A Few Photos From Christmas

December 28th, 2014 - filed under: The Farm » Family


Alas, the saga of “Sayward The Bad Blogger” continues.

Do you celebrate the Winter Solstice? I do. In fact, it’s one of my very favorite holidays.

And last week, I threw my first ever Winter Solstice bash. It was my first, because up until now, I’ve been celebrating with my godparents every year. For decades (and you can see last year’s celebration here) my godparents had been hosting an annual Solstice celebration. But circumstances change, and times change, and this year my godparents didn’t have their party.

But somebody had to!

So I took the ball and ran with it. And I strung up faerie lights all through my trees, and set out a vegan cheese platter with olives and crackers, and cookies and a well-stocked bar. I invited all my friends, old friends and new friends and all their children too. Jeremy built a bonfire in our “new” antique fire pit, and all the grown ups were merry and drank wine while the children ran wild like little witchy wonderthings.

And I gathered everyone around the fire, and thanked them for being there. And told them the story of “the goose poem” (grooooan), and then I read it to them (you can read that story, and that poem, in last year’s Solstice post). And I even did all of that without crying . . . mostly. What a sap.

Oh, and I didn’t take one single photo all night. BAD BLOGGER. It was such an amazing party, just awesome and oh! I really wanted to share it with you!

But oof, such a bad blogger. *sigh* Next year I’ll take photos for sure.

christmas eve baking

But Christmas! I did take pictures on Christmas, which was so fun with the sweetest little 4-year-old in the whole wide world. On Christmas Eve, Waits and I baked a gluten-free vegan lemon loaf, which seems to be a tradition for us. We used Meyer lemons right off our tree – our first lemons of the year! From the tree that I bought way back in Portland, before Waits was even born, and that over-wintered in a pot in our living room there. Now it lives outside year-round . . . I guess it likes southern California as much as I do.

Anyway, we baked! And we set out cookies for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. Christmas through the eyes of a 4-year-old. ♥


First thing Christmas morning, Waits went for his stocking (mostly full of new socks, and vegan candy – thank you for making that easy Vegan Cuts!), and I texted Damian to hurry on over. The kid was ready for presents!

For the second year in a row, I got to spend Christmas morning with my son, and his daddy, and my partner. All together. And I realize how rare that is, and truly what a treasure I have in this strange little mixed modern family. I am grateful to Jeremy and Damian both, for being so open-hearted. Waits and I sure are lucky!


Meyer Lemon + Chia Seed Loaf

“Here Harley, this present is for you!”


Proudly presenting his gift to Jeremy


The old man sort of got spoiled this year (well deserved), but this ATAT chew toy was by far his fave. He immediately began working on it, and spent the next half hour or so tearing off the Rudolph nose. He then proceeded to pass out in an ATAT-Harley heap, ostensibly from the sheer exhaustion of it all. It was, in fact, adorable.

And Waits’s pièce de résistance, his human body model kit with a real! squishy! brain!

Once everything was unwrapped it was play time, and putting together that model body was first on the agenda. He was so excited!


Around noon, Waits and Damian had to leave, to catch a flight up to Seattle to visit Damian’s parents. And so Jeremy and I were left alone . . . on an afternoon, with nothing to do . . . for the first time in months.

No really, it was LITERALLY Jeremy’s first day off in more than 60 days.

So we went to his house, and exchanged our gifts (nothing much, this year) and put on A Christmas Story. And then we passed out. Ha! We slept for hoooooours, and it was glorious!

In the late afternoon/early evening we decided we should probably stop being lumps and venture out. And it was perfect timing for a sunset beach walk.


The Santa Barbara pier.

And the big Christmas tree at the very end of it.

From there it was back home (it was cold outside!) for a long evening spent cooking together – something we used to do all the time but almost never get to do anymore. I was a little blue, and really missing Waits, but it sure was nice to be able to spend some relaxing time with my love.

We made a traditional vegan comfort feast: “Umami Bomb” Tofu, Garlic-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Mashed Potatoes with The Best Mushroom Gravy EVER (recipe to come, some day)


Served with an ’04 Brunello di Montalcino, and damn that was a good meal.

After dinner was more cuddling, a rousing round of Gin Rummy, and late night peppermint ice cream pops. All around, a near-perfect Christmas, I’d say.

I hope your Christmas day was a wonderful one as well, whether you were celebrating the holiday, or whether it was just another Thursday in December.


Peace! My wish for all of you, now and in the new year.

♥ ♥ ♥

  • Meredith

    What a dreamy Christmas you had!! So love reading your posts, and no worries about the frequency of them-life happens, every one of us understands that! xoxo

  • Sonja

    Thanks for sharing your christmas and solistice experience with us (don’t worry about not taking pictures of the solistice celebration). It looks so comfy and peaceful! I totally love that Damian and Jeremy are both a part of your christmas celebration. Great guys, great modern family :-) And so inspiring! Have a fantastic new Year!

  • Sonja

    oh, and can you post the umami-tofu recipe, please? Would be great :-)

  • Chantel

    any chance you could post the lemon loaf recipe?!?!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Meredith! And thank you for being understanding. Happy Holidays!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Sonja, and Happy New Year to you, too!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Once it’s perfected I will definitely post it! ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Gluten-Free Vegan Meyer Lemon + Chia Loaf

    2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I use Trader Joe’s)

    1 cups oat flour (made by pulsing oats int he food processor)
    1 cup raw evaporated cane juice (sugar)
    2 tbsp. chia seeds
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt

    3/4 cup plant-based milk (I used oat milk)
    1/2 cup melted raw virgin coconut oil
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    the juice from 2 large Meyer lemons
    the zest from 2 large Meyer lemons

    Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix gluten-free flour blend, oat flour, evaporated cane juice, chia seeds, baking powder, and salt. Stir well to combine.

    Add the plant milk, melted coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased (with coconut oil) loaf pan, and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

    I also made a glaze to drizzle on top once the loaf was completely cooled. I used the juice from lemon combined with enough powdered sugar to make a thick glaze that I could drizzle over the whole thing,


  • http://bittsblog.blogspot.com bitt

    Yes PLEASE share the gravy recipe. I’ve had a hard time finding one that works and is GF and vegan. Thanks!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh I definitely will! We are working on perfecting it. We’ve developed some really cool new techniques for g-f gravy, and man, it is GOOD! =D

  • Christine

    You are such a wonderful person – and you seem like the perfect mother to Waits! Your blog is an inspiration to me, and it always offers some joyful reading time. Glad to see you all had a nice solstice celebration and a peaceful Christmas!

  • Siouxsie

    Oh man I can’t wait to make that :-D