not at home for the holidays

there is no place like home for the holidays.  i have spent the majority of christmas seasons at my childhood home in washington state.  our family has a plethora of traditions that we make sure to get to every year.  annual christmas party at our house, uncle tom singing o holy night, me putting out my grandmother's nativity scene, chopping down a tree, decorating said tree with priceless ornaments made by loved ones over the years, singing carols on the way to christmas eve candlelight service, reading the cajun night before christmas, all the sibs sleeping in the same room, the photo on the stairs christmas morning, the casserole we eat only on christmas morning cause its too special (and too horrible for you) to make any other day...the list goes on. 

and sometimes its been hard for me to differentiate what really makes the season feel special.  is it the traditions?  is it my family?  is it that house with the lights in the window and the nutcracker on the front steps?  is it that party with all our friends and family?  

this year we have a new baby, eden, and my sister also has a new little one, florence.  my parents also have an east coast home now and so we all decided that the best, and easiest, plan with two new babes would be to do christmas on the east coast instead of on the west. so robert and i packed up chicken little and drove down to nc to be with my family for twelve days of christmas.  

there was no annual christmas party

we did not get to hear uncle tom sing o holy night

my grandmother's nativity scene was tucked safely away in storage in washington

we put up an easy artificial tree which we decorated mostly with store bought balls (though a few handmades made there way from wa to don the tree)

we did not have a peaceful reflective christmas eve candlelight service

we did not read the cajun night before christmas

the siblings slept in different rooms and in different houses with new babies so we did not sleep that well. 

we got no 'stair' photo

we did manage to make the casserole cause it turns out you can get bread, eggs, cheese and sausage anywhere...

the point is, almost nothing this year was like it has been before.  christmas day consisted of people coming and going, babies crying, babies not napping, babies sleeping sweetly on family, tighter quarters, balmy weather...

but, at the end of it, most of us agreed that it was one of the most special christmases we had ever spent.  the things that had become synonymous with christmas had not happened but we still had christmas. 

and i realized that it has always been the people.  YES our traditions are fantastic.  yes, my heart missed hearing uncle tom's peaceful beautiful o holy night.  yes, i missed seeing friends in washington.  but christmas was christmas because i was with my family and we were celebrating the birth of our lord and reveling in the births of our two new blessings.  it was christmas because i got to look across at my husband, holding my baby by the light of a glowing tree and know that i have more than i could ever deserve or merit.  because that baby, not unlike my baby in his first few months i am sure, came to restore peace between us and him...

i hope you had christmas, wherever you had it, and that you were able to reflect on the ultimate christmas gift.

here are a few photos (and i mean a few, because i have 271 from just the eve and the day) to show you the highlights of christmas and the days leading up to it. 

the grandmothers toasting their joy

paul making pad thai with spaghetti squash

watching the seahawks...lose

 smiley in her christmas tights 

our beautiful tree, fake though it was.

my sister and eden have a special bond

my mother gave eden this beautiful ornament and little red is a handmade that 
made her way to the east.

paul doing the only baby thing he knows how to do...poking the belly

the extended jordan family at the christmas eve service

elise, adam and his parents

elise and i loved having so much time together with our girls. gramma j bought them matching dresses and i made headbands.

the agabas in all our christmas garb

my beautiful mother with eden

the lovely nelson family

blessing our christmas eve feast

gramma and papa j 

florence doing the touchdown and eden up to no good

such a happy mama

and a beautiful family

one of the best christmas gifts ever

the beautifully decorated house.  great job mama 

what a cute christmas elf

the rum pecan pound cake mama made

isnt he handsome?

thanks for the boots mama! 

robert finally joined the revolution

and even though she was teething, she was a happy camper all morning 

my parents had a beautiful duke rocking chair as a surprise for paul.  i love how he had his eyes covered like a little kid.

paul gave eden a beautiful silver noah's ark piggy bank with her initials on it.  
such a thoughtful gift uncle paul!  

eden loved helping open her gifts.  i was surprised at how involved she was.


cute clothes for eden

eating our christmas feast with our crowns from crackers

i love this one

florence's proud grandmothers

we all did matching jams.  

i love these women

sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins 

well florence was down for these photos, eden, not so much.  

a different christmas, but a wonderful one.



  1. What a beautiful capture of Christmas! I felt the warm and fuzzies just reading this post and seeing all the photos. I'm so glad you shared, I was waiting for this post!


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