The merriest Christmas!

We five Schwegs have had a holiday for the record books this year. After a semester in Luxembourg, little bro Jonathan has returned to the family fold, and all five of us are together for the first time since July!

Christmas Eve was celebrated with a Mass pre-party at my apartment complete with elderflower mimosas, followed by a trip to surprise my grandma and godmother at church just north of Saint Paul. We headed home, stuffed our faces with honey baked ham and three different kinds of potatoes, and opened an abundance of beautiful gifts. Look at Emily's hand-illustrated wrapping paper! Could she be more ridiculously artistic? 

Favorite gifts this year? Emily's spectacular surprise watercolor painting of the Minneapolis skyline. Stay's going to be making a gorgeous reappearance around here soon. Jonathan surprised all of us with pretty little paintings from Madrid. Finally, my parents gifted Em and me our plane tickets to Paris hidden inside the most beautiful book! I can't wait to study up before our trip this May! 

This year, we didn't host or go celebrate with any family on Christmas Day...just the five of us, and the day was heavenly, totally peaceful and relaxed. The three siblings watched most of "A Christmas Story" during the TNT marathon, and of course Snapchatted and texted friends near and far with holiday greetings. We also went to a matinée of "Into the Woods" (so good!!)'s becoming a bit of a tradition for us to go to a movie on Christmas Day. 

Later, my mom made a fantastic new cocktail with limoncello, club soda, and elderflower lemonade. My should-be-Michelin-starred parents made homemade bolognese sauce that simmered all day, filling the house with insane olfactory deliciousness. After our Italian feast, we just hung out, watched "Elf," "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," and "The Polar Express," and enjoyed family time. 

In other Christmas news, it's been around 40 degrees here in the Twin Cities for the past few days, and we're having our first true green Christmas that I can remember for a long time. While I certainly won't complain about temperate weather, it's a bit weird! I'm sure I'll appreciate the December reprieve more when it's still snowy in April...

Finally, look at how lovely my soul sister Kate Middleton looked at the Sandringham Christmas services this year! While I can't say I was greeted by 2,000 well-wishers when I arrived at Mass, I did totally channel her during our family present-opening that evening...Christmas bows are totally the new fascinators ;) 

Here's hoping your Christmas was just as merry and bright! Best wishes for a wonderful remainder of 2014!