I finally got an injection of Christmas spirit this weekend!
My third and final (until January) birthday celebration. My in-laws took me to their favorite restaurant, Toscana, in Brentwood. I am so lucky that I married into such a cool family that celebrates my birthday with me even when my husband is living out of town (though we did spend most of the dinner talking about what an awesome man he is and my decision to go be with him and start our “little family” for real as soon as possible.)
The best part was giving them their gifts. I had the Coane family portrait from our wedding fancily framed and another portrait of MIL and her sisters framed, as well.
It is hard to say you get tired of celebrating your birthday. In fact, I’m not tired of celebrating my birthday. I just need a little hiatus, so let’s all go ahead and celebrate the birth of Jesus or whatever and then we can resume celebrating ME when we come back for the new year. Ha!
Saturday could have been a weird, emotional day, but it turned out great! My brother and I came together at the Malanga house to cook my Dad’s annual Christmas day lasagna. It is always a huge hit! It started one year because my mom always cooks a nice, sit-down dinner on Christmas Eve. She got tired of always being stuck in the kitchen and not getting to celebrate the holiday with the family so she said, “Hey Fuckers, I’m not cooking on Christmas. We can order in or cater, but I’m not stepping foot in the kitchen.” My father was a real stickler for tradition and Christmas, in particular. See where I get it from? So he offered to start cooking a Christmas day meal and his famous (to us) lasagna was born.
Last year, my dad showed my brother how to make it knowing he wouldn’t be around to cook it this year, and my brother took down the recipe. This year, we did our best to recreate something that can never truly be recreated, but it made us feel really good to work together to keep our family traditions, especially those important to Dad, going.
We took breaks, sitting outside in our beautiful Calabasas backyard, smoking, talking. My brother really is my very best friend. I know we aren’t twins, but we could be. Honestly. There is no one on this earth I find more entertaining, comforting, or compatible. Wish you could meet him. He makes me a very proud big sister all the time.
I hope it turns out as well as Dad’s always did. It will be different. Everything will be different this year.
Later that night, old lady Coane (that’s me!) actually went out and partied with the kids! Allison, my brother’s girlfriend, was celebrating her 26th birthday at the Bar Marmont on Sunset. I got all fancied up and joined them for drinks. It was a late night for me, but I was so glad to be included. Allison is wonderful, as far as I’m concerned. I’m so lucky we all get along so well, since my brother and I are so ridiculously close.
I wrapped and wrapped and lit Christmas scented candles and watched Christmas movies. That was all I did. It took all day.
Then at night, as reward for my hardcore wrapping skills, I ordered a pizza (my signature move) and watched Chef on iTunes. Great movie. Gotta love Jon Favreau! Now that I’m thinking about it, he is also in Elf, which I watched during my gift-wrapping session.
So, I’ll just leave you with this thought:
“You’re so money, and you don’t even know it.”