"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Recap

The Advent tree was transformed on Christmas Eve morning.

The table was set for Christmas dinner.

The snow began to fall.

We ventured to my parents' for clam chowder and Christmas Eve festivities, but returned home about ten o'clock to get ready for Midnight Mass. I wish I had pictures of our eleven o'clock trek to church for carols and Midnight Mass. There was so much snow on the un-plowed roads, and so many car owners digging themselves out, we decided to take sleds to church instead of the van. It will be a Christmas memory I will never forget -- trudging through the heavily falling snow, singing carols (and yelling at the kids to not get too snowy and wait until after Mass to play and climb the mounds).

We made it home about two in the morning and the kids quickly opened their traditional after Midnight Mass gift (new pajamas) and devoured a piece of angel candy (another after Midnight Mass tradition), before heading to bed so Santa could come.

When I was little, Christmas morning always involved a certain routine. The three oldest of the four children in our family slept upstairs, while my parents and my youngest brother had their rooms on the first floor. We were never allowed to come downstairs on Christmas morning until everyone was awake and ready to go. We would sit at the top of the stairs and wait for my parents to "make sure Santa had come." They would get the camera ready and their coffee. We would sit at the top of the stairs and wait. And wait. And wait. It probably didn't really take more than a few minutes, but the anticipation used to kill us.

And now I do the same thing to my children. I make them wait. Just a little bit longer. I get the camera ready. My DH gets the coffee. And when all is ready, we snap a photo of those waiting in anticipation at the top of the steps.

And, yes, Santa came. And he ate his favorite cookies. And he spilled his milk. And he took some carrots for the reindeer. And he left a thank-you note.

And the stockings were full...

... except for The Baby's (I haven't had time to make hers yet, and the company stopped making the jumbo size that my other three have!). But she had a nice big basket instead.

The Girls were very excited to get a pile of horse stuff -- books, a DVD, a puzzle, Horse-Lovers Monopoly, and, best of all, riding boots for camp this summer.

The Boy was pretty excited to add another instrument to his collection.

My first time hosting Christmas dinner went very well -- I was too busy to snap pictures though. We had pomegranate martinis, spinach-stuffed mushrooms, and rumaki for appetizers, and marinated tri-tip steak, mashed potato casserole, roasted asparagus, and pomegranate salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette for dinner. Our pastor stopped by later for coffee and cookies.

We are still enjoying leftovers, and cookies, and a few more holiday parties.

We celebrate the twelve days of Christmas by giving our children one gift each day -- as the number of children increases, so does the number of "family" gifts -- in addition to their new jammies, they have each received a new ornament for the tree (another tradition) and a magazine subscription. Family gifts have included ColorKu (I'm getting addicted to this), Pattern Play and Magnetic Mosaics (my kids love this kind of stuff and will play with it for hours), a GPS and geocaching handbook for fun at the State Parks this summer, and an oil lamp ("like Mary and Laura [Ingalls] had").

Four days to go -- Merry Christmas!


  1. Love your traditions and the stair pic of your darlings in their new pj's!!!

  2. This is a wonderful blog, Michelle! All your traditions are priceless. You can tell all the time and care you put into your family. They are beautiful! It was great to see you last night... hope we can do that again soon. Happy New Year!

  3. I like your new photo header and blog pattern. Cute!

    Happy New Year!


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