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.
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.