Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry (post) Christmas!

I apologize for the blog silence of the last few days! The truth is, I've been lazy. No other excuse. So join us as we celebrate Christmas.

Our big celebration day is Christmas Eve. Early in the morning, long before dawn, I took this photo.

(I also -- ahem -- took this photo, which actually turned out pretty cool despite the blunder.)

When the kids got up, we clear the kitchen table...

...and got ready for our annual Junk Food Feast. This is a congregation of every type of nutritionally-useless culinary rubbish we never, ever buy during the rest of the year. Long story short: After Thanksgiving many years ago, Don commented about what a pity it is I work so hard and make such a nice meal for Thanksgiving, only to repeat the same work load over Christmas. Somehow one thing led to another (aided and abetted by two eager children, no doubt) and before we knew it, we had started a tradition of having nothing but junk food for three days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day) in which no one has to ask permission to eat potato chips for breakfast -- and I go on a kitchen strike.

It's kind of a silly tradition, but it's fun. The advantage of this technique is by the end of three days, the kids are begging for Brussels sprouts. Don't believe me? What do you think we had with dinner last night?

Toward evening we made ready to greet some dear friends who always join us to open presents, a couple whose grown children live far away and always enjoy being with our kids. They've joined us every Christmas Eve since we moved to Idaho ten years ago, and the day wouldn't be the same without them.

Don made sure he had his father's cherished Bible handy.

While Don reads...

...Lydia interferes with the girls' concentration.

Then one by one Don hands out presents.

I tried to get a photo of some of Younger Daughter's presents, but the room was a bit too dark. However please note the pretty Victorian-style pleated choker that her older sister gave her, and which she adored.

For the first time since moving to Idaho, we decided to attend church on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve. This meant we could linger over our gifts, having coffee and tea (and junk food), and enjoying the company of our neighbors.

The aftermath.

Early on Christmas morning, I put the girls' stockings and an additional gift or two in the front room, near the woodstove.

Then I went out to feed the livestock. The day dawned clear, frosty, and beautiful.

I saw large flocks of Canada geese overhead.

We always feed the critters extra on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, because legend has it that animals are granted the gift of speech on Christmas night. We don't want them complaining to the neighbors that they're ill-fed!

We went to church, which was lovely. But after three Christmas Eve services, and one Christmas Day service, we can imagine the pastor was pooped. I can only hope he was able to relax and enjoy his family after church.

Later in the afternoon, while getting ready for some friends to come visiting, I managed to vacuum up Younger Daughter's choker. Not her fault -- she had put it on the table, but later I gathered all the gifts and tucked them back under the tree, where a dangling tie sucked the whole thing up. Don had to disassemble the vacuum to extract it. It had some damage, but I think it's fixable. Ug. My bad.

The day ended with a glorious display of color.

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

How was everyone's Christmas?


  1. Your pictures reminded me of Christmas at my Grandmother's house when I was a child (many years ago). She had a cedar tree from the woods near her house. We gathered in the living room to open gift on Christmas Eve. We didn't do the junk food as she cooked a big meal, but all the aunts helped. I miss those much simpler times when I didn't have to worry about how to fit everything into 2 days without running myself ragged and offending someone when I couldn't accommodate their schedule. I'm making a vow today that my Christmas in 2014 will be much simplified.

  2. You're entitled to be "lazy" now and then, dear girl. You and your family work very hard! We loved your photos, as usual. We will be celebrating Christmas on January 4. That's when our daughter and her family will be here for their yearly visit. We really look forward to it! We'll be celebrating 3 birthdays and Christmas, so there will be MUCH opening of presents by all! All our best. --Fred & Deb in AZ

  3. Patrice,

    It sounds like your Christmas was nice with family and friends. Our Christmas was quiet this year. My Dad passed away just before Christmas. We are hoping 2014 will be a better year.

    1. (wince) Oh Sandy, I'm so sorry. May he rest in peace with the Lord.

      - Patrice

  4. So, the vacuum choked on the choker?

    Sandy - my deepest sympathies to you and yours.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

    1. Vacuum cleaner joke - LOL! Still chortling here.

      Sandy - What a terrible loss for you. Deep sympathies.

      Just Me

  5. Christmas was very quiet this year. "Vewwy, vewwy quiet." (Elmer Fudd hunting "wabbits.") The big, billowy Christmases of long ago are long gone. Everyone is too far flung - in opposite directions no less.

    But that also means no stress! And a chance to work on some new traditions. What's that saying? "The only thing that's constant is change."

    Christmas decorations are already down. Seed catalogs are already marked for orders. Tally Ho!

    A special prayer of condolence goes out to Sandy across the cyber waves.

    Just Me

  6. I thought the animals talked on "olde Christmas" . Midnight, January 6th. 12 twelves of Christmas! That's the tradition here.
    To "My First Christmas In Heaven"
    Kelly in K'ville, NC