Merry Christmas in 7 Quick Takes

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Lots going on with year end, so I’m going to try to keep this one short, but sweet — no guarantees, but here goes.

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say, so here’s my Christmas so far, in pictures.

~1~

Joy Sunday, Put Up the Tree

It was one of those years where everything seemed packed into an itty bitty Advent — but we made it!  We managed to find a lovely tree on the Eve of Joy Sunday and kept up our tradition of decorating the tree on Joy Sunday.

Found the perfect tree.
Can’t forget the candy canes!
So many memories with each little ornament!
If these ornaments could speak….
Yes, Saint Nicholas, makes it to the tree as well. These are Polish made — so beautiful!
Done!

I just love Christmas trees, don’t you?  I never want to take them down.  The only thing that motivates me is the fact that we burn our tree every year after the Christmas Season — and man, does it burn fast and furious when you light that thing up. Scary! 🙁

~2~

Decorated the Rest of the House

Joy Sunday is also the day we put up the rest of the decorations.  Here’s a peak at a few of the regulars.

Getting the mantle ready for stockings…
Can’t forget our German Nutcracker.
The Dickens Village is a must.

~3~

Survived the Stomach Bug

Speaking of fast and furious, most of the family got the stomach bug in the last week of Advent. 🙁

At least it was still Advent,  which is supposed to be a season of penance anyway — how very Catholic of us to get the stomach bug!

I was worried we weren’t going to make it to Christmas Eve Mass as a family, and we had also missed a beautiful gathering with some of our dearest friends on the eve of Christmas Eve.  Have to admit, it was a hard pill to swallow. I was feeling rather sad.

My low point came Christmas Eve morning.  I managed to get a shower after a few sleepless nights, and I tried my best to muster up some positivity.  I even found myself thinking, “This is going to be a good day”.

I was proud of myself for such positive thoughts after a few difficult days.  Then I looked down at the towel I had been using to dry myself off with — it was covered in old, dried vomit.  Yep.  Low point.

No pictures for this one.  You’re welcome.

~4~

Survived the 2 Year Old

Here’s the thing about 2 year olds and Christmas — they basically walk around the house knocking down decorations and stealing candy canes from the Christmas tree — it’s like the best times of their lives.

Be Careful….
Doh!
Just hanging out eating candy canes…ah, the life of a two year old.

So many decorations dropped and moved — too many to count — but I wouldn’t change any of it.

This little guy adds so much to our lives and I know I’ll fondly look back on all the disasters he causes on the daily, with a tear in my eye — or so I keep telling myself. 😉

~5~

The Most Important Part!

Everybody had a quick recovery and we all made it to Christmas Eve Mass.  We drove through a blizzard, and had a few scary moments on the road, but we made it!

I have to say, making it there, seeing Jesus, I felt like we had barely made it to the finish line — but we made it! I was so grateful for being able to celebrate Mass together.

We even drove through that snow storm after Mass and had a beautiful celebration with our good friends we had missed the night before.  We sang songs, ate delicious food, and began the Christmas celebrations.

We ended our time saying a decade of the rosary in a special room they had created with a full size Nativity scene — animals and all.  It was lovely!

Made it to the most important part of Christmas! Hello Jesus!

~6~

Christmas Eve

Two things always make their appearance on Christmas Eve:  baby Jesus in the creche and gifts around the tree.  Baby Jesus always appears after returning from Mass and the gifts happen late on Christmas Eve, after the kids have gone to bed.

I have to say, when my 5 year old exclaimed, “Baby Jesus is Born” and ran around our living room with total joy — my heart melted.  I hope she always feels that joy at the birth of baby Jesus.  I hope I feel even a tenth of her joy.

After Christmas Eve Mass, baby Jesus always makes His appearance.
2 am and finally ready for Christmas Day!

~7~

Christmas Day (One)

We’re not done celebrating Christmas just yet, but that first day is a special one.  It was a lovely day full of good food, fun gifts, and time to just be a family.  It was lovely.

Nutella crepes, a Christmas morning tradition. Yum!
Opening the gifts, one at a time.  
John always buys me the worst outfit he can find at one of my favorite stores — so I can return it and buy what I like — we’re weird that way. 🙂
Pandemic was a good gift. They’ve lost every time, but had a lot of fun doing it.
Gave this to our oldest daughter. I love this quote.
Enjoyed the end of the day with a Yuletide fire and some lovely Christmas drinks.

By the end of the day, John and I sat by a lovely fire and talked about the blessings of the past year.  Our littles sat close by, and we all enjoyed the laughter of the kids playing yet another board game they had received earlier that day.  It was a lovely end to Christmas: Day One.

We’ve reached an interesting point in our lives, where our older kids are beginning to make memories as siblings and to relate to each other in a way that’s uniquely their own. Slowly, we are stepping back a little bit and watching them grow into unique individuals with special relationships independent of us.

I love seeing this evolution happening.  We won’t always be around, and it’s nice to know the kids will have each other after we’ve gone.  I want them to create these lovely memories together.  Hopefully they’ll remember this as one among many beautiful Christmases spent laughing together.

I hope your Christmas Day was a beautiful one!  The good news is that it’s still Christmas, so there’s still time to celebrate, if you haven’t had much chance, as of yet.

There’s still time to reach out to family or friends and let them know how much you love them.  There’s still time to get to Mass and Confession and let the grace pour into all those darkest parts of our hearts.

There’s still more Christmas to come.  Let’s make it count!  Merry Christmas to you!

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Please enjoy my little Christmas Giphy above of our time by the fire. You might have to click on it to enlarge it. :).

 

Sharing over at Kelly’s.

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