Chestnuts roasting on a Kindle Fire—or how you could win a photo contest


There’s a Kindle Fire on the line.

Not to mention the fame and glory.

But I’m not going to enter The Catholic Review’s Christmas Spirit Photo Contest.

While sitting quite happily on the sidelines, however, I thought it would be fun to look through my photos and find a few of my favorites that don’t show my sons’ faces—since I don’t use their faces on this blog—but which also convey Christmas spirit.

Without hunting for too long, I found three.

1.       Here’s one I took on Leo’s first Christmas morning.

We had arrived back in Baltimore four days before. He was the only grandchild visiting my parents’ house that morning, and my parents and sisters were trying to give him plenty of space. But we were also absolutely enamored with him. And so my sister, his Aunt Treasa, is taking a photo of him with one of his presents. I don’t remember whether John and I exchanged gifts that year. We didn’t need to.

2.       Then there is this one.

This picture reminds me of how during our trip to Leo in December 2009, there were Christmas decorations everywhere. This photo shows the side of the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, where adoptive families traditionally stayed on their trips to China, up until the summer of 2011. Everywhere we traveled in China with Leo, the signs said, “Merry Christmas”—in English. Then we flew home and landed at O’Hare Airport where the signs suddenly said, “Seasons Greetings.” And we knew we were home.

3.       But this one may be my favorite.

I took this picture last year on Christmas morning. Christmas was still a mystery to Daniel, who had been home from China just for a few months. But for Leo, it was already full of magic. And he knew that when we got to the bottom of the steps, we would see whether Santa Claus had left anything under the tree. I love the anticipation as he peeks over the railing. And it makes me excited for Christmas morning this year—though I could use a few extra days to prepare for that magical moment.

Now, a Kindle Fire isn’t at the top of my Christmas wish list—I’m secretly hoping for an immersion blender, though I’d settle for an extra hour of sleep—but it may be on yours. Or it might be on the wish list of someone you are shopping for this Christmas.

Maybe you don’t even care about the prize, but you have a photo you’d like to share that could help put us all in the Christmas spirit.


Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.