother Jesse would be joining them and it meant the whole Bennett family would be together under a single roof for the holidays for the first time in years. The pressure was on to create a perfect meld of Groff / Bennett holiday traditions, but I couldn’t see a better group to test them out on.

At exactly noon on Friday Brian & I pulled up to the curb at Ted Stevens International Airport with Kratos in tow.  It was a short wait for baggage claim to deliver their checked bags and we were on our way home. Brian’s mom had visited our cozy little two bedroom home right before Brian’s deployment to Korea but we hadn’t seen his dad or brother since moving to Alaska back in 2014. We dropped off everyone’s suitcases, gave a quick tour of our home and headed back out the door so everyone could finish up a few last minute Christmas errands.

We spent a better part of Christmas eve at the house watching football and catching up. Other than my daily outing with Kratos and a trip to the store to find the last minute request for eggnog that took me 4 stores and 2-ish hours to find, I didn’t stray far from the comforts of my couch and visiting family. As evening approached I buzzed about the kitchen preparing a traditional seafood smorgasbord. Parmesan crusted halibut, BBQ shrimp with a light lemon aioli, and king crab with a garlic lemon butter dipping sauce topped off the menu. Several friends and neighbors joined in on the feast and the full house transported me back to the Christmas eve’s of my childhood where dozens of friends and family would filter through our door for my parent’s annual seafood bonanza. The hour was late when our last guest strolled out the door. Soon after everyone was in their beds snoring. I snuck out of my room to retrieve on last hidden gift from it’s hiding spot and added it to the stacks of gifts that had accumulated under the tree during the month of December.verybennettchristmas-1verybennettchristmas-4

I was the last to rise on Christmas morning. The house was dark and chilly per usual in December and I had no desire to leave the warmth of my down comforter just yet. I was finally coaxed out of my warm cocoon with a mug of hot tea and the promise of gifts. Not long after there was a flurry of boxes and wrapping paper only Bucket could truly appreciate. One large neatly wrapped package remained  near the tree at the end of all the calamity. It was an electric ice auger that I’d somehow managed to pull off as a surprise gift for Brian. I’m really proud of myself for that one because surprising my husband is no easy task. Before long he and his dad had donned a few more layers and were out the door for a day of fishing. I pushed back plans for dinner so the boys could utilize as much usable daylight as possible but headed for the kitchen to get all my prep work done anyways. That night, once again accompanied by friends, we feasted on pot roast, mashed potatoes, corn, {Aunt Joy’s special] rolls, and my paternal grandmother’s recipe of Yorkshire pudding – another family tradition of mine.verybennettchristmas-2verybennettchristmas-23verybennettchristmas-12verybennettchristmas-11

On Monday we finally made it out on the ice as a family. Since our ice hut is only made to fit two comfortably we rotated between holes we drilled at various spots in the ice of Matanuska Lake. Fishing was so-so but we managed to spend most of the day out on the ice anyways. We headed back to Anchorage for a hot meal out on the town and then home for some quality family time. I headed back to work on Tuesday morning, which left Brian playing tour guide by himself for a few hours before sending everyone back to the airport. Until next time family! Hopefully it’s during warmer weather next time we meet! xoxo.

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