Author’s note: Jason wanted to make it abundantly clear that this post has nothing to do with Staind’s Epiphany. Though we definitely jammed to it while writing it and think you should to.
Greetings, Epiphany. Goodbye, Christmas.
Wow, what a truly incredible season it has been, and one that we have milked for all it’s worth.
We understand why many of our neighbors want to promptly tear down their Christmas trees on December 26th, but I can’t tell you how much we have relished in keeping our lights on and our star shining until this Epiphany weekend.
But what would Epiphany be without a few of our own contemplative epiphanies, lessons learned from a cherished holiday around the ones we love? Because we came away with quick a few:
- Family is everything. Families are messy and difficult, but boy are they worth it. Plus, it’s really easy to love family when you married into perhaps the most lovely family of them all. We spent our Christmas holiday in Texas with these amazing people and busted out all of the instruments, rummy, food, and conversation that makes each moment with them full of joy. We sang around the piano, accompanied by the oboe and the flute, we cooked up one storm after another in the kitchen, went fishing out on the pier and traversed the beauties of the bramble, scoped out the best Christmas lights in town, picked lemons from the orchard, and even set aside hours of time for meaningful, memorable, and valued conversations. All of those moments with family made this season so more than we ever thought possible.
- Presence > presents. Don’t get us wrong — we made out like bandits this Christmas and are beyond grateful for our new treasures. [Thanks, parents!] But the one gift we really took to heart this season was our commitment to be present… to find that balance between sharing something silly on Snapchat and putting the phone away to truly relish in what was happening right in front of us. I am the worst culprit of this. I see something happening and instead of taking the time to belly laugh or revel from it, I choose instead to reach for my phone and try to “capture” it. Truth be told: that feeling can’t be captured. That moment is once in a lifetime. And I always tend to miss it while grabbing for the phone. So this year, we [meaning I] have committed to being better about being present and only posting, scrolling, and discovering for the fun of it. Not for likes, not for instant gratification, but for true and genuine joy. Because why else would we let something like that take over our lives? Sure, I took pictures of some of our food over Christmas and snapped a few solid moments, but the things I cherished the most were not the ones I captured. They were the ones I felt.
Photos of food and feet… about all I let myself “capture” this Christmas
- Traditions are key. Jason and I are only three years into melding our holiday traditions. We did a fine job of it while hosting Sibling Christmas last year, but we had a bit of a dilemma this year: how were we going to ensure we both felt the Christmas spirit while away from our home, away from our church, and [let’s be real] away from our fur children? Family really helped with this, but so did the infusion of traditions. Jason tasted it when we made him 4+ tins of Texas Trash [read: Chex Mix]. I felt it when I was allowed to whip up a few eggnog milkshakes and hit the road for a tacky tinsel tour of Beaumont. We heard it as carols were played and sung around the piano practically the entire time we were there. We knew it when games of Rummy were won and lost to much fanfare. And most importantly, we experienced it at midnight mass. Even when the homily had nothing to do with the manger [and actually made us laugh out loud when trying to retell it], there’s no darkness and no distance that Silent Night prayer cannot breach.
Texas Trash… Jason’s “taste” of Christmas
One thing that brought all three of these epiphanies together was Jason’s tour de force creation: the Christmas Prime Rib. The family commitment involved in picking out that piece of meat [as well as devouring it with such immense devotion] and the presence required by Jason for prepping its every move was impressive to say the least. It also happened to be a carry-over food tradition from our Christmas Day meal at home last year. And I dare say, it may very well become a staple at every holiday table hence.
It was that damn good.
Which may explain why we’re still thinking about it several weeks later, on Epiphany. Because as we take down our Christmas decorations and turn out the twinkling lights this weekend, we can’t help but reflect on the family that gathered around the table, the presents and the presence exchanged, and the traditions that will continue to live on for many seasons to come.
Greetings, Epiphany. And thank you, Christmas.
Prime Rib Coffee Rub
- 3 parts salt
- 3 parts pepper
- 1 part sugar
- 1 part coffee
- 1 part fresh rosemary [or 1/2 part dried]
- 1/2 part granulated garlic
- Combine coffee rub ingredients and tie your roast with butcher’s twine.
- Rub the coffee rub on the roast and let sit uncovered in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld up to a day in advance [or at least 4 hours].
- Before baking, let the roast come to room temperature over the course of several hours [2 – 4 hours for a small roast, 6 – 8 hours for a larger roast].
- Bake at 200 degrees — 30 minutes per pound with a bone-in roast, or 20 minutes per pound for a boneless roast — until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees on the inside.
- Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest for up to an hour.
- 10 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to as high as it goes [500 – 550 degrees]. Sear the roast for 5 – 10 minutes so it gets a nice crust.
- Slice and serve to much delight!