Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Memories

Christmas Morning- taken by our five year old.

We had a wonderful Christmas and are still basking in the luxury of extra time together before school officially starts again.  Here are some memories and traditions of our Christmas of 2011.
amid the chaos

On Christmas Eve, we let the kids open their Christmas presents from grandparents and aunts and uncles so as to distinguish who-gave-what.  It's hard to be thankful when all the presents are torn open at once, so we really tried to slow things down and help them remember who gave them which presents.  This would have been easier had the gift givers been present, but since we don't live close, it's not possible.

Working around my husband's shift work is always a challenge during the holidays, but thankfully he got off on Christmas Eve and we were able to drive up to Maryland to visit his parents and enjoy the traditional "Harkins Family Christmas Meal" via P. F. Chang's.  Here's our best try at a family Christmas photo that evening:

We drove back home that night and Eric and I finished up the last St. Andrew Novena before heading to bed.

In the morning St. Nicholas came (trying to get away from the fictional 'Santa Claus' and incorporating the actual saint into gift getting). Here's Jude with his only Christmas present from Saint Nick. Keeping it simple since they already get so much from everyone else!

Then we headed to Christmas Mass at 8:30am.  Liam talks about how much he enjoys this Mass all year long, so we opened the church doors to reveal the lit Christmas trees and Christmas decor and baby Jesus, he exclaimed, "Wow, this is going to be so much fun!"  Fr. L. thought it was pretty funny too. 

After Mass, we decorated the Christmas tree. This is our kids' favorite tradition on to opening Christmas presents, of course!

It's hard to keep the FRAGILE baby Jesus away from this one!
I tried to start a new tradition of continuing the Christmas celebration with the 12 days of Christmas (incorporating the feast days and the Catholic meaning of the song into spreading Christmas joy to others in a sort of 'Works of Mercy' theme) , but it turned out to be a lot of work and the kids didn't seem to care, so I decided to wait until the kids are a little older and they can participate a little more. Maybe I'll try again next year.

While they are all so young, the simple joys of beholding the new born king is enough for them.  Children know the meaning of Christmas so much better than us adults anyway!


Allison said...

Thanks for these glimpses. When our guys were little we did have a party on Epiphany or three kings day. We read some stories about the kings, and we had friends help us "undecorate" our home. It was fun.

noreen said...

Your children are so sweet! Love the picture of you and your husband! You have been blessed with a beautiful and loving family! Happy New Year Sarah!

Melanie Gillespie said...

Beautiful family, thanks for sharing.

Katie Rose said...

so sweet Sarah! love the pic of you and Eric, you look great! Christmas just keeps getting more special and exciting as the oldest and number of kids grow!

Christina said...

wow, Liam is a future photographer! :)

Bonnie said...

Wow i can't stop looking at these photos. lovely, lovely and blessed.
the post office wanted to use up all the old stamps before they went up in price.
Love MOM

Johanna said...