Football. Tweety. Russian donkeys? A Merry Christmas, indeed

I’d call this a photo dump, but I could never be so callous about my Christmas memories. Our family had a fabulous Christmas. The Christmas we had is the reason everyone loves Christmas. We had great visits with family, an abundance of food, presents, laughter. Also, this was the first time it’s been too warm for my kids to wear their Christmas outfits.

We went to a Lessons & Carols service at our church on Christmas Eve, and David was a little restless. He kept kicking his sister, poking the stranger behind us, and asking me when it was over. Meanwhile, Mary Virginia wanted me to hold her, then wanted me to put her down, then wanted me to hold her. There were two little girls dancing and twirling in the aisle beside us, and Mary Virginia was trying to work up the nerve to join them.

Tom was playing music on stage, so if his parents hadn’t been there to help with Thomas, I’m not sure how I could have managed. I was tempted to frustration, to impatience. And then I was like, dude, CHILL OUT. It’s Christmas Eve and your four-year old is wearing a collared shirt. Perhaps a little fidgeting is to be expected. Instead of correcting him, maybe I’m the one who isn’t paying attention. Because we were singing songs proclaiming the Incarnation, in the soft glow of Christmas Eve. My little boy was rolling in the floor, my little girl was hanging on my leg, and I was sitting with an  entire aisle of people who love me and I love dearly. This is Christmas, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted. Rowdy, happy, healthy kids; a great family and extended family; wonderful friends; belonging in a community of believers; and HOPE because Christ has come! Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel. Shall come to Thee, O Isreal. 


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After spending Christmas morning at our house, we headed to Tom’s parents’ house for brunch and presents.

We stayed all day and had so much fun. The kids are at such a great age.

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Is this a look into Psalm and Thomas’s future relationship? Thomas begging for attention, Psalm resigned and deadpan. Or maybe not. Either way, I can’t wait to recreate this photo every Christmas for decades to come.

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Mary Virginia got this duck sleeping bag and she has not come out of it since. If you think it’s a swan maybe you don’t know that swans are actually mama ducks. (Geese, too.)

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I know a lot of people were disappointed by the weather this Christmas. It wasn’t seasonable, I get it. It didn’t feel like Christmas, I hear you. But we played football outside in the backyard. Football in the backyard in shorts and bare feet! I know this is going to make some people want to burn me at the stake, but I’ll say it anyway: I prefer a 75 degree Christmas to a white Christmas.

Go ahead, pick your jaw up off the floor. We can still be friends.

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The day after Christmas, my parents, and my brother and his wife traveled all the way to Richmond to celebrate with us.

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This is the gift Mary Virginia asked for just days before Christmas — a plush Tweety Bird. After she opened presents on Christmas morning she said, “I didn’t get my Tweety but maybe I will get my Tweety tomorrow.” She was right.

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My brother in short sleeves, and the window behind my mom is open because all those happy people made our house uncomfortably warm. A Christmas first.

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Mary Virginia loved her makeup. She spent hours playing with it, putting it on, sorting it, taking it in and out of the bag. I called the red makeup “blush” and that word filtered through her toddler brain and came out as “blood.” So she kept asking us, “Aunt Abby, can I put some blood on you?” Aunt Abby is a great sport.

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Part of our gift to my brother and sister-in-law was Moscow mule mugs. I told Tom about it early in the month, then we never really talked about it again.

After Abby opened them, we made a round of drinks and when I handed Tom his he said, “Oh! Is this that Russian Donkey thing you were talking about?”

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family, celebrating the birth of our Savior.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:14

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