Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

I was gifted with well being today! After yesterday, I was so concerned about how I would feel today, wondering if I'd have to stay home from Mass and breakfast with my family, but this has been one of my best days.

We were out the door bright and early at 6:45 for a Latin Mass an hour away. John got to serve today.

Margaret boycotting the photo again

Being an hour from home, we went to breakfast at the only restaurant we knew would be open: Waffle House! It was a zoo, but we got fed and that's what counts.

We got home around noon for opening gifts. Such fun!

Engraved baby cups for the youngest set

A roll-up pencil pack

Mary loves loves loves books

New lift-the-flap books!

Joseph's new pounding bench

My top favorite gift was from Mary (6). See, I'd had a grand vision that a couple months ahead of time, I would teach the children about how it is better to give than receive, assign them all to make gifts by hand for various family members, and that would really be so touching. Instead, I've been pregnant and sick, so I did nothing of the sort to forward this grand scheme.

But my little Mary did make one present and it was for me. She planned it up all by herself, without Daddy saying anything, and she remembered it in the midst of opening gifts when she ran to get it from its hiding place.

Mary made me an art hanging (a painted flower vase) to suspend from a nail or door knob. She gave me a piece of red ribbon to lay in the Baby Jesus' manger. And wrapped in a washcloth, held together with safety pins, she gave me her beautiful, sparkling icon of the Virgin Mary (I'd wondered why it wasn't hanging on her wall!), her favorite St. Therese medal on a necklace (I'd wondered why she had stopped wearing it!), and a nickel.

This Mama got really teary because I can distinctly remember being a little girl and digging through my belongings, deciding that giving what I loved best would best show my love for my parents.

Mary's treasures for Mama

And then there was the letter she wrote me, which I will treasure always and might possibly have to bring out as evidence when Mary is a tumultuous teenager:

"Mama, You are mine mama. You are my mama and you shall all ways be my mama. Love, Mary"

You try not crying! I dare you!

Having been allowed to watch "Star Wars: A New Hope," John has used just about everything he can as a makeshift light saber, so we got him some toy light sabers. He likes them . . . just a little!

Margaret makes pizza

Joseph's favorite book about Spot

Grampa reading a book

Typically Mary, she disappeared without a word during our opening of gifts,
leaving the hustle and bustle to go do artwork by herself in the quiet kitchen.

What happens when a family of bookworms comes from an extended family of bookworms
While I prepared dinner, the children and men watched the classic 1954 version of "Robinson Crusoe," a DVD that was a Christmas gift. Our dinner menu was:

After dinner, I read the final chapter of "The Birds' Christmas Carol" (by Kate Douglass Wiggin) to the children . . . that is, to John. I've been reading this for the last few days to John and Mary, who knew from the start that the beloved, saintly little girl Carol would die in the end. So, while Chris was washing dishes and I was getting off my feet, I offered to the children to read the final chapter of the book. Mary refused to join us because her tender heart couldn't take the poignant finale.

I ordered a cheap used copy and what came in the mail was an 887 first edition. Bibliophile fun!

I read it through my tears to John. It is a lovely story which I recommend.

All the children went to sleep reading a stack of their new books with their new headlamps in their beds. This was a wonderful day!


  1. Keep me posted on which of those new books John loves best. Ben got the Dangerous Book for Boys and the first Life of Fred book. He just finished Stuart Little and said he enjoyed it quite a bit. He is now working on some Boxcar Children. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas, but in typical "I am the worst blogger in the world" fashion. No pictures were taken LOL....ah well.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family sweet friend!