Photo Blogging Challenge: The Holidays!

Somehow during this hectic week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I haven’t shared much of our actual Christmas celebration. Naturally, the tree will stay up for a little longer, and the Three Kings haven’t arrived yet at the stable, but it would be nice to give you a peek into our Christmas festivities.

And P.J. is hosting a photo blogging challenge at A ‘Lil Hoohaa with the theme “holidays.” What better time to join in the fun and post a few Christmas pictures, since you know I took more than a few.

1. Looking inside the stockings

Santa doesn’t wrap any of the big presents, which our boys like so they can jump in and start playing immediately. But I think that makes looking inside the stockings that much more exciting. We didn’t put the couch there so they could use it as a stepladder, but it’s certainly convenient. It was a magical morning, a morning without tears and fuss and no arguments that I can remember a few days later. All of the presents were popular and we had almost enough batteries for everything.

And we moved Jesus into the stable. Then we all headed off to Mass. I love Christmas morning Mass. It comes just when we need a break from the chaos at home and it is so peaceful. 

2. A Christmas portrait after Mass

I did get a better picture than this…I must have, right? But even though I was offering decent bribes to people who were participating, one child said he was just too tired to sit up straight and smile. Let this be a lesson to children everywhere who wake up at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning and whisper in their bedrooms until they are allowed to wake their parents up at 6 a.m.

3. Santa’s snack

Our boys took their snack for Santa seriously. I loved the drawing of the reindeer flying over the houses on the way to deliver gifts. Santa enjoyed his cookies and the reindeer ate most of the carrots we left. I used a new-to-me runner that my mother-in-law gave me last week when we saw her and I admired it on her table. You would think I would know after 12 years that when I admire something in her home, she hands it to me.

4. The Joyful Mess

Our sons really wanted us to host Christmas dinner so they could stay home and enjoy their toys. So I had invited my parents and two of my sisters, one brother-in-law, and my baby niece to come to dinner that night. Then my older sister and her husband and four children decided to come to town earlier than expected and arrived in time for dinner at our house too.

It was amazing. The running, the excitement, the gift opening, the noise, the three kinds of lasagna, the array of desserts, the fun conversation, the joy throughout our not-so-large house…it was wonderful. I’d do it all again in an instant. Or in a year.

5. Christmas trains

We love going to see train layouts at Christmas, and we went to this one right before Christmas. These train gardens, as we call them here in Baltimore, are such a part of our Christmas celebrations. This year our boys were looking tall and I was wondering how many more years they will want to go to see the trains. Luckily my husband will always want to go, so we’ll be there one way or another!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a happy New Year!

See more photos at A ‘Lil Hoohaa.

Catholic Review

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