Christmas Celebrations at our Home

I hope each of you had a lovely Christmas celebration! 

This year, we had no visiting family and even Max and Rose are relocated to the other side of the country. So, in stark contrast to the 17 we had together last year, it was a much smaller celebration. But it was no less heartfelt!

Walter, Felicity, and the kids came over on Christmas Eve morning, just as though it were Christmas Day. (It was his family's turn to have them on Christmas Day this year.) We had our traditional Christmas breakfast to start the day: egg casserole, potato casserole, raspberry coffee cake, orange juice, and coffee. I sort of feel that the Christmas breakfast menu is something akin to the 1990's calling and wanting its breakfast back, but everyone screams "Tradition!" if I suggest altering it, so we feasted without regard for cholesterol or sugar content. 

The breakfast keeping with my Christmas theme of simple, natural, and magical this year. Just greens in the center of the table. A calming color palette. And fanciful, casual, paper placemats with owls (a gift from a friend).

Then it was on to present opening! I've included the blurry pictures even, because...well...that's basically all I got. But I think it's so real life...the kids are seldom still...all four of them in motion most of the time. Makes for a very jolly Christmas! Their Christmas presents from us were handmade, flannel pajamas or nightgowns and coordinating heat sacks. (Some pictures taken before they opened them, and some after.) Super snuggly Christmas!

The middle part of the day was consumed with watching "The Muppets' Christmas Carol" (my favorite Christmas movie), playing with new toys, and the kids chasing or being chased by Carson (the new dog). I think Carson and the kids are all fast friends now, which just makes me delighted beyond words. When you rescue a dog, you're never quite, 100% certain that they'll come exactly as described as "good with kids", so it was a great relief and a great joy to find he's fabulous with them...and they with him.

The sunset was beautiful on Christmas Eve...such a blessing.

We skipped lunch and had an early dinner of just appetizers. The menu was:

Meatballs in Cider-Barbecue Sauce
Assorted Cheeses and Crackers
Vegetables and Garlic-Chipotle Dip
Maple-Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Dates (recipe here)
Italian Sub Sandwich Roll-ups (recipe here)

Then it was off to church to worship God and celebrate the Incarnation. God be praised for His great mercies to us. Singing "Silent Night" in a candlelit church on Christmas Eve is one of the highlights of the Christmas season for me.

On Christmas Day, it was just the three of us (plus Carson). We have never had a Christmas that quiet. I think it's easy to start to feel self-pitying when the group is small, or you're missing people, but I really tried to focus on the unexpected blessings of a quiet Christmas. I'm usually the one who sets her alarm to wake up before the rest of the house on Christmas. I normally quickly shower, get dressed and make up on, and skitter downstairs to turn the oven on and get breakfast going. But this year, I slept without an alarm...always an indulgence for me. And we ambled downstairs when we pleased and heated up leftovers from breakfast the day before. Since it was our traditional Christmas breakfast, it still felt like Christmas tastes (if that makes any sense) and I enjoyed the novelty of not spending much time in the kitchen. The morning was sparkling with frost when I took the dog out.

I stayed in my pajamas all morning, which hasn't happened since I was a kid. We opened presents from each other and from family and friends around the country. Someone got a rhinoceros for Christmas.

At some point in the day, we all traded in our pajamas for lounging clothes. And I spent most of the afternoon wrapped in my new cashmere shawl (from Hubby, and oh, sooo dreamy!) and cozied up on the couch with my new books.

Colette and I worked together on Christmas dinner, a simpler affair than normal: spiral-sliced ham, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, and brioche rolls (store bought). It wasn't until the next day that I realized I forgot to make the salad. But no one missed it. I was in favor of eating in the formal dining room, or for pulling a table over next to the fire in the family room to make it special. But Colette said, "Let's eat in the kitchen. The kitchen is what feels like home to me." *heart melts* So, the kitchen it was! But I wanted candlelight. Remember, when I said this Christmas I wanted candles and more candles? So I just gathered them from all over the house and a few from the pantry, and we dined by candlelight and it was magical and lovely in all new ways.

Teamwork got the dishes done, but we let the candles burn. And when everything was cleaned up and we were ready to pop in a new movie for the night, we let the candles burn still, because it was so pretty and I don't think any of us wanted it to end.

I've left all the candle holders on the table, because we all agreed that it would be beautiful for New Year's Eve too!


  1. Sounds perfect. I too have started making adjustments in the traditions for grown up kids. It is what we do; raise them to have families. I like the idea of the meal by candlelight. IT is funny how the kids don't want to change the menus. I created the same meal for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to accommodate both kids. Didn't mind it at all:) The oak leaf picture next to the tree is so pretty.

    1. Yes, I love it that they love the family traditions!

      That oak leaf picture... I love it too, but it looks a bit out of place when the desk beneath it is removed to make way for the tree each year, don't you think? We do here. But would it look better, if I removed it and just the hanger were left? And try as I might, I just can't seem to photograph the tree without either a glare from the window, the oak picture in the photo, or the entertainment center next to it featured prominently. Believe me, I tried. ;-)

    2. Now, it doesn't look awkward to me. It is funny how we stress over things and others don't see it.

    3. Oh good! That makes me feel better! Thanks!

  2. This year it was three for Christmas. Yes I dearly missed my granddaughter and fought feeling blue. My mother declared there would be no tree so I had strung fairy lights and had masses of candles instead. My son came over and watched his violent shows so I napped.

    But I had some lovely moments. An Exchange student wrote to me via Facebook on Christmas Eve and I so enjoyed that. I spoke with my girls who were away with their other halves families. I was sent a photo of my fifteen month old granddaughter dancing with excitement. The meal was super easy. Best of all it was not too hot in my part of Australia.

    Happy New Year everyone.

    1. Happy New Year to you too! Fairy lights and masses of candles sound wonderful! I'm glad God blessed you with some joys on Christmas!


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