Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 - Traditions Old and New

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. My grandpa passed away on December 16th, and his funeral was the Wednesday before Christmas. It's a sad time to say goodbye to a loved one, but my grandpa hung on for as long as he could to be with those he loved. I am blessed to have had him in my life for almost 40 years, his quiet strength and unwavering loyalty are virtues that I hope to demonstrate to my own grandchildren someday.

I have about a thousand photos of our extended family gatherings, but here is a small taste of what they look like:

Hugs from my mamma:








My brother managed to get The Husband a football that was autographed by Antonio Freeman. He even addressed it to TH!




Mimosas with my mother-in-law:


I love this picture of The Husband and his brothers just hanging out:


My favorite traditions are the ones we share in our own home. 

This year The Boy sang in the choir at Christmas Eve mass. They sounded beautiful. Christmas Eve mass is my favorite because of the music. Belting out "O Come, All Ye Faithful" with a trumpet and a choir in the loft? Awesome. Even if you can't carry a tune, you can sing loud and proud because the trumpet blasts loud enough that your voice can only be heard by those seated next to you. And they're presumably your loved ones, so who cares!

Reading stories on Christmas Eve:


Opening Christmas Eve pajamas:

(Poor Goblin was ready for bed!)

Making Christmas cookies for Santa:


Bumblebee made these herself:


And of course, you can't forget food for the reindeer!


Our recipe for reindeer food:

1/3 cup oatmeal
A whole lotta sprinkles


Put in a container and mix, then sprinkle on the ground for Santa's reindeer.

Look how snowy our house is!


Our family has to watch two Christmas movies together each year. We watched "Christmas Vacation" a few days ago. That movie never fails to make us giggle.

We saved "It's a Wonderful Life" for Christmas Eve this year. That movie is just so special. I had never seen it before I met The Husband. We watched it together when Hollywood was a very small baby and I was amazed to see TH get teary-eyed at the end. I think it chokes him up even more now that he can relate to how George Bailey's riches compare to his own.


Getting the stockings ready for Santa- The Husband's great grandma made him a beautiful quilted stocking when he was a child. I decided that I wanted to make quilted stockings for the rest of us as well. I started this project last year, by purchasing cutter quilts for each of the kids. For my own stocking, I used a small baby doll quilt that my grandma made for me when I was about 4. I realized on Christmas Eve this year that the stockings weren't finished, so while the family was watching the movie, I worked on them. They still aren't complete (I am going to add a colored band on the top of them and embroider our names on them) but they were done enough for Santa to stuff them:


I like how they turned out. The Husband's is still the very best one, but the rest of them have a homey, old time Christmas feel to them.

Our Christmas morning traditions are likely the same as many Americans. We have a 7 o'clock rule, which means that the kids can't come out of their rooms until it's after 7.  That one isn't always followed so well. This year, I stumbled upon an interesting way to make sure the 7 o'clock rule is followed. Bumblebee woke up coughing up a lung (we've all been sharing a Christmas cold with each other this season) so I gave her Nyquil at 2 a.m.  She was still asleep at 7:30!!

Time for the kids to check out what Santa brought them.


This year Santa brought a dollhouse to Goblin and Bumblebee:


Then it was time to open presents. Goblin's got the hang of it!


More presents:







The rest of the day was spent relaxing. 

Getting hugs from Daddy:


Standing on chairs:


And standing on boxes so she could reach the microwave:


Doing makeovers:



Bumblebee did Hollywood's makeup too:


Snuggling in front of the fireplace:


And playing "Nati Cake" with Grandma J:


We finished up our evening by playing some Kinect Sports. I'm so thankful for my family - this time of year things can get crazy, and it can be stressful getting Christmas all set up. These small traditions, done in our own little home each year are my favorite moments of Christmas.

I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday as well.


Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I love your photos of your kids all hugging up on each other. There's so much love in your house!

Natalie's Santa dress is so cute!

Beth @ Lambic Pentameter said...

Love it!

Andrea Frazer said...

Wow, your holiday looked lovely. I like Christmas Eve mass also. I did not go this year. I haven't gone, in fact, for years. I felt the loss this December for sure. Next year! Beautiful beautiful can't say enough how beutiful your babies are - all of them.