Parenting Tale: Holiday Decorating and Turkey/Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

Boy, I’ve come a long way through the years.  Every Christmas, my husband brings up the tale of our huge holiday spat on our first Christmas together.  We were having a lovely time trimming our tree with my roommate, Mitch.   However, all of the sudden, I arose with a clatter when my husband placed a Disney ornament with three Dalmatian puppies sitting on a heart in the center of the Christmas tree.

I gasped.

“That goes on the back of the tree!”

Yes, I did.  I was not backing down.  That ornament just would not do in the front of the tree.

As we argued over the placement of the ornament, Christmas started looking more like the 4th of July rather than the joyful holiday that it is supposed to be.  I think my new boyfriend may have even left my condo with his box of ornaments in his hands, and went home to his condo across the street. 

I’m not proud of that moment now, but I was a woman sans kids and my tree, well, my tree always had been decorated with a theme.  You know the kind — the ones like those you see in a floral shop or department store. 

That’s right! The fru-fru kind.

One year, my tree was decorated in crystal topped with a gold bow.  Another year, I added some purple glass ornaments to the mix.  Some may even call me the crazy cat lady due to my huge collection of cat ornaments through the years. 

Before you go and call me a Disney-hater, you must know I had nothing against Disney. In my mind, his ornament belonged on a cutesy tree or a Disney-themed tree.  It did not go well with gold bows, crystal angels and cats.

No! No! No!

Honestly, I don’t remember now where that ornament ended up that year, but one thing is for sure: By the next year, it was front and center on our Christmas tree.

The Disney dalmations are front and center every year, and we’ve added some other favorites right next to it.  We hang handmade snowflakes, handprint-Christmas trees, and other preschool-made gems in the front.

We have even added Mickey Mouse and a tiara to the mix, too.

I’ve since lost my gold bows, and each year, there are fewer and fewer expensive crystal ornaments on our tree.  I wouldn’t have it any other way now.  Our tree is priceless.

We still pull out some of my treasured, breakable favorites, though. However, we make sure they are up high.  And believe it or not, they go on the back of the tree.

I don’t mind one bit. 
Our friend, Mitch, still comes to help trim our tree.  I’ve decided it’s more fun to let others do the work, and while they argue where the ornaments go, I whip us up a tree-trimming dinner.

My friend, Mitch, helps to trim our tree every year. 
For several years now, I’ve made the southern casserole, Chicken Tetrazzini.  It’s easy!  It’s good! And with red pimientos and green peppers as two of the ingredients, it even looks like Christmas.

Leigh's Southern Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini

2 large chicken breasts or three boneless thighs (1 baked chicken cut-up)
I poach my chicken, and use boneless chicken to save time of taking it off the bone.
8 oz angel hair or spaghetti cooked in chicken broth
1/2 green pepper, cut up
1 small jar pimento
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 cups of grated cheese
Buttered bread crumbs on top

Mix all ingredients together except cheese, and place in lightly greased baking dish.  Cover with 2 cups of grated cheese.  Top with buttered bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Even though my Chicken Tetrazzini is far from Italian, I did pair it with a simple Mushroom, Parmesan Arugula Salad this year.

You’ve probably got your Christmas tree up already, but these recipes will also work well for taking your tree down, too.  

Our family:
Mr. Cool (age 6 next week) and Baby Diva, (2)
Oh, I dread that!  It’s just not as fun as trimming the tree.

Our 2011 Tree

Merry Christmas!

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