Our Christmas Days of Celebration

On Christmas Eve, as is our tradition, my dear mother-in-law and husband's aunt came to sleep over. Here we are, above, before Mass.

Christmas Eve Mass at a historic church in the city...if your area is like mine all the beautiful churches are still in the cities and are less attended than the modern, suburban ones. Here there is no problem getting a seat. And what your eyes behold is a catechism...the stained glass, the stations, the statues, the painted ceilings, not to mention a beautiful and dear priest....

When we returned home, one of my brother-in-laws was waiting for us with his beautiful family to share the evening and dinner with us. It's shameful that I don't have any pictures of the set table and 14 of us around it. I made chicken marsala from this wonderful website.

Here is my youngest, my 6 year old daughter the next day, Christmas Day. This is a special dress my Nana made for me and I wore at her age. My mother saves everything.

Again, where are the pictures?! No photo of us with my side of the family....sigh. My mother and I worked together to make our own beef wellingtons, which we have every Christmas here (usually from QVC) but this year I think is the last. Time to move on to something different...even easier. Suggestions?

I do love Christmas but the entertaining is such a lot of work. Good to offer up....

And then there's a day like yesterday that soothes the soul. The 27th was pajama day here. We played games, went no where and relaxed and ate left overs. Delightful. Restorative.

Up next, a night to deliver awards...


Another one of our most recent traditions is to take a drive to give out anonymous awards and thank you notes to our neighbors.

Here's how it started. My oldest son always appreciated when our neighbors went all out with their lights and outdoor decorations. To encourage an act of gratitude, we decided to have each of the children draw an award; one for 1st place, then 2nd, 3rd and 4th so they each had one to put in a mailbox. In our travels during December, we start to notice houses and predict who might win. That first year my husband and I also noticed that we were drawn to the houses that set out a manger/nativity scene. We remarked how grateful we were to see the baby Jesus, the reason for Christmas and that led to another tradition. I decided to hand write my own thank you note/Christmas card to everyone in our area who was witnessing that Christ is Christmas in displaying that night in Bethlehem in this way. My note would say something like this, "As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ and the Incarnation of our Savior we are especially grateful for your Christmas decorations. Thank you for your manger/nativity decoration for all to witness as they drive by! May the Holy Family bless you! Merry CHRISTmas from your appreciative neighbors."

So when the decided upon night actually comes the children draw up their rewards and roll them into scrolls. I write as many thank you notes as mangers I have noticed, plus one or two more just in case. My husband drives out of the neighborhood first to treat us with drive-thru Dunkin' Donuts hot chocolate and then we drive back listening to Christmas carols and decide the winners.

Many plans for visits and visitors from now till after New Years and then I'll roll into the tradition of picking Saint Companions for 2011!

Stay tuned and Merry days of Christmas!

10 comments:

Jamie Jo said...

Oh, my gosh, I love that dress your daughter is wearing, beautiful, the one you wore (well, both are beautiful) but how special for her to wear the same one you wore.

Beautiful photos. Beautiful family!
Can't wait to see who my saint is this year!

Jenny said...

I wsa just thinking this morning that the annual saint fraw should be coming up quick!

Charlotte said...

We, too, purposely picked a church that was small, old, and in the city - and we, too, had no problem getting a seat. It was great!

Mom2Seven said...

What a beautiful family! Your daughter looks lovely in your childhood dress! Peace and prayers.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful family! Your daughter's homemade dress was lovely. Our son was serving at our Church at the 5pm Vigil Mass. As you said about the suburban churches, we had to get there a little after 4 to even get a seat. We can only pray that all of them will find it in their hearts to return to Church the other 51 weeks in the year! Did you get a lot of snow? My kids are enjoying it immensely! Much love to you and God bless! :-)

Tiffany said...

"Mary" Christ-mas to you and your lovely family! I just love your award and thank you idea. A great way to keep the love and joy of the Christmas spirit moving.

Josie said...

Dear Friend-I love this post. We miss you guys. Have a card coming to you...I love that top picture-want to be joining you. Merry and Blessed Christmas!!! xoxo

Dirtdartwife said...

Can't wait to see which Saint pics me and my family for this year. Love that you do this!!! Have a blessed and Holy new year!!!

Christine said...

I have loved having St. Monica this year...Next year..please pick a new one for me. Or I can keep her. She has helped me in so many ways.

Loved your pictures of your family.

God Bless you and the New Year

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Look at the grandmas, rockin' the traditional Christmas Sweaters! Do they even know how trendy they are? Heehee! I love pictures of your family. You are so beautiful! Happy New Year.

© 2011 Bushel & A Peck Designs. Powered by Blogger.