13 January 2010

a christmas report

Christmas was grand at our house. Truly Grand.

We loved it. We loved welcoming the Christ child, being with family and friends, and giving and receiving a few of our favorite things.

(Key sound of music - brown paper packages tied up with string)

We celebrated and celebrated and celebrated.

A few days before Christmas, we celebrated with Paul's parents. They got us a new camera - we gave them framed pictures of the kids (always a favorite) and we all got a book or two.

My father in law gave me the newest Robert St. John/Wyatt Waters collaborative cookbook, Southern Seasons. It is beautiful. Inside and out. And the recipes look super yummy, although most fairly expensive and not too green.... but should be great for celebrations!

On Christmas Eve afternoon, we went to church with my Mama - at first pres, jackson. We sat in the balcony. All three children behaved pretty well (forty five minutes of mostly christmas carols is pretty easy when on most sundays they are required to sit through an hour and a half of mostly praying/preaching/communing). I did very much miss our anglican/episcopal christmas celebration, but everything is a trade off, and Paul and I are both comfortable that God has us where He wants us right now.
Eason did threaten to climb over the balcony and fall to the waiting arms of all of northeast jackson. Would have been a good story, had he not broken multiple bones.

That night, we celebrated with my daddy and his lady - Joy - and her children. I got my first taste of what a blended family might feel like. Different, but not altogether bad.

I cooked a beef tenderloin and three different sauces - an orange bearnaise, a cranberry sauce, and a shallot brown butter sauce. I also did spiced bread pudding with bourbon sauce for dessert. Joy and her girls brought all the sides - taters, salad, etc.

Yes, there were a lot of sauces, but it's christmas, after all. And what is christmas for if not sauces.

There were lots of fun presents, too. The kids both got sets of KNEX from Daddy and Joy.

This is what Eason built with his:

okay, not really. but they are having tons of fun with them.

Christmas morning was truly amazing.

I frequently in awe of my children - when they say something that everyone was thinking, but non one had the courage - or sometimes even the ability to articulate it, when they know they'll be punished for something and do it anyway, when they are funnier than david letterman, when they show true grace to one another. And many other times.

On Christmas morning, i was in awe. Because they were truly overwhelmed by the perceived generosity they were experiencing. I say perceived, because many a child in our surrounding area had a much 'bigger' christmas.
My kids got new bikes (cheapest ones i could find - walmart.com - site to store - check it out and forgive yourself for supporting corporate america - buy your books at an independent book store to make up for it), handmedown sleeping bags, thrift store cowboy boots and some fairy wings.

And they glowed. And are still glowing. I actually knew if we lost power during our recent debacle of an ice storm, we'd still be able to see because the kids are still glowing.

Eason said, "I got everyfing i wanted and more"

After we did santa claus and stockings at our house, we headed north to madison to spend christmas day at my mama's house - with her and my little brother Paul. Daddy came for a while, too. It was a great day. Just what Christmas should be in my head. We ate, opened presents, daddy brought bloody marys - it was an all around great time.

The days following Christmas were filled with smaller, but almost as important celebrations with friends. We are so blessed with our friendships - it is overwhelming.

My favorite presents include from Paul - a new watch, a kitchen scale, Nigella Express, Ratio, a new cake pan with my name on it. From my mom- new pots and pans. And delightful presents from friend - a new jacket, jeans and a big tea pitcher.

My favorite presents given include - a solar LED key chain flashlight to Paul, a decanter to my mom, pics of kids to my dad, a bunch of fun kitchen gadgets to various women in my life, a book embosser to a good friend, and a a box in which to carry food to others to another good friend.

Mine and Paul's big gift from my parents were portraits of the kiddos. It was such a surprise. A wonderful woman, named Susan Russell, who is a family friend and did our portraits as children, took a snapshot of each child and turned them into these amazing paintings.

All in all, it was just grand.

Have I already said that?

We brought in the Christ Child with all the glory He deserves. Or not all, but as much as we could muster. And we spent great time together.

Happy New Year!

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