Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Wow….. New Years Eve already!

Crazy to think our DTS ended over a month ago. Since then Dan & I have had a house to ourselves! We’ve had lovely evenings in watching “The Wire,” Rummikub matches with friends, and beautiful sunrise runs. (Yes, it’s true, Anna is now “running” each morning). We’ve also endured retail jobs at Christmas, biking to work in the freezing cold, and a house with no heating during the day.

This Christmas Dan’s whole family came to York. Matt, Dan’s bro, is already in York, working at the mental hospital. Beforehand, I got into major “Martha Stewart” mode (craft-making, not stock-stealing) to make the house look nice and Christmas-y. The Pizzos’ arrival was akin to that of Father Christmas. They brought bottles of wine, cava, Baileys, Buck’s Fizz and more. Dozens of mince pies, chocolate, Pannettone, goat cheese and carmelized onion tarts, Thai salmon parsels and a few pressies too. But of course, we were most excited about seeing them!

minsterChristmas Eve I got off work at 3pm, leaving behind frenzied last-minute shoppers and endless queues to join over 4,000 others at a Lessons and Carols Service at York Minster. Even though granny, D&P, and Nat and I arrived almost 30 mins early there was no room in the inn church. But thanks to granny (who’s 94 but in brilliant health), we were given a bench to sit on right in front of the main alter. The voices of the choir were angelic. And we also got to hear the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu speak. He is amazing, but I have to admit his Ugandan accent kept making me think of this Fone Jacker video.

dna-xmasChristmas Day we carried on a Stalcup tradition by having home-made Cinnamon Bread French Toast. It was delish. Then the Pizzo kidz prepared Christmas lunch (turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussel spouts with hazelnuts, and roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips) and Uncle Dave arrived. This year we did a Secret Santa system of presents, ‘cuz really, shouldn’t the birthday boy JC be getting the presents?


After stuffing ourselves silly, we burnt off a few calories with a walk around Bishopthorpe Palace, our friend Johnny’s house (the Archbishop of York). Boxing Day it was back to work for both Dan & I, and Sunday we sadly said our goodbyes to our gracious guests. Back to selling Wiis and Xbox for me. And Dan’s scoping out the latest and greatest in backpacking gear at his job at Blacks.