T’was the day before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring – except for me, mom – whose “to do” list is still too long! (including updating my blog). Actually the kids are stirring because this morning, the day before Christmas, is the first time we have all been together long enough to go downtown and get our “traditional” family picture taken with Santa.
My sweet college boys arrived home Thursday evening – tired and hungry after a week of finals and with suitcases full of dirty laundry! The only time we have seen Tessa this week was on the stage – she spent 45 hours between Wednesday and Sunday at the theater – either rehearsing or performing (7 shows) in the holiday ballet – La Boutique Fantasque. She was a darling can can dancer.
So why would my kids be willing to get up in the dark during winter break to go downtown to get their picture taken with Santa (especially when they are 14, 18, 21 and 23??) Well, you see for the past 23 years we have been going downtown to what was Meier & Frank, and is now Macy’s, to have our picture taken with Santa. When Logan was 18 months old he decided he did not like Santa and began to scream when we placed him on Santa’s lap – Santa invited Jim and I to join Logan on his lap and thus a new family tradition began- the whole family on Santa’s lap. So you see this is not a tradition that can be forgotten or ignored – in fact we have a photo album full of those family photos with Santa.
Today I thought I’d share with you another Wilkes family holiday tradition. This weekend we hosted our annual “Neighborhood Breakfast with Santa”. For years we use to take our kids downtown to “Breakfast with Santa” at Meier & Frank, a breakfast held in their beautiful Victorian Restaurant complete with pancakes and sausage, a musical show put on by Beaverton High School and of course a visit from Santa. Three years ago we decided the kids were just too old so we started a new tradition - we held our own Breakfast with Santa at our house and invited our younger neighborhood kids and their families.
This past Saturday morning – 12 of our neighbors, in their pajamas, joined us for breakfast. We served the traditional pancakes (with your choice of blueberries or chocolate chips), little sausages, fruit and hot chocolate. Each family constructed a gingerbread house and of course there was a visit from Santa with gifts for all the kids. I think this is one of my favorite holiday activities. We love our neighbors and spending this relaxing time with them during the hustle of the holidays is such a nice break. One of the yummiest parts of the breakfast though was the cinnamon syrup – the recipe I will share with you today. It is perfect over pancakes or waffles and is so yummy!!
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
In medium saucepan, stir all ingredients together EXCEPT cream. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cream. Cool 30 minutes. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Serve warm.
So after our trip downtown I’m off to the grocery store – again! Merry Christmas!!
O.K. so I didn’t get this blog entry posted before we left for Santa so I’ll share with you our family photo with Santa. We had to buy two different ones – check out Clark’s face in the first picture – always the family clown! (click on the photo to enlarge it). The angle the photographer used makes me look like a total midget!! I’ve also posted our very first family photo with Santa – in 1985. Please excuse the hair – it was the 80′s!